This saucy chicken marsala gnocchi with mushrooms is a fun twist on everyone’s favorite sweet and savory chicken marsala dinner.
There’s nothing like making classic recipes but I’ve had fun adding spins to some of my favorites, like turning my chicken piccata into chicken piccata pasta or giving my beef stroganoff a vegetarian makeover. What could be next? I thought I’d push the envelope a little and gnocchi-fy my chicken marsala.
I love this gnocchi recipe because while you sauté the chicken and make the glazy, sweetened Italian marsala wine sauce with mushrooms and shallots, the gnocchi gets lightly crisped roast in the oven. Then, it’s added to the pan with the chicken to thicken the marsala sauce, making an irresistibly saucy and easy one-skillet meal.
What is in Chicken Marsala Gnocchi
With all the flavor loaded in this dish, the big surprise is its short ingredient list.
Here’s what’s in chicken marsala gnocchi:
- Gnocchi, found in vaccuum-sealed packs in the pasta aisle
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- All-purpose flour
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Canola oil—for frying the chicken (I like canola oil here because of its higher smoke point, but you can use olive oil)
- Butter—use it at the beginning and end of this recipe
- Mushrooms—button, brown, shiitake, or porcini or a combination all add their savory flavor
- Marsala wine—all of the alcohol evaporates, but make sure you get marsala wine (in the liquor area, near sherry and vermouth), not “marsala cooking wine” found in the vinegar aisle. That stuff is nasty.
- Chicken stock
- Parsley—flat-leaf Italian parsley or curly parsley add sprinkles of freshness and color
How to Make This Chicken Marsala Gnocchi
Roast your gnocchi for the ultimate crispiness. You can always boil your gnocchi, but roasting it for just 5-7 minutes in a 425°F oven adds a nice texture to this dish. Roasting also retains more of the starch on each gnocchi, and that’s what helps thicken the marsala sauce when the gnocchi is finished cooking while the sauce reduces.
Cook the Chicken
Sear the chicken while the gnocchi roasts. A quick dusting of flour and a dose of salt and pepper is all that’s needed to season the chicken chunks. I use butter with just a drizzle of oil to raise the butter’s smoke point so the chicken gets a golden Malibu-Barbie bronzing. Set the cooked chicken aside and then get to the sauce.
Make the Mushroomy Marsala Sauce
Use the same pan to sauté the mushrooms and shallots. Cut the mushrooms into larger pieces or quarters so they don’t disappear as they cook. Sautéing the shallot and mushroom in melted butter adds fat, and that adds flavor. Another round of butter comes at the end of the sauce cooking, for a glitzy, lush finish.
Marsala Wine Adds Sweetness to the Sauce
Add the marsala wine and chicken broth to the mushroom and shallots. The fortified marsala wine deepens the sauce’s flavor as it reduces and the chicken broth balances the flavors. Wipe out any extra dark bits from the pan before adding the liquids, then scrape up the bronzed bits when they release from the pan.
Add more butter. Add the rest of the butter while reducing the sauce at the end. This is a classic technique that gives the sauce its body and gloss as it thickens. Also, don’t mistake the sauce for gravy. It should still be glossy, light, and easy to drizzle.
Add the Roasted Gnocchi to the Sauce
Use the potato starch of the gnocchi to thicken the sauce. Because the gnocchi’s potato and flour starch isn’t washed away by boiling it, the sauce thickens when the gnocchi is finished cooking as the sauce reduces.
But! Don’t reduce too much or the sauce will disappear! Yes, the gnocchi helps thicken the sauce, but will also absorb too much of the sauce if you don’t keep an eye on it while reducing.
What to Use in Place of Marsala Wine
This dry, yet sweet Italian fortified wine is totally unique tasting, so If you don’t have Marsala, you can definitely try brandy, sherry, or Madeira, but know that the taste will be different.
When reduced, the alcohol evaporates so all that’s left is its delicious flavor. But, if you want a non-alcoholic substitute for Marsala wine, try white grape juice or this combination of grape juice, vanilla, and sherry vinegar.
What to Serve With Chicken Marsala Gnocchi
- Arugula Salad With Shaved Parmesan Three Ways
- Sautéed Spinach with Garlic
- Easy 5-Minute Parmesan Zucchini
- Roasted Asparagus
- Green Beans with Browned Butter Almondine
More Gnocchi Recipes to Try
- Gnocchi with Pomodoro Sauce
- Spring Vegetable Gnocchi
- Sausage and Gnocchi Soup
- Truffled Gnocchi Macaroni and Cheese
- Garlic and Herb Gnocchi Salad
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