Chicken Marsala’s rich, silky sauce and tender chicken and mushrooms are a beloved staple on many restaurant menus. Wondering how to recreate this popular dish at home when you’re short on time but craving its savory flavor? Jeanette’s Marsala chicken and rice casserole pairs the classic sauce with rotisserie chicken and rice before baking it in a casserole dish. Learn how to make this easy weeknight dinner taste like a night out in just a few simple steps.
Weeknight Dinner Solutions: Marsala Chicken and Rice Casserole
Transforming this traditional Italian-American dinner into a casserole saves time without shortcutting flavor, allowing the oven to do most of the work. We’ll detail how Marsala chicken and rice casserole comes together and suggest the perfect sides. But, first, here’s some background on the rich sauce that gives classic chicken Marsala its name.
What Is Marsala Sauce?
Marsala sauce consists of Marsala wine, garlic, herbs, mushrooms, and heavy cream, reduced and poured over thinly-sliced sauteed chicken breasts. The dish dates back to 19th century Sicily and its western port of Marsala, where the sweet, fortified wine was produced.
With Italy setting the stage, French chefs cooking for Italian royalty created the chicken Marsala recipe in the early 1800s. From there, it spread throughout Europe, eventually making its way to North America. Today, it remains more of an Italian-American specialty, anchoring many restaurant menus with its rich, earthy sauce and delicate chicken and mushrooms.
What Goes Well With Marsala Chicken and Rice?
While traditional chicken Marsala sides include polenta or mashed or roasted potatoes, when served with rice, a fresh green vegetable complements it best.
Here’s what goes well with chicken Marsala and rice:
- Grilled fennel: Grilling gives the fennel a rich char that can stand up to the savory Marsala sauce. A touch of lemon adds brightness and tang.
- Roasted broccolini: Though this baby broccoli is mild, roasting brings out its sweetness. Adding garlic mirrors some of the Marsala sauce’s flavor.
- Green beans: Simply steamed or blanched and sauteed, these crisp beans add color and texture.
- Tossed salad: Combined with classic lettuce and tomato or enhanced with spinach, cranberries, and nuts, a green salad adds freshness to this rich dish.
Marsala Chicken and Rice Casserole Recipe
Though the traditional dish requires significant time at the stove, Jeanette’s chicken and rice casserole recipe uses a few shortcuts without sacrificing flavor. Substituting rotisserie chicken for sauteed chicken breasts and baking the chicken and sauce save time while preserving its classic taste.
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes | Serves: 4-6
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 10 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 1⁄2 Tbsp. flour
- 1⁄2 c. Marsala wine
- 1⁄2 c. heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
- 2 c. chicken broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 c. Jasmine rice, uncooked
- 2 c. chopped rotisserie chicken
- 1⁄4 c. Parmesan cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350℉ and melt butter in a large skillet. Add mushrooms and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over mushrooms, stirring to coat and simmering for 1 minute. Add wine and cream, whisk until smooth and simmer until thickened. Add chicken broth and parsley and season with salt and pepper.
Lightly coat a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray. Pour the uncooked rice into the dish and spread evenly. Scatter rice with the chopped chicken and pour Marsala and mushroom sauce over the top. Seal the dish tightly with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and return to oven, uncovered, for an additional 10 minutes.
We hope Jeanette’s Marsala chicken and rice casserole makes for a simple and nourishing weeknight dinner. Need more dinner ideas for busy winter nights? Try her recipe for Crockpot ranch pork chops or cheesy broccoli and rice casserole before ending with a decadent chocolate cobbler.