Chicken Marsala Pasta Toss – Lightened Up!

Chicken Marsala is a fabulous weeknight meal because it comes together quickly and there’s very little prep involved. The only unfortunate side of the traditional dish is that the chicken is often lightly breaded, the sauce usually involves cream, and most people serve it with mashed potatoes. Although, I have nothing against mashed potatoes they can tend to be a calorie-laden (hello, heavy dairy!) side to a dish that isn’t exactly light to begin with.

I don’t often see Marsala served over pasta, but it serves the same carb-side as potatoes without having the extra dairy calories. And you can make a rich-tasting Marsala sauce without adding milk or heavy cream – so why not make this luxurious dish a little more figure-friendly?

Chicken Marsala Pasta Toss

  • 1 lb chicken tenders, cut into bite-size chunks
  • 8oz sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 Tsp butter
  • 2 1/2 Tsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 140z pkg fettuccine pasta
  • 2 Tsp olive oil

Start by heating a large pot of water for the pasta. Heat a separate, deep skillet on medium-high with the olive oil for the sauce. When the pan is heated, add the chunks of chicken in a single layer and season liberally with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken on both sides (it doesn’t have to cook all the way through because you’ll add it back in the sauce later) and remove it from the pan onto a plate or bowl. Add the butter into the same pan where you browned the chicken (DON’T clean it, you want the chicken taste). When the butter melts, add the sliced mushrooms and garlic. Saute the mushrooms until they become soft, about 5-6 minutes, and after they’ve softened add salt and pepper to taste. The reason you don’t add the salt right away to the mushrooms is because it can slow down their browning process. When the mushrooms are soft sprinkle the flour in with the mushrooms and stir until you don’t see any raw, white flour in the pan – it’s supposed to form a paste-type deal. Let the flour cook with the mushrooms for 1-2 minutes, then add the red wine. I used Cabernet Sauvignon – I know, I know it’s not “Marsala,” but I like using what I have. By all means, buy Marsala if you want to. Stir the wine into the mushrooms so that the flour works into the liquid to form a thick sauce. When the wine reduces down (it reduces by about 1/2 and takes 5 minutes) add the vegetable broth and reduce the heat to medium. At this point, add the browned chicken back into the sauce and let the whole thing simmer on medium for 8-10 minutes while the pasta cooks. Drain the pasta and add it right into the sauce pot to toss everything together. Serve and enjoy!


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