How To Thicken Marsala Sauce

How To Thicken Marsala Sauce

A meal including meat might benefit from the addition of marsala sauce since it is a tasty gravy. Nevertheless, occasionally a dish will turn out to be runnier than you would want. In these cases, the question becomes: what is the most effective approach to thicken it?

How can I make the marsala sauce thicker? It is possible to thicken marsala sauce in one of two ways: either by lowering the amount of liquid in the combination until it reaches the consistency of syrup or by adding ingredients that have that property. To get the desired thickness, it is suggested that a little bit of flour, cornstarch, or any other thickening of your choosing be used.

What Is Marsala?

In Marsala, Sicily, Italy, the customary aperitivo consists of drinking Marsala wine and snacking on traditional Sicilian fare.
In most cases, marsala sauce is prepared by combining fresh herbs, mushrooms, shallots, and, of course, marsala.

Marsala is a popular kind of dessert wine that has a taste that is either dark or semi-sweet.

It first appeared in Sicily, but because of its distinctive taste and many applications in the kitchen, it has since spread across the rest of the globe.

Because it is blended with grape brandy that has no discernible flavour, this wine falls under the category of “fortified.” Up to three distinct varieties of grapes, including Grillo, Cataratto, and Inzolia, are blended together to produce the wine known as Marsala.

Because the wine is sweetened with either grape must (grape juice that has been concentrated) or grape juice, the wine is able to give a wide range of scrumptious and intricate tastes.

Marsala wine is distinguished by its characteristics.

The following are some of the qualities that distinguish an excellent marsala wine.


Marsala has a taste that is one of a kind and unmistakable; it is grape-like, nutty, and has undertones of brown sugar and dried fruit.

The quality of the wine has a significant role in both the sweetness of the dish and the harmony of its tastes; yet, many individuals find it to be too sweet.

A marsala from Sicily is likely to be created with ingredients of high quality and, more significantly, to be made following traditions that have been passed down through the generations.

Instead of tasting like highly sweet grape syrup, this sort of premium wine will deliver on all of the nuanced flavours that are expected of it.


Marsala has a really smooth texture, but it isn’t the most remarkable thing about it. The most remarkable thing about it is the colour. The true magic comes when you let the wine sit for a while and let the alcohol and extra moisture evaporate.

As the marsala is cooked down, it leaves behind grape must and sugars, which are caramelised in the pan as the liquid is reduced. The wine’s excessive sugar content is brought to the forefront, as a result of the subtle syrupy quality that it imparts.

The wonderful thing about marsala is that after it has been reduced, it can be blended with different thickening agents to make a delightful sauce without altering the delicate syrupy texture or taste of the marsala!

How to Make the Marsala Sauce More Thick

Let’s begin by going through some of the ways in which you may thicken it using common components before we go on to sharing the easiest and simplest method that we use for preparing marsala sauce.

1. The Method of Reduction

When it comes to thickening marsala sauce, this is by far the simplest approach that is suggested the most.

After the alcohol has been completely evaporated, you should reduce the heat to a low enough level to maintain a gentle simmer. While the wine and the other ingredients are being cooked together, any remaining moisture in the must should be allowed to gradually evaporate.

As the other components cook, they will impart all of their flavours into the sauce, which will be enhanced as a direct result of this step.

After the sauce has been reduced to barely a third of its initial volume, you will be able to increase the heat to make the sauce thicker. It is imperative that you do not overcook the sauce as this might potentially ruin its delicate taste!

2. The Process With Flour

The majority of marsala sauces include a substantial amount of chicken stock, which means that you may use this component as a vehicle for the thickening agent!

Any thickening that is added to the sauce after it has been prepared will cause lumps to form. Because of this, the most effective approach to incorporate it into the pan is by using chicken broth.

First, the necessary amount of broth should be measured out, and then a little bit of flour should be added.

Depending on how much sauce you have, you may need to make some adjustments to the amount of flour that you use. To err on the side of caution, we recommend beginning with one or two level teaspoons of flour at the most.

Make sure there are no dry lumps in the mixture once the flour has been incorporated into the broth by thoroughly mixing the two together. After that, transfer it to the pan. Because the flour will soak up the additional liquid, the combination will coagulate, resulting in a gravy that is thicker!

For the finest possible experience, make an effort to set aside some of the available goods. Because you shouldn’t add the flour until the very end, you can simply make any necessary modifications at the very last second by pouring the remaining broth over the needed quantity of flour.

3. The Method of Cornstarch

The results of using this approach are comparable to those obtained when using the flour method; however, the appropriate amount of cornstarch must be measured extremely precisely.

If you add an excessive amount of cornstarch to the marsala sauce, the consistency will most certainly be ruined. To begin, add a pinch of corn flour to the chicken broth and stir it until it is completely dissolved.

Keep in mind that heating the sauce will cause the cornstarch to begin thickening it; thus, you will need to let the sauce simmer for some time before adding additional cornstarch.

4. The Method of Chicken Fat

The addition of chicken fat to the sauce is a fantastic technique to enhance the taste as well as the consistency. You won’t have any trouble locating chicken fat in supermarkets, and it works well when combined with chicken stock in a variety of recipes.

The fat from the chicken provides natural thickeners that may contribute to the sauce’s overall structure. When you bring the mixture down to a lower temperature, the chicken fat will do its thing and make it thicker, particularly as it continues to cool.

5. Gluten-Free Thickeners

Tapioca starch, arrowroot starch, potato starch, or xanthan gum are some options to consider if you are seeking thickeners that do not include cornstarch and are completely OK for use by vegans.

Please be aware that, despite the fact that each of these starches will perform more or less the same function in the sauce, you may need to alter the amount of each of them in order to prevent the sauce from becoming lumpy.

Always begin with a little quantity, and only add extra ingredients if the sauce is still watery after it has been cooked for two to three minutes.

Here is a terrific recipe for one of our favourites, chicken marsala, which you can make now that you know how to thicken marsala sauce.

Traditional Recipe for Chicken Marsala

Chicken marsala is a delicious Italian-American dish that mixes the flavours of Marsala wine, mushrooms, and chicken. This dish is a favourite among Italian-Americans. This recipe will not only give a beautiful supper of comfort but will also wow your visitors when you bring it to gatherings.


  • 1 pound and a half of chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 3 tablespoons of flour for all purposes
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, ground, served to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces of button mushrooms that have been pre-sliced
  • 3 tablespoons of shallots, cut very finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped or minced
  • a third of a cup of chicken broth
  • a third of a cup of dry Marsala wine
  • 2/3 cup of full-fat cream
  • 2 teaspoons of freshly chopped thyme
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley, as a garnish


  1. Before you begin cooking the chicken, make the breading for it! In a bag with a Ziploc closure, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Place the chicken breasts that have been pounded (or otherwise flattened) into the bag and give it a good shake.
  2. While the oil is heating up in a big pan, add two tablespoons of butter. Adjust the temperature to medium, and watch out for the butter scorching! Place the chicken that has been coated in the pan, and after allowing it to sear for about 4-5 minutes on each side, remove it from the pan and put it aside.

The chicken should only be cooked through halfway this one time; otherwise, you run the risk of completely overcooking it. Make sure you pick a pan with a hefty bottom that also has the capability of giving the chicken breasts some colour!

  1. In the same pan, melt the rest of the butter, then add the mushrooms and toss to combine. The mushrooms need to be cooked for approximately five minutes, with occasional stirring, until they begin to brown and produce a wonderful caramelization.
  2. In the same pan in which you cooked the mushrooms, add the garlic, shallots, and salt, and mix to combine (to taste). After approximately one to two minutes of cooking, add the broth, marsala, heavy cream, salt, pepper, and thyme to the pan. Continue to cook. As quickly as possible, combine everything, and continue stirring.

You may see some caramelization on the bottom of the pan; use the spoon to attempt to scrape it off. The sauce will pick up quite a few new tastes as a result of these scrapings.

  1. After the mixture has reached a simmer, reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook. Keep everything simmering and give the sauce some time to absorb all of the flavours that the ingredients have to offer. After another 8 to 10 minutes, the sauce will begin to thicken up and drop in volume.

At this point, you should preferably make any necessary adjustments to the consistency of the sauce. If you are unable to get the sauce to thicken by reducing it, then you should use one of the other thickening agents that were recommended above.

  1. When the sauce is almost ready, return the chicken breasts to the pan and add the chicken to the pan. Allow the chicken to continue cooking in the sauce. Reduce the temperature, and let the mixture a few minutes to come together before stirring again.
  2. Sprinkle some chopped parsley on top and serve it on a platter. You may also offer fettuccini as an accompaniment to your chicken marsala if you want!

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