Stuffed Chicken Marsala {Olive Garden Copycat}

A little personal confessional, if I may:

1) I’ve never actually had this dish at Olive Garden.
2) It’s been probably seven years since I’ve eaten at Olive Garden (is that a horror? I don’t really know since it’s been so long).
3) I made lots of changes to the recipe.
4) Since I don’t drink or cook with alcohol and subbed accordingly, I really should rename it.
5) But I’m too lazy and uncreative.
6) Stuffing made from cheese and more cheese is my life.
7) This is so delicious, I’m thinking of usurping Thanksgiving turkey in favor of all things this.

Considering this is a restaurant copycat recipe (albeit with a lot of changes), it should come as no surprise that while eating, my entire family felt like we were tasting something straight out of a fine dining experience. That sentiment didn’t necessarily carry through to the ambiance part of a dimly lit, beautiful restaurant considering the the waiter was noticeably absent as was the dishwashing staff (if you don’t count the child assigned to that room job this particular day, that is). I guess you can’t have it all. If forced to choose, though, I’ll take fabulous food over a waiter refilling my water glass any day.

Stuffed Chicken Marsala {Olive Garden Copycat}

I’ve been experimenting with some recipes that could be considered a bit more elegant – fit for entertaining or for special dinners and this one is a homerun in that department. Don’t let the recipe intimidate you. It’s actually very easy; the chicken can be prepped ahead of time (make the filling a day or so in advance and even stuff the chicken beforehand, too). I used to always avoid recipes that called for butterflying or slicing chicken in unusual ways until I realized that it’s actually not that hard and it kind of makes me feel like a rockstar. I mean, really, try it. Make this recipe and then tell the next person you see that you butterflied some chicken for stuffed chicken marsala and prepare to feel awesome. A little bragging when it comes to butterflying never hurt anyone.

I included a simple picture below the recipe for a visual on butterflying and stuffing if you need it. You know, just in case.

Prepare to fall in love! This delicious, tender chicken stuffed with the most amazing, flavorful mixture of cheese and garlic and spunky sun-dried tomatoes served over garlicky mashed potatoes is tremendous, especially with the rich mushroom sauce over the top. I’m not saying you should make this next Tuesday night when life is hectic and you only have a handful minutes to whip something up (you should probably consult this list of lifesaving 30-minute meals instead). But next time you need a meal with lots of wow factor, this is the one.

What To ServeSimple Skillet Green Beans
Divine Breadsticks

One Year Ago: Pumpkin Cream Sandwiches
Two Years Ago: Caramel Apple Cider Floats
Three Years Ago: Peanut Butter Texas Sheet Cake

Stuffed Chicken Marsala

Yield: Serves 6

Stuffed Chicken Marsala

Ok, so I know that this recipe is called chicken "marsala" but you'll notice there's no Marsala wine in the ingredient list. That's because I don't drink or cook with alcohol; I always sub grape juice + balsamic vinegar for recipes calling for wine (in different amounts and with different varieties of grape juice depending on the recipe). However, if you want to use Marsala wine, omit the vinegar, grape juice and beef broth/stock and replace it accordingly.

Also, if you want your sauce a bit thicker, whisk in a couple teaspoons of cornstarch into the broth mixture before adding it to the skillet. The stuffing can be prepped a day or so in advance - as well as the chicken (butterfly, stuff, fold over and refrigerate for up to a day before proceeding).

Ingredients

    Cheese Stuffing:
  • 4 ounces smoked provolone or gouda cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup Panko or regular bread crumbs
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes, crushed
  • 5-6 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, rinsed, patted dry and chopped
  • 3 green onions, white and green parts finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Sauce and Chicken:
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 16 ounces white button or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup 100% white grape juice
  • 1 1/2 cups good-quality beef broth or stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Garlic mashed potatoes, for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all the stuffing ingredients and mix until combined.
  3. Take each chicken breast, pat it dry and season it lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Butterfly the chicken through the thickest part (don't slice all the way through) so it opens up into one large, thinner piece of chicken (see pictures below, if needed).
  4. Divide the filling into six portions. Press the stuffing onto one side of each chicken breast, covering as much of that side as possible and compressing the stuffing lightly with your hands so it stays together. Fold the other side of the chicken over tightly. It doesn't need to seal completely.
  5. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium to medium-high heat until it is hot and rippling. Add the chicken, top-side down to the hot oil in a single layer without crowding the pan too much (you'll probably need to do this in two batches) and brown on each side for about a minute, flipping carefully. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
  6. Place the browned chicken in a lightly greased 9X13-inch baking dish. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the chicken is baked through and the juices run clear (the center of the chicken, not the cheese stuffing, should reach about 160 degrees F on a thermometer).
  7. While the chicken bakes, add the mushrooms to the hot skillet (don't clean it out beforehand, let the mushrooms cook in the remaining oil/butter), scraping up any bits of chicken on the bottom of the skillet. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the mushrooms. Let them cook down, stirring occasionally, until they have released their juices, 5-6 minutes. Crank the heat up a bit to medium-high.
  8. Stir together the balsamic vinegar, grape juice and beef broth. Pour into the skillet and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer the sauce until it reduces by half. This may take a while, 20 minutes or so, but be patient - it will concentrate the flavor and help thicken. Stir in the cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve immediately; place a chicken breast over a large scoop of garlic, mashed potatoes and top with a spoonful or three of the mushroom sauce.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/stuffed-chicken-marsala-olive-garden-copycat/

Recipe Source: adapted from Olive Garden’s website
Stuffed Chicken Marsala {Olive Garden Copycat}

48 Responses to Stuffed Chicken Marsala {Olive Garden Copycat}

  1. Alicia says:

    That looks amazing! I’ve never had O.G.’s Marsala, but I’m adding this to my list of recipes to try.

    Can I just say that I happen to love Mondays and Wednesdays when I wake up to find a new recipe from you? It’s 5:00 am and I haven’t made my kids’ lunches yet, but I love jumping online and checking out your posts. πŸ™‚

  2. Mmm I love stuffed chicken! This looks great. Sadly, being in college, I don’t have a kitchen, but I’m pinning this to make when I visit home πŸ™‚

  3. Stacy says:

    This looks delish! I would love if you did a whole post on subbing for alcohol in recipes. I wouldn’t trust my own calculations but would love to know how to do it!

  4. LeeAnne says:

    this looks delish – I love your food, love your site! I have a question – and I am not at all doing this to be judgey – I promise. I am LDS and it never crossed my mind not to cook with alcohol. I make a Cheesecake Factory Chicken Madeira every Valentine’s and trek on over to the wine store to buy my $6 bottle. It cooks for hours and I was always under the impression that the alcohol boils out and therefore isn’t ‘technically’ against our Word of Wisdom. Am I missing something or is it just the ‘appearance’ of cooking with alcohol that has you not doing it? Again, truly not trying to start something, just very curious.

  5. Allison says:

    Thank you for posting a recipe that does not include alcohol for Chicken Marsala. I have never had Olive Gardens but chicken marsala is my favorite. I gave up drinking and cooking with alcohol a few years back and have missed cooking this favorite dish. Thank you for showing me an alternative way and I can’t wait to cook this! YUM!

  6. This looks so good! I’m intrigued by your sub of grape juice, vinegar etc for Marsala…even though I do cook with alcohol, love that there doesn’t need to be a special trip to make this dish. I can’t wait to see how that combo works!

  7. Amanda C says:

    It is so refreshing to see someone else who doesn’t cook with alcohol. I understand the alcohol cooks out but you still get the flavor which I am not a fan of. I absolutely love your cooking and it’s definitely my go-to site. Thank you for offering a fresh perspective.

  8. Lindsey L. says:

    Bless you! I can’t even tell you how excited I am to make this. P.S. We love your recipes. My husband even knows who you are now. Well, he knows you as “the girl online whose recipes we like”, but you know. πŸ™‚ Most recently I made your triple chip pumpkin oatmeal cookies. Giant hit!

  9. I’ve never had chicken marsala, but chicken stuffed with cheese must be a winner! This looks amazing. Pinned!

  10. stephanie b says:

    THANK YOU for having a sub for the alcohol. I cant wait to try it!
    LeeAnne- I avoid it for several reasons. I read a scientific-not opinion based- article not too long ago (wish I had saved it) that proved the alcohol was still there- and a significant percentage at that. Also, I dont want that stuff in my house, or for my kids to get used to it, kwim? Just my opinion!!!

  11. Sara says:

    This recipe reminded me of one of our favorite “wowser!” meals. It’s from allrecipes. We tweeked it a bit to wrap the feta stuffed chicken with bacon instead of putting the bacon inside (I like to use turkey bacon as well). Our 4 and 2 year old boys eat it right up. I have also found that slightly frozen chicken breasts makes the job 10 times easier.

    I highly recommend you try out this recipe next time you need a “family date night” meal πŸ™‚ We like to make it a nice Sunday dinner and add a vegetable along side rolls or those super tasty and easy Lipton onion soup roasted potatoes.

    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Feta-Cheese-and-Bacon-Stuffed-Breasts/Detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Home%20Page&soid=sr_results_p1i1

  12. Carly says:

    While I’m sure recipe is great because I usually adore anything you post I have had the stuffed chicken Marsala from OG & I’ve made it at home (it’s my favorite menu item) and Marsala has such an amazing distinct flavor there really is no substitution. For those who want to try that version but don’t want to spend money on a big bottle of wine you can buy Marsala cooking wine at walmart next to the vinegars! Try it you’ll be glad you did. The sauce

  13. Carly says:

    Is so good you’ll want to drink it πŸ˜‰ or at the very least wipe up every drop with some crusty bread!!

  14. Lana says:

    Looks great! You have not missed anything by not eating at Olive Garden. It is definitely not good like it used to be. We won’t waste our money going there again.

  15. Lorien says:

    When you say replace the vinegar/juice/stock accordingly, how exactly do you mean? I’m sure it’s not a 1/1 swap as 1 3/4 of a cup of wine definitely sounds like too much.

    I really can’t wait to try this… that stuffing sounds amazing. πŸ™‚

  16. Shonna says:

    For LeeAnne: Years ago I came across a study on alcohol retention in cooking done by the USDA in 1998. I printed it out and kept it for a long, long time, but of course, got rid of it just a few weeks ago. Sigh. It listed several cooking methods, and the amount of alcohol still present after various cooking times. Surprisingly, after 30 minutes of cooking, 35% of the alcohol remains. I couldn’t find the study online, but did find the original alcohol burn-off chart here: http://homecooking.about.com/library/archive/blalcohol12.htm
    Hope that helps!

  17. Sheila says:

    Mel, you are so creative and certainly know your way around a kitchen! I’ve always used Guy from Food Network’s Chicken Marsala. And it is delicious but I only make it maybe once every two years because of time constraints in my daily schedule limiting my ability to spend much time in the kitchen cooking. I dislike buying a full size bottle of marsala wine to use 1 cup in the recipe and then the rest is thrown out. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise in the kitchen to share a recipe that bypasses the wine ingredient saving extra expense and a whole lot of waste. And, yep, I’ll humbly admit I needed the butterflied visual. Thank you!

  18. Angelique says:

    I can’t wait to try this…looks incredible! I would like to use the marsala wine. How much wine would I use and what ingredients would I leave out? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      It’s listed in the notes above the ingredient list – but you can just take out the beef broth, grape juice and balsamic vinegar and use the same amount of wine (I think it’s 22 ounces total).

  19. nithya says:

    mel, thank u so much for sharing these good things with us all. appreciate the efforts u put into making this the BEST BLOG EVER for so many of us out here…God bless u & ur beautiful family….p.s.im eagerly looking forward to ur TRIPLE CHOCOLATE TRUFLE CAKE RECIPE…

  20. Kim in MD says:

    Usurping- I love that word and need to use it more often! πŸ™‚ I haven’t eaten at OG in years, and have never had stuffed chicken Marsala, but I love chicken Marsala and make it at home often. The cheesy stuffing in this recipe sounds like it would make an already delicious dish over the top crazy delicious!

  21. Teresa R. says:

    I don’t cook with alcohol so this looks perfect. I plan to make this recipe on Saturday. I told my daughter I was making a new “Mel” recipe soon, and she said I should only cook Mel dishes. I think she’s right!

  22. Cammee says:

    Chicken Marsala is one of my favorite things in life. I’ve never had it at Olive Garden (I never eat there either), but we have a yummy recipe I make at home. Chicken Marsala stuffed with cheese? Holy freaking crap. I might love this more than my children. πŸ˜‰

  23. This certainly qualifies as elegant and flat out delicious. Good pic of the stuffing part.
    Guests will be impressed—which of course is important. Ha! I love chicken marsala in any form, but stuffed—WOW.

  24. Oh Mel, I love the Stuffed Chicken Marsala at Olive Garden!. I’ve seen the recipe on their website but I haven’t tried it yet. I think I’ll try yours instead. I used to work at OG! Many, many years ago:-) Long before they had Stuffed Chicken Marsala.

  25. This looks YUMMY! I always get the chicken marsala at Olive Garden (the unstuffed version) and have wondered how the stuffed one is. Now I don’t have to go there to get it cuz I’m sure this one is WAY better. Thanks for sharing!

  26. Maegan says:

    I made this last night and it was a huge hit! Thank you!

  27. Jan Cappell says:

    Hello Mel… Today is the first day that I came across your website. Happy to have found you~!! Someone posted your lemon-grilled chicken on Pinterest and as happens (way too often) they post it with the incorrect website to find the recipe. Today’s posting of the lemon-grilled chicken was posted with the access to the recipe at tumbler.com.
    Well I know right away that wasn’t going to work. … I know people don’t mean to mislead people, I just get puzzled how it happens.
    Anyway, being the determined detective that I am, I found the recipe and that lead me to Mel’s Kitchen CafΓ©.
    What is one your home page.. today?? Only my favorite dish at Olive Garden!!
    I am stoked that you have the Olive Garden recipe for their Stuffed Chicken Marsala~!! That is my FAVORITE item on their menu and have had it many times. Now I can make it at home~! Where I live, Olive Garden’s abound~! ha..

    If you would like me to contact you once I make this and give you my take on this version, I would be glad to~! I will be visiting you site regularly. I did I not know you were out there?? πŸ™‚ Glad to have found you~! Jan C. Royal Oak, MI

    • Mel says:

      I’m so happy you found your way here, Jan! Thanks for leaving a comment. I hope you love any recipes you try; I’d love for you to check in when you make the recipes!

  28. Sound Beacher says:

    I made this last night. It was very delicious, and very rich! The chicken breasts I got were huge, I recommend getting smaller ones and then there would be less stuffing inside. I had left over amount of stuffing since I had 4 giant chicken breast. Do you think I could feeze the stuffing and use later?

  29. Cyndi B says:

    I made this for dinner tonight. I did use 1 cup of marsala wine and 1 1/2 cups of beef broth. This was delicious. The only thing I might do different next time is use thin sliced chicken breasts and roll the stuffing inside. The chicken breasts were really large with the stuffing and I think a slightly smaller portion would be better. Thanks Mel another great recipe!

  30. Hyo North says:

    This recipe kinda reminds me of Chicken Wellington but without the puff pastry. I just may try this recipe and then wrap with the puff pastry and then serve it with the gravy. what do you think? Thank you for working so hard to make so many of us happy and excited about good food.

  31. fmandds says:

    Excellent recipe! I had leftover stuffing mix as well, which I will use for a cheese dip this Sunday. I made your recipe as written, even though we have no issue with wine(we don’t drink it but LOVE to cook with it), and I was amazed with the flavor that was still there. Do you have suggestions for a replacement for white wine? When recipes call for 1/2 cup I just can’t open a wine bottle for that little.

    • Mel says:

      Glad you liked this! I usually use white grape juice + white wine vinegar for recipes that call for white wine (and 100% concord grape juice + balsamic vinegar for red wine).

  32. Rayanne says:

    So good!

  33. Michelle says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and my husband and daughter fought over the extra marsala sauce. My husband loves all things marsala, so I actually used the marsala wine in place of the grape juice and balsamic vinegar. My daughter asked me to make this again later this week instead of pizza. I think it was a hit. Thanks for the great recipe.

  34. Kim M says:

    This is PHENOMENAL! Might be my favorite meal now! Used the marsala variation. Delicious!

  35. Anna May says:

    How can I print this recipe so I can make itmanyntimes?

    • Mel says:

      If you are using Internet Explorer, the print function isn’t working right now. I am working to get it fixed but in the meantime encouraging those who are having issues to switch to a different browser like Chrome, Safari or Firefox. Internet Explorer has issues with many website functions and one of those other browsers will be much better (not just for the print function). I’m sorry for any inconvenience!

  36. Lauren says:

    This is so good! I actually didn’t make the stuffing, but I followed the rest of the recipe exactly (just adding a little garlic in with the mushrooms). It was delicious and made for a quick weeknight meal. My husband said it is his new favorite dinner and my 3 & 1 year olds cleaned their plates! I’d love to try it with the stuffing when I have more time, but it’s hard to imagine it getting much better. We loved it!

  37. Cynthia says:

    It’s getting harder and harder to find recipes that do not have alcohol in them. I, too, do not cook with it (or drink it) so I was so excited to discover your blog. I’ve made several of your recipes, to the cheers of my family. I’m looking forward to making this recipe for them, later in the week. Thank you!

  38. Michelle says:

    I came looking for a chicken marsala recipe, as I love Mel’s recipes, and now I’m curious about not cooking with alcohol. Do those of you that don’t cook with alcohol also not use pure extracts in cooking? Vanilla extract is 35% or more alcohol by volume. My marsala wine is 18% by volume. I could surmise that deglazing a pan with 1/3 cup of marsala wine to make chicken marsala (where cooking removes most of the alcohol) would be somewhat close to the same volume of alcohol in buttercream frosting with two teaspoons of vanilla extract (which isn’t cooked). Not trying to split hairs, just something to ponder.

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