The simple, classic, Chicken Marsala dish gets a slow cooker makeover to make this recipe so easy for a weeknight meal! Less than 15 minutes of prep time is all you need. This recipe can also be adapted for the Instant Pot. Gluten-free and Paleo too!
Why Chicken Marsala in the Slow Cooker and Instant Pot?
Let’s get started with another easy, one pan meal that you can make in the Slow Cooker or Instant Pot! Chicken Marsala is one of these elegant dishes that people often don’t want to try at home. Been there, done that. I love a pan-fried version with a crispy, and textured outside bathed in the yummy mushroom sweet wine sauce.
But let’s be honest.
I just want magic to happen in my kitchen with the slow cooker or Instant Pot! You know, the kind where I spend about 2 minutes putting everything in a machine and walk away? And then yummy dinner awaits a few hours later without me having to do anything?
It totally worked with this chicken. So simple, so easy, so delicious. I even bought already sliced mushrooms. I hit the easy button x20 with this dish. As a nutritionist, nothing makes me happier than a simple and healthy dinner that requires very little work.
How to make Chicken Marsala
You can make this recipe in either the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker for ultimate ease. The Instant Pot instructions include searing the chicken first, this helps to create a more “crispy” coating on the chicken. So if I had to pick, I prefer the Instant Pot method. However, you can still make this recipe super easily in the Slow Cooker!
The sauce is super simple with garlic, mushrooms, Marsala wine (which by the way can be found in most grocery stores near the vinegar), chicken broth, a splash of balsamic for a little acidity, and garnished with fresh parsley. To thicken, I used arrowroot starch at the very end. Oh, and I did a few tablespoons of coconut milk at the very end. I know, I do it all the time, but I just love a little creamy texture.
Serving and Storing:
You can serve Chicken Marsala on it’s own, or the traditional Italian way with pasta. For a Paleo/GF version, I use spaghetti squash. Mashed potatoes, rice, or zoodles also work wonderfully!
Here are a few easy and delicious sides that work perfectly:
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Coconut Cauliflower Rice
- Butternut squash in the Instant Pot
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Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Chicken Marsala (Paleo & Gluten-Free)
This Chicken Marsala variation is so easy to make for a busy weeknight! Less than 15 minutes of prep time, and set it and forget it in the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker.
- 3-4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 10 oz sliced white mushrooms
- 1 cup Marsala Wine
- 1/2 cup Chicken broth
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp arrowroot starch* + 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp coconut milk optional
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp grass fed butter or avocado oil
For the slow cooker:
Begin by placing your chicken breasts at the bottom of your slow cooker. Top with mushrooms and garlic.
In a separate bowl, mix together wine, broth, and vinegar. Top the chicken with wine mixture.
Set your slow cooker to low and cook for 4 – 5 hours.
Mix together arrowroot starch and water in a small bowl. Add to chicken wine mixture and simmer another 15-30 minutes, or until liquid thickens. Sprinkle in the salt.
If using, add coconut milk. Top with parsley and salt and pepper.
Serve hot over pasta, spaghetti squash, potatoes, or rice.
For the Instant Pot:
In a small bowl, whisk together arrowroot starch and sea salt. Place the chicken in a sealable bag or container with lid, and add powdered mix gently shaking the chicken to evenly coat.
Select the saute function on your Instant Pot. Coat the bottom of your pot with oil. Place chicken inside the pot, and saute for 1-2 minutes per side, or until chicken has a golden sear. Remove from the pot and set aside.
Now add the butter to the pot and let it melt. Toss in garlic, and mushrooms. Saute for 3-5 minutes, or until veggies are softened and fragrant. Select cancel on your Instant Pot, and pour in wine and chicken broth to the Instant Pot. Stir the mixture, scraping anything from the bottom of the pot. Place the chicken on top of the wine/mushroom mixture. Secure the lid, ensuring the valve is in the sealed position.
Select manual on your Instant Pot, and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Use a quick release; turn the valve to release all steam before opening the lid.
If using coconut milk, stir into the mixture. Serve immediately over vegetable noodles or rice. Top with parsley or thyme for garnish.
Arrowroot starch is a Gluten-Free (and non GMO) thickening agent that is used in place of cornstarch and found in many grocery stores in the health food section.
Whitney Densmore says
Can you use cornstatch in place of the arrowroot starch?
What would the conversion be for using cornstarch?
Hi Allison, use the same amount of cornstarch as arrowroot!
Lynn Brady says
If it is organic.
K Edwards says
Do you cook the chicken and wine mixture first for 4 to 5 hours then add the starch and water?
Yes, add at the end and cook for another 15 minutes to let thicken.
Very impressed that this works in a slow cooker!!! Simple, flavorful, and easy.
I made this tonight. Oh my goodness, how delicious. I could not find the arrowroot so I used corn starch.
So glad you enjoyed it Renee!!
Katherine Lujan says
Do you recommend potato starch?
Sure, potato starch would work!
Alice Klein says
What is the nutritional and caloric information for this dish? Thank you so much!
Elisa U. says
If I have to start this before work and will not be home for say 8-10 hours, will it ruin the chicken? My crockpot automatically switches to warm after the time is up but I wouldn’t want to ruin the meal. I could always turn it back up to low to add in the arrowroot for the last 30 minutes before serving. Thanks!
Hi Elisa, the chicken might get too dry. If you have an ability for your slow cooker to automatically switch to the “warm” function after slow cooking for 4-6 hours, that would work fine.
Can you recommend a wine to use….brand maybe? Thank you!
I really like the brand Florio, and it can be found in some grocery stores or ABC stores. But any Marsala wine will work!
Making this tonight! Would like nutritional information, though I van probably figure it out. I’m planning to brown my much rooms in a pan a little before throwing them in. I plan to serve over spaghetti squash with sweet potatoes and asparagus 🙂
Is the coconut milk supposed to be used inplace of the water when mixing with the arrowroot? Or use the coconut milk in addition to the arrowroot and water mixture? I will comment after we try it tonight.
Hi Sheri, mix the arrowroot with water first. Then add in additional coconut milk if you want the creamy consistency (although coconut milk is optional). Hope that helps!
Amazing and easy. Thank you.
Is the coconut milk canned? Or could I use something like almond milk in its place
Yes, the coconut milk is the canned stuff. I would not use almond milk in it’s place, I think it’s best to use the canned coconut milk or omit altogether.
Do you brown chicken in skillet first or but raw chicken in crock pot
Do you use frozen chicken or thawed?
I don’t use frozen chicken, but you could, just bump the cook time an extra 2-3 mins.
Extra 2-3 minutes or hours?
hours, that was a typo.
On low or high?
Nevermind got it!
Julia in New Mexico says
OK, so if you are not paleo/gluten free, you can always dip the chicken [skinless boneless tenders size] in egg [or use a paleo liquid egg substitute] & dredge in a flour mixed with paprika [or use gluten-free flour]. Then brown lightly in olive oil on stove top. After moving chicken to the slow cooker, put the wine in the browning pan and de glaze to get all the bits and pieces, then add it to the slow cooker with the other ingredients. That flour therefore replaces the arrowroot or coconut.milk..I suggest you use low-sodium broth and skip the added salt. cooked this way, the chicken only needs slow cooked for 3 hours on high, or 4 hrs on low.
I’m making this now and I have 4.5 hours (out of 5) to go. If I have to leave when there is 30 minutes left, at 7, will it be okay to switch it to warm and then finish with the arrowroot at 8:30-9 when i get home? Or will that ruin it?
Yes, ,absolutely! It might also be ready at 4 hours and you can switch it to warm at that point and add in the arrowroot.
Kelli C. says
Hi! If I use chicken thighs, do I cook for the same amount of time, or less because they are not as thick? Thank you!
They are probably fine around the same time, but I would check on it early just to be sure.
What should one use in place of the wine to make this Whole30 approved?
Marsala is the main component of this dish, so to make it Whole30 it would be a different dish. It becomes more of a chicken mushroom stroganoff (still delicious!), and not a Chicken Marsala. Try this recipe instead that would be the closest version: https://www.wholesomelicious.com/slow-cooker-instant-pot-chicken-mushroom-stroganoff/
You can also use balsamic vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar in the recipe I just linked.
Sarah Pourhosseini says
How long would half the recipe cook for?
Same cook time. I would still do the same amount of sauce.
Probably the easiest meal i’ve ever made and so very good! THanks!
Love hearing that!!
My boyfriend just made this (so I’m not sure if he did anything wrong) but it didn’t thicken up after he added the starch and water, any tips to get it to thicken up? Thanks!
I am going to try this in my instant pot. I am confused about the instruction to use oil to brown then add butter. In ingredients it says oil or butter. I have avacado oil do I need ghee too??
Hi Angela, sorry that is confusing. But for the IP version, both oil and butter/ghee should be used. If you don’t have butter it ghee, go ahead and add additional oil. Thanks for having me clarify, I will update the recipe!
Hi – I am using the instant pot and the first step is confusing. Usually the arrowroot and water is for thickening so I assume we are supposed to coat chicken with arrowroot and salt? Thanks.
Yes, coat the chicken with arrowroot and salt. It will make the chicken a bit more textured. The water is in the ingredients for those that are using the slow cooker variation.
What can I use if I don’t have arrowroot starch?
Tapioca starch, corn starch, or even flour.
Just an fyi- four the IP instructions I believe the vinegar was left out. Thanks.
Can I substitute anything for the balsamic vinegar? I have a food sensitivity to it. Thanks!
Amy Rains says
You can omit and use a little red wine vinegar for extra tang.