Marsala mushroom sauce is a delicious and versatile sauce that you can pour over anything. It goes really well with steak or chicken, and you can even pour it over pasta for a quick and easy meat-free Monday meal!
Easy marsala sauce
Marsala mushroom sauce is my go-to sauce when I’m looking for something quick and easy to add a bit of extra oomph to a meal.
The Marsala wine adds a slightly sweet taste to the savoury flavour of the mushrooms, creating a complex flavour that has to be experienced to be appreciated.
Pour it over a steak, slather it on a couple of chicken drumsticks, or mix it into a dish of meatballs – it doesn’t seem to matter what you serve it with! But you are guaranteed a meal that will have everyone asking for seconds (or thirds in the case of my husband)!
If you are looking for an easy meat-free Monday meal, simply stir the Marsala mushroom sauce into a bowl of cooked pasta and grate a little parmesan cheese on top for a meal that will have your taste buds singing.
This Marsala mushroom sauce is so tasty, I even eat it by the spoonful, straight out of the pan (but don’t tell anyone!)
And if any of my South African readers are looking at this recipe, it would make a delicious accompaniment for your next ‘braai’ instead of the stock-standard tomato and onion gravy that is so popular over there! (On second thoughts – I’m not so sure. I can’t imagine a South African braai without a dish of tomato and onion gravy. But what the heck, life is short, live dangerously!)
This sauce is so easy to make too. It only takes a few minutes. Let me show you.
What you will need
This will make enough Marsala mushroom sauce for 4 to 6 people when served over steak or chicken, or enough to stir through a bowl of meatballs to feed 4 people. Any leftover sauce can be frozen for another meal.
**You can get the complete list of ingredients and full instructions for making Marsala mushroom sauce on the printable recipe card at the end of this post**
Mushrooms – I used white, closed-cap mushrooms, but you could use brown chestnut mushrooms or even button mushrooms for this dish. The mushrooms should be sliced. My mushrooms were on the small side so I got 4 slices out of each, larger mushrooms may yield 6 slices.
Onions – it must be the time of year, but I can’t seem to find large onions in the supermarket these days. You will need the equivalent of one large onion (or about one and a half cups of finely chopped onion).
Thyme – thyme and mushrooms complement each other perfectly. Try this recipe for mushroom galette if you don’t believe me! I used dried thyme and used only 1 teaspoonful. If you prefer to use fresh thyme you can pick the leaves off the stems until you have about one tablespoonful.
Butter – used for softening the onions. You can use a neutral-flavoured oil instead, such as sunflower oil, but you won’t get the lovely buttery taste in the sauce.
Garlic – because garlic and mushrooms are a match made in heaven!
Cream – adds richness to the sauce. You can use single cream, or for an even richer taste, you could use double or heavy cream.
Flour – used to thicken the sauce.
Marsala wine – I would recommend that you use Marsala wine that you would actually drink. You can buy Marsala cooking wine but you won’t get the intense flavour that you get from proper Marsala wine. You can it substitute with sweet sherry or another fortified wine such as port.
Stock – I used beef stock for the strong beefy flavour, but it depends on what you intend to serve this sauce with. For instance, if you are serving this sauce with a chicken dish you could use chicken stock or even vegetable stock. If you don’t have fresh stock you can make your own stock with a stock cube or stock pot dissolved in one cup of boiling water.
I haven’t added salt to the list of ingredients, but you may like to taste the sauce once it has been cooked and add salt to your own taste.
You may also like to add a little chopped parsley at the end for garnish.
What to do
Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the onions over a low heat until they turn translucent. Stir frequently so they do not burn. This will take about 5 minutes.
Add the mushrooms, garlic and thyme and stir well.
Continue to stir fry until the mushrooms have released their moisture and started to brown. Stir in the flour, taking care to remove any lumps.
Add the stock and Marsala and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally until the flour has thickened the sauce. The sauce will be quite thick at this stage, but it will thin down slightly when you add the cream in the next step.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cream, then return to the heat and heat through. Taste for seasoning and add salt to your own taste. Garnish with chopped parsley (optional) and serve immediately.
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Marsala mushroom sauce FAQ
Yes, you can transfer any leftover sauce into a suitable container and freeze it for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator and reheat in a saucepan on the stove before serving. You may need to add some extra broth or water to thin the sauce if it has become too thick.
Well, this is a recipe for Marsala mushroom sauce, but if you don’t like mushrooms you can certainly leave them out. Substitute with other vegetables such as finely diced carrots, celery or grated zucchini.
I wouldn’t keep leftovers for longer than 3 days in the refrigerator. After that, the sauce would draw water and become unappetising.
Marsala mushroom sauce is a versatile sauce that can be served over pasta, rice, mashed potatoes, polenta, couscous or even bread. You could also serve it as a dip for breadsticks or crackers. And of course, if you are South African, you could serve it over a dish of ‘pap’ (or mealie porridge).
Save for later
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If you enjoyed this recipe you may like to try some of my other sauce recipes:
- Easy marinara sauce – an easy tomato-based sauce that you can store in the freezer and use to whip up a delicious bolognese in minutes.
- Barbeque sauce – a delicious barbeque sauce that goes well with meatballs.
- Cherry sauce – this is my favourite sauce for serving with roast duck.
- Cheesy honey mustard sauce – this sauce is perfect for serving over chicken.
Marsala mushroom sauce
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- ½ pound / 225 grams mushrooms
- 1 large onion peeled and chopped into ½ inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 ounce / 30 grams butter
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup / 120 ml single cream
- 1 cup / 240 ml stock beef stock, or chicken or vegetable
- ¼ cup / 60 ml Marsala wine
- 1½ tablespoons / 15 grams flour for thickening
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
- Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the chopped onions over a low heat until they turn translucent. Stir frequently so they do not burn. This will take about 5 minutes.1 ounce / 30 grams butter, 1 large onion
- Add the mushrooms, garlic and thyme and stir well.½ pound / 225 grams mushrooms, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 3 cloves garlic
- Continue to stir fry until the mushrooms have released their moisture and started to brown.
- Stir in the flour, taking care to remove any lumps.1½ tablespoons / 15 grams flour
- Add the stock and Marsala and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally until the flour has thickened the sauce. The sauce will be quite thick at this stage, but it will thin down slightly when you add the cream in the next step.1 cup / 240 ml stock, ¼ cup / 60 ml Marsala wine
- Remove from the heat and stir in the cream, then return to the heat and heat through.½ cup / 120 ml single cream
- Taste for seasoning and add salt to your own taste if necessary.Salt to taste
- Garnish with chopped parsley (optional) and serve immediately.1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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