Chicken Marsala, is an Italian specialty popular around the globe. Most Italian American eateries will boast the dish.
The dry marsala wine sauce pairs wonderfully with the earthy mushrooms and vibrant spices. So, what goes well with an old-time classic that has been crafted with a masterful balance of ingredients?
There are plenty of choices. The most common are pasta, rice, or risotto. The dish also goes well with your typical sides of potatoes, bread, salad, or veggies, and even more rare choices, such as polenta.
17 Delectable Side Dishes to Serve with Chicken Marsala
1. Pasta with Olive Oil
Pasta is a known choice for Italian side dishes, but what kind of pasta? Pasta with olive oil drizzled on top makes a perfect selection.
The light flavor of the olive oil will go well with the stronger flavor of the marsala, providing a subtle companion for the dish. You can also add tomatoes!
2. Buttered Noodles
Another great type of pasta dish to accompany your chicken marsala are buttered noodles. This can be done with any type, though egg noodles are a favorite.
Soft, buttery, and very light, buttered egg noodles provide a nice contrast to the stronger and more dense chicken marsala.
You can never go wrong with some nice rice. Chicken marsala is creamy, earthy, and most importantly, a burst of flavor. White rice in particular pairs nicely, as it provides a pallet cleanse for every single bite.
Rice infused with lemon zest is also a nice choice, as the citrus provides a nice contrast.
What better to go with an Italian main dish than an Italian side dish? Both risotto and chicken marsala provide an explosion of flavor.
The thick and creamy risotto absorbs the marsala sauce as well, providing an even more delicious experience. Plus, there are even mushroom risottos. What a pair!
5. Mashed Potatoes
Ah, mashed potatoes, a typical side dish in a number of countries, and for good reason. The creamy dish is like an open canvas.
There are so many possibilities; spiced, subtle and earthy, buttery, cheesy, you name it. Thus, it can pair well with literally anything, including chicken marsala. A light, garlic herb mashed potato with a little butter will go especially swimmingly.
6. Herbed Potatoes
On the topic of potatoes, herbed potatoes are a nice choice. Just like with risotto, the herbed flavors can be tailored to match the marsala sauce’s own spices.
Grill them up, or sauté them in a pan, whichever your preference is. These golden-brown treats will really spice up your meal.
7. Bread Rolls
In terms of getting the most out of the marsala sauce, bread rolls are your go-to side. Perfect for any pasta or chicken dish, you can’t go wrong with some good old bread.
Golden to perfection, topped with a light glaze of butter, and perfectly fluffy to fully soak up all that juicy sauce, what could go wrong?
8. French Bread/Baguette
Speaking of bread, when in Europe, do as the Europeans do. French bread or baguette is perhaps the bread of choice for chicken marsala.
The two complement each other perfectly, as the sauce softens the bread and the bread soaks up all the flavors of the sauce.
Yet another classic side dish is broccoli. Make a broccoli salad, or simply steam it to perfection.
For sauce or seasoning, garlic, butter, and lemon broccoli all go very well with a chicken marsala. The citrus from the lemon is a great contrast to the earthy marsala, whereas garlic compliments the spices, and butter is a great neutral flavor.
10. Garlic Butter Broccoli and Pasta
And why not have the best of both worlds? Pasta and broccoli both go great with chicken marsala, so of course, they go well as a combined side.
The best choice is garlic butter sauce. As discussed, garlic pairs well spice-wise with the marsala sauce and its spices, and buttered noodles as well. Simply combine the two for a perfect side.
You can never go wrong with a simple salad. Some lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, cheese, croutons, and a dressing of your choice are sometimes the simplest choice to make.
A nice vinaigrette is a great choice of dressing, as the tangy flavor is a stark contrast to the earthier marsala. The lettuce and carrots also provide a good pallet cleanse.
Spinach is another leafy green that goes stunningly with chicken marsala. The slightly more bitter leaf provides a nice compliment to the earthy marsala mushrooms.
As a side, spinach can be eaten cooked or raw. Raw spinach can be made into a salad with a nice olive oil drizzle and some feta cheese. Cooked spinach goes well with garlic and parmesan cheese.
Here we have yet another veggie that goes wonderfully with chicken marsala. The crunch of the asparagus spectacularly contrasts with the tender chicken.
Asparagus can be steamed or sauteed, though steamed with giving a better crunch. They are yet another veggie that is delicious with a lemon and butter sauce, garlic, and/or parmesan cheese.
14. Green Beans
Speaking of a nice butter and parmesan spice, green beans are also a delicious choice to make for your side.
Crisp, crunchy, and juicy, green beans are light and fresh, complementing the tender but heavier marsala. They are also quick and easy to prepare, which is nice with a more involved marsala.
Caprese is another Italian side to compliment our Italian marsala. Caprese is an easy-to-make and refreshing salad that brightens up any meal.
Sweet red tomatoes contrast the deep, earthy mushroom, while the basil tones it down a bit. Rich and flavorful mozzarella and balsamic vinaigrette give a nice zip.
While mashed potatoes might be a more common choice, polenta is another interesting side that’s flavor pairs surprisingly well with chicken marsala.
This cheesy and buttery cornmeal dish provides a nice creamy texture to go along with the tender meat and lighter marsala wine sauce.
17. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are the sweeter cousin to the potato, which is already an established companion to chicken marsala.
The two make a flavorful fair, with the sweet potato coming out a little bit on top. The subtle but present sweetness provides an interesting and compelling contrast to the mushrooms of the marsala.
So, what will you choose to eat with your chicken marsala? Will it be the crunchy and fresh green beans or asparagus, or a simple bread roll? Or maybe you will even go full Italian and give Caprese salad or risotto a try. Whatever you choose, we hope you enjoy your meal!