Stuffed Chicken Marsala with Lemon Thyme Cream Sauce

On our first date in 2006, Tyler brought me to Olive Garden. I did not know then that the guy sitting across from me would ask me to marry him and we would have four fantastic kids. I was nervous, he was super handsome, and the butterflies in my stomach were jumping and flying like circus performers. What I do remember is the Stuffed Chicken Marsala. Till this day, Tyler requests it on our anniversary and his birthday. It is our favorite recipe. Maybe it brings us back to that night, when those two young people were fresh-faced and anticipating their future.

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Published on February 1, 2021
Updated March 3, 2022
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Our favorite meal

Monica and Tyler on wedding June 7, 2008

On our wedding anniversary in 2012, I decided to make Stuffed Chicken Marsala at home. That year Matthew was born in August, and in June I was kind of massively pregnant. So, I went online to see if there was a copycat recipe or some way that I could find the directions. Back in the early 2000’s, I remember finding the actual recipe on their website. This paper copy I have is stained, has a tear, has been folded and read at least two dozen times. Looking on their website just now, they do not offer recipes. Such a shame! However, I am SO glad I have my copy!

Tyler, Samuel and Monica pregnant with Matthew
Tyler pointing and Samuel excited in 2012
Little Sam! Oh my gosh he wasn’t even 3 here.

Shout out to Amanda Steinhauer for these amazing pictures from 2012!
Check her out on her Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/amandasteinhauerphotography/

We still love going out to eat at Olive Garden, but honestly with four kids and one income we cannot afford it. Honest. Our boys eat off of the adult menu and we will not inflict others to our crazy. So last night I busted out this recipe for Stuffed Chicken Marsala and decided to play around with the recipe and make something that reminded us of that mouthwatering deliciousness with ingredients we have on hand. Marsala from Olive Garden has mushrooms in the sauce, and we did not have any in our fridge; I also did not have marsala wine. What I did have was thyme, lemon and heavy cream. So, I made a lemon thyme cheesy cream sauce. And let me tell you, it was fantastic! All my guys asked me to write the recipe down and add it to the menu book.

Stuffed Chicken Marsala with Lemon Thyme Cream Sauce

Ingredients

2 lemons
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
5 chicken breasts
1 cup shredded Asiago
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp Thyme
8-oz heavy cream
1 cup sour cream OR Greek yogurt
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup shredded smoked Mozzarella or Provolone
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup kale chopped
1/4 tsp Red Pepper flakes
2 sweet peppers, diced
1/3 cup green onion, thinly sliced
1 onion, sliced thin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Stuffed Chicken Marsala Directions

1. Pour sour cream or Greek yogurt into a large bowl. As I am trying to limit my fat, I used Greek yogurt for this recipe.

Greek yogurt in Pyrex bowl on countertop

2. Rinse sweet peppers and dice, then add them to the bowl with the Greek yogurt.

diced sweet peppers added to Pyrex bowl

3. Cut green onion and add to the bowl then stir with a spatula to combine.

green onion added to Greek yogurt mixture in Pyrex bowl

4. Rinse kale and then remove the leaves from the hard stem. Roughly chop the kale leaves and add to the bowl. Stir with a spatula to combine. Adding kale is a way I get our kids to eat more vegetables. And it tastes amazing!

Kale cut on blue cutting board

5. Shred mozzarella cheese and then add to the bowl. Watch out for adorable cheese snatchers!

Elliana watching Monica make Stuffed Chicken Marsala filling

6. Shred asiago cheese and then add to the bowl.

shredded asiago cheese on blue cutting board

7. Cut or shred smoked provolone and add it to the bowl then stir to combine. However, I had sliced swiss on hand and it worked great.

cut swiss cheese on blue cutting board

8. Add breadcrumbs to the cheese mixture and stir to combine, however, I did not have breadcrumbs, so I substituted it with saltine crackers that I smashed inside of a bag.

saltine crackers smashed in baggy for Stuffed Chicken Marsala filling
Use a small bowl to smash the saltines into crumbs.

9. Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes then stir with a spatula well to combine.

hand holding crushed red pepper over Pyrex with filling mixture

10. Mince garlic and then add to the cheese mixture in the bowl then stir to combine.

stuffed chicken marsala filling mixed in Pyrex bowl

11. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a chicken breast on a cutting board and then use a large knife to butterfly the chicken breast at its thickest point making sure to not cut all the way through.

12. Place the cut chicken breast inside of a gallon zip lock back and then close. Use a mallet and pound the chicken until it is 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick. Remove flattened chicken from bag and then set aside on a plate. Pound the rest of the chicken and then set aside.

13. Place desired amount of cheese filling onto one side of flattened chicken and then gently press the stuffing down.

stuffed chicken with marsala cheese filling

14. Fold chicken breast over cheese filling and then set aside. Finish filling the rest of the chicken. No need for the chicken to fully close or be sealed.

stuffed chicken marsala folded over

15. Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in a large pan over medium heat. I love using this ribbed pan as it gives awesome grill-like lines on the chicken.

plate of many stuffed chicken marsala ready to get grilled on stove

16. Place chicken breast in pan and sauté each side until golden brown, around 3-5 minutes.

stuffed chicken marsala on pan searing sides

17. Remove chicken breasts from pan and then place them in a 9 X 13 pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for 15-25 minutes or until juices run clear and center of chicken reaches a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

seared stuffed chicken marsalas in baking dish

Lemon Thyme Cream Sauce Directions

1. Cut an onion in half, remove skin, and then slice thin, then set aside.

sliced onion on wood cutting board

2. Cut two lemons in half and then use a juicer to collect juice, then set aside. The fresh lemon juice really adds a zing to the sauce!

lemon on juicer

3. In the saucepan, add sliced onions, thyme, and 1 Tbsp butter and sauté until translucent around 5-7 minutes.

sliced onion in pan on stove with seasoning to cook

4. Slowly pour lemon juice into onions and then stir. It will steam and bubble as it mixes.

fresh lemon juice pouring into hot pan of onions

5. Add chicken broth to the pan and then stir to combine.

pouring chicken stock into lemon and onion in pan

6. Bring the sauce to a simmer.

simmering sauce for stuffed chicken marsala

7. Add the heavy cream to the pan, stirring often, and then simmer on low for 3-5 minutes to thicken.

heavy cream added to stuffed chicken marsala sauce

Mashed Potatoes

1. Add 1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese to the sauce and then use a whisk to combine.
2. Wash and peel potatoes, cut and then cook until tender. When I cook potatoes for mashing, I use a steamer basket as it keeps the water away from the potatoes and keeps them from being water-logged. I used a ricer to make mashed potatoes. To use a ricer, scoop cooked potatoes into the basket and close while pushing the handles together. Collect the potatoes in a large bowl. When done, stir potatoes together. To make creamy potatoes, you can add butter or milk and stir to combine.

When the Stuffed Chicken Marsala is done and fully cooked, remove chicken from oven. Make sure to temp check the chicken to make sure it is 165 degrees. Finally, serve with potatoes, drizzle with Lemon Thyme Cream sauce and enjoy!

cooked stuffed chicken marsala in white pan

Along with the mashed potatoes, we had steamed carrots as a side. Our kids all really loved this meal and did say they would eat it again. Typically, Stuffed Chicken Marsala does not have lemon or thyme in the sauce, but we did have those ingredients and decided to mix up the recipe a bit. As it turned out, the sauce was so delicious, and I am glad to have tried making something new. Here’s to thirteen years with my husband, Tyler!
~Monica

stuffed chicken marsala with mashed potatoes and steamed carrots on white plate

Stuffed Chicken Marsala Recipe

Ingredients

2 lemons
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
5 chicken breasts
1 cup shredded Asiago
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp Thyme
8-oz heavy cream
1 cup sour cream OR Greek yogurt
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup shredded smoked Mozzarella or Provolone
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup kale chopped
1/4 tsp Red Pepper flakes
2 sweet peppers, diced
1/3 cup green onion, thinly sliced
1 onion, sliced thin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Stuffed Chicken Marsala Directions

1. Pour sour cream or Greek yogurt into a large bowl.
2. Rinse sweet peppers and then dice, then add them to the bowl with the Greek yogurt.
3. Cut green onion and add to the bowl, then stir to combine.
4. Rinse kale and remove leaves from the hard stem, then roughly chop and add to the bowl. Stir to combine.
5. Shred mozzarella cheese and then add it to the bowl with the Greek yogurt.
6. Shred asiago cheese and then add to the bowl.
7. Cut or shred smoked provolone and add it to the bowl, then stir the cheeses into the Greek yogurt or sour cream.
8. Add breadcrumbs to the cheese mixture and then stir to combine.
9. Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir well to combine.
10. Mince garlic and then add to the cheese mixture.
11. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a chicken breast on a cutting board and then use a large knife to butterfly the chicken breast at its thickest point making sure to not cut all the way through.
12. Place chicken breast inside of a gallon zip lock back and close, then use a mallet and flatten the chicken in the bag.
13. Place flattened chicken breast on a plate and then place desired amount of cheese filling onto one side of chicken and gently press stuffing down.
14. Fold chicken breast over cheese filling and set aside on a plate.
15. Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in a large pan over medium heat. For example, a ribbed pan is a great choice to give the chicken a nice, seared look.
16. Place chicken breast in pan and sauté each side until golden brown, around 3-5 minutes.
17. Remove chicken breasts from the pan and then place them in a 9 X 13 pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for 15-25 minutes or until juices run clear and center of chicken reaches a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lemon Thyme Cream Sauce Directions

1. Cut an onion in half, remove skin, and then slice thin. Set aside.
2. Cut two lemons in half and use a juicer to collect juice, then set the juicer aside for later.
3. In the saucepan, add sliced onions, thyme, and 1 Tbsp butter and sauté until translucent, around 5-7 minutes.
4. Slowly pour lemon juice into onions and stir. This will steam and bubble.
5. Add chicken broth to the pan and then stir to combine.
6. Bring the Lemon Thyme Cream sauce to a simmer to allow it to thicken.
7. Add heavy cream to the pan, stirring often, and then simmer on low for 3-5 minutes.
8. Finally, add 1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese to the sauce and use a whisk to combine, let the sauce simmer.

Mashed Potatoes Directions

1. Add 1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese to the sauce and then use a whisk to combine.
2. Wash and peel potatoes, cut and then cook until tender. When I cook potatoes for mashing, I use a steamer basket as it keeps the water away from the potatoes and keeps them from being water-logged. I used a ricer to make mashed potatoes. To use a ricer, scoop cooked potatoes into the basket and close while pushing the handles together. Collect the potatoes in a large bowl. When done, stir potatoes together. To make creamy potatoes, you can add butter or milk and stir to combine.

When the Stuffed Chicken Marsala is done and fully cooked, remove chicken from oven. Finally, make sure to temp check the chicken to make sure it is 165 degrees. Serve with potatoes, drizzle with Lemon Thyme Cream sauce and enjoy!

Published by Monica's Scratch Kitchen

I have not always had the skills to cook and bake from scratch. As a young wife, I bought every meal frozen or boxed and presented it to my husband with a flourish, believing myself a decadent cook. As our budget shrunk, and our family grew, I looked for ways to stretch our money to nourish our kids with the best for their hungry appetites. Hoping to find recipes and meals that they would love to eat. Through the last 5 years, I have learned so many cooking and baking lessons, and experienced many wins and failures. Come along with me on this journey as I share my recipes that work, how to make them on the cheap, and my tips and tricks to get my kids to eat homemade deliciousness! I will also share updates to our house that we have done in the last year since our move. With one income, we do most of the work ourselves and with amazing family and friends to help out, cutting costs but keeping style and money in the bank! I am a wife and mother of 3 boys and 1 princess. When I was a kid, I remember being asked what I wanted to be or do when I grew up. My response was, "a mom", and I am proud to grow up and be a mom to 4 amazing kids! Samuel is 11, Matthew is 8, Levi is 4, and Elliana is almost 2. We have been blessed to have kids who love to explore foods, to try new recipes, and enjoy helping us around the house. With 4 kids, you better believe they help clean! My husband Tyler and I have been married almost 13 years. We love our kids, we love outdoors, camping, canoeing, grilling, watching movies, and just hanging out making memories. A few years ago I gifted Tyler with his own "menu" book, where we write meals and foods we have loved to eat. Weekly our family decides what our meals will be and I make up a grocery list with what we need. It literally is my favorite chore! I love to shop, so shopping for food on a budget is my biggest win! Thank you for taking the time and visiting my site, Subscribe so you do not miss a post! Keep coming back to hear about new recipes, updates on our home, fun times with our kids, and how to make homemade deliciousness! ~Monica

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