Veal Marsala or Scaloppine al Marsala is a classic dish perfect for this time of the year. A simple yet incredibly delicious meal ready in less than 30 minutes.
This Veal Marsala recipe is one of my favorite Italian-inspired recipes, better than pizza or pasta, almost better than tiramisu, and one of the easiest and most delicious dinner recipes you could serve to guests.
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What makes this dish so good?
Despite the posh ingredients and the incredible flavors and textures of the dish, cooking veal Marsala with mushroom sauce takes less than 30 minutes, and it’s super easy. A typical example of what makes the Italian kitchen so great: using just a few ingredients and simple cooking methods for fantastic food!
The veal escalopes are more tender than any other cuts of meat, and the Marsala mushroom sauce is flavorful and aromatic, the perfect fit for the delicate meat. And if you are interested in another tasty veal recipe, try the Wiener Schnitzel as well.
- Veal scallops: Small, thin veal cutlets weighing more or less 3 oz/ 85 g each.
- Marsala: White grape wine produced in the region around the town of Marsala in Sicily. It’s a sweet fortified wine, meaning that it is supplemented with spirit, mostly brandy. This also means that it has a higher alcohol content than regular wine. You will need about ⅔ of a cup of Marsala wine for this recipe; I usually buy a small bottle containing this much wine.
- Mushrooms: Cremini or white button mushrooms are both ok.
- Butter: You will need 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. You will need one tablespoon (divided) for frying the meat and the mushrooms. The second one is for the sauce; it needs to be ice-cold, so keep it in the fridge until needed.
- Other ingredients: one whole garlic clove for flavoring the oil and butter mixture needed for frying the veal cutlets. You will also need salt, black pepper, and a few sprigs of fresh parsley.
- Pan: A heavy large skillet like a cast-iron pan or a heavy-bottomed large nonstick skillet with a diameter of about 12 inches/ 30 cm.
- Prepare the meat: Place meat between two large pieces of cling film. Pound veal cutlets gently with a meat pounder or a rolling pin until thinner, about 0.2 inch/ 5 mm thick. Season veal lightly with salt and pepper on both sides and set aside (1).
- Prepare mushrooms: Wipe them clean with kitchen paper. Then, slice them and set them aside.
- Cook meat: Heat the skillet. Heat oil and ½ tablespoon of butter. Fry the peeled garlic clove on medium heat for about 1 minute, turning it on both sides (2).
- Add veal chops and fry on medium-high heat for about 1 to 1 ½ minutes per side. Remove from the pan, sprinkle with salt, and keep warm. Remove the garlic as well (3).
- Cook mushrooms: Add another ½ tablespoon of butter to the pan. Cook mushrooms for 2-3 minutes, often stirring, until they are golden (4).
- Sauce: Add Marsala and let bubble for one minute (5).
- Cut the ice-cold tablespoon of butter into small cubes. Add them one by one to the skillet and melt butter slowly while stirring continuously. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper (6).
- Finish: Return veal cutlets to the pan, spoon sauce and mushrooms over them, and reheat gently for about 1 minute (7).
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately.
Expert Tips and FAQ
- Veal is not always available. If that is a problem in your area, make sure you order it at the butcher in advance.
- Don’t overcook the meat; the cutlets are thin, and they will need about 1 to 1 ½ minutes tops. Turn them once halfway and reheat them very gently and shortly in the sauce.
- The cooking time will not change if the cutlets are larger but just as thin as those I use.
- Please don’t wash the mushrooms; they will soak too much water and become soggy. Instead, rub them clean with kitchen paper, it takes longer than washing, but it is worth it. Too much water will also prevent them from getting golden.
- The butter needed for the sauce needs to be very cold. Cut it into smaller pieces before adding it to the sauce. Cold butter melts slowly, and adding it slowly to the dish helps emulsify the sauce.
A bit like beef but more delicate and so delicious! The best about the cut is its tenderness. I often buy veal from a local farmer; I get cutlets and roast, ground meat, or shanks for making Slow Cooker Ossobuco. When I have veal, I use it in many recipes instead of beef.
If you cannot get hold of veal or if it’s too expensive, use chicken breast or pork instead. The dish will be different but delicious as well.
Veal Marsala is best served immediately. However, you can reheat the meat gently in the sauce. Add a splash of beef stock, chicken broth, or water when reheating the sauce.
Serve veal Marsala with boiled or mashed potatoes. The recipe pairs perfectly with creamy polenta as well, one of my favorite side dishes for Italian meat dishes.
Make a green salad dressed with olive oil to go with it, or serve it with steamed broccoli, black salsify, Jerusalem artichokes, or green beans.
Refrigerate in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
Freeze in airtight containers for up to 2 months. Then, defrost in the refrigerator and reheat before serving.
More Italian meat dishes
Veal Marsala Recipe (with Mushrooms)
- 8 small veal cutlets each about 3 oz/ 85 g (Note 1)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter divided (Note 2)
- 1 large garlic clove
- 9 oz mushrooms 250 g
- ⅔ cup Marsala 150 ml
- fine sea salt and ground black pepper
- 3 sprigs of fresh parsley
- Pound meat: Place the meat between two pieces of cling film on a cutting board. Pound them carefully to make them thinner, about 0.2 inch/ 5 mm. Season lightly with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Prepare mushrooms: Clean them with kitchen paper (Note 2). Slice and set them aside.
- Cook veal: Heat a large cast-iron or nonstick pan. Add olive oil and ½ tablespoon of butter to the pan. Add peeled but still whole garlic clove and stir for 1 minute. Add cutlets and fry them on medium-high heat for 1 – 1 ½ minutes per side. Remove, sprinkle with salt, and keep warm. Remove the garlic clove as well.
- Cook mushrooms: Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the pan. Fry mushrooms on medium heat, often stirring, for 2-3 minutes until golden. Pour in Marsala and let bubble for 1 minute. Cut the remaining ice-cold butter into small cubes and stir them slowly into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
- Finish: Return the veal to the pan and reheat gently for about one minute. Serve immediately.
- If the cutlets are larger but just as thin as the ones I use, the cooking time will not change.
- One tablespoon of the butter should be ice-cold; it will help emulsify the sauce.
- Don’t wash the mushrooms; they will soak too much water and become soggy. Instead, rub them clean with kitchen paper, it takes longer than washing, but it is worth it.