Home ยป Chicken Marsala Burgers

Chicken Marsala Burgers


I was hesitant to sign up for this recipe swap, knowing I would be without all my kitchen items, but I decided to risk it (theme: Burgers or Sandwiches – doable even with just the bare minimum to work with) and joined in the fun. And let me say, I’m so glad I did! I have never, ever, EVER wanted a burger leftover…until now.

This was my second time cooking with marsala wine. The first time, I found some cheap Kroger brand marsala in the vinegar aisle of the grocery store. Low and behold, that’s not quite the same as marsala wine — the taste, nor the price tag. Even still, a 750 mL bottle of marsala ran me $11 and was worth every last penny. I could’ve sat down with the pan full of mushrooms, bacon, and marsala and been (almost) just as happy.

(Truly, I’m not exaggerating.)


What I’m try to say is that this marsala mixture is knock-your-socks-off good. Mr. Prevention and I were sitting on our three-seasons porch, sitting in beach chairs and using a our tupperware container table, marsala dripping down our hands and faces enjoying every last drop. Yes, they’re a bit messy…but I think that has got to be one of the many signs that a burger is made just right.

Between mouthfuls of some of the best burgers ever, we whole-heartedly agreed that this marsala mixture would work well on top of most anything — chicken, steaks, and fish come to mind, but pasta, rice, potatoes, or pretty much anything else would work, too.


As for the chicken burgers…I’m not normally a huge chicken or turkey burger fan as they tend to get a bit dry, but these turned out moist and juicy. Thanks to the onion? Worcestershire? Who cares. They were the perfect vehicle to get marsala into my mouth.

I did use a lower heat on the grill — our new grill has a lower flame and I think a lower heat, longer cooking time is important to not only reach a safe internal temperature for poultry, but to also not zap all the moisture from the meat with ultrahigh temps.


I altered Dawn’s recipe just a bit by omitting the butter, pouring off some of the drippings from the bacon, and using a reduced-fat provolone vs. American cheese. There’s something about marsala that screams provolone or mozzarella to me.

This take on “bacon cheeseburger meets Italy” should be a part of your next cookout, without a doubt (thanks, Dawn…great pick!). I hope Kristen or my parents request these for their visits next week.

Hint hint.



Chicken Marsala Burgers adapted by Annie’s Eats from Williams Sonoma (burgers) and Cook’s Illustrated (topping), recommended by and lightened up from Simple Gourmet Cooking with Dawn

1 lb ground chicken
2 Tbsp onion, grated or finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
4 hamburger buns, for serving

4 slices nitrate-free, uncured bacon
2 cups white, cremini, or mini portobello mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp shallot, minced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cups Marsala wine
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 sliced reduced-fat provolone or mozzarella


Heat the grill to medium-high. Combine ingredients for the burgers (ground chicken through salt and pepper) in a medium bowl. Mix together until well combined and form into 4 equal sized patties. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the topping, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon to the pan and cook until bacon is brown and crisp. Remove bacon from the pan and place on a paper-towel lined plate; discard all but one tablespoon of the bacon drippings. When cool enough to handle, crumble bacon into bite size pieces. Add the mushrooms to the same pan and increase heat to medium-high. Cook the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until liquid from the mushrooms evaporates and mushrooms begin to brown, about 8 minutes.

To the mushrooms, add garlic and shallot; saute for 1 minute. Add the crumbled bacon back to the pan and add the tomato paste. Allow mixture to cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Off heat, add the Marsala wine; return heat to high heat and allow to simmer vigorously for about 5 minutes, scraping brown bits from the bottom of the pan. The sauce should thicken and be reduced to about 1 cup. Stir in the lemon juice. Keep the sauce warm over low heat until burgers are cooked.

Grill the burgers until cooked through and no longer pink inside (160 degrees-about 4-5 minutes per side). Top each burger with a slice of cheese during the last few minutes of grilling. If desired, toast the burger buns on the grill until light golden.

Place cooked burgers on the buns and spoon the Marsala wine topping over top. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 burgers.

Nutrition Information (per burger): 435 calories; 10.5 g. fat; 83 mg. cholesterol; 790 mg. sodium; 29.5 g. carbohydrate; 1.8 g. fiber; 37.3 g. protein

Result: Must make! Feel free to use the meat of your choice – these were adapted from sirloin burgers, but bison, buffalo, deer, turkey…the sky is the limit! The bacon and marsala together make one killer topping that is finger-licking good. Enjoy!


We have finished hardwood floors and new carpet throughout. My first CSA delivery arrived Wednesday (kale, collard greens, scallions, radishes, and eggs!) – so excited! Once our belongings are delivered on Monday/Tuesday it will really start to feel like home 🙂

Happy weekend!

Be well,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. Dawn
    June 29, 2012 / 7:22 am

    So glad you loved them as much as we do! And definitely cook them over low heat-it’s worth the extra cooking time! We made them with Mozzarella last time and I have to say that was my favorite…hmmm I think I might put these on the menu for next week!

  2. Amy B @ Second City Randomness
    June 29, 2012 / 7:39 am

    Can we have a dinner date sometime? I’ll bring dessert…. Please and thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Ma & Pa Prevention
    June 29, 2012 / 7:41 am

    You didn’t need to hint-hint to us. These burgers sound amazing when you add this Marsala topping. Can’t wait to try them. Wish I would have known to buy Marsala wine in the wine section….sounds so logical now. I have a feeling they will become a favorite of ours too. See you Wed. XOXO

  4. The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh
    June 29, 2012 / 8:03 am

    Mmm, this looks wonderful! So glad your floors are done and your house is starting to feel like a home!

  5. katie
    June 29, 2012 / 9:25 am

    These look amazing! I love chicken Marsala.

  6. Samantha Angela
    June 29, 2012 / 9:30 am

    Wow, you wasted no time signing up for the CSA, eh? I on the other hand have wasted years. Still haven’t gotten on that CSA bandwagon. Not sure what I’m waiting for.

  7. Kristen (swanky dietitian)
    June 29, 2012 / 10:47 am

    This definitely looks like one amazing burger! Right up my alley!
    I love how you already signed up for a CSA. You know you’re a dietitian if… ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Have a great weekend, Nicole!

  8. Estela @ Weekly bite
    June 29, 2012 / 12:18 pm

    Looks mouth watering!! Can’t wait to add this to our weekly menu ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Roz@weightingfor50
    June 29, 2012 / 3:09 pm

    These look IN-FREAKIN-CREDIBLE Nicole. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe and great photos. Yay for the CSA delivery. It’ll feel like home before you know it. Have a great Friday.

  10. Biz
    June 29, 2012 / 5:48 pm

    Marsala is one of my husband’s favorites – maybe I’ll make this sauce for steaks next week! ๐Ÿ˜€ I belonged to a CSA once – it sucked because that summer was cool and for the first six weeks all I got was carrots and kohlrabi!

    Hope you post some pics of your new house! ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. Kate
    June 30, 2012 / 12:53 am

    I feel like I’m overusing the phrase gorgeous tonight, but I can’t think of a better word!

  12. Heather @ Fit Mama Real Food
    June 30, 2012 / 1:13 am

    That is so cool that your csa delivery included eggs! I would never think to top my burgers with that mixture, but your high praises make me want to try it now.

  13. Laura
    June 30, 2012 / 9:01 am

    I love chicken marsala. Can’t wait to try these burgers. You have me practically drooling!

  14. The Home Cook
    July 2, 2012 / 9:28 am

    Wow, these sound so good! I’m putting these on the menu ASAP.

    Thanks for being part of the recipe swaps!

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