List of the Best Substitute for Marsala Wine for Your Favorite Recipe

Wines are told to have antioxidant properties which and they are healthy even if you add an affordable quantity in your moderate diet plan. Also, for people who don't like to engage in alcoholic beverages, all the alcoholic properties and content of the wine cooks off throughout the cooking method. This leaves solely the nature of flavor behind.

You'll be able to omit it from sure recipes without difficulty if you are not using alcohol of any kind or are not fond of using wine in cooking. For instance, you'll be able to utterly omit the wine and follow one in all several nonalcoholic recipes obtainable that are still delicious when making Tiramisu. If, however, you happen to be out of Marsala wine, most kitchens have enough of the key ingredients available to substitute a Marsala wine flavor.

Marsala Wine


Quick Intro: What can I substitue for Marsala wine when cooking?

The best substitutes for marsala wine when cooking are chicken marsala, grape juice with booze, Vnio with booze, and dry sherry.

When making substitutions for Marsala wine, you need to take care not to compromise on the flavorful taste. Marsala wine lends a distinct flavor when added to recipes. Substitute for marsala wine need to be able to mimic this unique flavor so you will not be disappointed in your prepared dish.

Marsala wine is a popular ingredient in desserts and savory dishes. Sweet Marsala is more commonly used in cakes and sweets, where as dry Marsala is used in the preparation of meat dishes.

If you want to keep consistent with the flavor of Marsala wine, a good marsala wine substitute includes other similar wines such as Madeira, Port, or Sherry.

Grape juice with a splash of brandy is a marsala wine substitute. However if you don’t want to include alcohol in your recipe, grape juice can stand on its own as a replacement.

To replace Sweet Marsala wine you can add a little brandy and brown sugar to white wine. This substitute is two parts white wine to one part brandy and a dash of brown sugar and salt.

To replace Dry Marsala wine you can use chicken broth or stock when making savory dishes. This is a good substitute for Marsala wine if you don’t want to use alcohol in your recipe.

All of the substitutes for Marsala wine listed above can be used in equal amounts as replacements in your recipes that call for Marsala wine.

See full recipe here.

What Is Marsala Wine?

Marsala wine is made from Sicily which used numerous types of grapes. This wine contains high alcohol content of about 17 to 20% just Port, Sherry, and Madeira. Marsala wine is on the market in numerous sorts that are classified as per its age and sweetness. It conjointly comes in 3 grades that are accorded based on the color and sweetness. These include Amber which has a darker, sweeter mix, Oro that has a light-gold color, and Rubino as the true red selection.

As the description suggests, the low age grades have lower alcohol content in wine. With about 17% alcohol content, fine Marsala is less than one-year-old. Whereas, Superiore aging for over two years has 18 percent alcohol content and Vergine Soleras has 18 to 20 % alcohol content which is over five years old.

Marsala wine is fermented from native white grapes like Catarratto, Grillo, and Inzolia grapes. The mixture of those 3 types of grapes is what offers the wine its natural red color. It is obtainable in each sweet and dry form and has been pleasing the primary and second course of a meal. However, these days, parmesan, Roquefort, gorgonzola, and numerous alternative spicy cheeses are best to serve along with the chilled wine. Aside from being a standard for its consumption as wine, it's conjointly better-known for its cooking uses.

Marsala wine is additionally terribly straightforward to get and is typically obtainable at the most liquor purveyors. You might have encountered Marsala wine if you have ever visited an Italian eating house. Just by being parched during this flavorful wine, veal Marsala, chicken Marsala and plenty of alternative classic Italian meals get their name. It’s usually situated by the ports and also the fortified wine. It is affordable and may be a welcome boost to any storage room. Once used, it is guaranteed to become a staple ingredient in several of your favorite recipes.

What Does Marsala Taste Like?

Marsala wine is unremarkably used for cooking to make rich sauces that are caramelized. The foremost common flavors are brown sugar, poached apricot, vanilla, and tamarind. Marsala wine can either be almost dry vogue or sappy sweet. They are served chilled at around 55 degrees

Fahrenheit. If you get the chance to undertake high-end Marsala, you may expertise a bigger variety of gradated flavors. These include dried fruits, Morello cherry, honey, apple, walnut, tobacco, and licorice. This wine pairs splendidly with a number of hard-to-match foods like Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and chocolate.

What Makes Marsala Distinctive

There are 2 types of Marsala to understand for cooking and that they are dry and sweet. However, Marsala is most over a wine used for culinary methods. Like the sherry or Madeira wine, it will be created dry and fine enough for sipping. Marsala is considered undervalued today. We have a tendency to hope to bring you up to hurry on this distinctive wine that has some taste similarities to Madeira wine.

Marsala wine contains a distinctive style due to the utilization of solely Sicilian native grapes and a fancy viniculture method. Marsala wine fermentation is intricate:

  • Marsala is reinforced with booze or neutral grape essence. It is sometimes created with regional grapes.
  • A parched grape known as ‘Mosto Cotto’ offers Amber Marsala its coffee color.
  • A sugared vino referred to as ‘Mistella’ is commonly mixed. It is made up of Grillo grapes
  • A special aging system known as Soleras is used in high-quality Marsala wines.

The Common Types of Marsala Wine

Marsala wine has totally different styles according to the kind of grapes used and also the viniculture technique. Almost all Marsala created for cooking is Fino or Fine Marsala that is really the bottom quality level of the wine.

Cooking With Marsala Wine

Here are a few of things to understand concerning Marsala wine in cooking:

  • Dry Marsala is often used for savory entrées wherever it mixes a nutty flavor and beef, mushrooms, turkey and meat caramelization.
  • Often accustomed to creating terribly sweet and viscous sauces, sweet Marsala is usually employed in desserts and main dishes with chicken or cut of pork.
  • You can use Dry Marsala as a substitute for Sweet Marsala ingredients. However, you cannot do the opposite method around. Dry Marsala should be always available if you’d like additional skillfulness.

Usually, you can use the entry-level quality Marsala wines which are best for cooking. You can either utilize a ‘Fine’ or ‘Superiore’ Marsala: Gold (oro) or Amber (ambra). Other recipes, however, rarely require Ruby (rubino), Marsala.

Substitutes for Marsala Wine

Marsala contains a distinctive flavor. Thus, several traditional cooks say that using another wine or combination of ingredients as an alternative will materially modify the flavor of a dish. If you make a Marsala sauce or use Marsala wine for your recipe but you notice that this ingredient is unavailable, you can substitute it with another wine, sherry, or perhaps booze.

But you cannot continually have them right at that time and there are times you only would like a fast way of making a substitute. The secret is knowing once and the way to substitute and to combine the ingredients in the order that they will best adapt the flavors of the Marsala wine. Strive one in all these recipes for a substitute.

Non-Alcoholic Marsala Substitute: 

1. Chicken Marsala

Some folks like better to cook while not using Marsala owing to its alcohol content, though most of the alcohol has evaporated when cooked. In order to address that problem, use this non-alcoholic substitute:

  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup juice of white grapes
  • 2 tablespoons of fortified wine (sherry) vinegar

2. Grape Juice with Booze

Mix white grape juice and any variety of booze if you have it in your storage room. You'll be able to do that straightforward substitution. For every 1/4 cup of Marsala wine, use the following as a substitute:

  • 1/4 cup of fruit crush
  • 1 teaspoon of booze

Totally mix the ingredients and continue creating your dish.

3. Vino and Booze

If you are additional doubtless to own some dry vino available, you can use it to conjointly make a Marsala substitute. This substitution comes near to the original version since Marsala is really a brandy-fortified wine. Mix these 2 ingredients along and use them for your recipe:

  • 1/4 cup of dry vino
  • 1 teaspoon of booze

4. Dry Sherry

The flavors in fortified wine are not nearly as complicated as Marsala. However, it'll do as long as Marsala is not a main ingredient for cooking. Make certain that it's an actually fortified wine and not cooking sherry wine if you are using this as a sub. Cooking sherry has several additives with high sodium level. This drastically affects the taste and flavors of the dish. If you style the fortified wine and notice that it is not quite right on its own, merely combine it with an equal amount of Italian vermouth to make a substitution.

Other Substitutions

Simply reach for Madeira wine, dry sherry, or Port if you can tolerate the alcohol content and have a fairly well-stocked liquor cupboard. Whether you do not have Marsala available or you don’t fancy the alcohol taste in the food, Marsala-like flavors are simply to make. Although, the precise flavor of the wine cannot exactly be imitated. In order that you get the majority of the flavor you wish, here are other alternatives which will be close enough to Marsala wine.

Among the three options, Madeira is that the nearest match and also the best alternative. Due to its saltiness, fortified wine is the last selection. As a result, one of all your guests can acknowledge the taste of the sherry. You’ll be able to disguise the fortified wine taste a trifle higher by combining it with vino. This may conjointly add to a small degree additional quality to the generally flat fortified wine style.

Here are other substitutions for Marsala that you just will use in an exceeding pinch:

1. Madeira. This wine contains a ton of identical flavor characteristics as Marsala. Therefore, it'll style similar, though approximately identical. Madeira wine could be added in the placement of Marsala if you're probing for an identical taste. You can also utilize sherry or port wine since you’ll be able to use them in equal amounts.

2. Port. Reckoning on the kind of Port you get, this substitution might be sensible however a trifle expensive.

3. Pinot Noir. Experts say Pinot Noir will create a decent Marsala substitute.

4. Amontillado Wine. This can be used rather than dry Marsala. An alternate to sweet Marsala, Pedro Ximenez, a white Spanish wine, may be used.

5. Sherry and Sweet Vermouth. Combine them in equal amounts which could be a great substitute for Marsala wine.

6. Grape Juice. When it involves the right Marsala substitutes, fruit crush is extremely standard. It would be better to add a low quantity of booze.

7. Dry White Wine. You may conjointly use dry vino as an alternate to Marsala. If the formula implies ¼ cup of vino, use an equal quantity of dry white wine with a teaspoon of booze.

8. Marsala wine will be replaced with a mix of vino, booze and a touch of sugar and salt. In every 2 parts of dry white wine, mix 1/2 booze and a few sugar, alongside a pinch of salt.

9. A substitute for Marsala wine, fruits such as figs, prunes, and plums will be prepared. Before adding a bit of balsamic vinegar, you have to stew any of those fruits and strain them.

10. For cake recipes, you'll be able to substitute Marsala with patterned down red grape juice or cranberry juice. The flavor won't be identical. Even so, if you actually don't take wine, this variety can work fine.

11. Aside from the substitutes aforementioned, you'll be able to conjointly strive to add chicken broth instead of Marsala. Whereas Madeira wines are best for substituting Marsala, the alcohol might not be that effective. If you wish the distinctive flavor of Marsala, you wish to urge and experiment.

12. If sherry, Madeira or Port is not available, check and see if there is booze. You’ll be able to combine booze and grape juice for a Marsala alternative. If you've no booze, a Burgundy wine can work just fine with grape juice.

13. If you've got figs or prunes obtainable, add some rosemary and sage and puree them in. Add it to the recipe putting a teaspoon at a time.

Drinking Wines the Same as Marsala

Though Marsala is commonly used as a cooking wine, some folks conjointly wish to drink it as a wine for dessert. It pairs particularly well with chocolate, nuts, cheese, and chicken or meat Marsala. If you haven't got any Marsala wine available, you may strive port, sherry, or Madeira. These wines show an identical sweetness and complement a number of identical foods.

Long Storage Life

Even though there are several sensible substitutes for Marsala wine, you'll notice that you just will tell the distinction within the flavor of your dish. It would be price obtaining a bottle of Marsala to stay available if you discover that you just create Marsala chicken or another Italian dish usually enough. Since it is fortified, it contains a higher level of alcohol compared to non-fortified wines. This interprets to an extended period which is best for storage and cooking.

How Long Will Opened Marsala Last?

Marsala wine may be a terribly sweet wine and infrequently employed in Italian cooking with several dishes utilizing it in their names. It’s conjointly usually served as an aperitif before dinner. It is a distinct story if you're considering employing a substitute for Marsala. Though this may, from time to time, drastically alter the flavor of the dish.

Marsala wine can stay open for a couple of months. If you’d wish to keep it a bit longer, place it in an exceedingly cool dark place and take away the oxygen before covering. This is by employing a will of wine preserver.

How to Make Chicken Marsala

Making chicken Marsala is quite easy and simple. You just have to prepare the basic ingredients which are the chicken breasts, Marsala wine, and mushrooms. You can make it as the making of a main course or as a starter. This relies on your available ingredients. You can also use veal instead of chicken breasts if you wish to. This recipe yields 4 servings.


  • 4 oz of flour
  • salt, pepper, and oregano
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 cup of Marsala wine
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 skinless, boneless and flattened chicken breasts
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 6 to 8 oz of mushrooms, sliced


1. Combine the flour, salt, oregano, and pepper in a container. Individually add the chicken breasts in the container and shake until the mixture is fully coating the chicken pieces.

2. In a skillet, heat the oil mixing 2 tablespoons of butter in it. Put a chicken piece if the oil becomes hot and allow to fry for about 3 minutes on both sides or until it is cooked. Repeat the process for each piece. Once fried, lay the pieces on a plate and set aside.

3. Add the butter in the skillet until it melts. Place the sliced mushrooms and stir until golden brown. Remove the skillet from the heat and mix in the Marsala. Allow it to simmer until it has been curtailed by half.

4. Pour in the chicken broth and boil. You can also add more seasonings at this stage.

5. Put the remaining butter in the pan and mix the chicken breasts. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

6. You can garnish it with fresh chopped chives before serving it hot. You can also eat with creamy mashed potatoes or rice.


  • Mix hot paprika if you want a spicier flavor.
  • Try using Portobello mushrooms with oyster and button mushrooms for a twist.


Marsala wine is a great cooking ingredient and is called for in countless recipes. However, many people don’t have any handy and don’t want to buy a whole bottle for just one recipe. Also, even though much of the alcohol will evaporate when cooking with Marsala wine, some people might wish to use a non-alcoholic Marsala cooking wine substitute. If either of these things applies to you, don’t worry. There are some great options for a Marsala wine substitute—both alcoholic and non-alcoholic—available.

Marsala wine comes in dry and sweet varieties. Sweet Marsala wines have a higher sugar content than dry varieties and are better suited for use in desserts. Less-sweet dry Marsala wines are often used in cooking savory dishes. Do you need a dry Marsala wine substitute? If you’re okay with alcohol, try substituting an equal amount of Madeira wine, dry sherry (not cooking sherry!), port or vermouth. If you’d prefer a non-alcoholic solution for a dry Marsala wine substitute, add some white grape juice mixed with a few tablespoons of sherry vinegar.

For a sweet Marsala wine substitute, add a combination of any of the alcohol substitutes mentioned above with a mixture of balsamic vinegar and sugar syrup—melt some sugar in boiling water and then add balsamic vinegar to the resulting syrup to taste. If you don’t want to use alcohol, just don’t add any spirits to the balsamic and sugar syrup—it’ll still taste perfectly fine.

Hopefully, these ideas for a Marsala cooking wine substitute are enough to get you started on your way to creating a great dish. All cooking is an inexact science, so the key to any successful substitution of ingredients is tasting frequently and adapting accordingly. Is your dish too sweet? Add some dry wine or dry vinegar. Is it not sweet enough? Add some sweet wine, balsamic vinegar or sugar syrup. Trust yourself and your tongue, and any substitutions you make will result in a fantastic-tasting dish.

Overall, some recipes have no  substitute for Marsala wine. This wine is commonly used as a primary flavor for sauces. It emits a really distinct flavor once it's curtailed. It offers a flavor that's usually the key and also the entire bedrock of a food recipe.

Conclusively, the choice depends on you whether you will substitute Marsala wine or not. You can think whether you will use alcohol or non-alcoholic. The modification will usually be a decent factor, however, it's generally best to follow the formula and use the list of ingredients required in order to come up with a better outcome. 

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