Slow Cooker Turkey Marsala makes a festive holiday-themed alternative to chicken marsala. Turkey breast slow cooked to tender perfectly in a rich and velvety marsala sauce.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Holland House Cooking Wine. The content and opinions are mine alone.
With Thanksgiving somehow just around the corner, I’m gearing up for seasonal recipes. What better way than with turkey. In this post I’ll show you how to take a classic chicken marsala and turn it into a holiday meal-worthy Slow Cooker Turkey Marsala.
It’s basically made the exact same way as chicken marsala, but substituted with turkey breast. You can even use your leftover Thanksgiving turkey to make marsala in a slow cooker.
How to make turkey marsala easy
Using a slow cooker makes turkey marsala easy with little hands on time and easy cleanup. Simply sear the turkey breasts in a pan to create a nice brown and leftover “fond” for your marsala sauce. More on this later.
Then add Marsala Cooking Wine to the pan and cook down a bit. Add to slow cooker with turkey breast, mushroom slices, thyme, garlic and green onion. Slow cook until tender, then stir in cornstarch to thicken. Finish off with heavy cream for a thick and creamy marsala sauce.
What is marsala sauce and what ingredients are in marsala?
Marsala sauce is a savory, creamy mushroom-based sauce. It includes chicken stock, Marsala cooking wine, mushrooms, garlic, heavy cream and meat such as chicken or turkey. Usually cornstarch or flour is added after cooking to thicken sauce.
What wine to use for chicken marsala?
Marsala Cooking Wine is best. It’s an Italian wine that’s semi-sweet with hints of hazelnuts. It makes a versatile pantry staple that’s great with beef, poultry and pork.
I used Holland House Marsala Cooking Wine in this Slow Cooker Turkey Marsala. The holidays are a wonderful time for cozy foods and entertaining. Marsala cooking wine adds flavor to your favorite comfort food recipes such as slow cooker dishes and even soups.
Pro tip: Marsala wine is not just for making creamy marsala sauce. Try adding two tablespoons to stroganoff for a boost of flavor.
Tips for making turkey marsala
- Use large breast of meat, about a half pound each so they hold their shape when slow cooked. It also makes a great presentation for your holiday meal.
- Brown the meat in pan before slow cooking to create a fond. These are leftover brown bits of food that add flavor to sauces. Note: you could skip this step and go straight to slow cooker but I highly recommend searing first.
- Remove the meat from pan but don’t discard leftover bits. Add marsala wine to pan over medium-high heat, scrape the bottom and reduce 1-2 minutes. Then add remaining ingredients.
- Cook mushrooms with the meat and sauce to create rich flavor in sauce.
- Cornstarch will thicken up sauce once meat is cooked. Recipe should create perfectly creamy sauce, but adjust cornstarch or liquid amount at end if needed. Plus it keeps this a gluten-free marsala recipe.
- Add cream at very end to protect is velvety texture and for optimal flavor
How to serve marsala: Place cooked chicken or turkey on a plate, then smother with marsala sauce and add optional parsley garnish.
Slow Cooker Turkey Marsala recipe at-a-glance:
Flavor profiles: Rich, buttery, decadent marsala sauce paired with slow cooked turkey breasts and mushrooms
Texture: Thick, creamy, velvety and smooth sauce. Slow cooked turkey breasts are super tender
Pro tip: This turkey marsala recipe is great for leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Simply use instead of whole breasts and add straight to slow cooker. Reduce cooking time in half.
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Slow Cooker Turkey Marsala
- 2 pounds turkey breast, about 4 to 6 large pieces
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ⅔ cup Holland House Marsala Cooking Wine
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- ½ cup chicken stock, salted
- 8- ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 stalk green onion, sliced
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- ⅛ cup water
- 1 tablespoons cornstarch, more or less depending on thickness
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Sprinkle both sides of turkey breast with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or non-stick pan over medium-high heat.
- Add turkey breasts and cook 4-6 minutes, until golden brown. Rotate and brown other side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium and add marsala wine and garlic. Cook until reduced slightly, about 1-2 minutes.
- Pour wine mixture into slow cooker. Stir in chicken stock, mushrooms and pepper. Top with turkey breasts and thyme sprigs.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours or LOW for 5 hours. Remove turkey and set aside.
- Stir water and cornstarch together, then stir into broth in slow cooker. Add turkey back to slow cooker, cover and cook on HIGH for 20 minutes or until sauce thickens.
- Place turkey breasts on serving plates. Stir heavy cream into sauce then smother over turkey breast. Optional: garnish with fresh parsley
- Can use leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Replace whole breasts and add straight to slow cooker. Reduce cooking time in half.
- Use large breast of meat, about a half pound each so they hold their shape when slow cooked and transferred to plates
- Brown the meat in a pan before to create added flavor bits called fond. Note: you could skip this step and go straight to slow cooker but I highly recommend searing first.
- Recipe should create a perfectly creamy sauce, but adjust cornstarch or liquid amount at the end if needed
- Add cream at the very end to protect is velvety texture and for optimal flavor