10 Best Marsala Wine Substitutes for Cooking

Marsala Wine Substitutes

Do you want to make a recipe that requires Marsala wine, but you don’t have any or you prefer a non-alcoholic ingredient instead? This article has compiled a list of some of the best Marsala wine substitutes for different recipes.

Though Marsala wine has a distinct flavor, many substitutes match it well, both alcohol and non-alcohol-based ingredients. All these substitutions are flavorful and can guarantee your dish remains delicious.

Marsala Wine Substitutes

1. White Wine, Brandy, and Seasoning

White Wine, Brandy, and Seasoning

Do you have a bottle of white wine and a bottle of brandy? These two together can stand in for marsala wine.

In place of 1/4 cup Marsala wine, use 1/4 cup dry white wine mixed with a teaspoon of brandy. This substitute tastes very close to Marsala since it is a fortified wine with brandy.

If you are using a dry white wine, a pinch or two of sugar will help to add the sweet flavor Marsala wine brings. An added bit of salt will complete the taste.

2. Madeira Wine or Port Wine

Port Wine - Marsala Wine Substitutes

A fortified wine with flavor characteristics comparable to Marsala is Madeira wine. This wine contains five distinct grape varieties, giving it a unique flavor. It is also possible to use Port wine, another fortified wine that is more costly.

Both Portuguese wines can substitute Marsala wine in equal amounts required in the recipe.

3. Pedro Ximinez Wine

White Wine

A Spanish white wine called Pedro Ximinez can also act as a Marsala replacement. It has a sweet and rich taste.

Use this alternative in place of Marsala wine in a 1:1 ratio.

4. Dry Sherry

Dry Sherry - Marsala Wine Substitutes

Dry sherry can work well as an alternative to Marsala wine if you just want an alcoholic undertone.

Sherry does not have the same depth of taste as Marsala, but will still make a suitable replacement. Use it in the same proportions as Marsala in your recipes.

Note that this substitution is for drinking sherry, not cooking sherry. The high sodium and other ingredients in cooking sherry may clash with the other flavors in your recipe.

5. Amontillado Wine

Sherry Wine

Check out Amontillado, a Spanish fortified sherry wine. This wine serves well as a Marsala wine alternative.

To substitute, use the same amount of Amontillado as the recipe calls for Marsala wine.

6. Sherry and Sweet Vermouth

Sweet Vermouth

Try combining sherry with sweet vermouth if you want more flavor than sherry on its own. This will make a great addition to the taste profile.

To substitute, mix 1/8 cup sherry and 1/8 cup sweet vermouth for every 1/4 cup Marsala wine.

7. Cranberry or Red Grape Juice

Cranberry Juice - Marsala Wine Substitutes

Cranberry or red grape juice are suitable options for sweet recipes, particularly cakes. These are great for making recipes for kids to add flavor without the alcohol.

Remember to use water to dilute these juices. In exchange for 1/4 cup Marsala wine, use 3/8 cup juice mixed with 1/8 cup water.

8. Grape Juice and Brandy

Grape Juice

You can also use this combination as a decent replacement for Marsala wine to reduce the alcohol taste in your dish.

Mix 1/4 cup grape juice with 1 teaspoon brandy to replace 1/4 cup Marsala wine.

9. Balsamic Vinegar and Fruit

Balsamic Vinegar

A fruit and balsamic vinegar mixture is an uncommon but effective substitute for Marsala wine.

To create the mixture, cook plums, prunes, or figs for one hour. Then remove the liquid and add a drop or two of balsamic vinegar to taste.

To substitute for every 1/4 cup Marsala wine, use 1/4 cup of this mixture.

10. Chicken or Vegetable Stock

Chicken Stock

Of these two, the best choice is normally chicken, but the vegetable stock will suffice in a pinch.

Use these replacements in the same portions as Marsala wine. This alternative is better for savory dishes that call for long cooking times or simmering processes.

What Is Marsala Wine?

What is Marsala Wine

This wine is named after the Italian region where it is made. Marsala is fortified, which means it is infused with extra alcohol, normally brandy. You can consume this wine as a drink and use it in cooking and baking.

Marsala comes in both dry and sweet varieties. You’ll find the dry kind used in Italian dishes such as risotto, chicken marsala, and sauces.

The sweet kind is used in Italian baked goods, such as tiramisu and cookies.

The Bottom Line

Marsala wine can be replaced with a variety of other ingredients. The best substitute is determined by the taste profile of the recipe you’re preparing.

Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic Marsala wine substitutes will help you finish your recipe.

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