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Jun 30, 2008 02:21 PM

Substitute for Marsala?

I would like to make this orzo tonight, but don't have Marsala and would prefer to not buy a bottle when this recipe only calls for a cup. Is there a suitable substitute? Thanks!

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  1. A cup is a lot--it's a major ingredient. I would consider using brandy or sherry. maybe port. I don't really like Marsala dishes, because I find it too sweet. therefore I might be tempted to just substitute white wine, which would go well with the other dishes, but a different result than marsala.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cocktailhour

      However the 1lb of orzo is cooked in 4 cups of stock, and the Marsala is reduced by half. Plus there's 1/2c of cream. In addition, the whole dish is baked for another 25 minutes.

      Another fortified wine of similar dryness would be the best substitute. Amontillado, a medium dry sherry, sounds like a good substitute. A white wine would also do, even if the flavor isn't quite as intense, or in a pinch, a half cup more of stock.

    2. You can substitute fruit juices for wine in many recipes.
      Assuming you're intending to use a sweet Marsala, you could use Orange juice, pear juice or peach juice as a substitute. I prefer the peach juice and sometimes add a few drops of prune juice to the mix.
      Or, you might want to see how Vermouth works for you.

      1. I also find Marsala too sweet, and usually substitute Madeira or Amontillado. Vermouth will also do in a pinch.

        1. I agree that a cup of Marsala is a huge amount and I would guess that it would overwhelm almost any dish that you might make. I would substitute white wine in this recipe, and if you wanted a bit more flavor, maybe do 1/4 cup of white vermouth and 3/4 of white wine.

          1. GSDlove, I may try this recipe. What did you decide to do and how did it turn out?