This chicken paprika recipe has a lovely vibrant red color with a creamy sweet paprika taste that's like heaven with every bite. It's pure comfort food in one bowl that is easy to make in one pot and uses common pantry ingredients.
⭐ Why this recipe works
Chicken paprika is a renowned Hungarian dish called chicken paprikash made using Hungarian paprika, sour cream, chicken stock, and peppers. It's an easy home recipe to make in less than one hour that is budget-friendly and super tasty.
Any home cook could make this chicken paprikash recipe without a fuss, and your family and guests will thank you for it after they try this flavorful Hungarian dish.
The secret to its flavor is from the type of paprika used. Chicken paprikash is commonly made with sweet or hot Hungarian paprika because of its vibrant red color and pungent, sweet pepper flavor.
The paprika chicken is coated in flour and cooked to give the meat a nice golden color, then simmered with colorful bell peppers and fresh paprika with a swirl of sour cream to give the dish its unique flavor, and served over rice or egg noodles.
It's a heart-warming recipe that will delight anyone who tries it. It's great for storing to enjoy over the following days when the flavors infuse - and the taste of paprika becomes more pronounced.
🍽 Key Ingredients
The key ingredient here is authentic Hungarian paprika which gives the dish its unique flavor and color. And it's made in a single stovetop pot, which means less washing up.
Chicken - Use free-range skinless chicken breast cut into cubes. The fresher, the better!
Pantry ingredients - Use a variety of bell peppers for color if you can, and white onion.
Dairy products - Traditionally, butter is used for frying the chicken, and sour cream is added at the end for a creamy texture.
Seasonings - Hungarian paprika is a must if you want the same sweet flavor renowned in chicken paprikash, and use cayenne pepper for a touch of heat and salt and pepper to taste.
A good substitution for chicken breasts is skinless chicken thighs, or you could use chicken thighs with the skin-on for a crispier texture.
The only equivalent substitution for Hungarian-style paprika is pimenton, which is Spanish paprika that is slightly smokey and usually sweet.
You could use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth without changing the flavor of the recipe.
🍽 How to make
This chicken paprika recipe is super easy to prepare in less than an hour and is sure to enlighten your guest's taste buds. You can make chicken paprikash by following my step-by-step instructions, video, and helpful top tips.
Cut the chicken breast into cubes and dice the bell peppers and onion.
Whisk the flour, 2 tablespoons paprika, salt, and freshly ground black pepper in a bowl.
Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture and set them aside.
Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat and add the chicken pieces, cooking for about 4 minutes per side until golden brown, then remove to a plate.
Add the onions, bell peppers, 1 tablespoon paprika, and cayenne pepper to the pan, and cook for about 5 - 7 minutes until softened - scraping up any pieces stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Return the chicken to the pot and add chicken stock to cover it. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 - 25 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
Remove the skillet from heat, use a slotted spoon to take the chicken out of the pan, then gently stir in the sour cream. Return the chicken to the pan and coat well with the sauce.
Serve over rice, noodles, or with potatoes.
💭 Cooking tips
If you like your paprika sauce a little thicker, stir 1 tablespoon of cornflour with 1 tablespoon of water. It will begin to thicken immediately once the sauce starts to bubble.
Allow the butter to heat up in the skillet first
To get that crispy golden color on the chicken, the butter needs to be hot so that the floured chicken pieces crisp up instantly. If the butter is not hot, the floured coating will go soggy.
📖 Recipe Variations
This classic Hungarian recipe is super tasty as it is. Although, in certain parts of Hungary, they like to add other ingredients like these three variations below.
Chicken paprika with dumplings
One of my favorite things to add to soups and stews is dumplings, and they are great additions to this chicken paprika recipe.
Whisk together 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, pepper, and salt with 1 cup of milk and 4 tablespoons of butter in a bowl. Make small balls with the mixture, drop them into boiling water to fluff up, then add to the chicken paprikash recipe.
Chicken paprika with homemade spaetzle
Spaetzle is similar to dumplings but made with a mixture of 2 parts flour to 1 part milk and eggs. The thick batter is poured through a sieve into boiling water to form small pieces and then dropped into the chicken paprikash. Spaetzle is chewy and delicious with stews and soups.
Chicken paprika and chorizo
Add some smokiness to the dish by cooking 1 or 2 chopped chorizo and simmering them with the chicken and sauce.
🥗 What to serve with
Chicken paprika is a delicious, red-colored dish that pairs well with starchy side dishes like rice or pasta.
Fluffy jasmine rice is always a winner in my house to serve with soups, stews, and casseroles. It's easy and compliments flavorful dishes like this chicken paprikash.
In Hungary, chicken paprika is commonly served with noodles or rice, but you can also serve it with pasta.
Another alternative is to serve the delicious paprika sauce and tender chicken with mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes.
🙋 Frequently Asked Questions
What's the difference between goulash and paprikash?
The main difference between the two dishes is that paprikash is made with sour cream and bell peppers, and goulash is a tomato-based stew with tomato paste and potatoes, yet both use paprika as the main seasoning.
What type of paprika should I use for chicken paprikash?
Traditional chicken paprikash is used with sweet or hot paprika from Hungary, but if you can't get your hands on this type of paprika, you could use Spanish pimenton or regular.
🧊 Storing and ♨️ Reheating
Chicken paprika is a great recipe that gets better in flavor as the days go by and reheats well.
Fridge - Transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and place them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezer - To freeze the cooled leftovers, place the contents into a freezer bag or an airtight freezer container for up to 4 months.
Reheating - The best way to reheat leftover paprikash is to use the microwave on full-power at 1-minute intervals until it's piping hot or simply heat the contents in a pot over medium-high heat for around 10 minutes until hot.
🍳 Related Recipes
If you like my style of chicken paprika recipe you should try one of these comfort food recipes on your next meal.
Try my irresistible slow-cooked beef paprika recipe inspired in my mom's homemade recipes.
👪 Serving Size
You can expect to get 4 servings with this chicken paprika recipe, or you could scale the recipe to cater to more guests.
Chicken paprikash is a wonderfully flavorful recipe that is easy to make and sure to be a family favorite.
🎥 Watch how to make it
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Try one of my comfort dinner recipes for your next family meal! And if you have any questions, I'm here to help!
Hungarian Chicken Paprika
- ½ cup flour
- 3 tablespoon paprika - separated, hungarian
- 4 large chicken breasts - cut into pieces
- 3 tablespoon butter
- 2 large onions - sliced thinly
- 3 bell peppers - chopped
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup sour cream
- salt and pepper - to taste
- Whisk together the flour, 2 tablespoon paprika, salt and pepper.
- Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture and set aside.
- Melt butter in a dutch oven, or heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat, add the chicken pieces and cook for about 4 minutes per side, until well browned, then remove to a plate.
- Add the onions, bell peppers, 1 tablespoon paprika and cayenne to the pan, and cook for about 5 - 7 minutes - scraping up any pieces stuck to the bottom of the pan - until softened and the onions are browned.
- Return the chicken to the pot and add enough broth to cover it. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 - 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the pan from heat, use a slotted spoon to take the chicken out of the pan, then gently stir in the sour cream. Return the chicken to the pan and coat well with sauce.
- Serve with rice, wide pasta noodles or roasted potatoes.