Chicken Paprikash

We like cooking chicken skin-on and bone-in, but this recipe will easily work with boneless, skinless chicken pieces as well, if that's what you prefer. Paprika can go flat and tasteless if it is too old. So check your paprika first, before starting this dish.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6.



  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds of chicken pieces, preferably thighs and legs
  • Salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds yellow onions, (about 2-3 large onions)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp sweet paprika, preferably Hungarian
  • 1 teaspoon (or to taste), hot paprika or cayenne
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


1 Salt the chicken pieces well and let them sit at room temperature while you cut the onions. Slice the onions lengthwise (top to root).


2 Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and melt the butter. When the butter is hot, pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels and place them skin-side down in the pan. Let the chicken pieces cook 4-5 minutes on one side, until well browned, then turn them over and let them cook 2-3 minutes on the other side. (Take care when turning so as not to tear the skin if any is sticking to the pan.) Remove the chicken from the pan to a bowl, set aside.


3 Add the sliced onions to the sauté pan and cook them, stirring occasionally, scraping up the browned bits from the chicken, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes.


4 Add the paprika and some black pepper to the onions and stir to combine. Add the chicken broth, again scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and then nestle the chicken pieces into the pan, on top of the onions. Cover and cook on a low simmer for 20-25 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken pieces). When the chicken is cooked through (at least 165° if you use a thermometer, or if the juices run clear, not pink when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a knife) remove the pan from the heat. (If you want, you can also keep cooking the chicken until it begins to fall off the bone, which may take another 30 minutes or so.)

5 When the chicken is done to your taste, remove the chicken from the pan. Allow the pan to cool for a minute and then slowly stir in the sour cream and add salt to taste. If the sour cream cools the sauce too much, turn the heat back on just enough to warm it through. Add the chicken back to the pan and coat with the sauce.

Serve with dumplings, rice, egg noodles or potatoes. (If cooking gluten-free, serve with rice, potatoes or gluten-free noodles or dumplings.)

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  • Amanda

    My grandmother used to make this for me all the time when I was a little girl, with little dumplings in the sauce. :)

  • Bernadette Hadnagy

    My husband is from Hungary, and he makes this dish for me using shrimp (and vegetable broth)instead of chicken (I don’t eat beef or poultry). He also adds red, orange, or yellow peppers. It’s a great dish either way!

  • T

    Anyone have any thoughts on substituting the sour cream with a bulgarian-style yogurt?

    • Tim

      I used regular American yoghurt one time. It was disastrous, so I’d at least be wary of using yoghurt of any kind.

  • Jennifer

    While it might not be traditional, Cooking Light also ran a version of Turkey Paprikash in their March 2003 issue that I really enjoy. You can search for it on their website. Their recipes recommend serving with Egg Noodles, but I sometimes just serve with Rice. Does anyone else have other ways to serve?

    • Shannon

      Yes. My mother who is Hungarian used to cook it for us as children growing up, and is still a family favourite at family dinners etc. She used to use sometimes Rice or Mashed potato if she couldnt be bothered making nokedli. (spaetzle)

    • Tim

      I know this is a bit of an Eastern European mish-mash, but we *always serve paprikas on pierogi in our house.

  • Robin

    My mother makes this dish with yogurt instead of the sour cream and we eat it over rice or noodles. I have also had it at my friend’s house, her parents and husband are Hungarian and I don’t remember her putting it the oven. I’ll ask her and post the answer here.

  • Dineen

    If I am lazy, I generally serve it with buttered Egg Noodles. The traditional accompaniment is a homemade dumpling/noodle called Nokedly. I don’t know proportions, but I make it with flour, egg, a little salt, and water or milk, then cut the dough into boiling water. When I Googled “Nokedly” I got a bunch of Hungarian websites, so I believe that is the correct spelling. If you google Nokedly and Paprikas together, there is a recipe @ cooks dot com. I haven’t tried it, but it looks about right. Hope this helps.

  • Vladimir

    I’m currently living in Hungary, and have enjoyed this dish often made in a variety of ways with pretty much the same taste with the only variance being the fat content. Typically, this is served with “nokedly,” which is sometimes translated by Hungarian cookbooks as gnocchi. It’s not like the Italian gnocchi that I’m familiar with that is potato-based, but is exactly the same as the very simple to make German or Swiss spaetzle that I’ve had often. Just be certain that the paprika is truly Hungarian, as there are a bunch of knock-offs that even made the market here, some of which have a red powder from South America that is a carcinogen.

  • lynn

    I used boneless skinless chicken breasts and shred them into the dish after cooking. Mix it up and add a little more sour cream (low fat) and it’s incredible with rice. Everyone loves it!

  • Pam Sp

    I tried this today and it is really good. I used skinless, boneless chicken breasts and did the entire dish in the oven, cooking it for about an hour so that the chicken breasts were browned. I served it with couscous as I’m not crazy about rice. I liked it very much.

  • Susan

    I make homemade spaetzle with my Chicken Paprikash. Order a spaetzle maker from Williams-Sonoma online. You can make a giant bowl of spaetzle in about 10 minutes!!!

  • Gabriella

    Hello! I am a Hungarian girl, so I know exactly how to make ” Paprikas csirke ” = Chicken Paprikas. The recepie is very easy. Take a whole chicken and cut it into parts. You will need 2 tablespoon of lard ( not butter or oil!!!) 1 tablespoon of Paprika some salt and ground black pepper, a small tomatoe and a half green pepper and lot of onions 2-3 big ones(cut it into small pieces). Put the lard into a roast pan heat it up and add all of the onions to it. Stir it and when the onion is getting glasslike, add the paprika to the onion and reduce the heat immediately! Stir it and put the chicken pieces in the pan. Stir and season them. Add the tomato and the green pepper to the chicken.Pour water on the chicken ( 1 liter or so ) and simmer it until it is tender. We serve it with nokedli/ rice/pasta/mashed potatoe. If you want to make it with nokedli you should add 3 tablespoon of sour cream to the chicken before you take it off from the cooker.
    Sorry about my English, but I hope you can understan that I wrote :)

    • gail hageman

      My grandmother was born in Hungary. Her recipe has no tomatoes or green peppers or hot pepper. And alot more sour cream. We use the tomatoes & green peppers in veal or pork paprikas

  • Gabriella M.

    Hey! Another Gabriella! I’m a first generation American: both of my parents are from Hungary, and all of my extended family lives there.

    Gabriella who commented above me makes it almost EXACTLY like my mother does: uses the whole cut up chicken, some tomato and half a green pepper (not that many onions though). Uses water, not broth (you’re using a whole raw chicken, you’re not going to need broth – it will make its own broth). My mother uses way more than 1 tablespoon of paprika though. She also uses the imported kind: the sweet, not the hot.

    And yes, you MUST have nokedly with it. It’s just not the same dish without it. Have you ever had a hamburger without the bun? Peanut butter without jelly? Popcorn without butter? Then you’ll have a sense of what you’re missing if you have Paprikas Csirke without the nokedly.

  • Gabriella M.

    Oh, forgot to add.. she also uses much more sour cream as well. But that’s probably because the finished dish is swimming in its own “gravy”, which you ladle over the nokedly. She uses a large pot and the liquid level usually reaches to about 1/3 or 1/2 way up the pan. It’s almost like a stew.

  • kate

    My mom, grandma, great grandma, and my great great grandma made this. It’s one of my favorite meals and it’s very good with dumplings. Thatss how my family made it, but I’ve also had it with noodles and it’s great that way too. My whole family is from Hungary so I grew up with this meal my whole life. My family used boneless chicken; it’s great that way.

  • michael bash

    Using Greek style yogurt in place of sour cream is fine, but keep the heat down for looks. Also find some way of “cooking” the paprika; it enhances the flavor.

  • Annie

    Great recipes..I am of Coatian/Austrian/hungarian backround…these paprikash recipes are close to what my Mom and Oma used to make. With a few exceptions…they added bayleaf & potatoes the last 1/2 hour of cooking. They also ommited the sour cream and served with homemade crusty bread…yum!

  • Rose

    My Mom and Dad were both Hungarain, lets just say, i was born in NY State(UPSTATE), anyways i grew up on Chicken Paprikash, my Dad made it with cut up chicken parts, some different regions put tomatoes in there`s, we never did, and if i did, it wasn`t considered Paprikash.

    We also mixed the sourcream w/ some flour and put it in at the end, and served the sauce over the homeade dumplings, yum, i can taste it now…

  • lil magyar

    My great-great-grandma, great-grandma and grandma all made this dish religiously. I believe the older generations used the whole chicken, but my grandma who still makes paprikas just buys packaged cut legs and thighs. I think it makes such a difference having that dark meat ON the bones. SO much more flavor! She makes this stovetop also and uses at least double the amount of paprika and the Hungarian HOT, not the Sweet. She often adds a couple of potatoes which really thickens the dish up making it hearty and filling. She always serves paprikas with simple dumplings. YUMMY! I know what I’m going to be making this weekend!

  • german markets sell spatzell

    If you grew up in a Hungarian household
    you remember the wonderful clicking sound
    of the spoon hitting the spatzell dough on the plate as your grandmother or mother dropped it
    off into the boiling water.

    Flour,eggs, water, salt.
    mix in a bowl =nokedly=spatzell=”little sparrow” shaped pasta.

    Can be bought by Knorr
    in international isle of market or from
    most german mail orders on line..

    Hungarian Food is the most wonderful food,
    I love German food too, and Italian..

    No matter how you serve Chicken Paprikas
    it brings tears of joy. Images of grandma
    cooking over a wood burning stove,
    also stuffed cabbage rolls, fried cabbage
    and noodles.

    Mom and I making dumplings and testing them
    to see how good they were..before the sauce
    was poured on top.. and its a great food
    to sneak at midnight and eat cold (wink)

    Blessings to all who cook Hungarian
    Pachuri Daj Romma Hungaria..

    ps there can never be too much sour cream :)

  • Emese

    There is no PROPER way of making paprikas csirke. I am Hungarian, born and raised and grew up on it and learned to make it at a very young age. YOu can use parts or whole chicken, with or without bone, it’s a matter of preference. Every region adds it’s own twist to it.

    I do not add water to it. Water dilutes the flavor. If you have to add fluids becuase it’s dry add chicken stock..just a little..otherwise just add sour cream and let it simmer with it for a little while before adding the noodles or nokedly and again let it simmer on low heat a little. The simmering allows for the noodles to absorb the flavor. Most hungarian households serve it this way and not just spooned over the noodles.

    As for nokedly ….it not something you can just throw together. It’s an art that needs to be perfected. I still can’t make it as good as my mother makes it.

    • Jessica T

      I completely agree, paprikas csirke is one of those family type dishes that varies from family to family. I only use chicken thighs. I am a culinary student and like to experiment with plating and chicken thighs work great. I also use home made chicken stock. I do spoon the sauce over the dumplings, but that is for plating practice.

  • Laurie

    I am horrible. I took a basic recipe my mother ate 20 years ago at someone’s house, and I barbarized it even more. It’s still good!

    Throw some boneless chicken breasts in your slow cooker with a few cans of chicken broth, chopped onions and garlic, pepper(as much and whatever kind you want) , a chunk of butter, salt, and a handful of paprika. Hungarian “sweet” paprika is good, but any kind will do. Cook it overnight or for 4-6 hours.

    Throw in about a cup of sour cream and stir. Then add some corn starch, smoothly blended in water to thicken it. Add some cooked noodles last.

    I used to really like it when boneless chicken breasts were available with the skins still on. The chicken fat adds something to the overall flavor. Bones do too. As often as I can, I use regular bone-in breasts. But after slow-cooking, lots of little rib bones are annoying.

    Do whatever you want — the basic combo is a classic and you can’t go wrong.

  • Diana

    My Grandmother, who was first generation Hungarian,made this dish and then my Aunt after her. It is one of my favorite dishes in the world. Regretably my I never got the recipe for this dish from either my Gram or Aunt before they both passed away. Just to say, as far as the recipe goes in my family, I do remember both my Aunt and Grandma using chicken pieces and cooking on the stovetop. Also, my Grandmother made dumplings but my Aunt preferred egg noodles. Finally, besides my Gram’s and Aunt’s recipe being the best, I found a great, tiny, hole in the wall Hungarian restaurant in the Montmartre section of Paris called, Mon Petit Budapest that made a fantastic version of this dish as well!

  • Sara

    This isn’t intended to be traditional, but I make a pseudo-paprikash, sort of like a very thick paprikash stew, as a quick weekday dinner meal out of leftover chicken that’s already cooked (normally thighs). It’s a good way to use cooked chicken that has been in the fridge too long and dried out a little.

    I saute onions and garlic (and sometimes cabbage) in some butter, then add in the chicken, some water or broth (I like to use Goya brand chicken/tomato bullion;it makes the paprikash really red), and dried mushrooms (totally optional).

    When it’s nearly heated thru, and the mushrooms have almost fully reconstituted, I throw in a ton of fresh Hungarian paprika and a little bit of cinnamon (it’s good; try it). Simmer for another few minutes.

    I serve it over egg noodles or purchased pirogies, with sour creme. I keep the sour creme separate, and mix it in when I eat it.

  • Christina

    I love this dish so much! I think I probably put in more paprika, and use hot paprika, and add lemon juice, but any way you do it, it’s awesome!

  • VE

    My in-laws are part slovak, and they like this dish a lot. I attempted it once since they get sick of me trying to make them like italian food- but I didn’t get the sauce right. I’ll have to make another attempt some day.

  • Mandi

    I cook mine in the crockpot. The sauce is similar to this one, but I stir some flour into the sour cream to make the sauce a little thicker. I serve it with egg noodles. Yum!

  • Jaime

    I use the recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. It has you mix in a bit of flour with the sour cream prior to mixing into the onion/sauce. It does give a nice thickening. I use vegan sour cream (I know, an oxymoron) so my dairy-allergic son can eat it. We love this.

  • Paul

    I’m Hungarian and my mom taught me a delicious way of making paprikash. I medium diced onion softened in a heavy cooking pot with oil. Add at least 2 Tbsp or more of authentic Hungarian “sweet” paprika (Penzeys Spices is very good.) stir, remove immediately from heat so as to not burn the paprika. Add a whole cut up chicken, liver, etc. for a full flavor and coat chicken with paprika mixture.
    Return to low heat, cover and simmer, stiring accasionaly until meat is starting to fall off bones. Do not add any more liquids as the juices from the chicken will produce enough sauce with more intense flavor. Mix a medium container of sour cream with a couple Tbsp of flour. Slowly add some of the hot liquid from the chicken to the sour cream (to prevent curdling) and stir in to the paprikash. Serve over home made nokedly. Cucumber salad in sour cream is a great accompaniment to this dish.
    I learned that not only each region in Hungary had their own way of making Paprikash but also each household. Either way, it’s one of the best, simple dishes in the world.
    Also can substitute cubed beef and pork for the chicken.

  • Dina

    I add a bag of baby carrots on top of the chicken. they sort of get steamed. It tastes delicious and then I get my veggies in without using another pot!

  • Liz

    I lived in Slovakia, and they make this dish as well! So delicious! Here is one versions of Slovak chicken paprikash:

  • Lana

    Chicken Paprikash is one of the ultimate comfort foods for me and now for my daughters. My mom grew up in northern part of Serbia with a lot of Hungarian neighbors, and made this dish without sour cream, with a lot of onions, with lard, lots of paprika, and dumplings. There were NEVER enough dumplings:)
    Thank you for reminding me of home:)

  • KimH

    I’ll have to try your paprikash..

    My sweetie had a girlfriend many moons past who made it the best!!
    I have no talent or a liking for that region of European cooking but I would like to find a recipe that he really I do like to please him I hope this one will! :D


  • laura @ alittlebarefoot

    paprikash will never fail to make me think of when harry met sally. (Waiter, there is too much pepper…) This looks delicious.

  • Kartik @ Bakeology 101

    Hey Elise,
    Love the recipe – looks pretty straightforward. I mean how can one go wrong with so many onions – love it caramelized and the sweetness will go well with the chicken.

  • Audrey

    This is similar to a Moroccan dish that I make. Layer boneless chicken thighs (any kind of chicken will work)in the bottom of a clay oven (or any oven safe container with a lid), sprinkle with spices, salt and pepper, layer 2 large sliced onions over the top, add 1/4 cup water (just enough to keep it moist) and bake at 350 for 1-2 hours. No need for butter/oil/cream. Changing the spice mix changes the flavor slightly but it is great served with any type of carb (couscous, pasta, rice, potatoes)and a tomato/cucumber salad.
    I will try it with just paprika the next time I make it–how is it with smoked paprika?

    Haven’t tried it with smoked paprika but sounds like it would be good. Thanks for the suggestion! ~Elise

  • Betsy

    Question: Can you use regualr Paprika? That’s what I have, and for some reason it never gets used.

    Yes, but taste it first to make sure it hasn’t gone flat yet. ~Elise

  • TR

    My grandma, mom and I have always made chicken paprikash and no one ever has any idea what it is. For a quick, weekday version we use chicken gravy and bite-sized chicken pieces. We also add mushrooms – so that it’s more like strogonoff but with chicken and tons of paprika instead. Lately my mom has taken to adding baby carrots (sliced in half) and peas to bulk it up a bit. We only use about 1/4 c of sour cream but the gravy helps make it creamy. My mom and grandmother are Lithuanian, so somehow the idea trickled up from Hungary.

  • Lady Amalthea

    I can’t agree with you more about the need for flavorful paprika. Most Americans I know use paprika only for color and don’t realize that, when it’s fresh, it’s delicious and quite potent!

    I use a tube of paprika paste (in several stews other than just paprikash). The flavor seems to last longer and I highly recommend it!

  • Jason E

    Just made this tonight. This is the first Hungarian dish that I have ever made. Also the first dish I have made that was reddish in color that did not involve tomatoes. AAAND it was amazing! I had many to feed so I increased the amount of stock, chicken and paprika in proportion to the recipe. I did leave out the hot sauce because I seem to be the only one in my family who appreciates it’s value in sauces (I added it to my sauce in the ladle.hehe). Again it was great and now a great addition to “what’s for dinner”. The only thing I will change is the amount of sour cream because the amount in the recipe turned my dark red sauce into a near pumpkin pie color and was very overpowering (is this normal?).

    Yes it’s normal. And you can use as much or as little sour cream as you want. It makes the sauce creamier and tangy-er. ~Elise

  • Cooktestant

    This looks to die for! I have always wondered what Paprikash since I saw When Harry Met Sally. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Lisa

    Awesome…..I’ve always wanted to make chicken Paprikash.
    Now. I have a nice simple delicious weeknight recipe.

    Thanks so much!

  • Michael

    I just made this with smoked paprika and it turned out very good.

    Thank you Elise for this and so many other amazing recipes.

  • Jynjyr

    It so happens that I’m making this next Sunday for dinner. :) My Dad’s favorite dish for his birthday.
    I’m lazy and don’t make my own spaetzle but a local company makes wonderful fresh spaetzle.
    Take the bones out of your chicken thighs and make stock. About a dozen thighs will make just enough very rich stock for the dish. Coincidental? I think not. :) I use smoked and sweet paprika and no sour cream. Dad doesn’t like it so Mom never used it. It’s still wonderful and flavorful. Even better the next day.

  • Angie

    I made this last night for dinner and it was terrific! I used bone-in legs and thighs as called for in the recipe. A great recipe to use the Hungarian paprika I bought on a trip to Budapest. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Carol Karns

    Followed this receipe last night for supper and it was a Big hit. Everyone loved it. Of course I used egg noodles for a handy fix. The cayenne gave it just the right kick!

  • Matthew Baker

    I LOVE this recipe. I’ve been reading your blog for many years now and this is one of the original recipes that made me a fan. I make this at least once a month during the not-to-hot-to-fire-up-the-oven months. Thanks for the repost!!!

  • Trout Hound

    I’m a Hungarian originally from Hungary and I’m pleased to see a Hungarian recipe featured on this web site. I worked in a Hungarian restaurant in New York City in the 80’s which served authentic Hungarian food, including Chicken Paprikash.

    The dish in the picture looks more like Chicken Pörkölt than Chicken Paprikash (Paprikás). The only difference between the two is that the paprikash has sour cream and flour added to it. The picture above shows that too little sour cream was used. The authentic paprikash has a creamy sauce and is typically served with spaetzle (or “nokedli” in Hungarian).

    Culinaria Hungary calls for 1 2/3 cups of sour cream mixed with 2 Tbsp flour, a 2.5 pound chicken, 2 bell peppers, 1 large tomato, 1 large onion, and 1 tsp paprika (I use 5 times that amount). Ideally the chicken is cooked only in its own juices.

    One of the best known and most widely used Hungarian cookbooks in Hungary is by Ilona Horváth titled “Szakácskönyv” (or “Cookbook”). This also calls for peppers and tomato when making this dish. It mentions adding water, especially when an older bird is used. But Ilona’s book was written at a time when chickens were raised and processed differently and contained less water. (Her recipe only calls for about about 1/2 cup of sour cream.)

    I’ve made paprikash many times in the US and never once had to add water.

    You can buy Hungarian paprika from the web. Otto’s Import Store & Deli sells it inexpensively. I also bought it from The Spice House.

    One more thing to add here: paprika in Hungary is the name of the spice as well as word “pepper.”

  • Kath

    Just as I was getting ready to do something with some chicken Saturday night, this post was delivered in my Google Reader! I made it using whole milk yogurt instead of sour cream because that’s what I had. It was FANTASTIC! I highly recommend it! Thanks for the recipe, Elise!

  • lynn

    I shred the chicken after I have cooked it and add some rice. Unbelievably excellent.

  • rayne

    I just made this tonight… can I just say DELICIOUS! I have had that sauce before ages ago and to my surprise it was THAT sauce. YUM!!!

  • Jayne Gyorgyi

    I just have some minor comments for the dish, being Hungarian by birth, but out of the country for many years. Elise, you did very good with the recipe, but as someone mentioned it the original chicken paprikas never uses butter. In fact, Hungarians only use butter in pastries, not in meat dishes. It is not enough to recommend to use Hungarian paprika (the best in the world), because the best preparation must come from a town named Szeged and it comes in very hot, medium hot and sweet forms. Some use red wine for scraping the burned bits off the dish before placing the chicken pieces back to the dish and it is always served with spetzel (nokedli). Lastly, you do need to temper the sour cream prior to adding it to the sauce, to eliminate curdling and/or bits and pieces of unsightly sour cream floating in the sauce. The way you temper the sour cream is you take about two tablespoons of the sauce and place it into the sour cream; mix it well then pour it into the sauce. If the sauce still contain floating sour cream pieces, just strain it.

  • Courtney

    I made this using what we had on hand- boneless, skinless chicken thighs and fat-free plain yogurt in place of sour cream. I prepared it for my family (husband, 3 year old and 1 year old) and left it for their dinner while I went to an appointment and they ate all of it. This recipe will definitely go into our regular rotation. Thanks!

  • Dennis

    Made this night. Very easy and delish!!

  • Rhonda

    This was scrumptious. I halved the recipe because I’m cooking for two, but otherwise I followed the directions to a T. I visited several supermarkets before finding the sweet Hungarian paprika, and it was worth it. We’ll be enjoying this dish often. Thanks, Elise!

  • Julie

    Elise, I haven’t tried this yet – though it’s definitely on my list. I love that you invite the comments and I love reading about variations and reviews of people who have actually tried the recipes. I’ve posted a variation or two myself.

    But I have to say that it sets my teeth on edge when you get such definitive statements: “This isn’t paprikash.” “This isn’t oyster stew.” etc. I wonder if it makes you as crazy as it makes me. I love that you post the things the way your family actually makes them. And I doubt that everyone all over the world makes things exactly the way those “definitive statement” people do either.

    Hi Julie – I think it just goes to show how passionate we can be about the foods we grew up with. ~Elise

  • Miss Meat and Potatoes

    When Harry Met Sally!!! I have to say I’ve never heard of Chicken Paprikash except for its role (albeit small) in the film. Love learning how simple it is to make. Looks fantastic!

  • Trish

    Made this a couple of days ago. Reminds me of my mom and her sisters. Very good version. And I can never get enough spaetzle.

  • Miss

    I tried this last night with sweet paprika and less cayenne over egg noodles. It was a huge hit! My son is 3 1/2 and daughter is 16 months and they both had seconds. Very tasty but still very kid-friendly. My son didn’t even have a roll with his, which is usually all he wants to eat. My husband made a point to suggest we put this in our regular rotation. Thanks!

  • Purvis

    Even though I made some changes to make this more Weight Watcher’s friendly, I found this to be VERY rich and flavorful. I loved the way the onions added an unexpected sweetness to rival the spiciness of the paprika. And the sour cream really made the sauce.

    Here are the changes I made: I used 1.3lb of boneless, skinless thighs and I used light sour cream. Some other changes: instead of salting the chicken, I used cajun seasoning salt. I used 2T of Spanish Paprika (because that’s what I found at the store), and 1t of Chiptle Chili Powder.

    My version has 9 points per serving.

  • Amuse

    I had a wonderful Nage Mama (Grandmother)who made this dish and it is my favorite! Her version used less onions and only sweet paprika. When leaving out the sour cream it was Paprikas, with the sour cream it was (imagine ZsaZsa saying..)”creme chicky”. I wish i had her Nokedli technique. She could whip up and cook a big batch quicker than i can assemble the ingredients.
    A note about Paprika…what most Americans use is pretty awful, and it gets old on the store shelf. Pride of Szeged or Penzeys are my favorite brands, and Penzeys has always been fresh. Be careful not to scorch the paprika or it can be bitter. And make sure the pan is NOT boiling before adding the sour cream or it might curdle. Tempering the sour cream is needed, but cool the pan a bit before adding it.
    I am glad everyone likes this recipe. :-)

  • Susan

    The only time I’ve eaten Chicken Paprikash is at a restaurant and it was only okay. I haven’t thought to even try it at home because of my experience. This looks awesome and I will certainly try this recipe. It just happens that Deb, of Smitten Kitchen, has a new recipe up right now for Spaetzle that will go with this! How convenient! Here’s her link:

  • Rocky Mountain Woman

    That looks wonderful. I love the combo of paprika and chicken and those beans are just perfect!

    I use a lot of paprika in the bread crumbs when I make fried chicken…

  • gizella

    I’m a first gen Hungarian here in San Francisco. Our family we always add fresh dill to the sour cream when adding it in at the end.

  • d.liff @ yelleBELLYboo

    I made this last night and my guest and I both loved it! I served it with spaetzle and german red cabbage. DELICIOUS! I will post about it later this week and link back – thanks for the great recipe as usual!

  • Sarah

    Does the skin get mushy after having the pot covered for so long? This is my dilemma for all chicken dishes with skin (except roast chicken, of course).

    Well, it definitely isn’t crispy anymore. But it’s still good. ~Elise

  • April

    This was very good. The flavor was strong but not overpowering. Great for leftovers. I served it with fresh spinach salad, mashed potatoes and fresh cubed pineapple. The gravy for the mashed potatoes was the liquid and onions from the chicken. VERY GOOD.

  • Tina Wu

    Just made this tonight to spec.. Loved it! A super easy, quick, midweek dish with lots of flavor. Thanks Elise!

  • Magdi

    I am hungarian in Chicago, Delicious is chicken papikash with pasta.I am glad see the recipe to everybody. I love it! You do try cook it, will love it!!!!

  • Charis

    this is amazing! i had never had it before and made it for my family tonight and we loved it! i used my homemade chicken stock and homemade yogurt in it – extra yogurt to make it really saucy and creamy. i have really great paprika that i have been looking for good recipes for, so this was a great find! i served it over fettucini. my kids loved it, i loved it, the husband loved it… it is definitely a winner. first hungarian dish i have tried – i will have to look more into their cuisine.

  • Linda

    My family loved this. I used rather large chicken thighs so it took a good hour to cook on the stove top. Also I found my chicken was taking forever to brown and never did get to the really crispy stage. I attribute this is to the use of a non-stick pan and perhaps olive oil instead of butter (attempting to be slightly healthier.) Thanks, Elise, for another great recipe. I love the interactive feature of this website, and your considered and timely responses. Most helpful! I’m directing my 20-something children to your site as the go-to place for beginning cooks!

  • Heidi

    This was lovely–I made the recipe tonight, and halved it, as I only had just over a pound of chicken thighs and had it over egg noodles. Mine was a little soupy, as I used more than half of the stock that was called for, so I’ll be eating the leftovers with rice, to soak some of that up.

    I’m loving reading all the passionate comments from loyal Hungarians. I’ll definitely be making this one again, using some of the recommendations above. And hopefully by the end of summer, I’ll be making this with my own homegrown paprika (sprouts are coming up now)!

  • Betty

    This was absolutely fantastic, I cut the recipe way down to serve two, used boneless skinless chicken thighs, cayenne pepper (to replace Hungarian Paprika) and light sour cream. I will definately make this again, perhaps change it up a bit and add shrimp! Thanks so much!

  • ksenia

    I made this tonight and it was DELICIOUS! The chicken was tender and moist (I simmered it a bit longer), the sauce was fantastic! The only change I made was that to the onions I added one red bell pepper and half of a green one sliced lengthwise (per recommendations above). The sauce was very watery, however. Next time I might add less broth. I served with egg noodles and steamed broccoli and cauliflower.

    Thank you for posting!

  • Keli

    Just made this one at home earlier this week and it earned a “Make this again Mom/Hon”! Very easy, very good. Since we had only a pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, it had lots of extra sauce, which is good as I always get asked if there’s more “juice”. May be a sacrilege, but I put it over rice because it soaks up the sauce so well. It was fabulous and really quick, which makes it a good weekday meal. We’re going to try it with legs and thighs next time though, as that’s a more flavorful part of the bird, and significantly cheaper than the breast!

    Thanks Elise!

  • julie

    I made this last week & it was loved by my very picky husband, my 6yo & 3 year old. What a hit! I made it with legs and thighs & served it with white rice. thank you!!

  • Michele

    I’m going to make this tonight for the second time in two weeks. It was so delicious. Served it with egg noodles. My 6 yr old son enjoyed going to the market to pick out the sweet paprika and to learn about other spices.

    One of my eaters was drinking up the sauce, just like you said!

  • Christina Wong

    I’ve made this dish twice so far substituting the hungarian paprika with a smoked paprika from my local Safeway and sweet onions for yellow onions. The second time I made it, I substituted beer for half the chicken broth. I preferred it with pasta than rice.

    OMG! It is sooooo good. My hard-to-impress-unless-it-costs-at-least-$15/dish husband loved it each time. There is no reason to make this dish with boneless skinless chicken breast unless that is all you have and you really want to try this. There is no comparison; you must have the skin and the juices that are derived from fresh chicken pieces on the bone. Hands down, game over, you win.

  • Julie

    Tried this last night, and it was just okay. 1 tsp of cayenne is way too much, will definitely change that up next time. I had to “doctor it up” to give it some flavor, but overall I would make it again with some minor changes. I’ll look for “sweet” paprika next time as that may make a difference.

    Hi Julie, if you needed to doctor it up, I would definitely check your spices. Paprika goes flat easily. Also you need to salt to taste. ~Elise

  • brian w

    I made a paprikash several years back. Though probably authentic my family hated it. Way too much paprika. However my family loved this “adapted” recipe. I made it following your recipe exactly and used a really beautiful sweet paprika. Everyone loved it. And for the record, I did indeed drink the sauce off the plate. We’ll be making this again soon.
    Your blog’s awesome and I look forward to making more of your recipes.

  • LB

    This recipe was so simple but SO delicious! And it looked just like the pictures (which were very helpful!). My husband and I really enjoyed this meal. I am considering modifying this recipe into a soup; adding some corn starch to thicken the sauce and letting the chicken simmer till it falls off the bone and shredding it, maybe adding some red potatoes.

  • Steve Ogden

    I absolutely love Chicken Paprikash, I like to make it with three paprikas – hot, sweet and smoked, with a little lemon juice to cut through the flavours. Really, really nice..

  • Evelyn

    If I want to reheat this dish on the stove top, is the sour cream in it going to be okay (if I bring it to a boil to heat)?
    Also I am just wondering if sour cream ever gets curdled in a sauce (from overboiling) is it still safe to eat?

    If you reheat it, don’t let it get close to boiling or it will curdle. If it does curdle, it’s safe to eat, it just doesn’t look that appetizing and it may have a bumpy texture. ~Elise

  • Katie

    My dads parents came from Hungary and they taught him how to make Chicken Paprikash…they used more sour cream it was thick and creamy with huge dumplings…sometimes they cut up the chicken instead of leaving it on the bone…if we had any left over dumplings we would pan fry them up the next day yummy :)

  • Anna H.

    This was the first time I’ve made or eaten chicken paprikash, and it was amazing! (Even my Russian friend who does her paprikash differently thought this version was delicious, too.) I cooked the chicken the extra half hour and then shredded the meat so I wouldn’t have to deal with the “icky bits” while eating. I think it helps the sauce penetrate the chicken better when the meat is shredded, too.

    Tonight I had the reheated leftovers over a baked sweet potato and it was outstanding–both in flavor and orangeness. I’m definitely adding this recipe to my regulars. Thank you!

  • Moose


    Delicious and different. I am on a low carb diet and am very thankful for something interesting and new. I added saffron to mine — not that it needed it I’m sure (I just had a serious hankering for saffron). I’m a baby about hot spices and found about 1/4 or so tsp of cayenne was perfect for me. I made very saucy and served it over cauliflower “rice” for a complete meal.

    Healthy, yummy and low-carb. A new favorite.


  • Annie

    Fantastic recipe!!!

    I am a vege-holic, so I reduced the onion to 1 and added a red bell pepper, green bell pepper, zucchini and a summer squash. The chicken I had on hand happened to be boneless and skinless, so it cooked in a lot less time.

    All in all, it was a super delicious recipe that uses a lot of on hand items in the pantry. Thank you for catching my eye!

  • julie k

    So right that I was drinking the sauce! Low-carb, low-cost, and just delicious. I ate mine with gnocchi in a bowl. Thank you, Elise!!

  • Gerri

    I am so sure that ALL of your recipes are great but…my husband has all of you beat!!! I don’t care where u r from!

    let’s take a whole chix cut up
    season with salt,pepper,onion powder,garlic powder and of course PAPRIKA

    in another bowl season some flour along with chix

    heat oil in pan

    dipchix in flour mix,,,brown,,,set aside

    in same pan brown a few onions, some green pepper AND celery (nobody mentioned this ingredient, VERY IMPORTANT!)

    don’t be shy with paprika

    toss this w/chix bake in covered pan until chix is tender

    add some chix broth if needed

    remove from oven


    add chix broth and sour cream to form a nice consistency

    pour over chix mixture!


    the trick folks is the green pepper and celery

    it doesn’t matter what u serve it over but he just uses egg noodles

  • Judy

    I was actually looking up the Classic Roasted Chicken to get the right temperature and time for cooking it, but never made it past this recipe. My hubby said, “Hey, why not?” and drove 10 miles to Safeway to buy the Hungarian paprika, same tin as in your photo, Elise. I have a boatload of the Spanish paprikas…smoked, hot, smoked hot, sweet, even bittersweet, but no Hungarian. My bad. We just finished dinner, and I can’t believe we’d never tried this amazing dish before now. Won’t make that mistake in the future. It’s fantabulous! Mmodifications…we used 4 very large thighs and 6 large drumsticks, so added an extra Tbsp butter and a Tbsp olive oil to brown the chicken. Tossed in a little chicken broth to deglaze before adding onions. Added 2 heaping Tbsp Hungarian paprika and 1 tsp smoked hot Spanish paprika to the onions after they were caramelized nicely. Used 3/4 cup chicken broth and proceeded as written from there, except that we added 3 Tbsp flour to 1 cup sour cream for the sauce. We needed to add a little salt and pepper at the table, but this stuff is really wonderful. Served with fresh steamed broccoli and quinoa cooked in chicken broth with Penzey’s granulated garlic and a Tbsp of their Florida Seasoned Pepper. Which, as it turned out, was pointless, because we poured the sauce all over everything. You weren’t kidding, Elise. The sauce is addictive. Delicious recipe as is, but something we can modify to suit our mood. The addition of a little tomato powder and maybe some garlic and parsley might be tasty. Thanks for introducing us to such a great dish.

  • Laura

    I made this receipe with the following small adjustments:
    – Added 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
    – Used beef stock instead of chicken stock

    The flavour was amazing. The recipe is not difficult, and has mostly simple ingredients. Served it over egg noodles, with some green veggies on the side. The family loved it and the sauce is so delish!

  • Amanda B

    I wasn’t too excited about this dish the night I made it, but boy was it better after spending the night in the fridge! I think I’ll do it that way next time and cook the whole thing the day before, add the nokedly, and let it all sit in the fridge. I’d probably shred the chicken before heating it up. This was really good with the addition of a green pepper and smoked paprika instead of sweet paprika.

  • Jessy

    I loved this recipe. I’ve never eaten paprikash before but my boyfriend asked me to make it. He is from the former Yugoslavia and his mother makes this dish – so you’d think he was setting me up for failure.

    Not so, thanks to this recipe and the amazing comments that follow. The man LOVED the meal.

    A couple of things I changed:

    1) I used 3 cups of chicken broth so that I had lots of soupy stuff for the bread
    2) I doubled the paprika amount, mostly because I added more broth
    3) I added 4 yukon gold potatoes, quartered
    4) I added 2 red peppers, chopped
    5) Salt and more salt

    And then I cooked it for one hour, but took the lid off after 30 minutes so the broth reduced.

    And there it was, sooooo yummy.

  • Katie G.

    I discovered Hungarian cooking in the seventies when a friend took me to a restaurant her father frequented as he taught school in downtown Toronto. LOVE IT. Thrilled to find these recipes. This may already be mentioned as I didn’t read all the comments… When I do a dish like this I brown the meat first for more flavour then boil it to get as much broth as I want; anywhere from 1-3 cups, then pour it off and follow the recipe from there. That way I have created my own broth so I don’t have to buy some or save some from other recipes.

  • Jennifer

    This was wonderful! So easy to make. The only change I made was to use smokey paprika instead of hot, and I threw in a bag of frozen peppers and onion which really added depth to the dish. I served it over polenta (for me) and whole grain wide noodles for my husband and son. They loved it! Thank you for always posting such wonderful recipes!

  • Star

    Yum! I used only chicken thighs and I replaced some of the onion with half a green and half a red pepper since I had some that needed to be used up. I also added a little bit of cinnamon since I liked that idea from one of the comments. Oh and I used mostly plain whole-fat yogurt and some sour cream. I have to admit, before I added the yogurt/sour cream mix I was pretty disappointed with my taste tests. There was a little bitterness to the sauce and I wasn’t sure if it was because I somehow burned the paprika or if paprika naturally has a slight bitterness. Then I added the yogurt and it absolutely transformed the sauce. It was exactly what it needed to balance everything out. The only thing is that the sauce was way too liquid. If I make this again I might not add all that chicken broth. I even let it reduce for about an hour and it was still too liquid in the end. I should’ve let it reduce further but I got impatient to eat! Overall, very yummy! Oh…and I used cayenne instead of hot paprika since I had cayenne and it has a really nice kick. For those cooking for kids or for spice-intolerant people…I’d cut way down on the cayenne. Personally, I like it…my fiance…not so much. :)

  • Kimberley Owens

    I can NOT believe I am 33 and have not tried this wonderful dish until now! In fact, I only recently heard of it. I was watching a movie yesterday and they were eating Chicken Paprikash. It looked so gooood, I had to make it.
    This recipe was so easy to follow. I only changed a few things out of necessity/habit.
    I only had 1 white onion, so that’s what I used.
    I only had regular old Paprika, so that’s what I used.
    I lightly dredged the chicken in salted flour because that is just how I am used to browning my chicken.
    I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs because that’s what I had.
    I used low fat sour cream because that’s what I had :).
    I only had cream of chicken and not chicken stock, so I just dumped in the cream of chicken and diluted it with about half a can of water. I then sprinkled on a little poultry seasoning.
    I did not measure the Paprika because that’s no fun and instead just doused enough on the onions to cover them with color!
    I’m crazy about egg noodles, so that’s what I used.
    The end result? I AM IN LOVE! This is easily now one of my top 5 favorite dishes and I will be making up for lost time by cooking this often.
    Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful meal! You have changed my Sunday suppers forever!

    • Diane

      Your recipe sounds good and easy. I also try to use what I have in the kitchen. You must be a good cook.

  • Karen

    Hi Elise, I have never posted on a recipe in my life but I have made tons of online recipes. I feel the need to tell you that I have made this recipe EXACTLY as written umpteen times now and it is glorious. My husbands favourite of all and I will make this for company it’s that good. Just had to thank you so much. Super delicious!

  • Frogette

    Where can I buy “hot” and “sweet” paprika? All I ever see is either “paprika” or “smoked paprika”.

    • Elise

      Hi “Frogette”, great question. I’m finding these harder and harder to find myself. I can still get the red cans of real Hungarian paprika at our local Raley’s supermarket. But you may need to go online if you can’t find the cans where you are. Also “sweet paprika” is just regular paprika. It’s the hot version that’s hard to find.

  • Jo May

    I made this and it was great

  • Caroline Csák

    I usually find Hungarian paprika (and the creams) in European delis (Polish, German)
    here in Calgary.
    I’m not sure if anyone has mentioned adding mushrooms, but we do (lots and lots, quartered, added part way through cooking time) and they are SO good! If my daughter wasn’t such a fuss pot I’d make mushroom paprika!!
    Caroline Csák, Calgary.

  • Shea

    My grandfather calls this potted chicken since after he browns the skin he puts everything into a large pot. I made it last night and it was the closest thing I’ve made to tasting like his! Thank you so much for this recipe!

  • Carol Miller

    I LOVE this recipe & so does my family!! I’ve made it 5-6 times so far & it is delicious everytime! It’s an easy recipe & I usually have the ingredients to make it without having to run to the store. THANKYOU SO MUCH FOR THIS RECIPE!!

  • Penny

    I grew up with my first generation Hungarian mom making this dish frequently. The one difference in hers from many of these recipes is that she used half and half rather than sour cream to make the sweet creamy sauce. We children loved dipping bread into it to soak up the delicious juices; the sweet oniony, chicken, paprika combination with sweet creamy half and half is delicious, almost like a dessert at the end of the meal.

  • Nicki

    My version (actually it came from my mom) is definitely not traditional. However, I will post it anyway, this is what I grew up thinking Chicken Paprikash was, and LOVE it, my kids love it so much they renamed it “MommyOhMyGosh!” We use 8 to 10 skinless chicken legs, cook them in approx. 2 Tbs oil on both sides until browned (both sides also get sprinkled with salt and paprika), after both sides are browned we pour on 3-4 large tomatoes that have been cut into small chunks, add more paprika to cover the top of the tomatoes. Cover and simmer on low for half an hour. After half an hour turn the chicken legs over, sprinkle more paprika over the chicken and tomatoes (which by now is becoming a watery consistency), cover and simmer on low for another half an hour. When time is up, remove the chicken legs, add 8 ounces of sour cream, sprinkle on a bit more paprika and stir over low heat until it all blends nicely. We pour the sauce over the chicken legs and white rice, and serve it with bread. My boys love to dip the bread in the sauce, it is truly so good you could drink the sauce!! I have used regular Paprika and Hungarian Paprika, and both taste delicious in this dish.

  • jeanne

    I don’t know what I did wrong but mine was terrible. It was so greasy that I finally had to pour the sauce out and let it separate and skim it off. I think it was all those butter and then the grease from the chicken itself. My family liked it but it didn’t taste like any paprikash I’ve had in the past. I will keep looking for a better recipe.

  • Lynda

    We had to cancel our family dinner because the cook wasn’t feeling well, but the paprikas sauce was already made. Can we successfully freeze the sauce for a future dinner?

    • Elise

      Hi Lynda, I don’t see why not. I haven’t tried freezing it though. So if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you!