Chicken Paprikash

BudgetGluten-FreeLow CarbPaprika

Chicken paprikash with chicken pieces, browned in butter, cooked with onions and paprika, then served with a little sour cream mixed in.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Chicken, onions, butter, stock, paprika, salt, sour cream. That’s about it, and all you need for one of the best dishes on the planet, chicken paprikash.

Uncomplicated. Unpretentious. So good you’ll be drinking the sauce!

Cooks up quickly too. Serve it with noodles or dumplings (shown with spaetzle).

how to make chicken paprikash

We first posted a version of this recipe in 2006 and quickly learned that many people have a family favorite way of making chicken paprikash.

The dish is a tradition of Hungary (spelled there “paprikas”), though we are not claiming that our version is traditional. Some people add tomatoes and peppers, some a lot more paprika, or more or less sour cream.

Feel free to experiment with amounts to find what works best for your taste. And if you have a favorite way of preparing it, please let us know in the comments.

Chicken Paprikash Recipe

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

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

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 Brown the chicken pieces: 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.

chicken pieces in pan browned chicken pieces in 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 Sauté the onions: 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.

cook onions for chicken paprikash

4 Add the paprika and some black pepper to the onions and stir to combine. Let cook for a minute.

add paprika to onions for chicken paprikash

5 Add the chicken broth, place chicken on onions, cover and cook: 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.

add chicken to onions for chicken paprikash

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 (165°F 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.)

6 Remove chicken, stir in sour cream: 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.

add sour cream to chicken paprikash in pan

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

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

Products We Love

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.

Links:

Chicken Paprikash with Traditional Hungarian Dumplings - from No Recipes

Pork Paprikash - from Meats, Roots and Leaves

Homemade spaetzle - from Deb of Smitten Kitchen

chicken paprikash

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

128 Comments / Reviews

No ImageChicken Paprikash

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Nancy

    Wonderful, easy recipe. Perfect thing to make for a crowd. I made it exactly as per the instructions. I always try and make it like the recipe says the first time. The only thing I will adjust the next time is to add more hot paprika. Thanks for the recipe

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Kristi

    This is exactly the way my Hungarian grandma made it, but she never used the sour cream. Probably wasn’t in the budget. So the end result was more a brothy soup. But everything else exactly the same. And she made her own thick dumplings from flour, egg, salt, and milk that she dropped into a pot of boiling water on the side. Then served the paprikash over them. We all love it this way in my family. I am actually making it for supper tonight at the request of my kids. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  3. Andrew

    First time trying this and my wife and I loved it. Thanks so much. Sorry Jim, never had it before and it was great and flavorful.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Jim

    I should have trusted my instincts that a dish with a main flavor of paprika wouldn’t have much taste, as this was true for us. I followed the instructions to a tee, even buying new bottles of Hungarian paprika for it.
    This recipe calls for too much butter, which results in an overly-oily sauce once it’s combined with the chicken juices. Cooling the sauce before adding in the sour cream had no effect on the “oily” factor. There wasn’t much “sweetness” to the finished product. Our sauce simply had no body at all.
    I’d chalk up the people who actually like this dish as those who grew up with it: we all have mediocre foods we “crave” from our childhood. Sadly, this won’t be one for our children.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Sara

    Just like mom used to make – she just tasted the sauce and said “perfect ” this will hopefully cheer her up since I wanted to do something nice for her because my dad just died, it was one of his favorite foods and it’s been tough getting mom to eat lately ❤️

    xxxxxyyyyy

View More
chicken paprikashChicken Paprikash