Chicken Paprikash

Simple yet satisfying, chicken paprikash is a Hungarian recipe made with chicken browned in butter and cooked with onions and paprika, then finished with a little sour cream mixed in. Serve over dumplings or noodles.

chicken paprikash
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
Elise Bauer

A Simple Chicken Paprikash Recipe

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.

What is Chicken Paprikash?

Hungarian in origin, chicken paprikash is a simple, comforting, stew-like dish with a focus on paprika for seasoning. Traditionally made with thighs and drumsticks, it's considered a peasant dish from the southern part of the country where paprika is grown.

The Best Paprika to Use

Use recently purchased, quality sweet Hungarian paprika for this dish. Old paprika will diminish the flavors of the dish. This recipe also calls for hot paprika, and that should be fresh, too. Do not use more hot paprika than is called for no matter how quality it is. It's spicier and less flavorful and will alter the dish.

Other Chicken Parts to Use

Legs, or separate thighs and drumsticks, are traditional in this dish, but you can use chicken breasts. Any of the chicken you use can be boneless and skinless, but you'll lose a little bit of the flavor and if you use chicken breast, it may dry out a bit.

What to Serve With Chicken Paprikash

This is often served over dumplings or noodles, but feel free to get creative. Serve it over mashed potatoes, rice, potato gnocchi, or spaetzle. A simple green vegetable such as roasted Brussels sprouts or French Green Beans rounds out the meal.

How to Store and Reheat This Dish

Refrigerate leftovers, tightly covered, for 3 to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop in a saucepan until heated through and the chicken reaches 165°F.

Freeze leftovers in a freezer-safe zipper bag or container for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stovetop in a saucepan until heated through and the chicken reaches 165°F.

More Easy Chicken Recipes to Try

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Chicken Paprikash

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings

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.


  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds chicken pieces, preferably thighs and drumsticks

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 pounds yellow onions (about 2 to 3 large onions)

  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika, preferably Hungarian

  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika or cayenne, or to taste

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • 1/2 cup sour cream


  1. Salt the chicken pieces:

    Sprinkle the chicken well with salt and set aside at room temperature.

  2. Slice the onions:

    Slice the onions lengthwise (top to root).

  3. 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
    Elise Bauer
    browned chicken pieces in pan
    Elise Bauer

    Let the chicken pieces cook 4 to 5 minutes on one side, until well browned, then turn them over and let them cook 2 to 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.

  4. 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
    Elise Bauer
  5. Add the paprika and black pepper:

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

    add paprika to onions for chicken paprikash
    Elise Bauer
  6. 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
    Elise Bauer

    Cover and cook on a low simmer for 20 to 25 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken pieces).

    When the chicken is cooked through to 165°F, (use a digital thermometer) 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.)

  7. Remove the 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
    Elise Bauer
  8. Serve:

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

chicken paprikash
Elise Bauer
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
533 Calories
27g Fat
18g Carbs
53g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 533
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 11g 53%
Cholesterol 248mg 83%
Sodium 434mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 53g
Vitamin C 8mg 41%
Calcium 89mg 7%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 814mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.