Chicken Paprikash

Posted on Dec 16, 2016

Chicken Paprikash, classic Hungarian comfort food.  Easy recipe for chicken paprika with boneless chicken simmered in chicken stock, onion, paprika and finished with sour cream.

Chicken Paprikash, in serving bowl with spoon.

Chicken Paprikash

My all-time favorite dish growing up was my dad’s chicken paprika, a Sunday dinner treat during the cold winter months.  Of course, no recipe is written down and I have yet to try and recreate his version, although I think I could do it.  His big pot of chicken legs and thighs, simmered in onions, chicken stock, generously seasoned with paprika and finished off with sour cream ~ I could drink that gravy!

Chicken Paprikash, raw chicken in bowl surrounded by ingredients

Early in my marriage and living in Chicago with two little ones and another on the way, I came across a recipe for Chicken Paprikash in one of my cooking magazines.  I gave it a try, and it had the same wonderful flavor profile as my dad’s.  It wasn’t quite like he made his, but it was so good.  I made it for him once, and, much to my surprise, he was impressed ~ he thought it was really good and wanted to know exactly how I made it.

Chicken Paprikash, raw chicken in bowl sprinkled with paprika and salt

Chicken Paprika or Paprikas or Paprikash, whatever you call it, is classic Hungarian comfort food.  It really is just several simple ingredients ~ chicken, onion, paprika, chicken stock and sour cream.  The gravy is rich and heavily laden with paprika.  I use sweet paprika and swap a bit out with smoked paprika.  Love the addition of a little smokiness to the gravy.

Chicken Paprikash, chicken cooking on stovetop with other ingredients in background

When my dad made his chicken paprika, we had it with his homemade Bohemian-style bread dumplings to sop up all the sour cream gravy.  I serve this version with egg noodles.  This Chicken Paprikash generously serves two, and can easily be doubled.

Chicken Paprikash, finished chicken paprika in skillet with spoon

For a fairly simple, traditional and quick Chicken Paprikash, try this ~ it will warm you right up on these cold winter nights, guaranteed.  Here’s to you Papa ~ I’ll be trying your way with dumplings next time ~ Kelly

Another delicious easy chicken dinner you might also like is my Chicken Stroganoff ~ easy comfort food with mushrooms, paprika and sour cream gravy.

Chicken Paprikash, in serving bowl with spoon

If you’ve tried this Chicken Paprikash or any other recipe on the blog, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how yours turned out in the comments below ~ I love hearing from you!  You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more of what I’m cooking in my kitchen and recipes.  Never miss a post ~ sign up for The Hungry Bluebird Newsletter for a weekly email of new content.

Chicken Paprikash, in serving bowl

Chicken Paprikash

Chicken paprikash, classic Hungarian comfort food.  Easy recipe for chicken paprika with boneless chicken simmered in chicken stock, onion, paprika and finished with sour cream.
4.8 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Chicken, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Hungarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 417kcal
Author: Kelly ~ the hungry bluebird (adapted from Bon Appétit, 1996)


  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into ½-inch-wide strips
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 3 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • tbsp butter
  • ½ cup onion, chopped ~ small dice
  • 1 large plum tomato, seeded, chopped ~ small dice
  • 1 cup chicken stock or broth, preferably homemade ~ if using canned, use low sodium
  • ¼ cup sour cream


  • Place chicken in small bowl and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, salt and pepper.  Toss to combine well.
  • Melt 1 tbsp butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and sauté until just cooked through, about 5 minutes.  With slotted spoon, transfer chicken to plate and set aside.  
  • Add remaining ½ tbsp butter to same skillet and sauté onion until softened, about 3 minutes.
  • Add remaining 2 teaspoons sweet paprika and 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (can use 3 teaspoons sweet paprika, omitting smoked), stir for 10 seconds to combine.
  • Add chopped tomato and stir to soften a bit, about 1 minute.
  • Add chicken stock/broth and stir and bring to a boil.  Cook at a steady simmer until slightly thickened and sauce thinly coats a spoon, about 6 minutes.
  • Return chicken and any accumulated juices to pan with sauce mixture, reduce heat to low.  Add sour cream and whisk/stir to combine and heat through ~ do not boil.  Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.  Serve with buttered egg noodles or bread dumplings.


This recipe generously serves two and can easily be doubled.
Keyword: chicken paprikash, chicken paprika, easy chicken paprika with sour cream, boneless chicken paprikash
Did you make this recipe? Rate it below and share on Instagram so I can see!Mention @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird !

*Adapted from Bon Appétit December, 1996

9 thoughts

  1. Avatar

    Bubrick Stephen

    April 9, 2018

    I grew up with much the same. Slice the onions thin and saut’e. use bone in cut up chicken whole. Instead of sour cream use Heavy cream. Ad the german spatzels.


  2. Avatar

    I cook all the ingredients at the same time except the sour cream, in 20 min you have a fabulous company food.
    at the end, stir in sour cream and serve with noodles.


  3. Avatar

    Aimee Egbert

    June 13, 2018

    Thank you for sharing your recipe. Just returned from a great trip to Budapest and I’m excited to try this one with the paprika I brought home!!!


    1. Kelly

      I hope you like it! It’s a really easy rendition. The first time I made it, I used paprika my aunt brought back from Hungary.


  4. Avatar

    I, too, just returned from Budapest with sweet paprika! This recipe was a great find–similar to what we had in Hungary. I did add red bell peppers which I sautéed along with the onions, and added some crushed Italian tomatoes. Heaven!!


  5. Avatar

    I made this last night after a friend visiting from Hungary brought me a selection of Hungarian paprikas. It came together easily and quickly so a great short-on-time dinner.

    A few variances from the recipe above: I added in some red bell pepper. I used a combination of paprikas because 1. I had them thanks to my friend and 2. We like a little spiciness. I used sweet (two-thirds), hot (one-third) and smoked (a pinch) paprikas in my blend. The smoked paprika actually was something I already had in my spice cabinet and I’m not sure that it’s really a thing in Hungary. That said, I liked the hint of smokiness it added to the dish.

    I served it with some egg trofie pasta because fortunately I live very close to the Italian border and it’s easy to get excellent quality egg pasta. However I selected the trofie shape as I felt it would capture and soak up the sauce well and it did!

    I would definitely make this again particularly since I’m now well stocked in some excellent paprikas.

    Bon appétit!


  6. Avatar

    My family loves this I make mine a tad different stick of butter one onion, let that cook while I deskin the chicken thighs place in pot to with paprika and cook low and slow so chicken breaks apart easy. Add sour cream at end and serve with rice.


  7. Avatar


    March 7, 2019

    Where can you get the sweet paprika? I never knew there were different kinds.
    Thank, RayeAnn


  8. Avatar

    Yuuumy! Cooked this for dinner and served on top of buckwheat – delicious! Will definitely make again. Thank you for sharing!