Hungarian Chicken Paprikash Recipe

Chicken Paprikash Recipe
The Spruce
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 55 mins
Total: 70 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yield: 1 chicken
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
414 Calories
29g Fat
9g Carbs
29g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 414
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 13g 63%
Cholesterol 131mg 44%
Sodium 335mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 29g
Vitamin C 33mg 163%
Calcium 71mg 5%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 442mg 9%
*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.)

This one-pot classic Hungarian chicken dish for chicken paprikash (some call it chicken paprika) combines five key Hungarian ingredients—onions, green peppers, tomatoes, paprika, and sour cream. The dish can be pulled together quickly, especially if the vegetables are prepped the night before.

Some claim the addition of green peppers and tomatoes is not traditional but, as with all recipes, ingredients vary from family to family and region to region. 

For a lower-fat version, use low-fat sour cream, and 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, or a combination. If using breasts only, reduce the simmering time to 20 minutes.

Serve with nokedli, which are similar to German spaetzle, or rice or other noodles, and a cucumber or green salad.


Click Play to See This Hungarian Chicken Paprikash Recipe Come Together


  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) butter

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds, cut-up)

  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

  • 1 large tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped, or 14 1/2 ounces canned (undrained)

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika, sweet or hot

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Hungarian chicken paprikash ingredients
    The Spruce 
  2. Heat butter in a Dutch oven or large skillet with a lid. Add onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.

    Heat onion and butter in pan
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  3. Add chicken pieces and brown lightly on both sides. Brown in batches if necessary.

    Add chicken pieces to skillet
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  4. Add green pepper, tomato, garlic, and sweet or hot paprika.

    Add green pepper, tomato, garlic, and paprika.
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  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

    Add salt and pepper for taste
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  6. Stir in water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 35 minutes or until chicken is tender (about 20 minutes if using chicken breasts only).

    Stir in water to skillet and bring to boil
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  7. Remove chicken to a heated platter and keep warm by loosely tenting with aluminum foil.

    Remove chicken to a platter and cover
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  8. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream with flour.

    Whisk sour cream and flour
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  9. Temper the sour cream mixture with some of the pan juices.

    Temper sour cream mixture with pan juices
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  10. Return tempered sour cream mixture to pan and simmer until juices are thickened.

    Simmer sour cream mixture in pan
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  11. Return chicken to the pan to rewarm.

    Return chicken mixture to pan and warm
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  12. Portion into heated bowls or plates, and serve with nokedli, which are similar to German spaetzle, or another type of noodle, or rice.

    Portion Hungarian chicken paprikash in bowls with rice
    The Spruce 


  • For a family-style presentation, arrange the paprikash atop a platter of noodles.
  • If making the dish with bone-in chicken with skin, feel free to skim off any excess fat or put the liquids through a gravy separator before preparing and adding the sour cream.
  • For richer chicken flavor, replace the water with chicken stock or broth.
  • Stir a tablespoon or two of tomato paste into the simmering mixture for brighter color.

How to Store, Freeze, and Reheat

  • Refrigerate leftover chicken paprikash in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • For longer storage, freeze the chicken paprikash in airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • Defrost frozen chicken paprikash in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat leftover paprikash gently over low to medium-low heat until the chicken reaches 165 F, the minimum safe temperature for leftover food.

Can I Substitute Regular Paprika for Hungarian?

Generic paprika can add color and some flavor, but Hungarian paprika will add richer flavor and can be found in a variety of heat levels. If you can't find Hungarian paprika, the dish may be made with Spanish or generic paprika.