Chicken Paprikash is a beloved Hungarian comfort food made with tender chicken that’s braised in a creamy sauce with paprika, onions, and garlic. Served with the easiest dumplings, this is a recipe you’ll want to make over and over again!

Chicken paprikash in cast iron pan with parsley garnish.


The first time I ever had Creamy Chicken Paprikash with dumplings, I felt like I hit the lottery.

I went through most of my life not knowing it existed, but after one bite I knew this would be a meal I’d make over and over again for my family.

The creamy paprika sauce and the tender braised chicken make this Hungarian comfort food, also known as Csirkepaprikás an absolute delight.

I love to serve Chicken Paprikash with dumplings (my simple recipe for flour and egg dumplings is below) but you could also serve with egg noodles or rice.

Recipe Ingredients

All ingredients for this recipe are shown in the pic below and special notes are made in this bulleted list to assist you.

Ingredients shown: olive oil, Hungarian paprikas, onions, flour, sour cream, chicken stock, garlic, and plate of chicken pieces.
  • Chicken. Legs and thighs are the best for braised dishes, like chicken paprikash, or coq au vin.
  • Paprika. For the best possible flavor, I recommend using high-quality Hungarian paprika. I use a combination of sweet, smoked, and hot for this recipe.
  • White wine (not pictured). For acidity, I use a dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc. If you can’t have wine, you can omit it.
  • Chicken stock. If possible, use homemade chicken stock. If not, use a low-sodium stock made from chicken base, such as Better Than Bouillon brand.
  • Sour cream. An essential part of creamy chicken paprikash, full-fat sour cream provides a creamy texture and slightly tangy taste.
  • Fat. Traditionally, paprikash is started with lard, but you can use vegetable oil if you do not have lard.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to make it

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. Dice 2 large yellow onions and mince 5 cloves of garlic. Heat a large heavy pan to medium heat and add 3 tablespoons of lard or vegetable oil. While that heats, pat dry 4 pounds of chicken (legs and thighs) and season on all sides with salt and pepper. (Photo #1)
  2. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until browned on both sides, about 4-5 minutes per side. Work in batches to not overcrowd the pan. Once browned, remove the chicken to a plate and tent lightly with foil. (Photo #2)
Chicken paprikash recipe collage group one showing seasoning of chicken pieces, pan-searing in cast iron pan, sauteing onions, and mixing paprika into pan.
  1. Add the onions to the pan along with a pinch of salt and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until soft, then add the garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant. (Photo #3)
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of Hungarian sweet paprika, 2 teaspoons of Hungarian smoked paprika, and 1 teaspoon of Hungarian hot paprika and mix well but take care to not burn the paprika, and cook for 30 seconds. (Photo #4)
  3. Add 1/2 cup of dry white wine and turn the heat to high. Use a wooden spoon to dislodge any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. (Photo #5)
  4. Cook the wine for 30-60 seconds, then add 2 cups of low-sodium chicken stock and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. (Photo #6)
Recipe collage two showing deglazing with wine, adding chicken stock, and cooking chicken pieces in the sauce.
  1. Turn the heat down to a low simmer and return the chicken and its juices to the pan, spooning the sauce on top to cover. (Photo #7)
  2. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken is fork-tender. (Photo #8) Note: It’s a good idea to make the dumplings while the sauce is simmering, though the chicken can be kept warm and the dumplings can be made right before serving. Your choice!
  3. Once the chicken is tender, remove the pieces to a plate and tent lightly with foil. (Photo #9)
  4. In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup of sour cream and 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, then add a few tablespoons of the paprikash sauce to the cream mixture and mix well to remove any lumps. Add a few more tablespoons of sauce and mix again. (Photo #10)
Recipe collage three showing removing chicken to a platter, tempering sour cream, seasoning sauce, and simmering chicken in the sauce.
  1. Add the tempered cream mixture to the pan and mix well to incorporate. Turn the heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Taste test and adjust salt and pepper as needed. (Photo #11)
  2. Return the chicken pieces to the pan once more and baste the chicken with the sauce so all pieces are coated. Simmer for another 10 minutes, uncovered, then turn off the heat. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of fresh parsley to garnish and serve with dumplings (recipe below), egg noodles or even rice. Enjoy! (Photo #12)

How to make the dumplings (optional)

These dumplings are very easy to make but feel free to serve chicken paprikash over egg noodles if you like. Yield is approximately 60 dumplings.

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. In a large mixing bowl combine 6 large eggs, 4 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 4 teaspoons of baking powder and mix together until smooth. (Photo #1)
  2. Once the water is boiling, scoop 1 heaping tablespoon of the batter into the water. Place the spoon into the boiling water between each dumpling so they slide off into the water and don’t stick. Alternatively, an oiled spoon also works. (Photo #2)
Dumplings process collage showing batter in bowl, boiling dumplings, and scooping out dumplings with strainer.
  1. Work in batches to prevent overcrowding. A 10-12 quart pot should take roughly 2 batches to complete. When the dumplings begin to float, let them cook another 3-4 minutes. (Photo #3)
  2. Use a slotted spoon or pasta spider to remove the dumplings, then run them under cold water to stop the cooking process and place them on a platter until you’re ready to add to the paprikash sauce and serve. (Photo #4)
Chicken paprikash and dumplings in white plate.

Top tips

  • Paprika. For the best, most authentic chicken paprikash, I recommend using imported Hungarian paprika, which can be purchased on Amazon. Look for ones that are made in Hungary. This is one of the main ingredients in the dish so using the best quality paprika will yield superior results. You can use this same paprika for Hungarian goulash as well!
  • Tempering. Be sure to temper the sour cream as outlined above. Doing so will help prevent the sauce from breaking. Also, be sure to use full-fat sour cream to also help prevent breakage.
  • Use homemade stock. Using homemade stock will not only help your food taste better, it gives you greater control over the sodium level in your recipe. I always recommend using homemade stock whenever possible!
Chicken paprikash in cast iron pan.

More great chicken dishes

If you love Chicken Paprikash, I think you’ll enjoy these other great chicken recipes!

  • Chicken Fricasse – chicken legs and thighs in a silky cream sauce with carrots, celery, onion, and mushrooms.
  • Chicken Cacciatore – hunter’s style chicken with tomatoes and oil-cured olives.
  • Chicken and dumplings – thick and creamy soup with tender chicken, veggies, and easy dumplings.

If you’ve enjoyed this Hungarian Chicken Paprikash Recipe or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and tell us about it in the comments below.

We strive to satisfy a number of learning styles.  If you are someone who prefers to learn by watching, you can find most of our recipes on YouTube and our Facebook Page.

Chicken Paprikash

4.93 from 13 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6
Chicken Paprikash is a Hungarian comfort food made with chicken braised until tender in a creamy paprika sauce and served with dumplings.

Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
  • 4 pounds chicken thighs and legs
  • 2 large yellow onions diced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Hungarian smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Hungarian hot paprika
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley for garnish

For the dumplings (optional)

  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

Instructions 

  • Heat a large heavy pan to medium heat and add the vegetable. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until browned on both sides (about 4-5 minutes per side). When the chicken is brown, remove to a plate and lightly tent with foil. Work in batches if needed to not overcrowd the pan.
  • Add the onions to the pan along with a pinch of salt and cook until softened (10-12 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for another minute or until fragrant.
  • Add all of the paprika and mix well, taking care to not burn it. Cook the paprika for 30 seconds then add the white wine. Turn the heat to high and with a wooden spoon, scrape all of the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
  • Cook the wine for 30-60 seconds then add the chicken stock and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
  • Turn the heat down to a low simmer and add the chicken and its juices back to the pan. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for ~45 minutes or until the chicken is fork-tender. Once the chicken is tender, remove the pieces to a plate.
  • In a bowl, mix together the sour cream and flour. Place a few tablespoons of the sauce into the bowl and mix well to remove any lumps. Add a few more tablespoons of the sauce and mix again. Add the tempered sour cream mixture into the pan and mix well to incorporate. Turn the heat to medium and bring to a simmer.
  • Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper if required. Add the chicken pieces back to the pan and baste the chicken with the sauce. Simmer for another 10 minutes, uncovered, then turn off the heat. Sprinkle the parsley on top and serve. Traditionally this dish is served over dumplings (recipe below) but wide egg noodles work great too. Enjoy!

For the dumplings (optional)

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the water, flour, salt, eggs, and baking powder and mix until smooth.
  • Once the water boils, scoop 1 tablespoon of the batter into the water. Place the spoon into the boiling water between each dumpling so that they slide off into the water and don't stick. Alternatively, an oiled spoon works. Work in batches (a 10-12 quart pot should take 2 batches to complete).
  • Once the dumplings begin to float, let them cook for another 3-4 minutes before removing to a colander with a slotted spoon. Run the dumplings under cold water and place them on a platter.

Notes

  • Using full-fat sour cream and tempering is important so that the sauce doesn’t break.
  • Recipe makes approximately 60 dumplings. 
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to three days in the fridge and can be reheated on the stovetop over moderate heat.

Nutrition

Calories: 763kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.1g | Protein: 90.1g | Fat: 37.3g | Saturated Fat: 12.5g | Cholesterol: 286mg | Sodium: 306mg | Potassium: 868mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 1.9g | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!Check us out on Instagram at @sipandfeast or tag #sipandfeast!
4.93 from 13 votes (7 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

20 Comments

  1. Drew says:

    Have you ever made these dumplings with whole wheat flour? I’m looking for recipes with low glycaemic indexes.

    Thanks.

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Drew, no, we have not tested this recipe with whole wheat flour.

  2. K says:

    Can I freeze this?

    1. Tara says:

      Hi K, yes, you can freeze this.

  3. Gabby says:

    I made this dish tonight for some friends in town visiting and everyone went back for seconds! I admit I balked at the amount of paprika but I trust you, so I rolled with it and it did NOT disappoint. The flavor is savory and comforting, the chicken tender and the dumplings were a great addition. I’m so excited to make this again!

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Gabby, we are so happy you enjoyed! Thanks for the comment!

  4. Al Sizemore says:

    Hi Jim,
    I’m about to make the paprikash recipe, but only using one kind of paprika; should I use just the 3 tbsp. of the sweet paprika, or add another tbsp to make up the difference from not using the other two types of paprika. Love all your recipes!

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Al, you can use another tablespoon of the sweet paprika to make up for the other two. We hope you enjoy!

  5. jeremy kieffer says:

    5 stars
    All i can say is WOW!! This has to be the best chicken dish I have ever tasted and my 14 year old son agrees. And i didn’t even have the right paprika. All I could find was regular paprika and smoked but it was so delicious. I am going to order the kind you recommended though. I will be making this one again and again!!! Thanks again for sharing your recipes and knowledge.

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Jeremy, we’re so happy you and your son enjoyed this one and thanks for the comment!

  6. Amy Day says:

    5 stars
    Just made this and it was excellent. I substituted 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar for the wine and added a pinch of flaked red pepper and caraway seeds. I didn’t have all 3 kinds of paprika but used the same amount of two. Delicious, hearty meal.

  7. Kevin Lindsay says:

    Just confirming that there’s 3 tablespoons of sweet paprika, 2 teaspoons of smoked, and 1 of hot?

    1. James says:

      Yes. There is a ton of paprika in this dish. If you are concerned with the amounts, start with half the amount and increase it at the end.

      1. Kevin Lindsay says:

        Thanks. I made it as directed; strong flavor, but delicious. I didn’t have any hot paprika, so I subbed more sweet, but with a dash of cayenne. Love your recipes.

  8. Deb B says:

    5 stars
    Made this today, and it was really good! Thanks for the recipe, Jim and Tara 🙂
    I will make it again for sure, and next time I’m going to try adding a little marjoram with the paprika and maybe add a squeeze of lemon juice at the end or while plating to add a hint of brightness. Or maybe a teaspoon of sweet cherry pepper pickle liquid? I might also add some sliced red bell pepper after the chicken stock. Lots of possibilities with such a solid recipe!!!

  9. Chris Powell says:

    I’m 75 years old and I never made this although my 100year old uncle has made this and he loves it. I’m going to try this on Sunday for six family members who are joining us for the Packer game. Yes, we live in Wisconsin! I really enjoy all your recipes and have enjoyed many. It’s fun to cook new things at any age. I see you shop at Costco, I live five minutes from a Costco. It’s great but it’s the kind of place you walk in for a couple of items and come out spending $100.00 or more. Have you tried their very large bottle of Irish Cream? I think it’s just as good as Baileys and a fraction of the price! So, Happy New Year to you and your family!

    My favorite ‘chefs’ to follow are:

    YOU!
    Wyse Guide
    Billy Paresi

  10. Diane Danskin says:

    5 stars
    I love your recipes and videos! Thank you for sharing your culinary talents with us….delicious!