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Hungarian Cooking: Famous Chicken Paprikash

Updated on September 27, 2017
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Cooking, eating, entertaining, having a good time... it's why I collect recipes and share them. Plus I'm half Hungarian,that explains alot.

Hungarian Cooking

Paprika (spice made from peppers) is the most iconic of Hungarian flavors. It is the basis for this famous chicken dish.
Paprika (spice made from peppers) is the most iconic of Hungarian flavors. It is the basis for this famous chicken dish.

The Traditional Hungarian Chicken Dish with a Paprika Sauce

Would you like a recipe for chicken that is easy to make, cooks up in an hour, and is great enough to serve proudly to company? You would? Then this recipe for Chicken Paprikash should really be on your list of new dishes to try. Of course, if you have a Hungarian heritage like I do, it is already one of your family's favorite meals.

There are many ways to tweak this recipe. Some cooks add garlic, potatoes, a little tomato, and change around the basic method of simmering the bone-in chicken pieces, but this is the recipe I have used, and yes, I mix it around a little, but basically my way is as simple as possible.

The one thing that true Chicken Paprikash must always have is authentic Hungarian paprika. It is always a more tender and rich flavor than with paprika grown anywhere else in the world.

Here is my recipe, but with links to many renditions of this well loved dish, because they might tickle you taste buds with their variations. The fine points of Hungarian paprika are included for the true gourmet in you. Enjoy!

Chicken Paprikash for Company

Arguably the most loved and famous of Hungarian entrees

A dish as traditional as Chicken paprikas is going to have more than one rendition. Try this one for company, it is the classic way to prepare this Hungarian favorite.

Always use real Hungarian paprika, and not just any store bought brand for the true flavor of Hungarian paprikas.

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour 45 min
Ready in: 2 hours
Yields: 6


  • 2 1/2 to 3 lb. cut up chicken
  • flour to dredge (optional)
  • 1 stick butter or 1/2 c. cooking oil
  • 1 large onion -sliced or chopped
  • 1 red sweet pepper or Hungarian banana peppers chopped or sliced (optional)
  • 2 to 3 TBSP Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • water to cover (1 cup or more)
  • 1 pt. dairy sour cream


  1. Sauté sliced onion and the sweet pepper strips in the butter or oil until tender; remove and set aside.
  2. Brown chicken (optionally dredged in flour) in the large frying pan used to sauté the onion and pepper.
  3. Cook at moderate heat, add onions and water, then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika.
  4. Cook until tender; remove to warm serving plate.
  5. Add sour cream to make sauce (use low heat so as to not curdle the sour cream). Adjust flavor with additional seasoning, spice or salt.
  6. Serve sauce over the chicken on a bed of cooked noodles.

Please Rate My Hungarian Chicken Recipe

2.2 stars from 11 ratings of Best Recipe Chicken Paprikash

Paprikash or Paprikàs?

What difference does an "h" make? Not much. Drop the "h", add an accent mark with the diacritical " à " for the Hungarian spelling.

Real Hungarian Paprika

Never substitute other paprika if you wish to have the deliciously subtle taste of this authentic chickendish.

Which Do You Prefer?

Homestyle Variation

Like my Mother and Grandma Used to Make

From my posting on Facebook Hungarian Recipes.

This can cook in the oven at low temperatures until you eat it (slow cooked), and is probably fine for a slow cooker, although we always baked it in a glass roasting/baking pan and a large Dutch oven is fine, too.

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 1 hour 40 min
Ready in: 2 hours
Yields: 4


  • 2 1/2 to 3 lb. chicken -cut up
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 green pepper (or any sweet pepper), sliced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 3 to 4 TBSP Hungarian paprika
  • Water to cover, (about 2-3 cups)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Brown the Chicken in oil, with salt and pepper, first, to give the skin a nice color.


  1. Brown the chicken pieces in oil; add to baking pan with quartered potatoes.
  2. Cook onions and green peppers in chicken drippings until soft. Add to chicken in baking pan.
  3. Add water. Sprinkle liberally with paprika, season with salt and pepper. Bake @ 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until done.
  4. You can toss in a tomato or two, if you wish.
  5. Serve with or without noodles.
  6. Especially good served with slices of homemade bread!!!!

Nokedli Dumplings

Of course, you may use any type of egg noodle, but Chicken Paprikash tastes special with homemade little spaetzle-ype noodles. So easy, too!

You can use any recipe for Spaetzle or Nokedli dumplings.

Cook Time

Prep Time:

Total Time:

Serves: 6


  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 egg
  • a little water added slowly
  • salt


  1. Mix ingredients together to a medium stiff dough. Place on a cutting board and use a knife to separate off little 1/4 inch dumplings into simmering stew or boiling water. When they rise to top they are done.
  2. Dough may also be rolled into lump and grated into the broth using a large-holed grater.

My Paprikash Pan

It can be used on the stovetop or in the oven, which means you can make either style of Paprikash in it. Great for one dish meals, with a large cooking surface and a cover . Sold on Amazon
It can be used on the stovetop or in the oven, which means you can make either style of Paprikash in it. Great for one dish meals, with a large cooking surface and a cover . Sold on Amazon | Source

My Favorite Cooking Pan - An Everyday Pan

I used to use a Dutch oven for making the hearty stews like Chicken Paprikash, or sometimes a deep sided fryer, but once I purchased an Everyday pan I fell in love with the way it cooks and serves this kind of meal beautifully.

Using a large attractive pan to prepare the meal means that it can be served attractively at the table, no need to plate separately.

The pan above is the exact one I own, it has a tempered glass cover and is made of aluminum encased in stainless steel. its sloping sides and flat bottom are great on my glass top cooking surface.

Why I Love to Prepare Chicken This Way

Why All My Friends Love to eat It, Too

In the Magyar language this dish is known as "Csirkepaprikas", a staple recipe that can be dressed up enough for company or easy enough for regular family meals.

It may be served as a family dish with the meat picked off of the bone with more sauce. Classically, pieces of bone-in chicken are served on a platter, with a reduced sauce, thickened with sour cream, spooned over the top of noodles.

Freshly prepared noodles are preferred, but any good egg noodles will be almost as delicious.

The flavors of this dish are outstanding, the method of cooking is easy, and the ingredients are quite simple. That makes it an ingenious choice to add to your cooking repertoire.

If you are a busy mom, what is better loved than a dinner that is easy to make and doesn't take too long, but can be slow cooked, too? Reheated, it is even better.

I love the fact that the flavors are different enough to pique the tastebuds of most everyone, yet appeals to most palates, as well.

What to Serve with Paprikash?

These are the side dishes that complement the chicken.

Family Favorites

Every family has a favorite way of making this famous and delicious dish. Online I've seen white wine added to the sauce, tomato puree and other variations. My family also had a version which I call "Homestyle Chicken Paprikash", which includes tomatoes and potatoes and dispenses with the sour cream thickening, at times. But the recipe for what I consider the best chicken paprikash is the first one posted here, the one I revert to when I want my own idea of comfort food.

My favorite menu

  • Chicken Paprikash
  • Cucumber salad
  • Noodles
  • Relish dish
  • Apple cake

The cucumber salad recipe is found on my page of famous Hungarian food.

Your Favorite Hungarian Paprika - Hot, Sweet, or Smoked

paprika pepper
paprika pepper | Source

Which is your favorite Hungarian paprika flavor?

See results

Paprikash Tips

Sliced onions are not only easiest, they are best. Forget mincing or chopping. Tomato sauce is for goulash, let the taste of the paprika and peppers reign in this dish. Stir a little of the chicken juices into the sour cream before adding it to make the final gravy.

Don't ever let Paprika burn.

Types of Hungarian Paprika - I prefer the Sweet for my Paprikash

The two most famous growing regions are Kalocsa and Szeged; you will notice they lend their names to brands of Hungarian paprika.

  1. Extra special (Extra különleges)
  2. Special (különleges)
  3. Delicatess (Csemege)
  4. Noble sweet (Édesnemes)
  5. Rose (Rózsa)

How do you like your Chicken Paprikash?

See results

Learn How To Make Chicken Paprikash - As easy as it looks- and absolutely delicious

These are variations. I don't think you should add tomato sauce - that is more of a goulash type of dish, and prefer the simple recipe with less steps and less ingredients. I do sometimes add a tomato or two.

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Guests of This Hungarian Kitchen - Are invited to leave your coments and reviews

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      5 years ago

      I once lived in the Bay Area and occasionally dined at one of the Hungarian Rest. I had (3) all time favorites. The Chicken Paprikash (which was tender chucks of seasoned chicken encased in a flour tortillia like dough, covered in a red paprika type gravy and a dollop of sour cream on top. A thin sliced Cucumber salad in a small amount of Vinegar Solution (no visible onion or garlic) with a dollop of sour cream. And lastly, rating an A+++++ was the Langos deep fried bread along with a clove of garlic to rub on top. I have been looking for those versions of recipes for years. There was a recipe book available, but I took too long to purchase one before the location was closed.


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