Skillet Hungarian Chicken Paprikash is an easy weeknight meal with a creamy, spicy sauce and tender chicken served over noodles.
Skillet Chicken Paprikash is a saucy chicken recipe with an amazing combination of sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy flavors. The chicken and sauce are all made in one pan on the stovetop for a quick and easy weeknight meal.
This classic Hungarian recipe tastes perfect served over a bed of noodles. The traditional dish uses small pasta dumplings called Nokedli similar to Italian gnocchi. It’s not commonly found in the USA so alternative pastas can be used. Prep each plate with buttered egg noodles, then add pieces of chicken and spoon extra sauce over the top. The pasta makes the dish more filling, goes great with the chicken, and you can use it to soak up any extra sauce.
Images: How to Make
Table of contents
Sabrina’s Hungarian Chicken Paprikash Recipe
Sabrina’s Paprikash is a tasty dish from Hungary. You’ll need chicken thighs, onions, red bell peppers, garlic, and Hungarian sweet paprika. First, brown the chicken and make a rich paprika sauce. Add sour cream and white wine vinegar for extra flavor. Serve it over egg noodles for a delicious meal. This recipe keeps things traditional, giving you a taste of Hungarian cuisine that’s both yummy and comforting.
There are a few other amazing comfort food side dishes that you could serve Paprikash with. The saucy chicken would go wonderfully with Mashed Potatoes, Brown Rice, or dumplings. Pretty much any simple dish that will absorb the extra sauce is a good option.
What is Paprikash?
Paprikash, also spelled “paprikás” or “pörkölt,” is a well-known Hungarian stew made with simple ingredients and renowned for its rich, flavorful, and creamy sauce, predominantly seasoned with paprika—a spice made from dried and ground sweet or hot red bell peppers. Paprikash typically features meat, such as chicken, pork, or beef, and derives its name from the generous use of paprika, which imparts a vibrant red color and a distinct, mildly sweet, and slightly spicy flavor to the dish.
Can This Be Made Ahead?
Yes, Hungarian Chicken Paprikash can be made ahead of time. In fact, many people find that the flavors of this dish improve after sitting for a while. You can prepare it in advance, let it cool, and then refrigerate it in an airtight container. When you’re ready to enjoy it, simply reheat it gently on the stove or in the microwave. Just be sure to store the sour cream separately and add it when reheating to maintain the creamy texture.
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, for seasoning the chicken and enhancing its flavor.
- ½ teaspoon Coarse Ground Black Pepper, used to season the chicken and provide a hint of spiciness.
- 1 pound Chicken Thighs: We’re using boneless and skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces, chosen for their tender and succulent meat. You can also use skinless chicken breasts.
- 4 tablespoons Unsalted butter, for cooking the chicken and adding richness to the dish.
- 1 Yellow Onion, thinly sliced, imparting a sweet and savory flavor to the sauce.
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, thinly sliced, adding a colorful and slightly sweet element to the dish.
- 4 cloves Garlic, minced, contributing aromatic depth and flavor.
- 3 tablespoons Hungarian Sweet Paprika, The key traditional ingredient in any paprikash is the Hungarian paprika, which the chicken dish gets its name from. In Hungary, there are a few different varieties of paprika with varied flavor profiles. The sweet paprika is (you guessed it) sweet. Instead of a smokey or spicy taste, it has a milder sweet red pepper flavor.
- ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Powder, for a subtle spicy kick, which can be adjusted to personal preference.
- 2 tablespoons Flour, used for thickening the sauce and adding body.
- 2 cups Chicken Broth, providing a savory liquid base for the sauce.
- ¼ teaspoon Sugar, a touch of sweetness to balance the flavors.
- ⅓ cup Sour Cream, for creaminess and tanginess. You can use equal parts heavy cream if preferred.
- 1 tablespoon White Wine Vinegar, adding a hint of acidity to enhance the overall taste.
- 3 cups Egg Noodles, chosen as the ideal base to complement the creamy paprika sauce, though other pasta options like elbow macaroni or spiral fusilli can be used as substitutes.
Kitchen Tools & Equipment
- Large Skillet: A large skillet is essential for browning the chicken and sautéing the onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Opt for one with a lid for later stages of cooking. We’re using a Dutch oven.
- Cutting Board and Sharp Knife: You’ll need a cutting board and a sharp knife for chopping the onions, bell peppers, and garlic, as well as for cutting the chicken into pieces.
- Whisk or Wooden Spoon: A whisk or wooden spoon is handy for stirring and mixing the ingredients in the skillet.
- Measuring Spoons: Accurate measurements are crucial, especially for seasonings like salt, pepper, and paprika.
- Pot for Cooking Pasta: If you’re serving the Paprikash over pasta (like egg noodles), you’ll need a separate pot for boiling the pasta. Make sure it’s large enough to cook the pasta comfortably.
How to Make
Time needed: 35 minutes.
- Step 1: Season the Chicken
Begin by cutting the chicken pieces. Season with salt and black pepper and transfer to the side.
- Step 2: Brown the Chicken
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the unsalted butter. Add the chicken pieces and cook them for about 4-5 minutes on each side until they turn golden brown. Once done, remove the chicken and set it aside.
- Step 3: Sauté the Onions and Peppers
Reduce the heat of the skillet to medium heat. Add the thinly sliced yellow onion and red bell pepper. Sauté them for approximately 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they become tender and slightly browned.
- Step 4: Add Garlic and Spices
Stir in the minced garlic and then add the Hungarian paprika and cayenne powder. Ensure that the spices are well mixed.
- Step 5: Create the Paprika Sauce
Sprinkle the flour over the mixture in the skillet and stir thoroughly. Pour in the low-sodium chicken broth and add sugar. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Step 6: Return the Chicken
Reduce the heat to medium-low. Return chicken back into the skillet, cover it, and let it cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- Step 7: Finish with Cream and Vinegar
Stir in the sour cream mixture with white wine vinegar, making sure they’re well combined with the sauce. This adds creaminess and a touch of tanginess to the dish.
- Step 8: Serve Over Egg Pasta
Serve the Hungarian Chicken Paprikash hot over cooked egg noodles or your choice of pasta. Use fresh parsley for garnish and enjoy the flavors of this classic Hungarian dish!
How to Store
To keep leftover Hungarian Chicken Paprikash fresh, place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking. Properly stored, it can stay refrigerated for up to 3-4 days, preserving its taste and texture.
To reheat, gently warm the leftovers in a skillet or microwave, adding a splash of chicken broth or water if the sauce thickens too much. Stir occasionally to maintain the creamy consistency.
If you want to freeze the dish, do so without the sour cream. Freeze in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to 2-3 months, ensuring the best flavor and texture upon thawing and reheating.
Absolutely! While chicken is traditional, you can substitute it with pork, beef, or even tofu for a vegetarian version.
If you don’t have sour cream, Greek yogurt is a good substitute. It provides creaminess and a tangy flavor similar to sour cream.
It’s best to freeze the dish without sour cream as freezing can change its texture. Add sour cream after thawing and reheating.
Increase the amount of cayenne powder or use hot paprika instead of sweet paprika for a spicier kick.
Use Hungarian sweet paprika for an authentic flavor. If unavailable, regular sweet paprika can be a substitute, but it may have a slightly different taste.
Yes, you can use pre-cooked chicken to save time. Add it to the skillet when you would normally add the browned chicken and let it heat through in the sauce.
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 pound chicken thighs , boneless and skinless, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion , thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper , thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 3 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 3 cups egg noodles , to serve (you can use elbow macaroni or spiral fusilli)
- Season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Add butter to large skillet over high heat.
- Cook chicken for 4-5 minutes each side.
- Remove chicken and set aside, and reduce heat on skillet to medium.
- Add onion and bell pepper and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add paprika, cayenne, and flour to skillet and stir well.
- Add in chicken broth and sugar, then cook for 3-4 minutes until thickened.
- Reduce heat to medium low.
- Add chicken back in, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
- Add in sour cream and vinegar and stir until well combined.
- Serve over cooked egg noodles.
- Click on the “yield” amount to slide and change the number of servings and the recipe will automatically update!
- Click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.
- To convert measurements to grams, click on the “Metric” option next to “Ingredients” in the recipe card.
- Chicken Breast: Instead of chicken thighs, you can make this same recipe with boneless chicken breast. Just keep in mind that chicken breast meat cooks faster than thighs, so you’ll need to adjust the cooking times accordingly.
- Spicy Paprikash: If you want Chicken Paprikash with a little more heat you can try mixing a little extra cayenne pepper into the sauce. Or, you could use hot sauce.
- Add-ins: There are lots of vegetables that you could add to this recipe. Try green bell pepper, mushrooms, or carrots to go along with the red bell pepper. You could also make a creamy tomato sauce by mixing in tomato paste, or just enjoy the tomato flavor with the addition of sliced cherry tomatoes.
- Pasta: Instead of egg noodles, you could serve the Paprikash over other types of pasta like penne, rotini, or rigatoni. You could also try pasta with alternative ingredients, like whole wheat or gluten-free pasta.