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Csirkepaprikas or Hungarian Chicken Paprika

Csirkepaprikas or Chicken Paprika is a quintessentially Hungarian recipe with a sweet paprika & sour cream sauce, this is delicious and easy!

Square image of Hungarian Chicken Paprikash cooked with chicken thighs on buttered nokedli on a white plate

Chicken Paprikash.

I once again run the risk of offending my adopted homeland with this recipe. This really is a Hungarian classic, very much known around the world, much like Goulash!

A rich sour cream sauce or tejföl as it is known in Hungary that is flavoured with lots and lots of sweet Hungarian paprika.

Like most Hungarian food it is robust in flavour but uses very few ingredients.

It is a dish that is eye wateringly simple to make too. There ain’t no mad chef skills here, just simple home cooking!

Interestingly a paprikash in Hungary is not just made from chicken.

In fact, I live near the second largest lake, and I see catfish paprikash on restaurant menus more often than I do chicken!

Portrait image of Hungarian Chicken Paprikash cooked with chicken thighs on buttered nokedli on a white plate taken from above

Ingredient Advice.

The first thing to discuss here is the sour cream.

If you are reading this in the US then your sour cream should be just about right. It is around 20% fat and is rich and thick.

If you are in the UK then you need to be a little more diligent in your shopping.

Sour cream is not always the same as soured cream. The latter is pourable and very different from the thick sour cream that you can see in my video.

If you are struggling to find thick sour cream then use creme fraiche and add a splash of lemon juice.

The other ingredient to mention is the paprika.

If you find it in its Hungarian packaging you are looking for the word Édes, this means sweet. Csípős means spicy you can add some of this too if you like.

Other things to look for are the words első osztály or 1.osztály which means first-class. You may also want to look for the name Szeged which is the name of a city famous for producing paprika.

And if you want to find out more about my thoughts on Hungarian food, you should definitely check out my interview on The Foreign Fork!

Many Hungarians add a product called Vegeta to their csirkepaprikas.

I am honestly not keen on it, it is a mix of salt, dehydrated vegetables and sugar along with other “bits”.

Portrait image of Hungarian Chicken Paprikash cooked with chicken thighs on buttered nokedli on a white plate

Serving Suggestions.

I almost always cook or order my Paprikash with Nokedli. They are a fantastic Hungarian Pasta”esque” dumpling.

Of course, I have you covered with a recipe and it features in both these pictures and those in my Beef Porkolt recipe.

They are quick to make and are ideal comfort food heaven.

However, in most of my local restaurants, the recommended side for this dish is salted boiled potatoes.

Although on occasions when I am feeling far too thin I will serve this with rakott krumpli but it also works wonderfully with fried potatoes!

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash with Homemade Nokedli, moist chicken thighs in a velvety sweet paprika rich sauce served with fresh nokedli or dumplings
Yield: 2 Servings

Csirkepaprikas or Hungarian Chicken Paprikash Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash or Csirkepaprikas is one of the defining dishes of Hungarian cuisine and it is as delicious as it is simple!


  • 4 Chicken Thighs
  • 100 g (2/3 Cup) Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Cooking Oil
  • 15 g (1 Tbsp) Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Hungarian Sweet Paprika
  • 150 ml (2/3 Cup) Water
  • 150 g (2/3 Cup) Sour Cream
  • 150 g (1 Large) Tomato
  • Salt to Taste
  • Pepper to Taste


  1. Grate the onion and mash the garlic.
  2. Heat the butter and oil in a heavy based pan or dutch oven a low-medium heat.
  3. Cook the onion and garlic until soft, you do not want to colour the onions, approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Add the paprika to the pan and stir to combine for about 1 minute.
  5. Pour in the water and stir to form a sauce.
  6. Chop the tomatoes into a 1-2cm dice.
  7. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Season the chicken thighs with a pinch of salt.
  9. Add the chicken, reduce the heat to low and add a lid, then cook for 20 minutes.
  10. After 20 minutes remove the lid and flip the chicken pieces and put the lid back on then cook for another 20 minutes.
  11. Remove the chicken and add the sour cream.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 714Total Fat: 54gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 322mgSodium: 445mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 51g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Saturday 17th of October 2020

I'm so glad to see a Paprikash recipe that is authentic. My friends say this is my signature dish. Tried yours and it was great. I like spice, that's the Hungarian in me, so I swapped out the sweet for the hot Paprika my cousins send me from Hungary. Also a small twist, instead of salt I will add Vegeta. Slightly increases the chicken flavor and adds just a small hint of salt, not overpowering. I do this when I boil the chicken first than add it to tomato mix. Thanks again.

Brian Jones

Saturday 31st of October 2020

Thanks Melinda, glad you enjoyed it... Personally speaking, I tend to find Hungarian food very light on spice I've been living out here on the Alföld for over a decade and beyond the occasional rogue cseresznyepaprika things are relatively mild spice wise, but tolerance to spice is such a personal thing.

I try and create recipes, where possible, that do not require people to hunt down "branded" ingredients, I have a global readership so the addition of Vegeta or other brands of ételízesítő would make the recipe less approachable to people in different territories.

Klara Urbanski

Thursday 6th of February 2020

Great recipe! I was born in Hungary, moved to the U.S. at age 10 , but make a lot of Hungarian dishes still that my mom and grandmother taught me. She would also add finely diced sweet red bell peppers, or a thinner skin and lighter colored green cubanelle pepper that's similar to Hungarian pepper but not spicy. Hope you're enjoying your adopted homeland. It has pretty amazing foods!! PS: my husband grey up here, but is half Polish and half Scotch....the Polish side has a lot of very similar dishes. I like to tease him that they're copying the Hungarian, lol.

Brian Jones

Monday 10th of February 2020

Hey Klara... We have been here since 2008 so I have developed a healthy Hungarian paunch from the delicious but somewhat indulgent food. Glad you recognise this recipe after all of those years.

I'll have to look up the cubanelle pepper, I struggle with recommendations for my UK and US readers to use instead of the ubiquitous Hungarian TV paprika, nothing is quite the same as it.



Brian H

Sunday 10th of March 2019

I always make mine with smoked paprika...a deeper colour and a bit spicier

Brian Jones

Monday 11th of March 2019

I've stayed pretty close to traditional Hungarian ideas for my paprikash, good Hungarian paprika is stunning and has the most wonderful sweet and intense flavour.

Smoked paprika is rarely seen here in Hungary and certainly would not be used in a paprikash which is mild, creamy and sweet rather than spicy and smoky. That is of course not to say that the addition of smoked paprika would ruin the dish, it would just mean that it is not a traditional paprikash.


Saturday 29th of July 2017

GREAT VIDEO. All the info, with detailed pics, without watching someone chop onions for 5 minutes. Going to try it soon. Thanks.

Brian Jones

Monday 31st of July 2017

Thanks Erin... Have fun :)


Monday 26th of September 2016

Except I made a typo and meant nokedli!

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