Easy Hungarian Chicken Paprikash

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

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

Perfect Hungarian Comfort Food.

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 often single cream that has a souring agent added. It is pourable and very different from the thick sour cream that you can see in my video.

Just to add to the confusion, this is not always the case, because of course, it is not!

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

The other ingredient to mention is the paprika.

It is “never” smoked in Hungary and for this authentic Hungarian Chicken Paprikash recipe, only the sweet variety is used.

If you find it in its Hungarian packaging you are looking for the word Édes, this means sweet, Csípős means spicy.

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.

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 my fried potatoes!

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash Recipe

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash Recipe

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

If it ain't goulash then the defining dish of Hungarian cuisine is chicken paprikash or csirke paprikás... In this case chicken thighs in a silky sour cream sauce with plenty of paprika!


  • 100 g Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Cooking Oil
  • 20 g Butter
  • 2 tbsp Hungarian Sweet Paprika
  • 400 g Chicken Thighs
  • 150 ml Water
  • 150 g Sour Cream


  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. Add the water and stir to form a sauce, season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add the chicken, reduce the heat to low and add a lid and cook for 20 minutes.
  7. After 20 minutes remove the lid and flip the chicken pieces and put the lid back on then cook for another 20 minutes.
  8. Remove the chicken and add the sour cream and then return the chicken to the pan to reheat.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 714 Total Fat: 54g Saturated Fat: 21g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 29g Cholesterol: 322mg Sodium: 445mg Carbohydrates: 13g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 6g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 51g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

15 thoughts on this Recipe:

    • 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.

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

    • Thanks for taking the time to write Terry… The principle reason that my recipes are in metric rather than imperial is that I am European and as such have very little idea about imperial measurements, even at the age of 42 I was largely bought up around metric measurements. Adding to this my audience is largely global and looking at the measurements used by my readers the majority use metric measurements. The final reason is that there is a difference between Australian, British and American imperial measurements and no real easy way of differentiating between the three, where is metric is simple and always the same no matter where you are in the world, this means when following my recipes you will get the flavour profiles in the way I have designed them.

      There are a number of conversions available on line although when cooking from a US based recipe I typically call on this site http://www.deliaonline.com/information-centre/oven-temperatures-and-conversions.

  2. Pingback: All About The Pig | Krumpli
      • Finally made it and loved it. I think my paprika needs refreshing as I thought it could do with a little more but I’ve had it quite a while. It worked very well with bulgar wheat as the carbs 🙂

        • So glad you liked it Jo, Paprika is a funny spice it has a very short shelf life before it becomes a bit ‘meh’ but it is also very different depending where you get it from. Ours is always from a local supplier and always fresh so really very vibrant and flavourful, I think I mentioned in the recipe the Hungarian way of cooking with Paprika seems to be take what you think is a sensible amount, double it and then add a little bit more for luck 😀


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