Paprikas Csirke Hungarian Chicken Paprikash Recipe

Paprikas Csirke is our favourite Eastern European comfort food and the national dish of Hungary.

The decadent creamy chicken entree is beloved by locals, from bustling Budapest to rural Hungarian villages.

Traditional Paprikas Csirke typically served with noodle dumplings, also known as spaetzle, with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle of chopped chives.

Our easy Paprikas Csirke recipe is the perfect entree to serve at a Hungarian-themed dinner party. The main dish is beautifully presented, sure to wow your guests. It helps that kids love it too!

Our authentic Hungarian Chicken Paprikash recipe features flavourful butter, chicken thighs, onions, garlic, tomatoes, red bell pepper, sweet paprika, chicken stock, sour cream, whipping cream and chives.

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What Is Paprikas Csirke?

Paprikás Csirke (pronounced paprikash cheerke) is a classic Hungarian dish also known as Chicken Paprikash.

Paprikash is one of the few dishes in the world that takes its name from a spice – in this case, the spice that became the backbone of Hungarian cuisine. Originally imported from Turkey, the red peppers that are dried and ground into paprika have been grown in southern Hungary for nearly 500 years.

According to George Lang’s book The Cuisine of Hungary, it is one of the four pillars of Hungarian cooking (the others are gulyás, pörkölt, and tokány).

“The main difference between pörkölt and paprikás is that paprikás is usually finished with sweet or sour cream, sometimes mixed with a little flour, but always stirred in just before serving,” says Lang. “You never use cream of any kind in recipes for gulyás or pörkölt. Also, beef, mutton, game, goose, duck, and pork are most popular for pörkölt; veal and chicken for paprikás.”

Paprikas Csirke is a rustic staple for Hungarian home cooks and at étkezdes (Hungarian lunch-rooms). In Hungary, this dish is usually eaten with galuska (spaetzle noodle dumplings) and a cucumber salad.

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Traditional Paprikas Csirke Hungarian Chicken Paprikash recipe ingredients.
Traditional Paprikas Csirke Hungarian Chicken Paprikash recipe ingredients.

Travel to Hungary by CookingPaprikas Csirke at Home

I love traveling to Europe!

During my first visit to the continent I traveled for 5 months by train and plane. I had the opportunity to eat my way through IrelandScotlandEnglandWalesPortugalSpainFranceBelgiumHollandDenmarkNorwaySwedenFinland,RussiaEstoniaLatviaPolandCzechGermanyAustriaCroatiaBosniaHungarySlovakiaGreeceTurkey and Italy.

I visited Hungary on my first trip to Europe. I backpacked to 18 European countries in the summer of my third year of university. I was living on a shoestring, sleeping in friendly hostels and eating my way from the stunning sunsets of the Portuguese Algarve to scenic fjords on the west coast of Norway.

I spent 4 days exploring Budapest, the Hungarian capital. The two scenic cities (Buda and Pest) straddle the Danube River and offer visiting foodies gorgeous architecture, scenic views, bustling markets and friendly and affordable restaurants.

No trip to the capital is complete without a visit to the Budapest Central Market.Paprikas Csirke lovers will find endless market stalls selling strings of dried red peppers that dangle over your head like Christmas garlands. You can also purchase sweet Hungarian paprika to take home and use to cook our authentic Chicken Paprikash recipe!

Traditional Paprikas Csirke features crispy pan fried chicken thighs.
TraditionalPaprikas Csirke features crispy pan fried chicken thighs.

Where To EatPaprikas Csirke

If you live in a large city in Canada or America you’ll likely have access to a local Eastern European restaurant that serves traditionalPaprikas Csirke.

Haven’t traveled to Europe before? It may be helpful to first sample Chicken Paprikash at a localHungarian restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You can determine the ideal portion size, types of chicken cuts to use and delicious side dishes to serve it at the table.

In Toronto, popular Eastern European restaurants in YorkvilleKing West and Ossington that may serve authenticPaprikas Csirke include Cafe PolonezWvrstCountry Style HungarianTennessee TavernAmber European and Chopin.

Paprikas Csirke sauce is flavoured with paprika, garlic, onions and red bell peppers.
Paprikas Csirke sauce is flavoured with paprika, garlic, onions and red bell peppers.

My Family LovesPaprikas Csirke

I love cooking creamy Chicken Paprikash for my family and friends.

There truly is nothing more satisfying than forking through a steaming plate of tender chicken smothered in paprika sour cream sauce and buttery noodle dumplings.

While you can cook Paprikas Csirke year round, we like to enjoy the hearty Hungarian comfort food dish during the colder months of the year, between Thanksgiving and Easter.

I first made Hungarian Chicken Paprikash for my family during a cold snowy day in February. After marching through a blizzard, a bowl ofPaprikas Csirke really does warm you up!

I knew my family would love the popular Hungarian entree as they enjoy recipes featuring chicken, creamy sauces and pasta.

You can make homemadenoodle dumplings called spaetzle or simply boil a bag of German-style egg noodles.

Simmer chicken thighs in flavourful Paprikas Csirke sauce.
Simmer chicken thighs in flavourfulPaprikas Csirke sauce.

Health Benefits

Our Chicken Paprikash recipe is packed full of wholesome ingredients!

Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.

Rich in a group of phytochemicals called carotenoids, tomatoes may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and provide protection against cancer. Tomatoes are also a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C.

Bell Peppers are an incredible source of vitamins C and A, which support your skin and immune system. They also provide beneficial carotenoid compounds such as beta-carotene, which has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers.

Chicken is high in protein and provides B vitamins such as niacin, which helps your body access the energy in foods.   

Paprika is rich in vitamin A, capsaicin, and carotenoid antioxidants. These substances may help prevent inflammation and improve your cholesterol, eye health and blood sugar levels.

Packed with calcium and friendly probiotic bacteria, sour cream and yogurt help keep your bones strong and your gut healthy. Yogurt may also help reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes and some types of cancer. 

Decadent creamy Hungarian Chicken Paprikash is thickened with sour cream.
Decadent creamy Hungarian Chicken Paprikash is thickened with sour cream.

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash Cooking Tips

This authentic Hungarian Chicken recipe is quick and easy to make at home.

  • We suggest using a large nonstick skillet to reduce splatter when cooking.
  • We’ve used bone-in skin-on chicken thighs for this recipe as they impart the most flavour to the dish. You can use other cuts of dark chicken meat like wings, drumsticks or legs. We do not suggest using chicken breasts for this recipe as the meat is drier and less flavourful.
  • We’ve used Spanish cooking onions in this recipe but you could substitue for sweet Vidalia onions, white onions or shallots.
  • We’ve used sweet Roma tomatoes in this recipe but you could substitute for beefsteak tomatoes or cherry tomatoes.
  • Use high quality Hungarian Sweet Paprika in this recipe, not smoked paprika!
  • Serve the dish with homemade spaetzle or store bought German Egg Noodles.
Serve Paprikas Csirke topped with a dollop of sour cream and chopped chives.
ServePaprikas Csirke topped with a dollop of sour cream and chopped chives.

What To Serve with Chicken Paprikash

There’s nothing more comforting than cozying up to a steaming plate ofPaprikas Csirke.

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash is typically served with German noodles, sour cream and chives. You can also serve it with cheesy polenta and a fresh salad.

If you’re hosting an Eastern European-themed dinner party feel free to serve Chicken Paprikash in a buffet alongside Polish Dill Pickle Soup, Polish Sour Rye Zurek Soup, Mizeria Creamy Polish Cucumber Salad, Homemade Pierogies, Speckknödel German Bread Bacon Dumplings, Romanian Soup Ciorba de Perisoare, Kartoffelknödel German Potato Dumplings, Pork Rouladen, and Flädlesuppe German Pancake Soup.

Paprikas Csirke is traditionally served with noodle dumplings called Spaetzle.
Paprikas Csirke is traditionally served with noodle dumplings called Spaetzle.

You May Also Enjoy These Chicken Recipes…

Now you're an expert on how to make the best Paprikas Csirke Hungarian Paprikash recipe!
Now you’re an expert on how to make the bestPaprikas Csirke Hungarian Paprikash recipe!

Paprikas Csirke Hungarian Chicken Paprikash Video

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4.75 from 4 votes

Paprikas Csirke Hungarian Chicken Paprikash

How to make traditional Paprikas Csirke. Traditional Hungarian Chicken Paprikash recipe with creamy paprika sauce, sour cream and noodles.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Hungarian
Keyword: Paprikas Csirke
Servings: 8
Calories: 505kcal


  • French knife
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • Nonstick Skillet
  • Large pot or Dutch Oven


  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 3 lb Bone-in Skin-on Chicken Thighs
  • 2 Spanish Onions finely chopped
  • 4 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes seeds removed, finely diced
  • 1 Small Red Bell Pepper diced
  • 4 tbsp Sweet Paprika
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1.5 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 3 tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Sour Cream 1
  • 1/4 cup Whipping Cream
  • 2 tbsp Chives chopped


  • Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch Oven and brown the chicken on both sides, 6-7 minutes. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and set aside. 
  • In the same pot, add the onions and fry until golden brown, 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic, bell pepper and tomatoes then sautee another 2-3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the paprika, salt and pepper.
  • Return the chicken to the pot and place it back over medium heat. Pour in the chicken broth until the meat is mostly covered. Bring to a slow boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken and transfer to a plate.
  • In a small bowl, stir the flour into the sour cream and whipping cream to form a smooth paste. Stir the cream mixture into the sauce, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Bring the sauce to a simmer for a couple of minutes until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Return the chicken to the sauce and simmer to heat through.
  • Serve chicken paprikash sprinkled with chopped chives alongside German Spaetzle noodles.


Calories: 505kcal | Carbohydrates: 11.1g | Protein: 32.8g | Fat: 36.3g | Saturated Fat: 13.9g | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 798mg | Potassium: 283mg | Fiber: 2.6g | Sugar: 3.4g | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 3mg

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