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Hungarian Chicken Paprikash (Paprikás Csirke)

4 to 6 Servings

1 hour 40 minutes 25 minutes active

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Our version of paprikás csirke, or chicken paprikash, blends techniques from restaurant chefs and home cooks who taught us their recipes during our visit to Budapest, Hungary. We learned that in addition to a generous amount of onion, sautéed until sweet and softened to create a flavor base, there are a couple other keys to achieving fullness and complexity in the iconic dish. Paprika (both sweet and hot) is, of course, a defining ingredient in the dish—one that adds a touch of heat, a rusty hue and thickening power to boot—but multiple forms of capsicums, or peppers, are essential for depth and range of flavor. To that end, we include jarred roasted red peppers, blended to a smooth puree, to bring a silky sweetness, plus a fresh banana (or wax) pepper, finely chopped, for tangy, fruity notes. Additionally, the freshness of the paprika is important. If yours has been in the pantry for a while and has lost its verve (it should be bright red, not dull brown, and full of fragrance), it won’t deliver. Seek out fresh, quality paprika, and in particular look for brands produced in Hungary. With a lush, velvety sauce, paprikash traditionally is served with homemade dumplings called nokedli and a tangy-creamy cucumber salad called uborka saláta that brings brightness and texture.

4 to 6



Don’t stir the sour cream into the chicken mixture while still on the heat. Remove the pot from the burner, push the chicken to the sides and whisk the sour cream and the remaining pepper puree into the braising liquid in the center. This technique gently warms the sour cream so it won’t separate.

1 hour 40 minutes

25 minutes active


  • ½

    cup drained jarred roasted red peppers

  • 2

    tablespoons lemon juice, divided


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Lisa B.
March 13, 2023
Chicken paprikash
This recipe was easy and turned out delicious.
Michael Y.
February 4, 2023
Best of Budapest
Chiming in to agree that this is totally delicious. I made the whole meal (chicken, dumplings, cuke salad) and it was a hearty winter weekend dinner that everyone loved. Three big suggestions: 1) I agree that the braising sauce needs to be reduced by about a third at some point, possibly after braising the chicken; 2) you may want to add a little more lemon juice and sour cream; 3) definitely eat this with the cucumber salad because the dressing compliments the paprika sauce.
Cortney M.
January 6, 2023
Loved it
Should have thickened the sauce a little. everything else was amazing . Best paprikash recipe yet.
Shelagh S.
December 10, 2022
Definitely a keeper?
This turned out great — layers of flavor from the various types of pepper. Putting in my regular rotation.
Michelle K.
November 6, 2022
Great flavor
Made this the first time for company. Everyone loved it. It was delicious. My sister had made it and with her input, I made a few changes. First step 3 is repeated as step four. I lightly floured then browned the chicken. I only used 3/4 of one pepper, I felt that two would be too spicy for us. I also cook the sauce down quite a bit before last step.