Hungarian Paprika Chicken

Not Your Mother’s® Weeknight Cooking

Being of Hungarian descent, I adore the little family of dishes that are prepared with a paprika and sour cream sauce. Hungarians love paprikás so much that they consider it an essential dish for every cook to know how to make. Paprika is considered “the poor man’s pepper,” and it is comfort food for me. If you’re used to using it only as a colorful garnish, this dish will be a revelation. Here I mix both mild and hot paprika, but if you can find félédes, the sweet-hot blend, buy it immediately. Serve with rice, egg noodles, or traditional spaetzle dumplings.


  • Serves 4
  • Cooking Method: Stovetop
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: About 35 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed and cut into 3-inch square chunks and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 large red, yellow, or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 fresh or canned plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 8 ounces sour cream (regular or reduced-fat)
  • Pinch of salt and few grinds of black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until softened. Add the chicken, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes; do not brown it or it will be tough. Add the bell pepper, tomatoes, and paprika. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, stir the cornstarch into the sour cream. Add to the pan and cook, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sauce is hot and thickened. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.