Hungarian Chicken Paprikas with Homemade Spaetzle

Hungarian Chicken PaprikasThis post is for all of you who are still enduring the longest and coldest winter ever! My heart goes out to you. Buuuut Hungarian Chicken Paprikas will make it all better.


Rich and creamy and surprisingly easy to prepare –this is chicken at its best.

Traditional Hungarian Chicken Paprikas and Homemade Spaetzle This is the quintessential Hungarian dish. When I think of using sour cream to finish a dish, I think of Hungarian Chicken Paprikas (Csirkepaprikas) and Russian Beef Stroganoff.

Two of my favorite foods of all time!

Traditional Hungarian Chicken Paprikas and Homemade Spaetzle

I LOVE Hungarian food. And it doesn’t hurt that my Husband is half Hungarian and he loves it. When we were working in Cleveland, Ohio we would go out to truly authentic Hungarian restaurants as a treat. He would share his favorite culinary memories from childhood and I would relish his ethnic past and wish that I could taste just one bite of his Grandmother’s cooking.

Okay maybe one bite of each dish and a cookie or three. Fair enough?

Traditional Hungarian Chicken Paprikas and Homemade Spaetzle

But down here in Atlanta, if you want Chicken Paprikas with Hungarian dumplings, you are just going to have to make it yourself.

Traditional Hungarian Chicken Paprikas and Homemade Spaetzle

I was nervous about making Spaetzle from scratch. In Cleveland there is a strong Hungarian influence, and you can buy homemade, fresh spaetzle at the regular grocery store, but not down here in the South. No, no. You have to brave them yourself.

But, truthfully, it wasn’t that hard!!! You stir them up in one bowl and drop the dough into boiling water with a spoon. How hard is that? It’s not. It’s completely manageable. But, if you don’t want to fuss with the spaetzle, and your grocer doesn’t carry it, you can’t go wrong with egg noodles, because, let’s be honest, it’s all about the sauce!

Traditional Hungarian Chicken Paprikas and Homemade Spaetzle

With a dish that has so few ingredients, one must use THE BEST of each. That means a rich chicken broth (preferably homemade), authentic, imported Hungarian paprika, and a good quality sour cream. They will make all the difference.

Hungarian Chicken Paprikas

So go pick up some Hungarian sweet paprika and make this tomorrow! You’ll forget all about that snow outside. Well, at least for a while.

Side Note: Lots of people (including some very famous people and magazines) incorrectly call this dish Chicken Paprikash, which is how it is pronounced. I am not known for my spelling, so I just wanted to throw that out there.

Hungarian Chicken Paprikas with Homemade Spaetzle

Yield: Serves 6 - 8

Hungarian Chicken Paprikas with Homemade Spaetzle

This traditional Hungarian Chicken Paprikas is comfort cooking at its best! A rich, creamy sauce flavored with sweet Hungarian paprika surrounds tender chicken for a delicious meal!


    For the Chicken Paprikas:
  • ¼ cup butter + 1 tablespoon
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth An excellent chicken stock here)
  • 3 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, as needed for coating chicken
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • For the Hungarian Spaetzle:
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cups water
  • 1 tablespooon butter, melted


    Prepare the Chicken Paprikas:
  1. Chop chicken into 1” pieces and dry and dust lightly with flour.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat until it is hot. Melt ¼ cup butter. Add chicken, paprika, salt and pepper, and sauté until the chicken is lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan and tent loosely with foil.
  3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to pan and sauté onions until they are translucent. Return chicken to the pan.
  4. Add chicken broth and gently simmer over low heat until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from the pan and tent loosely with foil.
  5. Stir 2 tablespoons of flour into the pan and boil until the sauce has thickened to your taste. Add sour cream and return chicken to the pan and coat with the sauce.
  6. Serve with spaetlze or egg noodles.
  7. Prepare the Spaetzle:
  8. I suggest you make the spaetlze while your chicken is simmering in the broth. I made mine too early and they sat around for way too long.
  9. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  10. Whisk together flour and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the eggs, water and butter.
  11. Stir until the batter is smooth and thick.
  12. Drop batter (each dollop about a teaspoon) into boiling water with a spoon; dipping the spoon into the water each time. This will keep your spoon clean and make the whole process less painful. [You can make these larger or smaller to your taste]
  13. Cook only half the dough at a time to avoid over crowding. Stir the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon, so that the dumplings will rise to the top. After the dumplings rise to the top, let them boil about 2 minutes more.
  14. Remove to a large colander and drain while you repeat the process with the second half of the batter.
  15. Add about a teaspoon of butter to the spaetzle and toss to coat. (This isn’t traditional but I found that it kept them from sticking together)


Authentic Hungarian chicken paprikas recipes call for bone-in chicken pieces, but I find my method simplifies the process and that way there are no bones in the final dish. Bone in chicken would need to cook longer in the broth and would, thus, be more flavorful because the sauce would have more time to develop.


  1. says

    Oh is it still winter somewhere? lol Seems like winter just whizzed by here. It’s totally springtime-y here in socali.
    I haven’t tried many Hungarian dishes yet. But Spaetzle is one of the dishes that I’ve had and loved. The dish looks like total winter comfort food….but looks good for even springtime weather (like the ones us socalifornians are having). Oh and I used to love drinking the Hungarian wine too, Tokaji lol. So yum!
    Miss Kim @ behgopa recently posted…Crab eating traditions at Redondo Beach and a stroll down memory lane!My Profile

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Meanie! It’s still winter EVERYWHERE…except SoCal. You should try it! Hungarian food is delish – any time of year! I’ve never had Hungarian wine – must try.

  2. says

    I’ve never heard of this dish before, but not only does the recipe make me think this will be delicious the pictures you took are incredible! My girlfriend and I are always looking for new recipes to try and this looks right up our alley- Thanks for the post~
    I don’t suppose you have other Hungarian dishes to share???

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Hi Efrain! I’m so glad you found my blog and I hope you and your girlfriend do try this chicken paprikas! It delicious! The only other Hungarian food I have on the blog are cookies which are amazing too (Apricot Kolaches & Walnut Rolls). You would probably also like Russian Beef Stroganhoff and this recipe is amazing!!

  3. Elisa Francois says

    Your recipe is almost exactly the way we make this. My mother and I still do. My grandmother (and great grandmother, a cook who owned a small hotel in the Catskills) both came from Hungary.

    Yes, we keep the chicken pieces on the bone, the broth build even more flavor. But your recipe is the first ever I seen that almost duplicates the spaetzle (which we call nokedli) that we make! The best with this chicken dish!!

    One of the best comfort foods ever!!! The flavor of the sauce/broth is so good, you can take a spoon and eat it!

    Thank you for sharing! I can say it’s excellent!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Thank you Elisa! That was my first time making spaetzle, and next time I will make them smaller but my husband loved the whole dish! I made it with boneless because I’m lazy but you’re right, it should be made with bone-in pieces. Next time I’ll try that and see how it changes the flavor. I have been working on Hungarian Green Bean Soup because my husband’s grandmother used to make it and I have ruined 2 batches so far. It keeps curdling! If you have any pointers, I would love to hear them!

      • Elisa Francois says

        I would say maybe try tempering some soup with the sour cream separately and then add that to your soup mixture. Does the recipe call for vinegar and if so maybe add the vinegar to the sour cream first.

        While I have your attention have you ever heard of cabbage noodles? Another awesome dish!

        • AmericanCooking22 says

          Thank you, Elisa! Both recipes that I tried called for vinegar, and I knew it was going to curdle before I added it, but I figured there must be a way! I’ll try adding the vinegar to the sour cream first like you suggest – maybe that’s the ticket!

          I haven’t heard of cabbage noodles, but now I’m going to search for a recipe in all 3 of my trusty heritage Hungarian cookbooks! Thanks for the suggestions!

  4. says

    Your dish looks amazing. I would like to do this like a goulash I make on my blog. My mother in law is Czech. Going to ask her if this would be good for our wedding dinner and if she cooks it any differently. We do something similar with beef but that takes forever to break down and cook to be tender.
    Jenne Kopalek recently posted…Date Night at Cheddar’sMy Profile

  5. says

    My nana is straight of the boat. My family is Hungarian and I’ve had plenty of Chx paprikash. It’s been a while and I’m Gona make it tonight. Thx for the reminder of this belly filling meal. Also love helushka, hudika polichenta, solina ect……(not sure the spelling is correct). Thx again.

  6. Bonnie Windl says

    Thank you! This recipe pleased my Hungarian Husband … Just like Moms! Will be made again.
    I also made the Hungarian Spaetzle.
    Recommend! You will be happy with results.

  7. Robert says

    I am in no way a cook…But my Dad having a German decent has for years wanted to have some Hungarian Chicken Paprakish…So I searched found this recipe it took me twice to get it right but he was impressed and I found a meal that well i think would be the envy of any table…Thank you…For those looking for a Hungarian dish I think this hits the spot…

    • Lindsey says

      Thank you so much Robert! I am so glad it was a hit with your Dad! This is still my favorite paprikas recipe to date! Have a great week!

  8. Samantha Ventura says

    Made this tonight for dinner and my husband said it is literally his favorite dish right now!!

    • Lindsey says

      Awww thanks Samantha!!! You’re comment made my day! I am so happy he loved it! It really is divine – I was definitely caught more than once eating it cold from the fridge!!! If he liked this one, he might also like my healthier beef stroganoff as a change:-)

  9. Paul a katona says

    This one of hundreds of recipes.i will try it your way.i like with bone in but I’m lazy too, lol, I make paprika so several ways. My kids and their love that spätzle with butter salt pepper papprlas.thank for showing me different way, God bless

  10. Mary says

    My family has loved this dish for years. I found a trick from an old hungarian recipe to add 2 Tablespoons of farina(cream of wheat) to your recipe for the spaetzle…makes a nice chewy noodle. I’ve also found that putting dollops of the batter at a time onto a flat cheese grater (the large holes) or a large holed colander and use a spatula to push/smush the spaetzle through into the boiling water. My husband calls it ChickenCheckYourPackage…lol

    • Lindsey says

      Those are excellent tips! Your husband is hilarious! lol! I will have to try that next time I make spaetzle – especially the cheese grater part. At work we use a perforated hotel pan but most home-cooks don’t have those!

  11. Alice says

    I use hot Hungarian paprika, and instead of browning the onions and chicken in butter, I use bacon fat. This is my all time favorite food!

  12. says

    That is great you did this for your husband with benefits if a great dish. All hungarian girls learn how to make it even if they are second third maybe on generation American.
    As far as the grater to form the spatzle I learned the fast and easy way. Just get a cutting board not used for meat to be safe and pour a but on and even it out to preferrd size and use a straight knife to scrape off into the water. It’s fast less work and clean up.
    My great grandma from hungary as she got older had trouble chewing the onions so it would be made using a whole onion or cut in large pieces that could be filtered out. Something to keep in mind for elders. It was kinda funny but it worked out okay you just didn’t brown the onion.
    In her 80s she could still sew and was sought after for Hingarian iutfits as well as hand made gowns in her tone,
    Many had to leave hungary with nothing but they brought their skills with them, and their cooking. 🙂
    I admired the care you put into it.

  13. Steve says

    To all to give the spezals a real twist add a pinch of nutmeg to them before mixing in the eggs. It’s a real nice added taste

  14. Claudia kubek says

    I’ve just made this dish for my husband. He’s Hungarian and Czech. Has anyone ever used a ricer for the spetzel?

    • Lindsey says

      Hi Claudia! I have used a ricer at work or a perforated pan. In my opinion the ricer makes them too small but it is certainly easier.

    • Lindsey says

      I haven’t. Honestly I haven’t seen packages spaetzl since I lived in Cleveland but there was a strong Hungarian and Eastern European presence there. I used to buy it in the grocery store and LOVED it. So convenient. Ps- Stacy, I love your email address. Such a positive daily reminder. 🙂

  15. Elisa Francois says

    to Stacy, I have tried the Maggie brand. At a dinner visiting family. Honestly was a little tough for my liking. If I was to choose if not making homemade, I would go with egg noodles instead.


Leave a Reply to Liz Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge