Hungarian-style chicken paprikash meatballs is a pure comfort dinner with light, tender juicy meatballs in a creamy paprika sauce. Delish over noodles or rice.
My Hungarian friend, Viv, introduced me to Chicken Paprikash over 30 years ago. (I think sour cream might be her favourite food in the world.) Well, I loved it then and I love it now. I researched a ton of recipes (as usual) and put together this one which, I’m happy to report, got raised eyebrows from my husband – the good kind – and he doesn’t even like sour cream.
Typically chicken paprikash is made with bone-in chicken (mostly dark meat). I decided to use meatballs instead with dark ground chicken meat. The meatballs are really good – light, tasty, soft and juicy. I used the same recipe for Cocktail Chicken Meatballs and just sprinkled a bit of paprika on them before baking. The meatballs are baked instead of fried which brings the calorie count down. You can also use low fat sour cream if you prefer in this dish. I don’t bother because I only use a half cup of sour cream which is enough to give the sauce a creamy texture and mellow flavor without tasting like sour cream.
One important thing to note. In my research, I read over and over that you must try to use the freshest Hungarian paprika you can find – it will make a big difference. So if your paprika has been sitting in the cupboard for a year…
In keeping with the typical Hungarian style, the dish is best served with noodles. Rice or mashed potatoes, however, work well too. Oh, and I forgot to mention that this from-scratch recipe only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.
- In a pinch, don’t hesitate to use frozen store-bought meatballs – and thaw them.
- Homemade meatballs previously made and frozen are perfect as well.
- Use frozen garlic cubes instead of fresh minced garlic.
Make Ahead Chicken Paprikash Meatballs
- The meatballs can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for a few days or frozen.
- Or, the whole dish can be prepared and reheated gently on the stove or microwave, stirring often.
Chicken Paprikash Meatballs Recipe
- 1 1/2 lb minced chicken (dark or white meat)
- 2 slices bread, torn into little pieces
- 3 tbsp tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 tbsp grated onion (or 1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tbsp ketchup
- 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt or more to taste
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper or more to taste
- 2 tbsp butter (or vegetable oil)
- 1 cup chopped onion (1/2 large onion)
- 2 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
- 2 tbsp Hungarian Paprika
- 1 1/2 tbsp flour
- 1 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup sour cream (full or light)
- 1/2 tsp sriracha sauce (or other hot sauce)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp chopped parsley or more
- Heat oven to 425F.
- MAKE MEATBALLS: Line a large baking pan with parchment or foil sprayed with oil. In a medium bowl, add bread and milk. Let soak for a minute until liquid is absorbed. Add grated onion, ketchup, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix together. Add minced chicken and lightly mix all ingredients together. Mixture will be very moist. Wet your hands (do this periodically) and form into meatballs about 2 inches. (I don't worry about them being perfectly round). Place on pan and bake for 13-15 minutes or until cooked through.
- MAKE PAPRIKASH SAUCE: While meatballs are baking, make sauce. Heat butter (or oil) in skillet to Medium. Add onions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Stir in paprika and garlic. Stir in flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. Increase heat to medium high. Add broth, tomato sauce and sriracha (if using). Cook for a few minutes until sauce is thickened. See Note 1 to Make Ahead
- FINISH DISH: Lower heat to a simmer. Add meatballs to sauce and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Stir in sour cream and herbs and heat through for a minute or so. Add salt and pepper to taste. If sauce is too thick, thin it with a bit more broth. Serve over noodles, quinoa, mashed potatoes or rice.
- Make Meatballs Ahead: Meatballs can be made ahead, cooled and refrigerated for a couple of days. Or frozen.
Other meatball recipes you might like: