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Chicken Meatballs in hungarian paprikash sauce
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5 from 14 votes

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash With Meatballs

We're using light, tender juicy chicken meatballs in this version of Hungarian chicken paprikash. Same delicious (and fairly traditional) paprikash sauce though. And only 30 minutes to prepare.
Prep Time8 mins
Cook Time22 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course, make ahead
Cuisine: Hungarian
Servings (change as needed): 4
Author: Cheryl



  • 1 1/2 pound (0.68kg) ground/minced chicken (dark or white meat - I use dark)
  • 2 slices bread, torn into tiny pieces (or 1/3 cup breadcrumbs)
  • 3 tablespoon milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon grated onion (or 1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper or more to taste

Paprikash Sauce

  • 2 tablespoon butter (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup chopped onion (1/2 large onion)
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoon Hungarian Paprika, Note 1 sweet or hot
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon flour
  • 1 1/4 cup (300 ml) chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup (112g, 8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup (123g, 4.3oz) sour cream (full or light)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha or other hot sauce, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup (50g) chopped parsley


  • PREP: Heat oven to 425F/218C IF baking meatballs. If pan frying, use large non stick pan. Gather all ingredients.
  • MAKE MEATBALLS: In a medium bowl, add bread bits 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 (I used my hand like a claw to mix and twist lightly). 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).
    To pan fry: Heat non stick pan to medium (I use 6/10) and add 1-2 tsp oil. Form meatballs and drop into pan. You will have to do 2 batches. Pan fry for 2-3 minutes per side until lightly browned. They will finish cooking in the sauce later. Set aside on paper towel. Repeat with 2nd batch.
    To bake: Line a large baking pan with parchment or foil sprayed with oil. Place meatballs on pan and bake for about 12-13 minutes until almost cooked through. They will finish cooking in the sauce later.
  • MAKE PAPRIKASH SAUCE: While meatballs are baking or pan frying, make sauce. Heat butter (or oil) in a skillet to Medium. Add onions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Turn heat to medium low and stir in paprika and garlic. Stir in flour and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Increase heat to medium high. Add broth, tomato sauce and sriracha (if using). Cook for a 3 minutes until sauce is thickened.
  • FINISH DISH: Lower heat to a simmer. Stir in sour cream and parsley, then meatballs and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. If sauce is too thick, thin it with a bit more broth. Serve over noodles, mashed potatoes or rice.


  1. Paprika: Use any combination of Hungarian sweet paprika, Hungarian hot paprika or smoked paprika. If using regular paprika (also called sweet paprika), you can always add spice with chili flakes, sriracha or any hot sauce. 
  2. Variations to try:
    • Chicken: The recipe calls for meatballs - you can use white or dark ground chicken. I use dark. You can, however, use the more pan-fried traditional bone-in chicken pieces. Or even grilled chicken.
    • Vegetables: feel free to add chopped peppers when you are sauteing the onions. 
    • Sour Cream - since you're only using 1/2 cup for the whole recipe, I go for the full fat sour cream. Light is fine too. Even plain yogurt. Another option, is to skip the sour cream and add heavy cream or half and half (10%). 
  3. Make Ahead: Meatballs can be made ahead, cooled and refrigerated for a couple of days. Or frozen. The whole dish can also be made ahead and refrigerated, then gently warmed on the stove or in microwave with 2-3 days. 
Nutrition values are estimates. 
Calories: 427kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 177mg | Sodium: 1560mg | Potassium: 1352mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2999IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 4mg