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Chicken Paprikash Instant Pot

2.75 from 24 votes

Creamy, meaty, and with a hit of smoky sweetness, making this Chicken Paprikash Instant Pot recipe an easy dish for a busy weeknight. Loaded with flavor and with a thick gravy that’s perfect over spaetzle or noodles, everyone will be going back for seconds!

chicken paprikash instant pot on a plate

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This is an easy Instant Pot recipe. There are a few steps to making this Instant Pot Chicken Paprikash, but once you’ve got the meat and onions dealt with, you set it and forget it. The only question is, what will you serve with this meaty, creamy, and sweet-smoky flavorful dish that’s loaded with fresh paprika?

What You Need To Make Chicken Paprikash Instant Pot Recipe

  • An Instant Pot – any model will do but I love the big 6 qt model with all the functions.
  • Olive oil or your favorite cooking oil for sauteeing.
  • Chicken thighs – you can use legs or breasts but I love meaty thighs in this recipe.
  • Onions – yes, it’s a lot of onion but they melt into the sauce making it oh-so-crazy-lick-your-plate-clean good.
  • Chicken broth – use low or no sodium chicken broth or stock.
  • Paprika – you need THREE kinds of paprika in this recipe – sweet paprika, smoky paprika, and spicy paprika. See my notes below.
  • All purpose flour – or your favorite thickener
  • Sour cream
  • Salt and black pepper

That’s it!

What Is Paprika and How To Use it

Paprika is made by grinding dried sweet peppers into a powder. This is where the vibrant red color comes from. But there are three kinds of paprika, and this recipe calls for all three, and how you add paprika to this recipe (or any recipe for that matter) is important. More about that below.

  • Paprika – the regular version of paprika has a sweet, pepper flavor and vibrant red color.
  • Smoked paprika – the dried pepper pods are smoked before grinding, and smoked paprika has a smoky and sweet flavor. It will be a less vibrant shade of red. You may find this labeled as Spanish paprika.
  • Hot paprika – the authentic Hungarian paprika has a spicy kick to it. It is made from spicy peppers and may be labeled hot Hungarian paprika.

Paprika is water-soluble and burns VERY quickly. Unlike spices that require toasting in hot fat or oil to bring out the flavors, paprika should never be added to hot oil or it can burn and will have a bitter, acrid flavor. Instead, always add paprika to liquid. Don’t worry, all that flavor will come out making this the best Chicken Paprikash dish you’ve ever had!

Paprika doesn’t have a very long shelf life. It will lose some of its potent flavor after about 6 months. Some people keep it in the fridge to extend its flavor up to about a year. Make this paprika chicken with the freshest possible paprika.

chicken paprikash instant pot style served on a bed of spaetzle

How To Make Chicken Paprikash In the Instant Pot

This Instant Pot chicken recipe is a traditional Hungarian dish and it couldn’t be any easier, and I’ll walk you through it! (Scroll all the way down to the recipe card for the full ingredient list and instructions.)

  1. Set your Instant Pot to Sauté, High. Give it a minute or two to heat up.
  2. Add some oil to the bottom of the Instant Pot insert. When the oil is shimmering and hot (but not smoking) add the seasoned chicken thighs, skin side down. Let them sear for 2-3 minutes then flip them over. You may need to do this in two batches so you don’t overcrowd the insert.
  3. Remove the chicken breasts and set them aside. Add the sliced onion to the hot Instant Pot – keep it on sauté.
  4. Stir the onions around, sautéing them for 4-5 minutes or until they are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté an additional minute or until the garlic is fragrant.
  5. Deglaze the Instant Pot with 1/4 cup chicken broth. Add it to the hot onions and scrape up all the crunchy bits stuck to the bottom of the IP. Turn off the heat and add the rest of the chicken broth.
  6. Add the paprika and mix well.
  7. Return the chicken to the Instant Pot, seal it and set it to Soup/Stew and set it for 15 minutes. Natural release for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove the chicken from the IP and set aside.
  9. Mix 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with 1/4 cup of water to make a thick liquid. Add this in a slow stream while whisking, to the still boiling liquid. If it has stopped boiling, put it back on Sautee for a few minutes.
  10. When the gravy has boiled and thickened, turn off the heat and remove the insert from the Instant Pot. Add a few spoonfuls of hot sauce to the sour cream (to temper it) and mix thoroughly. Add the sour cream mixture back into the rest of the gravy, stirring well to blend it it.
  11. Season the creamy paprika sauce with salt and pepper and spoon it over your chicken. Enjoy your Instant Pot paprikash!

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • Remove excess skin from the chicken thighs before searing them
  • If the thighs are sticking to the bottom of the Instant Pot while searing them, let them go another minute or two. They should release fairly easily when they’re browned
  • Don’t overcrowd the IP when searing the chicken or it’ll just steam and not brown
  • Add the paprika to the chicken stock or broth in the Instant Pot so it doesn’t burn

What To Serve With Instant Pot Chicken Paprikash

This Chicken Paprikash Instant Pot recipe pairs sooo nicely with so many different dishes. Most purists will say to enjoy this chicken stew recipe with spaetzle, a kind of eggy noodle. But you can also serve it with regular pasta, dried egg noodles, or even rice or mashed potatoes.

Pair this easy Chicken Paprikash recipe with a bright green veggie, and you’ll be all set!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze Instant Pot chicken paprika?

Yes, you can! Simply chill it thoroughly in the fridge for several hours or overnight. Then, package the chicken and sauce in an air-tight container or zipper-top bag for up to three months. To reheat, thaw it overnight in the fridge and warm it slowly on the stovetop, in the oven, or in the microwave.

Is Chicken Paprikash gluten-free?

It can be. Instead of thickening the sauce with a slurry of all-purpose flour and water, use cornstarch and water to thicken the sauce.

Is this Chicken Paprikash recipe easy to make?

Yes! If you can sautee then you can make this recipe. It has a few steps, but the results are oh-so worth it!

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Step By Step Process

serve and enjoy your chicken paprikash instant pot recipe
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2.75 from 24 votes

Chicken Paprikash Instant Pot

Thick, creamy, and meaty, this Chicken Paprikash Instant Pot recipe is a winner! So easy to make and with so much flavor, everyone will want seconds!
Course Main Course
Cuisine European
Keyword chicken paprikash, chicken recipes, chicken thighs, instant pot, instant pot recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 697kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs bone-in, skin on
  • 4 cups sliced onions
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups low or no sodium chicken broth
  • 3 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sour cream full fat works best in this recipe
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper or to taste

Instructions

  • Set your Instant Pot to Sautee, High. Give it a minute or two to heat up.
  • Add some oil to the bottom of the Instant Pot insert. When the oil is shimmering and hot (but not smoking) add the seasoned chicken thighs, skin side down. Let them sear for 2-3 minutes then flip them over. You may need to do this in two batches so you don't overcrowd the insert.
  • Remove the chicken breasts and set aside. Add the sliced onion to the hot Instant Pot – keep it on sautee.
  • Stir the onions around, sauteeing them for 4-5 minutes or until they are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and sautee an additional minute or until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Deglaze the Instant Pot with 1/4 cup chicken broth. Add it to the hot onions and scrape up all the crunchy bits stuck to the bottom of the IP. Turn off the heat and add the rest of the chicken broth.
  • Add the paprika and mix well.
  • Return the chicken to the Instant Pot, seal it and set it to Soup/Stew and set it for 15 minutes. Natural release for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the IP and set aside on a clean plate.
  • Mix 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour with 1/4 cup of water to make a thick liquid. Add this in a slow stream while whisking, to the still boiling liquid. If it has stopped boiling, put it back on Sautee for a few minutes.
  • When the gravy has boiled and thickened, turn off the heat and remove the insert from the Instant Pot. Add a few spoonfuls of hot sauce to the sour cream (to temper it) and mix thoroughly. Add the sour cream mixture back into the rest of the gravy, stirring well to blend it in.
  • Season the sauce with salt and pepper and spoon it over your chicken. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Remove excess skin from the chicken thighs before searing them
  • If the thighs are sticking to the bottom of the Instant Pot while searing them, let them go another minute or two. They should release fairly easily when they’re browned
  • Don’t overcrowd the IP when searing the chicken or it’ll just steam and not brown
  • Add the paprika to the broth in the Instant Pot so it doesn’t burn

Nutrition

Serving: 1thigh and sauce | Calories: 697kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 232mg | Sodium: 523mg | Potassium: 859mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 682IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 3mg

A Note on Nutritional Information

Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

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By Chef Jenn