Slow Cooker Red Pepper Paprika Chicken

This Slow Cooker Paprika Chicken is a healthy and easy dinner that is comforting and super delicious. Made with a paprika and red pepper sauce, this classic Hungarian Paprikash style dish is a winner.

This easy Crockpot Red Pepper Paprika Chicken is one of those dishes that warms you up on a cool night. The chicken comes out perfectly tender and the sauce is full of flavor. I like to serve it with this amazing Mashed Cauliflower or these Butternut Squash Mashed Potatoes.

Paprikash was a dish I myself had never heard of until recently. It turns out, it’s usually some kind of protein cooked with onions, red peppers, and lots of paprika. You finish a paprikash with sour cream. Traditionally, you serve it with egg noodles and it makes for a delicious and hearty meal. As you can imagine, though, since it calls for sour cream and usually fattier cuts of meat it is also often high in calories and fat. Well, we can’t be having that, not here.

Fear not! After a little experimenting and a lot of taste-testing, I was able to make this healthier while still keeping it quite tasty. I threw it all in a slow cooker for added hands-off time. This version adds lot of flavor with veggies and paprika and then is finished with just enough sour cream to add a hint of creaminess. The use of chicken breast for the meat instead of fattier meat also makes this a healthier choice.

Ideas for Customizing Slow Cooker Paprika Chicken

You know me, customize, customize, customize! There’s no fun in eating the same meal over and over again the same way. Ways I have changed this dish around include:

  • Make this on the stovetop by browning the chicken first until it’s cooked through, or dice the chicken before browning to make it quick more quickly. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep it warm. Then cook the other ingredients until softened, add the broth until its heated through, then add the sour cream, mixing it all together. Finally, add in the sour cream at the end, stirring to combine. Add the chicken back in, and serve over rice or noodles.
  • Use Greek yogurt if that’s what you have on hand instead of sour cream.
  • Shred the chicken once it’s cooked in the slow cooker.
  • Swap out the mushrooms for onions.
  • Use green, yellow, or orange peppers (or a combination) if you prefer those kinds of sweet peppers.
  • Use vegetable broth and tofu, then serve over rice to make this meal vegetarian.

What Is Paprikash?

You may have noticed I have called this dish chicken paprika but I talk about this being a paprikash. That’s okay — they are one in the same. Both come from the Hungarian dish “paprikás csirke” and contain lots of — you guessed it — paprika. It typically is made with five essential ingredients, including paprika, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and sour cream. It also usually calls for cooking in butter or lard and full-fat sour cream. Sounds good right? But yeah, as I said before, it’s pretty unhealthy.

Anyway, the whole lot of it is usually served over thick noodles (like wide egg noodles) or over rice.

Ways to Serve Crockpot Paprika Chicken

Paprika chicken is traditionally served over wide egg noodles. However, why not get creative?

  • Serve over quinoa, rice, millet, barley, or any other grain you have on hand.
  • Serve over spaghetti squash for a plant-based alternative to pasta.
  • Use your zoodler or make zucchini noodles in any number of ways to go low-carb on this dish.
  • Skip the chicken broth to make this dish thicker. Put a spoonful of the chicken and veggies mixture into lettuce cups. Top with sour cream.
  • Serve with a side of broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts.
  • Eat it cold the next day for breakfast. Trust me, this is good!
  • You could also serve this dish with mashed or boiled potatoes.

How do you marinate chicken with paprika?

If you’d like to try just the chicken with the paprika/paprikash flavor without the rest of the dish (hint, hint, grilling season), that’s not only a great idea, but totally doable.

What you want to do is use the spices and the sour cream as a base. Mix together the sour cream, garlic, paprika, and olive oil. Add in chicken (skinless, boneless, bone-in, chicken thighs, legs, whatever pieces you like) and coat evenly. Marinate in the fridge for at least three hours. Grill or bake the chicken, making sure to turn at least once halfway through and also to cook it all the way through, or until a meat thermometer registers 180 degrees.

Serve with noodles, rice, corn, potatoes, or a side salad. Enjoy!

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