Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika

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Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika in a frying pan with scallions and chopped cashews on top. It's creamy, smokey, rich, and hearty. This is an easy weeknight family dinner!
Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika in a frying pan with wood spoon and scallions and chopped cashews on top. It's creamy, smokey, rich, and hearty. This is an easy weeknight family dinner!

I have a love affair with Paprika!  The smokey flavor that it imparts to anything you add it to is such a beautiful thing.  I also love that it can really stand alone and doesn’t require a ton of other ingredients to make it shine.  So, this Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika highlights this love in such a simple, but perfect way!  It’s creamy, smokey, rich, and hearty.  But yet, it’s also not too heavy.  In fact, it’s rather healthy since it doesn’t use any heavy cream, just broth, milk, and corn starch to thicken it up.  That said, I do add a dollop of mayonnaise to give it even more rich creaminess and depth, but it is totally optional and not needed for this to still taste amazing!

Want more tips for making busy family dinners easier?  Click here for my Free Printable 5 Simple Steps to Easy Family Dinners!

Try Paprika to get out of a rut!

Paprika is such a wonderful spice to bring new flavor to your dinner rotation.  Most american recipes use paprika as part of seasoning blends, but rarely all on it’s own.  Whereas in Hungarian, German, and Spanish cooking you find more of a focus on Paprika.  There are different varieties of Paprika.  There is Hungarian Paprika, Spanish Paprika, Smoked Paprika, or just Paprika.  Typically, Hungarian and Spanish will have a spicy kick to them.  Whereas Smoked Paprika and anything simply called Paprika will generally be more smokey and warm vs. hot spicy.

Here are some other recipes that use this wonderful spice!

Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika in a bowl with pasta and pan in background. It's creamy, smokey, rich, and hearty. This is an easy weeknight family dinner!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

You need a large skillet/frying pan for this recipe. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning.  It comes with a glass lid, which is perfect for watching your dinner cook!

I also like to cut my raw chicken with kitchen shears, but you can also just cut with a knife. And mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR YOUR CHICKEN PAPRIKA

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below)

Cut your chicken into 1 inch cubes and place into a dish. Sprinkle with the salt and paprika, then rub it all over the chicken so every cube is coated.

Raw cubed chicken seasoned with paprika for Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika.  It's creamy, smokey, rich, and hearty.  This is an easy weeknight family dinner!

Slice the scallions, separating about a tablespoon of the green slices for garnish. Rough chop the toasted cashews and set aside with the greens for garnish.

Cashews and scallions on cutting board with knife for Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika. It's creamy, smokey, rich, and hearty. This is an easy weeknight family dinner!

What kind of Paprika should I buy?

There are different varieties of Paprika.  There is Hungarian Paprika, Spanish Paprika, Smoked Paprika, or just Paprika.  Typically, Hungarian and Spanish will have a spicy kick to them.  Whereas Smoked Paprika and anything simply called Paprika will generally be more smokey and warm vs. hot spicy.  For this recipe, I recommend using Smoked Paprika or regular mild Paprika.  You can supplement it will a Hot Paprika or even dash of Cayenne.

Do I have to use cashews?

The cashews provide a nice textural component.  I love the crunch and creamy nutty flavor they bring.  However, you can absolutely eliminate the nuts all together or swap with a different nut, such as pistachio nuts, peanuts, or pine nuts.    

COOK YOUR CREAMY CHICKEN PAPRIKA 

Preheat a large skillet/frying pan on high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and your seasoned chicken to the pan and separate the pieces into a single layer and let sear for 4-5 minutes. Then flip the pieces and cook another 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. (Note: they will finish cooking in the sauce in a bit).

Cubed chicken seasoned with paprika in a frying pan for Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika. It's creamy, smokey, rich, and hearty. This is an easy weeknight family dinner!

Make the slurry by whisking in the corn starch into the cold milk until it is dissolved. Set aside.

Turn the heat for the same pan to medium-low and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil, the sliced scallion (not the separated greens for garnish) plus the minced garlic. Cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes so they don’t burn. Then whisk in the broth, the slurry, the Paprika, and the Oregano. Bring up to a simmer, stirring continually as it starts to thicken to prevent lumps (takes about 2-3 minutes)

Whisk mixing sauce with scallions in a frying pan for Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika. It's creamy, smokey, rich, and hearty. This is an easy weeknight family dinner!

Paprika and oregano added to sauce in a frying pan for Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika. It's creamy, smokey, rich, and hearty. This is an easy weeknight family dinner!

Once it is thickened, whisk in the mayonnaise.  This is optional, but I love it as it adds a richer creamy backdrop.

Whisk mixing mayonnaise into sauce in a frying pan for Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika. It's creamy, smokey, rich, and hearty. This is an easy weeknight family dinner!

Add back the chicken and any juices on the plate, stir to combine, then cover and cook for a final 3-4 minutes.

Spatula mixing cooked chicken into sauce in a frying pan for Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika. It's creamy, smokey, rich, and hearty. This is an easy weeknight family dinner!

Chicken in sauce cooking in frying pan with glass cover for Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika. It's creamy, smokey, rich, and hearty. This is an easy weeknight family dinner!

Finally sprinkle with the scallion greens and the chopped cashews. Serve over buttered pasta, rice, or potatoes. Enjoy!

Hand sprinkling cashews on top of Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika in a frying pan. It's creamy, smokey, rich, and hearty. This is an easy weeknight family dinner!

Can I make this ahead and reheat it?

Definitely!  This is a dish that will reheat wonderfully and taste delicious.  To reheat it, you can place it in an oven-safe dish and warm it in a 400 F degree oven for 15 minutes.  Or you can place it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes.

What to serve with Chicken Paprika?

This is such a flavorful dish with fantastic sauce, so a simple buttered pasta, steamed white rice, or boiled or roasted potatoes is perfect for this.  Or you can make a delicious Creamy Parmesan Polenta or Cauliflower Mash!

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika in a bowl with pasta and fork scooping pasta and pan in background. It's creamy, smokey, rich, and hearty. This is an easy weeknight family dinner!
Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika in a frying pan with wood spoon and scallions and chopped cashews on top. It's creamy, smokey, rich, and hearty. This is an easy weeknight family dinner!
5 from 1 vote
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Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika

This Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika is creamy, smokey, rich, and hearty.  But yet, it's also not too heavy.  In fact, it's rather healthy since it doesn't use any heavy cream, just broth, milk, and corn starch to thicken it up.  That said, I do add a dollop of mayonnaise to give it even more rich creaminess and depth, but it is totally optional and not needed for this to still taste amazing! This is an easy weeknight family dinner!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Hungarian
Keyword chicken recipe, Paprika chicken, pasta, skillet dinner
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Chicken & Rub

  • 1.5 pounds Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Paprika

All Other

  • 4 Scallions
  • 1/4 cup Roasted & Salted Cashews
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup 1% Lowfat Milk
  • 2 tablespoons Corn Starch
  • 1 tablespoon Mayonnaise (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. Cut your chicken into 1 inch cubes and place into a dish. Sprinkle with the salt and paprika, then rub it all over the chicken so every cube is coated.

    Raw cubed chicken seasoned with paprika for Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika. It's creamy, smokey, rich, and hearty. This is an easy weeknight family dinner!
  2. Slice the scallions, separating about a tablespoon of the green slices for garnish. Rough chop the toasted cashews and set aside with the greens for garnish. If your garlic is not already minced, do that now as well.

    Cashews and scallions on cutting board with knife for Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika. It's creamy, smokey, rich, and hearty. This is an easy weeknight family dinner!

Cooking Steps

  1. Preheat a large skillet/frying pan on high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and your seasoned chicken to the pan and separate the pieces into a single layer and let sear for 4-5 minutes. Then flip the pieces and cook another 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. (Note: they will finish cooking in the sauce in a bit).

    Cubed chicken seasoned with paprika in a frying pan for Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika. It's creamy, smokey, rich, and hearty. This is an easy weeknight family dinner!
  2. Make the slurry by whisking in the corn starch into the cold milk until it is dissolved. Set aside.

  3. Turn the heat for the same pan to medium-low and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil, the sliced scallion (not the separated greens for garnish) plus the minced garlic. Cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes so they don't burn. Then whisk in the broth, the slurry, the Paprika, and the Oregano. Bring up to a simmer, stirring continually as it starts to thicken to prevent lumps (takes about 2-3 minutes). Finally, whisk in the mayonnaise (this step is optional).

    Whisk mixing mayonnaise into sauce in a frying pan for Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika. It's creamy, smokey, rich, and hearty. This is an easy weeknight family dinner!
  4. Add back the chicken and any juices on the plate, stir to combine, then cover and cook for a final 3-4 minutes.

    Chicken in sauce cooking in frying pan with glass cover for Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika. It's creamy, smokey, rich, and hearty. This is an easy weeknight family dinner!
  5. Finally, taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste, then sprinkle with the scallion greens and the chopped cashews. Serve over buttered pasta, rice, or potatoes. Enjoy!

    Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika in a frying pan with wood spoon and scallions and chopped cashews on top. It's creamy, smokey, rich, and hearty. This is an easy weeknight family dinner!

Spanish Sheet Pan Chicken & Butternut Squash Mash

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Sheet Pan Spanish Chicken thighs on a plate with Butternut Squash Mash, Olives, and Brussels Sprouts!  It's warm, hearty, and smoky.

Warm, hearty, and smoky, this rustic Sheet Pan Spanish Chicken with Butternut Squash Mash and Brussels Sprouts is everything! Tender chicken thighs, brussels sprouts, butternut squash and olives are roasted with a savory spice blend. Then the squash is pureed into a delicious slightly sweet and savory mash for a perfect finish!  

If you have picky kids, do not write this one off!  The olives add fantastic flavor, but can easily be separated or even left out.  The Brussels Sprouts can be substituted with your favorite veggies.  See below for ideas on how to make this fit your family needs.

This recipe was originally developed for my new Cookbook eBook, but I ended up not including it as I narrowed the book down to 30 recipes.  It is soooo good, I just had to share it with you!  

Sheet Pan Dinners Save the Day!

One Pan with everything for the meal that cooks in the oven?  What could be easier than that?  Sheet pan dinners are such a lifesaver when it comes to dinners on a busy weeknight!

Here are some other sheet pan dinners that I love!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

Nothing special, just a large sheet pan (I use a 17×11) and a food processor for the butternut squash mash. My go-to mini food processor was perfect for the job.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR YOUR SPANISH SHEET PAN CHICKEN DINNER

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below) 

The prep for this recipe is to rub the chicken and prep the veggies.  You can do these steps 1-2 days ahead and store in the fridge.

Can I use Chicken Breasts instead of thighs?

Yes, you can use boneless and skinless chicken breasts.  You will want to cut them into approximately 4 ounce portions to cook within the same time as the thighs.  Prep them the same way you would the thighs.

Can I swap the brussels sprouts?

The brussels sprouts get a delicious flavor when roasted, but if your family just really doesn’t like them, you can replace them.  For the same cooking time, you can use broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, thin slices of carrots, or other firm veggies instead.  You could also use sliced zucchini, chopped red pepper, sliced kale, or other thin/delicate veggies.  For these more delicate veggies however, I would add them during the last 10 minutes vs. the entire time so as to not overcook them.

COOK YOUR SPANISH SHEET PAN CHICKEN DINNER 

This dinner cooks on high heat – 425 F degrees.  Therefore, if you make any veggie swaps, check above for my recommendations.

To a large sheet pan, add the Brussels sprouts on one side and the cut butternut squash to the other side. Drizzle the olive oil over the veggies and then sprinkle with the salt, paprika, and garlic powder. Rub the oil and seasonings all of the veggies with hands, keeping the 2 veggies separate. Add the chicken thighs onto the pan in the center between the Brussels and squash.  

Sheet Pan Spanish Chicken thighs on a pan with Butternut Squash cubes in one side and Brussels Sprouts on the other! It's warm, hearty, and smoky.

Sprinkle the olives over the chicken and the Brussels sprouts (not over the squash).  Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, just until the squash is fork tender. When the squash is soft, transfer it to a food processor. Put the chicken and Brussels back in the oven for a final 5 minutes.

Blend until a smooth mash. If you need to add a tablespoon of water to help it along, do so.

When the Squash Mash is done, remove the sheet pan from the oven. To serve, scoop a spoonful of the Butternut Squash onto the plate, top with a chicken thigh, olives and then scoop Brussels sprouts on top. 

Can I cook this ahead and reheat it?

Yes, you can roast everything 1-3 days in advance.  It’s best to puree the butternut squash when it first comes out of the oven.  It will blend easier and you’ll get a smoother consistency.  To reheat, you can place everything in the microwave or put the chicken and Brussels sprouts back in the oven covered for 10 minutes on 400 F degrees.  Remove the cover for just the last few minutes.  Covering will hold in the moisture and prevent the chicken and veggies from drying out.  The Butternut squash can reheat in the oven in an oven-safe bowl if pureed.

Can I freeze this?

You can freeze the chicken seasoned and raw or after cooking it.  It will thaw and then cook or reheat nicely.  The butternut squash can be cooked and pureed and then frozen as well.  Finally, the Brussels Sprouts can be frozen as well, though they can get mushy.  To reheat, I recommend uncovering them when you reheat them in the oven to allow the moisture to evaporate and the brussels to get crispy.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Sheet Pan Spanish Chicken thighs on a plate with Butternut Squash Mash, Olives, and Brussels Sprouts! It's warm, hearty, and smoky.

Spanish Sheet Pan Chicken and Butternut Squash

Warm, hearty, and smoky, this rustic Sheet Pan Spanish Chicken with Butternut Squash Mash is everything! Tender chicken thighs, brussels sprouts, butternut squash and olives are roasted with a savory spice blend. Then the squash is pureed for a perfect finish!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Keyword butternut squash, chicken, chicken thighs, sheet pan dinner, spanish recipes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

CHICKEN

  • 1 pound Chicken Thighs, boneless, skinless
  • 1 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoons ground thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper optional
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Water
  • 1 tablespoons Olive Oil

OTHER INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound Butternut Squash pre-cut cubes
  • 1 pound Brussels Sprouts
  • 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 cup Green Olives Stuffed with Pimiento

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. To rub the chicken, add all of the ingredients for the chicken (paprika, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, cayenne, salt, pepper, water, oil) into a glass container or plastic storage bag. Mix to combine into a thick paste. Add the chicken and rub the paste all around. Set aside.

  2. Cut off the stem end of the Brussels sprouts and then slice in half. Slice the olives in halves or thirds. The butternut squash pieces should be no larger than ½ inch by ½ inch so trim them down as needed. Slice the Olives (I like 3 slices per olive).

Cooking Steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F degrees
  2. To a large sheet pan, add the Brussels sprouts on one side and the cut butternut squash to the other side. Drizzle the olive oil over the veggies and then sprinkle with the salt, paprika, and garlic powder. Rub the oil and seasonings all of the veggies with hands, keeping the 2 veggies separate. Add the chicken thighs onto the pan in the center between the Brussels and squash. Sprinkle the olives over the chicken and the Brussels sprouts (not over the squash).

    Sheet Pan Spanish Chicken thighs on a pan with Butternut Squash cubes in one side and Brussels Sprouts on the other! It's warm, hearty, and smoky.
  3. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, just until the squash is fork tender. When the squash is soft, transfer it to a food processor. Put the chicken and Brussels back in the oven for a final 5 minutes.

  4. Blend until a smooth mash. If you need to add a tablespoon of water to help it along, do so.

  5. When the Squash Mash is done, remove the sheet pan from the oven. To serve, scoop a spoonful of the Butternut Squash onto the plate, top with a chicken thigh, olives and then scoop Brussels sprouts on top. Enjoy!