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!
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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!

One Pan Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake with Rice

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One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake in casserole dish.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!

Cozy.  Easy.  Warm.  Delicious.  These are the words that describe my perfect Fall recipes and I’ve just added one more to the list!  This One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake with Rice has layers of deliciousness.  On the bottom, the flavorful rice cooks right in the oven.  That’s right, no cooking it separately on the stove!  On top of the perfectly cooked rice, you have the chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!  This cozy, warm, comforting, and delicious family dinner is yours for any busy night!

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

All the Flavor Without the Hassle

Traditional Chicken Cordon Bleu is a labor-intensive process.  It requires pounding out the chicken, rolling in the ham and cheese, then breading the outside and frying it.  But you can get all of that amazing flavor in this MUCH easier version!  

Here are a few other classics made easier!

Piece of One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake on a plate with fork holding a bite.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!

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 :).  But, 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

For this recipe, you need a large casserole dish that’s approximately 10×10, 12×12, 10×13 or similar.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR CHICKEN CORDON BLEU BAKE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge… (See the full recipe below)

 This recipe has only a few easy steps:

  1. Mix & Bake the rice
  2. Prep the chicken while rice bakes
  3. Add the chicken, ham, and cheese.  Bake again.
  4. Add breadcrumb topping and Bake final 5 minutes!

The rice cooks for 20 minutes before adding the chicken.  The reason for this is so the rice absorbs the water and fluffs up first.  If you add the chicken from the start it will boil in the liquid and overcook.

While the rice cooks, slice chicken breasts from the side to create 2 thin breasts.

Knife slicing raw chicken for One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!

Sliced raw chicken for One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!

Season with the salt, pepper, and oregano. Lay the chicken flat on a plate or cutting board. Layer 1 slice of ham folded on top of the chicken. Layer the swiss cheese slice folded on top of the ham.

Sliced raw chicken with deli ham and slice of cheese on top for One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!

Can I use a different cheese?

You can use any cheese you like of course.  However, you will want a full-flavored cheese that can bring something to this dish.  Gruyere is great, manchego, or even a sharp cheddar can work great!  You can also use sliced or shredded.

COOK YOUR CHICKEN CORDON BLEU BAKE

After your rice has precooked, it’s time to add the prepped chicken!  Bake for another 20 minutes.  While the chicken bakes, make the breadcrumb topping.  After 20 minutes, add it to the top of the cheese and bake for another 5 minutes turning the broiler on low to get a golden brown crispy topping!

Sliced raw chicken with deli ham and slice of cheese on top for One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!

One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake in casserole dish.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!

Can I freeze this bake?

Once the casserole is cooked, you can freeze it after first cooling it and then tightly covering it. It can stay in the freezer for up to 4 months. To cook it again, cover with aluminum foil and bake 350 F for 1 hour if thawed, 1 1/2 hours if frozen.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake in casserole dish.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!
Piece of One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake on a plate with fork.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake with Rice

This One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake with Rice has layers of deliciousness.  On the bottom, the flavorful rice cooks right in the oven.  That's right, no cooking it separately on the stove!  On top of the perfectly cooked rice, you have the chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!  This cozy, warm, comforting, and delicious family dinner is yours for any busy night! #chickencordonbleu #chickenbake #chickendinnerideas

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, French
Keyword casserole, chicken, chicken dinner, one pan meal, one pot
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 411 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Rice

  • 1 1/2 cups White Long Grain rice
  • 3 cups Chicken Broth (or 3 cups Water + 3 tsp Chicken Base)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Chicken

  • 1 lb chicken breasts, skinless, boneless (raised w/o antibiotics)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 4 slices Smoked deli ham
  • 4 slices Swiss Cheese (or gruyere)

Breadcrumb Topping

  • 1/4 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees

  2. Add all rice ingredients to casserole dish. Stir to combine, then tightly cover with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake in oven for 20 minutes.

  3. While the rice cooks, slice chicken breasts from the side to create 2 thin breasts. Season with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano. Lay the chicken flat on a plate or cutting board. Layer 1 slice of ham folded on top of the chicken. Layer the swiss cheese slice folded on top of the ham.

    Sliced raw chicken with deli ham and slice of cheese on top for One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!
  4. Make the breadcrumb topping by mixing the ingredients together in a small bowl

  5. After 20 minutes, take the rice out and add the chicken slices layered to the top in a line. Cover and bake for another 20 minutes.

    Sliced raw chicken with deli ham and slice of cheese on top for One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!
  6. Remove the cover and sprinkle the breadcrumb topping on top. Put it back in the oven with the broiler setting on low for 5 minutes to brown the topping. Watch to make sure it doesn't burn.

    One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake in casserole dish.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!
  7. To serve, use a spatula to scoop out the rice, chicken and topping. Enjoy!

    Piece of One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake on a plate with fork.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!