There’s something truly magical about the aroma of paprika-infused dishes simmering on the stove. In this post, we’re excited to share our beloved Turkey Paprikash recipe, a delightful medley of tender turkey, onions, and rich paprika flavour that’s sure to become a family favorite.
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History of Paprikash
Paprikash recipes have a rich history deeply intertwined with the cultural heritage of Hungary and the broader region of Eastern Europe. Here’s a brief history of paprikash recipes:
- Paprika’s Arrival in Europe: The key ingredient in paprikash, paprika, was not originally native to Europe. It was introduced to Hungary in the 16th century by explorers returning from the New World. Paprika peppers thrived in the Hungarian climate, and they soon became a staple in Hungarian cuisine.
- The Emergence of Paprikash: While paprika had been used in various dishes for centuries, the specific dish known as “paprikash” began to take shape in the 18th and 19th centuries. It’s believed to have evolved from traditional Hungarian stews and goulash.
- Regional Variations: Paprikash recipes are not limited to Hungary alone. Throughout Eastern Europe, especially in countries like Serbia, Croatia, and Romania, variations of paprikash emerged, each with its own unique twists and ingredients. These regional adaptations contributed to the diversity of paprikash dishes.
- The Role of Paprika: The defining characteristic of paprikash is its heavy reliance on paprika for flavor and color. The paprika used in the dish can range from sweet and mild to hot and spicy, allowing for a range of flavor profiles to suit different tastes.
- Paprikash as Comfort Food: Paprikash quickly gained popularity as a hearty, comfort food dish. Its combination of tender meats (often chicken or pork) and a rich, creamy sauce made it a favorite for family gatherings and special occasions.
- Cultural Significance: Paprikash recipes hold cultural significance in Hungary and other Eastern European countries. It’s often featured in holiday feasts and celebrations, symbolizing the warmth and togetherness of family and community.
- Spread Beyond Europe: Over time, paprikash recipes made their way to other parts of the world through immigration and cultural exchange. Today, you can find variations of paprikash in Hungarian restaurants worldwide, and it has even become a beloved dish in American and international cuisine.
- Continued Evolution: Paprikash recipes continue to evolve, like this recipe, adapting to modern tastes and dietary preferences. Vegetarian and vegan versions of paprikash have gained popularity, using ingredients like tofu or mushrooms as meat substitutes, like in my Hungarian mushrooms paprikash.
In conclusion, paprikash recipes have a long and storied history, originating in Hungary and spreading throughout Eastern Europe and beyond. This flavorful and comforting dish has captured the hearts and taste buds of people around the world, making it a beloved and enduring part of culinary traditions.
I have simplified this paprikash recipe a lot, so that I will only use two main ingredients, namely 500 g diced turkey breast and two medium-sized onions. If you want, of course you can add some garlic or bell pepper, but this time I will make it simple.
The rest are spices with which we will season the dish, namely:
- 1.5 tsp sea salt;
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper;
- 1.5 tsp Hungarian mild paprika powder;
- 1 tsp paprika paste;
- 1 tbsp tomato paste;
- 1 tsp onion powder;
- 1 tsp dried marjoram.
I will thicken the sauce with the mixture of 2 tbsp of corn flour with 150 ml of double cream.
How to Make Turkey Paprikash Recipe
Preparing the Ingredients
Because we only have two main ingredients—turkey meat and onions—preparing them doesn’t require much time. If you have a whole turkey breast, cut it into cubes that aren’t too big but are of equal size. Try to chop the onion as finely as possible.
Start to Cook
In a large pan, heat three tablespoons of sunflower oil or other vegetable oil. Fry the chopped onion over medium heat, adding half a teaspoon of sea salt. Sauté for three to four minutes, stirring constantly, until the onion softens without browning.
Now add the cubed turkey meat and fry it over medium heat, stirring with the onions until it turns slightly white in color.
Now, season the dish by adding the remaining sea salt, ground pepper, paprika, onion powder, marjoram, tomato paste, and pepper paste.
Mix well and let the spices infuse the meat, releasing their aromas. You’ll see how delicious the dish becomes.
Add enough water to cover the meat (I put about 750 ml) and let it simmer on medium-low heat for about half an hour.
Finishing the Paprikash
To further thicken the sauce, I’ll mix cornstarch with cream and add it to the pan. After five minutes of simmering, you’ll have a thick, creamy, and exceptionally flavorful sauce.
Turn off the heat and add half a bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped, which will give both color and taste to the sauce.
I’ve just finished preparing this dish—my turkey paprikash recipe. It’s a simple and delicious recipe that’s now ready to be served.
What is paprikash sauce made of?
Here are the key ingredients typically used to make paprikash sauce:
Paprika: The star of the show, paprika is a ground spice made from dried red peppers. It comes in various varieties, including sweet, hot, and smoked, and the type of paprika used can influence the flavor of the sauce.
Onions: Onions are usually sautéed in oil or butter until they become translucent, providing a savory base for the sauce.
Butter or Oil: Butter or vegetable oil is used to sauté the onions and sometimes other ingredients.
Flour: Flour is often used to thicken the sauce and create a creamy consistency.
Stock or Broth: Chicken or beef stock or broth is added to create the desired sauce consistency. The choice of stock depends on the protein being used in the dish.
Sour Cream or Heavy Cream: To give the sauce its creamy and tangy characteristic, sour cream or heavy cream is added. Sour cream is more traditional in many recipes.
Garlic: Some recipes may include minced garlic for added flavor.
Salt and Pepper: These seasonings are used to taste, along with the paprika, to enhance the overall flavor.
How long does paprikash last in the fridge?
If you have just cooked a batch of paprikash and want to store the leftovers, allow it to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
What is the origin of paprikash?
Paprikash has become popular beyond Hungary and is enjoyed in other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, particularly in regions with Hungarian cultural influences. Variations of the dish may exist in neighboring countries, but the core of paprikash’s culinary heritage remains firmly rooted in Hungary.
How to Serve the Turkey Paprikash
Turkey Paprikash is traditionally served over a bed of egg noodles, which soak up the delicious sauce and provide a nice contrast in texture. You can also serve it over steamed white rice if you prefer.
To enhance the visual appeal and flavor, garnish each serving with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley or chopped fresh dill. These herbs add a pop of color and freshness to the dish.
Turkey paprikash has become one of our family’s favorites, and I warmly recommend that you try it. You’ll see that you won’t regret it. Also, on our blog, you will find other similar recipes from Hungarian cuisine, such as:
On our blog, you’ll discover numerous ideas for simple and delicious recipes. I invite you to follow us on our social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also save our recipes on Pinterest and subscribe to our new YouTube channel.
Turkey Paprikash Recipe
- 500 g turkey breast meat diced
- 2 pcs onions medium size
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil or vegetable oil
- 1.5 tsp sea salt kosher
- ½ tsp ground pepper freshly ground
- 1.5 tsp paprika Hungarian mild
- 1 tsp pepper paste
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp marjoram dried
- 750 ml water
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 150 ml creme fresh or double cream
- If you have a whole turkey breast, cut it into cubes that aren’t too big but are of equal size, and chop the onion as finely as possible.
- In a large pan, heat the sunflower oil and fry the chopped onion over medium heat. Add half a teaspoon of sea salt and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until the onion softens without browning.
- Add the cubed turkey meat and fry it over medium heat, until it turns slightly white in color.
- Season the dish by adding the remaining sea salt, ground pepper, paprika, onion powder, marjoram, tomato paste, and pepper paste.
- Fill with water to cover the meat (I put about 750 ml) and let it simmer on medium-low heat for about half an hour.
- Mix the cornstarch with the cream and add it to the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes and add the chopped parsley.
- Serve with egg noodles, or steamed white rice if you prefer.