This creamy paprika sauce has a good spice kick and a nice smokiness from smoked hot paprika powder. It’s great with grilled, baked or roasted chicken.
For more quick but delicious gourmet sauces, also check out this oregano sauce, this rosemary cream sauce and this chipotle cream sauce!
Why make this recipe?
There is nothing better than a delicious sauce to take dinner from garden-variety to gourmet. And a delicious sauce that takes only a few minutes to make? Even better.
This 12-minute spicy smoked paprika cream sauce has great smokiness from smoked hot paprika and a nice tang from tomato paste and sour cream. I finished it with chopped cilantro for freshness. Serve it with chicken, rice and corn for a stellar meal.
- Be sure to use smoked Spanish HOT paprika and not smoked Spanish sweet paprika for this recipe.
- As always, I recommend to get the spice from a dedicated spice shop. Freshness and quality of the smoked paprika are definitely important for the flavor of this sauce.
- You need 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste for this recipe and a standard can contains about 10 tablespoons. For ideas as to what to make with the rest, check out these delicious recipes with tomato paste.
How to make the sauce:
See full ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below!
Step 1. Saute minced onion in butter.
Step 2. Stir in smoked hot paprika powder.
Step 3. Pour in chicken broth and cook for a few minutes until reduced by about half.
Step 4. Take off the heat and stir in tomato paste, then heavy cream, sour cream and cilantro. Turn the heat back on and heat the sauce through.
Recipe notes, tips & questions:
- Can I double or half the recipe? Yes, easily. The recipe card below is set to 4 servings but you can make less or more depending on how much you need.
- How can I use the sauce? You have several great meal options for this sauce:
- The sauce is great on grilled, roasted or baked chicken breast with rice. If you’d like to add a vegetable, I recommend to steam frozen corn, it’s great with the spice and the cilantro.
- The sauce is also great on potato gnocchi. Top them with grated Parmesan cheese for a delicious meal.
- How should I store leftovers? If you have any sauce left over, transfer it into an airtight container and store in the fridge. Reheat on the stovetop over gentle heat, stirring continuously.
Frequently asked questions about paprika:
Smoked paprika is a spice powder made from pimiento peppers that have been dried over an oak fire and then finely ground. The spice level of smoked paprika can range from mild and sweet to hot. Hot (also sometimes labeled “picante”) is what you want for this sauce.
You can buy smoked paprika that is spicy and smoked paprika that is not spicy. Be sure to check the label on the bottle for information. Spicy smoked paprika is sometimes labeled “picante”.
Although not all Spanish paprika is smoked, the Spanish paprika varieties that are available in U.S. stores are usually smoked paprika.
Pimenton is another name for Spanish smoked paprika.
Paprika can’t actually go bad, but, like other spices, it will eventually start to lose its aroma and flavor.
More delicious spicy sauce recipes:
- Smoked Paprika Aioli5 Minutes
- Spicy Burger Sauce5 Minutes
- Ginger Sriracha Aioli5 Minutes
- Sweet and Spicy Apricot Dipping Sauce5 Minutes
See all sauce recipes →
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Full Printable Recipe
Spicy Smoked Paprika Sauce for Chicken
- measuring cups and spoons
- knife and cutting board
- small saucepan
- wooden spoon
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup minced onion (about ⅔ of a small onion)
- 2 teaspoons smoked Spanish hot paprika*
- ¾ cup chicken broth
- 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons full-fat sour cream
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro (you need about 24 four-inch sprigs or an equivalent amount for that)
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the onion and saute until starting to soften (about 2 minutes).
- Stir in paprika and and cook until fragrant (a few seconds).
- Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil and boil uncovered until reduced by about half (3-4 minutes).
- Take off the heat and whisk or stir in the tomato paste.
- Stir in heavy cream, sour cream and cilantro.
- Turn the heat back on and heat the sauce through, stirring continuously.
Nutrition Information (Estimated):
Nutrition values provided on this website are generated from a nutrition database and are estimates only. The accuracy of the nutrition information for any recipe on this website is not guaranteed. Nutrition values can vary quite a lot depending on which brands are used.
I love this sauce! I think I ended up making it with a sweet smoked paprika, which was still lovely, though I like the little love tap the hot paprika gives this recipe. How/where do I find the hot paprika? King Soopers had regular paprika and smoked paprika, but neither indicated they were Spanish or sweet/hot…
Thanks for another fantastic recipe! I love this site.
Thank you, Steffani! I’m so glad you liked the sauce. I get paprika from The Savory Spice Shop. They have smoked Spanish hot (and a number of other varieties as well) and I have always found the quality of their products to be excellent.
I made this sauce this evening to have with pork schnitzel it was delicious I had to add some cayenne pepper as I ran out of hot so I added smoked and hot paprika and cayenne pepper su h a lovely sauce. I’ve made a bulk amount so I can freeze it for later. Lovely 😍 thanks for the recipe. I will recommend it to all my family and friends.
That is wonderful to hear, Sue! I’m so glad you liked the sauce! And thank you so much for spreading the word, I really appreciate that! :)