Chicken Paprikash Meatballs with Spätzli

This dish is doable in 30 minutes and is easy to make! The sauce is a beautiful, burnt orange color from the Paprika and sour cream.


This is a very gentle way to cook meatballs; they’re not browned, just poached in a flavorful broth. They turn out exceedingly tender and soft— ready for any sauce or gravy you like!

4 cups chicken broth

½ cup dry stuffing, crushed into crumbs

1/3 cup milk

2 pounds ground chicken

2 eggs

1 tablespoon finely minced yellow onion (use a microplane if you have one)

¼ teaspoon ground thyme

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt

Pour chicken broth into a pot, cover and place over medium-high heat.

Soak stuffing crumbs in milk until soft. Mix soft crumbs with all other ingredients, until well blended.

Use a small ice cream scoop to form evenly shaped meatballs from chicken mix and place them directly into simmering broth. Cover with lid, cracked and simmer gently (do not boil) for about 20 minutes, until just cooked through. While meatballs are cooking, make the sauce.

Paprikash Sauce

Meteorologist, John Wendell was worried that, because of all the paprika in this sauce, it would be overwhelming or spicy. He was pleasantly surprised to find that it is delicious and not overpowering at all! The sour cream tempers the sweet paprika (make sure to use sweet, rather than hot). Start the sauce after the meatballs have been simmering for 5 minutes.

1 box Spätzli (or 12 oz wide egg noodles)

6 tablespoons butter, divided

2 tablespoons finely minced yellow onion (use a microplane if you have one)

4 tablespoons flour

2 cups cooking broth from meatballs (after the meatballs have been simmering for 10 minutes)

2 tablespoons sweet Paprika

½ teaspoon smoked Paprika

½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt

½ cup sour cream

Cook spätzli or noodles according to package directions. Drain, toss with 2 tablespoons butter and cover to keep warm.

Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a saucepan, set over medium heat and add in onion. Cook, stirring often until the onion is soft then add in flour and stir well until the flour and butter are completely combined—It should look like wet sand.

Add in meatball broth and whisk as you raise the heat up to medium-high and bring the sauce to a simmer. Whisk in both Paprikas and salt until smooth and allow sauce to gently simmer for about 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, taste and adjust seasoning (more Paprika or salt?), remove from heat, then whisk in sour cream. Cover but do not set back on heat or the sour cream could ‘break’—become granular rather than smooth.

Remove chicken meatballs from their simmering broth and place into the sauce. Stir the meatballs to coat in the sauce. Serve over spätzli.