Chicken With Smoked Paprika


Chicken with Smoked Paprika is one of my favorite dishes and is so easy to make. There are just a few ingredients and it is packed with flavor. It’s a favorite lunch meal and can be made on the stove top or in the oven.

I first tried smoking paprika a few months ago and I absolutely loved it. I added it to a few recipes, and was surprised by the outcome. For this recipe, I thought why not put it in my food processor to give it an even better taste? The result is absolutely amazing.

Smoked Paprika Roast Chicken

This paprika roasted chicken gets a smoky-sweet kick from smoked paprika (pimentón) and a glaze of lemon juice and honey. It’s an easy recipe you can pull off on a weeknight or lazy weekend.

Smoked Paprika Roast Chicken

I first experienced smoked paprika on a trip to New Zealand several years ago in a sweet potato soup. My host laughed as my eyes lit up with “Wow, what’s in this?!” At the time, smoked paprika could only be found in specialty stores or Penzeys.

Soon after though, McCormick started selling it and promoting it as a spice, so it’s much easier to come by, and we are always looking for an excuse to cook with it.

What Is Smoked Paprika and Why Use It?

If you’ve never used it, smoked paprika is to regular paprika what chipotle powder is to red chile powder. I like to think of it as the flavor of my favorite barbecued potato chips.

Smoked Paprika Roast Chicken

The following recipe we’ve adapted from one in a free magazine by our local Raley’s grocery store. The flavor of this chicken is terrific, well worth seeking out this spice if you don’t already have some. Do you use smoked paprika in your cooking? If so, please let us know your favorite uses for it in the comments.

What Is Spanish Paprika?

Spanish paprika, also known as smoked paprika (or pimentón in Spain), is essential to the Spanish pantry and a useful addition to your pantry, too. It’s believed Christopher Columbus brought peppers from Mexico to Europe. Families in Extremadura, Spain cultivated the peppers and dried them in smokehouses, imparting a smoky flavor before grinding them into a powder.

There are three varieties of Spanish paprika: dulce, or sweet paprika; agridulce, or medium-hot paprika; and picante, or hot paprika. Find smoked Spanish paprika in the grocery store spice aisle or online at The Spice House or The Spanish Table.

Add smoked paprika to all sorts of foods like beef chili, taco meat seasoning, meatloaf, or BBQ sauce. Sprinkle a few dashes on popcorn, eggs, or hummus to add a little smoky flavor.

Smoked Paprika Roast Chicken

PREP TIME10 mins

COOK TIME75 mins


SERVINGS4 servings

If using salted butter, use only one teaspoon of salt in the rub, not two.

It’s not necessary at all to truss (tie) this chicken; but if you’d like to, read our how-to: How To Truss a Chicken.


  • 1 (4- to 5-pound) whole roasting chicken
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven:Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Dry the chicken:Pat the chicken dry thoroughly with paper towels.
  3. Mix the butter and seasonings and spread over chicken:Mix together the paprika, melted butter, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Spread over the entire surface of the chicken and place the chicken in a shallow baking pan.
  4. Heat the honey and lemon juice:In a small pot, heat the honey and lemon juice until the honey fully dissolves. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Bake:Bake for approximately 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Baste with the lemon-honey mixture after 35 minutes, and then every 15 minutes after that. You may need to adjust total cooking time depending on how big your chicken is.The bird is done when the juices run clear (not pink) when a knife tip is inserted into both the chicken breast and thigh, about 165°F.

smoked paprika chicken

How to make delicious Smoked Paprika Chicken using boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts. Easy recipe using 5 simple ingredients. Kosher, Meat.

One of my favorite bloggers (and people!) is Erika Kerekes from In Erika’s Kitchen. A couple of months ago, Erika posted a super simple recipe– just three ingredients. Erika said the flavor was reminiscent of chicken wrapped in bacon. It was so easy, I just had to try it.

Horizontal Crop - Smoked Paprika Chicken Thighs with boneless skinless thighs, roasted asparagus in background, on a white plate on a white marble countertop, dish of smoked paprika and garlic cloves in background.

Fast forward to today– Erika’s Chicken with Smoked Paprika has become one of my go-to recipes for those evenings when I just don’t feel like cooking. Yes, it happens, even to me! Let’s face it, we all get busy and tired and stressed. Having a recipe like this in your repertoire makes life just a little bit easier. It tastes great, uses three simple ingredients, and the prep takes only a couple of minutes. Really. Two minutes!

Erika’s recipe uses boneless skinless chicken thighs; they have more natural moisture than breasts. For those of you who like using boneless skinless chicken breasts instead of thighs, I’ve included a modification. It will take a bit longer (breast meat tastes better when it’s had a chance to marinate), and it requires a little bit of olive oil to keep it from drying out under the broiler. But it’s a great alternative, and turns out really juicy if you follow the instructions carefully. The cooked breasts are perfect for slicing over a fresh salad for a protein and flavor boost.

Not all smoked paprika is created equal. Look for one that smells smoky and strong; a good smoked paprika has a mesquite-like essence that is unmistakable. I used Spice Islands Smoked Paprika for this recipe, and it was terrific. It’s OU certified for those of you who are keeping kosher. If you’ve never bought the spice before and are hesitating, wondering if you’ll ever use it again, not to worry– I’ve become a bit obsessed with it lately, so I’ll be posting several recipes that use it in the next few months. It’s worth the purchase, especially if you enjoy smoky grilled flavors.

Note: Since posting this recipe, I have adjusted the seasoning. Previously the recipe used garlic salt, which can vary in terms of saltiness from brand to brand. I’ve adjusted the seasoning to use garlic powder and salt separately, which gives you more control over the salt level (and garlic level!).

Horizontal shot - Smoked Paprika Chicken Breast with boneless skinless breast sliced, saffron rice garnished with cilantro in background, on a white plate with white marble background.

smoked paprika chicken

How to make delicious Smoked Paprika Chicken using boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts. Easy recipe using 5 simple ingredients. Kosher, Meat.







  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt (you can use less if salt sensitive, but don’t cut it completely – the salt is a key component of the flavor here)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, (for chicken breasts) – plus 1 tbsp for brushing the baking sheet


Adapted from In Erika’s Kitchen

You will also need: Baking sheet, brush, broiler. If using breast meat, you will also need a cutting board, plastic wrap, and a mallet.

Serving size: 4 ounces

Nutrition calculated using chicken breasts with added olive oil for basting and brushing the baking sheet (1/4 cup olive oil total). Chicken thighs do not require extra oil beyond 1 tbsp to brush the baking sheet. 


for boneless skinless chicken thighs

  • Preheat the broiler on high. Set a rack in the oven at least 6 inches below the flame. If you put the rack right under the flame, the chicken will burn on the outside before it’s cooked through. In my oven, placing the rack on the second tier works best. Yours may be different.Preheat your broiler on high.
  • Brush a baking sheet evenly with olive oil (about 1 tbsp to cover the sheet) and lay the chicken thighs out flat. In a small bowl, stir together the smoked paprika, garlic powder, and salt. Sprinkle boths sides of all the thighs generously with the seasoning, completely covering the surface of the chicken.Tray of seasoned smoked paprika chicken, uncooked.
  • Broil the chicken for about 7 minutes on each side, until the thighs are cooked through and have developed a nice crust. A little blackening on the edges is ok and will give it a “grilled” flavor. Broilers tend to vary in terms of strength; if your chicken seems to be burning or cooking too fast, move the rack down a notch and continue broiling until fully cooked.Tray of Smoked Paprika Chicken Thighs cooking in oven under the broiler
  • Once the chicken has cooked through (internal temperature of 160 degrees F), serve immediately.Horizontal Crop - Smoked Paprika Chicken Thighs with boneless skinless thighs, roasted asparagus in background, on a white plate on a white marble countertop, dish of smoked paprika and garlic cloves in background.

for boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • In a small bowl, combine smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and 3 tbsp olive oil to create a smooth paste.Small glass bowl with liquid paste made from smoked paprika, garlic powder and salt.
  • Trim chicken breasts of excess fat and tendons.4 chicken breasts on a white cutting board, one breast trimmed of excess fat.
  • Place the chicken breasts in a line on a layer of plastic wrap, spaced about 2 inches apart. Cover them with another layer of plastic wrap, so that the breasts are sandwiched between two layers of plastic.4 chicken breasts sandwiched between two layers of plastic wrap on countertop, spaced a couple of inches apart.
  • Use a mallet to gently pound out the chicken breasts until they are an even thickness all the way across and about 1 1/2 times their original size. This will allow the breasts to cook more evenly under the broiler.Hand pounding out chicken breasts between layers of plastic wrap with a metal mallet.
  • Brush a baking sheet with 1 tbsp olive oil. Place the chicken breasts on the baking sheet. Paint each breast on both sides with a thin, even layer of the smoked paprika paste. Let the breasts stand for 20 minutes to allow the flavor to infuse the meat.Place a rack at least 6 inches below your broiler and preheat the broiler. In my oven, placing the rack on the second tier works best. Yours may be different.4 flat pounded chicken breasts brushed with paprika marinade on a baking sheet.
  • Place the chicken under the broiler and let it broil for about 6-7 minutes until a crust begins to form around the edges. If your chicken seems to be burning or cooking too fast, move the rack down a notch.Flip the breasts with a pair of tongs. If the breasts appear to be dry after you turn them, baste them with a little olive oil. A little blackening here and there is ok and helps the flavor. Let the breasts continue cooking under the broiler for another 5-7 minutes, or until cooked through (internal temperature of 160 degrees F).4 flat pounded chicken breasts on a baking sheet coated in marinade, bubbling beneath a hot broiler in the oven.
  • Let the breasts rest for a minute or two before serving to allow the juices to evenly distribute through the meat. Serve.

Crispy Smoked Paprika Chicken Recipe with Barefeet In the Kitchen

Juicy baked chicken thighs get a crispy skin thanks to a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkling of paprika spiced salt that takes just 5 minutes to prepare.

Smoked Paprika Chicken | #thighs #baked #recipes #easy

Some cooks seem like they were born with a wooden spoon in hand. But food blogger Mary Younkin’s cooking skills didn’t bloom until after marriage.

“When I was a newlywed, I couldn’t cook,” she admits. “I don’t say that lightly either, I really and truly was clueless in the kitchen beyond things that could be cooked from boxes and bags and sauces in jars. The only cookbooks I had at the time used a lot of ready made ingredients and I swear that everything wound up tasting the same,” she explains.

At that time, Mary wasn’t the only cook in the kitchen. “If we wanted a nice made from scratch dinner at home, my husband Sean was sure to be the one cooking it. I could bake and create pretty amazing desserts, but main dishes, side dishes, anything creative at all? That just wasn’t happening,” she concedes.

Until she began dreaming up recipes and started a food blog.

In 2011, Mary started her blog, Barefeet in the Kitchen as a way to chronicle her new territory in the kitchen. Her blog is one to turn to for quick, easy, healthy recipes that come together in minutes and never let home cooks and their families down.
The cookbook is conveniently divided into chapters by the recipes’ cook time and effort level (15-25 minute meals, 30-45 minute meals, 5-10 minutes prep, slow cooker meals, etc.), and features several gluten-free recipes.

Mary has a weakness for lightning-fast meals, and her book reflects that. Recipes like her Sweet Chipotle Chicken Bites are a family favorite, as well as her Sheet Pan Chicken with Green Beans and Potatoes (a recipe from the “5 minute prep” chapter).

And as for the desserts? “The Lemon Lover’s Pound Cake still thrills me every time I make it,” she says.

“Now that cooking is something I enjoy, I wanted to write a cookbook full of foods that tasted incredible, but were easy enough for a home cook to make on a busy night,” Mary says.

And now, my List of 10 Q’s for Mary’s A’s

1. Describe your recipes in 3 words:

Scratch made simple.

2. If you could be one blogger other than yourself, who would you be?

If I could borrow some skills from a friend for a little while, I’d love to step into Rebecca’s shoes (Foodie with Family), for her mad bread and cheese making skills.

3. Which 3 blogs do you follow/are obsessed with/can’t live a day without?

There are countless food blogs that I adore, I can’t even begin to narrow it down to just a few. (I did try!) However, Sacred Ground Sticky Floors is truly inspired writing from Jami Amerine. Every time I see one of Jami’s posts in my email, I know that my day just received a breath of fresh air.

4. What is the one kitchen tool you could never give up?

A great chef’s knife. Decent knives will make or break your work in the kitchen. I worked for years with lousy knives and now? A wicked sharp and comfortable knife is priceless.

5. What dish are you obsessed with mastering that you just can’t get quite right?

Feel free to laugh, but my nemesis is pizza.

6. What did you have for dinner last night?

Mexican Pulled Pork stuffed into tacos with Skillet Street Corn on the side (both recipes from the cookbook, both made by my 12 year-old son this time).

7. What’s one secret talent outside of the kitchen nobody knows about you?

I’m a ridiculously fast reader. Last time I tested the speed, (maybe in college?) I was reading somewhere around a thousand words a minute. Sometimes it’s handy, more often than not, it’s a bummer when I am loving a new book and then it’s finished in just a few hours. This is why I adore the public library and it’s also why I very rarely purchase a book. If I bought copies of all the books I read? Well, let’s just say the grocery budget would need to shrink to balance it all out.

8. You’re happiest when cooking/eating:

Massive garden salads with carnitas, avocado, and Fritos piled on top, followed by an ice cream cone.

9. The one secret to your success is?


10. How does being a mom help inform the things you create for your blog and the recipes in your book? 

The ability to laugh at kitchen mistakes and failures, clean up the mess, and try again. In addition to that, I always have a stash of chocolate and ice cream to balance out the less than perfect meals.

Thank you Mary for being our foodie crush and congratulations on your new cookbook. Now, let’s dive into the recipe.

Smoked Paprika Chicken |

Smoked Paprika Chicken Recipe with Barefeet In the Kitchen

There’s really not anything a busy home cook wishes for more than to have a few staple recipes logged for simple, nutritious, weeknight eats.

This garlicky spiced chicken thigh dinner recipe is exactly that, and a big part of my meal planning strategy for an easier, healthier dinner option.

With minimal ingredients that are pretty much always on hand, this recipe for Mary’s Crispy Garlic Paprika Chicken comes together injust about 5 minutes and then lets the oven do all of the work.

There wasn’t much to switch up from Mary’s original recipe, except to maybe add a little smoke. My husband is a huge fan of the depth of flavor smoked paprika provides so I substituted it where Mary calls for regular paprika. You can certainly use either to your liking.

Smoked Paprika Chicken |

The key to a crispy baked chicken is using skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs that have been drizzled with a bit of olive oil and seasoned with the simple blend of herbs straight from your spice cabinet.

Cooking the chicken elevated on a wire rack allows the oven’s hot air to circulate all around the chicken and for the fat to render from the skin so the thighs don’t cook and stew in their own juices. The result is a crispy crust on all sides.

I doubled the amount of spice mixture to sprinkle a little extra on the chicken and also flavor a separate roasting of broccoli and red onion for the side for one more layer of garlicky, smoked paprika flavor.

Smoked Paprika Chicken |

Crispy Smoked Paprika Chicken Recipe

Juicy chicken thighs get a crispy skin thanks to a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkling of paprika spiced salt that takes just 5 minutes to prepare.

Servings4 -6 servings


  • 8-10 small bone-in chicken thighs about 3 pounds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher slat
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack over it. Place the chicken skin side down on the rack. Stir the spices together in a small bowl and then sprinkle half of the spices over the chicken. Turn the chicken over, skin side up, and drizzle with the oil and sprinkle the skin with the remaining spices.
  • Place the chicken in the center of the oven and roast for about 50 minutes or until the skin is crisp and golden and the chicken is cooked through. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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