Smoked Paprika Chicken with Basmati Rice

If you’ve got chicken thighs in your freezer, thaw ’em out and make this delicious, smoked Paprika Chicken and Basmati rice recipe!

Tired of cooking chicken the same old way? Try this recipe!

Smoked Paprika Chicken is flavorful, relatively easy to make and doesn’t take a lot of work or time!

 Smoked Paprika with Basmati rice in cast iron skillet
I use chicken thighs but you can also make this with chicken breasts

This easy chicken-skillet dish is ready in about 40-minutes! I use a cast iron skillet to cook mine in, but you can use stainless or non-stick as well.

Why you’ll love this chicken and rice recipe:

  • Affordable – chicken thighs are one of the more economical proteins at the store
  • Easy – nothing too complicated – just brown the chicken, saute the veggies and put it all in one pan
  • Easy clean-up – all you’ll have to clean up is one skillet and one chopping board…that’s it! 

What is Paprika?

Paprika is a red, ground spice that is derived from dried, ground red peppers. It’s heat index ranges from mild to hot, but in the US, you’ll typically find “sweet” or “smoky” paprika. 

The flavors are just as the name suggests – sweet paprika has a slightly sweet taste to it and smoky paprika has a deeper, warmer flavor. 

Paprika and chile powder are not the same. While both are from red peppers, paprika is much milder than chile powder or cayenne pepper. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

A package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8), smoky paprika, a 12-ounce jar of roasted red peppers (packed in oil or water…either one), green bell pepper, onion, minced garlic, chicken or tomato bouillon cube, rice and water

How to make it:

Season poultry with salt, pepper and smoky paprika; add oil and butter to medium high skillet; brown thighs; remove and set aside

Chicken thighs with smoked paprika in pan

Add chopped peppers, onions and garlic to skillet; season lightly with salt and paprika

Onions, red peppers and green bell peppers in a cast iron skillet

Add basmati rice to vegetable mixture; combine well; add bouillon and water

Basmati rice and veggies in skillet

Add browned chicken back into skillet; lightly season with paprika 

Chicken thighs, rice and veggies in skillet

Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook

Clear lid being placed over skillet with chicken and veggies

Expert tips:

  • Brown the thighs, but don’t cook them all the way; they will cook thoroughly after you add them back into the skillet with the rice and vegetables
  • Add the rinsed rice to the vegetables and stir it well; cook the rice with the veggies about 5-minutes before adding water 
  • Add enough water to barely cover the rice; the amount may vary, depending upon the size of your skillet
  • Layer the seasonings: add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and some paprika to the chicken, then to the vegetables, and again to the rice/vegetable combination; finish up with a final sprinkling of smoky paprika over the chicken before you cover it
  • Turn the heat to medium low after you add in the chicken thighs or the rice will burn on the bottom
  • Smoked Paprika Chicken is done when the internal temperature of each pieces reaches 165ºF


If you’re missing some ingredients for Smoked Paprika Chicken with rice, use these suggestions:

  • Roasted peppers = Use a red bell pepper, diced pimentos or a chopped tomato
  • Bouillon = Use chicken or vegetable broth or bouillon paste
  • Basmati rice = Use any kind of white or brown rice
  • Chicken thighs = use tenders or breasts

Serving suggestions:

I like to serve Smoked Paprika Chicken with Basmati Rice and a green salad with low-sodium White Balsamic Vinaigrette. Steam a side of asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts or green beans and you’ve got a great dinner in minutes!

Smoked Paprika Chicken and Basmati rice in black skillet

Related recipes:

If you make this recipe, please scroll down and leave a comment or rating! I love to hear from you!

Smoked Paprika Chicken in cast iron skilletwith Basmati Rice in Pan

Smoked Paprika Chicken with Basmati Rice

Tender chicken thighs nestled in a flavorful basmati rice and seasoned with smoky paprika
5 from 6 votes
Print Rate
Course: Entree
Cuisine: International
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Author: Anecia Hero


  • 3 pounds chicken thighs , boneless, skinless; about 8 thighs
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup green bell pepper ,chopped
  • 1 cup onion , chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic , minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt , divided
  • 1 12 ounce jar roasted red peppers (packed in water or oil; doesn't matter)
  • 1 tablespoon bouillon , chicken or tomato
  • 2 tablespoons paprika , smoked; divided
  • 3 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups water , or chicken broth/stock



  • Chop onion, bell pepper and set aside
    1 cup onion, 1 cup green bell pepper
  • Drain roasted red peppers and cut into smaller pieces; set aside
    1 12 ounce jar roasted red peppers
  • Rinse basmati rice in a fine strainer under cold water until the water runs clear; set aside
  • Add oil and butter to skillet on medium - medium high heat
    1 tablespoon oil, 3 tablespoons butter
  • Lightly season chicken thighs with a sprinkling of salt and ½ tablespoon of paprika


  • Place chicken in hot oil/butter mixture; cook until golden brown on both sides - about 8-10 minutes; remove meat from skillet; set aside
    3 pounds chicken thighs
  • Add chopped onion, green bell pepper and roasted red peppers to the skillet and cook until semi-tender - about 4 minutes
  • Add rice, garlic, bouillon, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon paprika; stir until combined
    1 tablespoon garlic, 3 cups basmati rice, 1 tablespoon bouillon
  • Add water (or chicken broth) to rice mixture; stir
    4 cups water
  • Add chicken back into skillet; season with remaining ½ tablespoon of paprika
    2 tablespoons paprika, 2 teaspoons salt
  • Cover and turn heat to medium low; cook for 20 minutes, or until rice is tender and chicken reaches 165ºF internal temperature


  • Brown the chicken then remove it from the pan; it won't be cooked through yet. That will happen when it's added back into the skillet with the rice and veggies
  • Turn down the heat of the stove to medium or medium low after you add the browned chicken back to the skillet. This low temperature will steam the rice and cook the chicken the rest of the way.
  • Cook until center of chicken reaches 165ºF and rice is tender.
This recipe uses 1 tablespoon of chicken or tomato bouillon and water; you can substitute the water with chicken broth/stock and leave out the bouillon if you like.

Nutrition Estimate

Serving: 1thighCalories: 697kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 33gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 178mgSodium: 769mgPotassium: 530mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1195IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 2mg
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5 from 6 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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