The 53-year-old replaces Paul Lambert at Carrow Road, following the Scot's decision to leave for Premier League rivals Aston Villa.
Hughton was in charge at Birmingham but had been granted permission by the Championship side to speak to the Canaries.
Hughton has penned a three-year deal at Carrow Road and takes three members of his Blues backroom staff - assistant manager Colin Calderwood, first-team coach Paul Trollope and chief scout Ewan Chester.
The former Newcastle boss admits the offer of a return to Barclays Premier League football with the Canaries was too good to turn down.
"As soon as the call came, due to the standing Norwich have, and their Premier League status, it was something that excited me," Hughton said.
"I'm very excited about the challenge ahead.
"It has all be done so suddenly and I am delighted to be here."
Hughton took Birmingham to fourth in the npower Championship but his team were knocked out in the play-off semi-finals by Blackpool.
"It was difficult to leave Birmingham," he added.
"I had a very good year there and the supporters have been excellent with me.
"It's a wonderful club and I had a good relationship with the staff and the players so I'm grateful to them for allowing me to have this opportunity."
Lambert's stock rose rapidly in English football after he achieved successive promotions with Norwich and then took the club to 12th position in the Barclays Premier League last term.
For that reason, Hughton admits he has big shoes to fill.
"The job Paul has done here in the last three years is a wonderful achievement," Hughton said.
"To rise from the first division to the Premier League for someone in management is a tough task and everyone appreciates the job he did.
"It will be a hard act to follow but it's about making progress, making sure we have stability in this division now."
Cardiff boss Malky Mackay was the early favourite to succeed Lambert and Celtic manager Neil Lennon was also linked with the position, but Norwich chief executive David McNally claims Hughton was always the club's number one choice.
"We looked at the UK and international market, and had a detailed look at who was available and who wasn't and we wanted to try to find the person who could take us forward.
"This is one of the best times in the club's history financially so we think the job is attractive to managers around the world.
"We thought it was key to have top-league experience, preferably in the Premier League and at the end of it all we looked at the names and Chris stood out as number one candidate. We recognised that unanimously."
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