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If you are out of Paprika here are The Best Paprika Substitutes. Paprika is a common spice used in many recipes, so this list will help you when you find yourself out of this important spice.

close up image of paprika powder in a jar with a teaspoon of paprika in the background.
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Best Paprika Substitutes:

Paprika is one of the most used spices. There are different types of paprika, there is hot, smoked and sweet they all provide color and flavor. It can be added to many different recipes, our favorite is in our taco seasoning blend.

Paprika is best known to be added to recipes for its flavor, color, heat level, and smokiness. Paprika has many health benefits as well.

This spice should never go missing from your spice cabinet, but if you find that you are out, here are some substitutes.

close up image of paprika powder in a jar with a teaspoon of paprika in the background.

What can I Substitute for Paprika:

There are many options that you can substitute for Paprika. It will depend on if your recipes needs a sweet spice or the savory spice.

The best substitutes include black pepper, red pepper flakes and even bell peppers. There is no need to rush out to the grocery store, use one of these easy substitutes to save your recipe.

Best Smoked Paprika Substitutes:

Smoked Paprika has so much depth to your favorite dish. There are many different spices that can used to replace that smoke paprika flavor. Smoked Paprika is hard to replace, but these are some of our favorites.

  • Chipotle Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper Powder
  • Chili Pepper Powder
  • Ancho Pepper Powder
  • Guajillo Pepper Powder

Where does Paprika come from?

For a slightly sweet or smoky flavor, we always reach for Paprika seasoning. It has a bright red color and has a touch of heat that really helps makes your dish flavorful. It has aroma that is very distinctive when you open a jar.

Depending on the dish you are preparing, will depend the type of paprika that you choose. The three options that you can choose is a sweet paprika, a smoky flavor, or could be hotter selection.

There is a regular paprika that has a mild taste and is bright red. Mild Paprika is used most to top deviled eggs, potato salad or hummus.

Types of Paprika:

  • Basic Paprika – The basic paprika is what is found at your local grocery stores. It is made of a combination of peppers from Hungary, South American and California.
  • Hungarian Paprika – This paprika is opposite of the basic paprika. There are different levels of heat and sweetness of Hungarian Paprika.
  • Spanish Paprika – This paprika is used in your recipes that call for smoked paprika.
close up image of paprika powder in a jar

1. Red Pepper Flakes:

Red pepper flakes is a good substitution. It is a mix of peppers from the Capsicum annum family. Cayenne peppers make up these flakes to add spice to your dish. The peppers are dried before they are packaged

  • If your recipes calls for Paprika – for every teaspoon of paprika substitute 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.

2. Chili Powder:

Chili Powder is not the best option as it will change the flavor of your dish. If you need to add a little bit of kick to your dish, then this will work. Chili Powder is a season blend of ancho chile, Jalapeno, cumin, garlic, cayenne and onion powder.

3. Cayenne Pepper:

Cayenne Pepper is a good substitute for smoked paprika. It is similar in color, but it does add a lot more heat than paprika does. We recommend starting with a very small amount and taste then add if you need more.

  • Substitute ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper for 1 teaspoon of Paprika.
close up image of paprika powder in a jar with a teaspoon of paprika in the background.

4. Bell Peppers:

Bell Peppers are a good option if you do not have any of these spices. You can create your own, dried pepper powder by simply using a dehydrated to dry out your bell peppers. Then you grind you dried peppers into a powder to add to your recipe.

Bell peppers add flavor, color and aroma just as if you were adding paprika.

5. Black Peppercorns:

Black Peppercorns are a great substitute if your dish calls for a little spice. It won’t provide the orange, reddish tint that paprika does. But it is a great alternative for this spice that paprika gives.

6. Cajun Seasoning:

For a dish that needs that savory or smoked paprika, cajun seasoning is a great option. Cajun seasoning has cayenne, garlic powder, black pepper, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes.

Color is more orange than red, but it is perfect in savory recipes.

close up image of paprika powder in a jar with a teaspoon of paprika in the background.

7. Hot Sauce:

If you are needing a substitute for smoke or hot paprika, hot sauce is great option.

  • For 1 tablespoon of paprika substitute for 1 tablespoon of hot sauce.

Another sauce option to substitute for paprika is tomato sauce. This is a great option for your sweet Hungarian paprika or regular paprika. It also provides that deep red color.

  • For 1 teaspoon of paprika substitute for 2 tablespoon of tomato sauce

How to use Paprika:

Paprika powder is great in many different recipes. We like to add it to stews, soups, sauces and our seasoning blends. You can even sprinkle on top of your fried eggs or even on your roasted vegetables.

This commonly used spice is great in your spice rubs on your favorite grilled meats. Paprika is great alternative if you are trying to cut back on salt, use it instead of salt.

close up image of paprika powder in a jar with a teaspoon of paprika in the background.

More Substitutions:

Paprika is a common spice used to add spice and color to many recipes. If you are out of Paprika here are The Best Paprika Substitutes. These are the easiest and the best 7 paprika substitution ideas! #eatingonadime #paprika #ingredientsubstitutions

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Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families!

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