Paprika Substitute (7 Options!)

A list of 7 spices you can easily use as a paprika substitute for sweet paprika, smoked paprika, and 8 varieties of hungarian paprika. These alternatives work for replacing the sweet pepper flavor and still create a brilliant dish and splash of color.

Substitutes for Paprika

  • Ancho Chili Powder
  • Chili Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper Powder
  • Chipotle Powder
  • Tomato Powder
  • Smoked Paprika: mix cumin, regular paprika, and cayenne pepper equally
  • Cajun Spice

Which paprika substitute works best

In my culinary experience, I have found that tomato powder or chipotle powder has worked best as a paprika substitute, especially for garnishing Deviled Eggs. If you want a little more heat to tomato powder, add a bit of chili powder or cayenne pepper powder to desired taste, which works great when putting together a Cajun Shrimp Seasoning.

About Paprika Seasoning

Paprika is only available as a powder and is used in numerous dishes around the world. It happens to be one of my favorite spices to cook with and I always try to have it on-hand. It is a beautiful sweet red pepper that is dried and ground adding beautiful flavor and pops of color to food. It is commonly used in Eastern European dishes, and adds vivid red color and flavor to eggs, chana masala, broccoli soup, shrimp seasoning, and more!

The taste and color of paprika will depend on where it’s from and what type of red pepper is used. For example, you may find some recipes call for “hot paprika” while the others call for “smoked paprika” or just “paprika.” Hungary produces the most well-known paprika, which can be either mild to bold in flavor.

Paprika Varieties

Sweet Paprika

That comforting taste and vibrant red hue of sweet Paprika just brings out the best of aromas in soups and meat such as chicken and shrimp. It is sweeter than smoked paprika and is mild to taste.

Spanish Smoked Paprika or Pimentón

Smoked paprika or pimentón is made from peppers that have been smoked before being ground into a powder. It has a smoky flavor and works lovely to use in a chicken rub, taco seasoning, and shrimp seasoning. It comes in mild, semi-hot, and hot paprika flavors.

Hungarian Paprika

There are 8 varieties of Hungarian paprika, all lending a different taste.

  • Noble sweet – slightly pungent
  • Special quality – most mild form
  • Delicate – a mild paprika with bold flavor
  • Exquisite delicate – similar to delicate, but more piquant
  • Pungent exquisite delicate – more tasty version of delicate
  • Rose – has a strong aroma and mild pungency
  • Semi-sweet – medium pungency
  • Strong – the hottest paprika and can sometimes be found as hungarian paprika, or listed as hot paprika. This one is commonly used in Mexican, Hungarian, and Spanish dishes to take them up a knotch!

Crimson- Hue

The spice, paprika, has a vibrant red, orange, or yellow color that comes from a source of mixing various types of the pepper and their carotenoids. Foods rich in this color are an excellent source of vitamin A, and in fact 2 teaspoons of paprika offers 21% daily dose of vitamin A. So yep, eat it as often as you can! And when you can’t, here are the paprika substitutes to use in its place.

7 Paprika substitutes

  1. Ancho Chili Powder
  2. Chili Powder
  3. Cayenne Pepper Powder
  4. Chipotle Powder
  5. Tomato Powder
  6. Smoked Paprika: mix cumin, regular paprika, and cayenne pepper equally
  7. Cajun Spice

Substitute for Smoked Paprika

A great smoked paprika substitute is combining a mixture of cumin, regular paprika, and cayenne pepper equally.

Substitute for Sweet Paprika

Sweet paprika can be substituted with mild chili powder or tomato powder.

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