Paprika is one of those spices that everyone needs in their kitchen. It adds flavor to many dishes and it’s also an essential ingredient when making chili powder or curry powder.
It has a deep red color with a smoky flavor and it is very popular in many cuisines around the world.
But did you know that there are several other spices out there that can be used as paprika substitutes?
The best substitutes for paprika are Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder, Chili Flakes, Cajun Spice, Black Pepper, Chipotle Powder, Hot Sauce, Red Pepper Flakes, and Aleppo Pepper.
You won’t believe how delicious these substitutes taste until you try them out yourself.
Now there’s no need to worry about running out of paprika again.
Table of Contents
- What is Paprika?
- 9 Best Paprika Substitutes
- What does Paprika Taste Like?
- Is Cayenne Pepper Same as Paprika?
- Can I Make Smoked Paprika from Regular Paprika?
- Final Words
What is Paprika?
Paprika is a spice made from ground, dried sweet bell pepper. The world’s most popular types of paprika are the hot and smoky type which comes from the Capsicum family.
The word ‘paprika’ actually originated from the Hungarian word ‘Pörkölt’ meaning stew or braise.
Paprika is typically used to season stews, goulashes, or meat dishes, but it can also be added to sausages or other meats while grilling.
One of the main ingredients in chili powder which you use while making almost any Mexican dish is paprika. It’s not only popular in cooking, but it’s also used to add color to food.
Paprika is known for its unique taste and smell, but it also has many health benefits, such as the ability to prevent cancer and heart disease.
It can relieve stress and help with blood flow throughout your body!
9 Best Paprika Substitutes
These paprika alternatives are sure to make any dish pop with flavor and excitement.
1. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is one of the most popular paprika substitutes. It’s made from ground, dried cayenne peppers and it can be used as an ingredient in many dishes.
It has a very spicy taste with a hint of smokiness to it, but don’t worry–it’s not too hot. You can adjust the spiciness depending on how much you want to include in your dish.
Many people use Cayenne Pepper as a substitute for chili powder because it has the same smokiness but with extra spice.
Chilli powder is typically used in making Mexican or Southwestern dishes, so now you can make any of these recipes without worrying about running out of chili powder.
2. Chili Powder
Chili powder is a very versatile spice that can be used as a paprika substitute to add flavor and color to many dishes such as stews, pizza, dips, etc.
It’s made from ground chili peppers and garlic or onion flakes so it does have a slight kick to it, but it’s not too spicy.
Chili powder goes well with meat, cheese, and vegetables so why not try out some different recipes with chili powder instead of paprika?
It adds just the right amount of flavor to any dish that you want to liven up.
3. Chili Flakes
This is another popular substitute for paprika that you can use if you want to add spice or heat to your dishes.
Chili flakes are made from dried, ground chili peppers with nothing else added which is why they’re so delicious and healthy for you!
Chili flakes go well with many different types of dishes because it doesn’t have a strong flavor on its own.
It’s a great alternative to paprika if you want a slight kick to your food or something spicy for dinner.
4. Cajun Spice
Cajun spice is a blend of different spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and celery seeds – all of which give it a distinct Cajun flavor.
Many people use it as a dry rub or an ingredient for stews, soups, or sauces.
This spicy blend is very similar to chili powder so if you’re looking to substitute one for the other – Chili Powder will work just fine.
But if you are looking for something different, try it out with some of your favorite dishes.
5. Black Pepper
You can use black pepper as a substitute for paprika in any dish that calls for the spicy red powder.
A lot of people say that they can’t tell the difference between them because one has more bite than the other, but you may be able to if you’re a pepper lover.
Black Pepper is a widely popular seasoning so it shouldn’t be hard to find at the grocery store compared to some other spices on this list.
It goes relatively well with most dishes and people usually have black pepper as an ingredient in their spice cabinet already.
If not, try using it as a substitute for paprika to change things up.
6. Chipotle Powder
Chipotle powder is made from ground chipotle chili peppers and it’s known for its smoky, spicy flavor.
It has a lot of health benefits too – including antioxidants in the form of vitamins A, C, and E.
The smokiness is great if you want to add an extra kick or change up your recipes – try it out with some chicken or beef dishes to liven up your meals.
7. Hot Sauce
Hot sauce is probably the easiest substitute out of all of these options because it’s readily available wherever you go.
It’s not just limited to being used as a hot sauce either – you can use any type you find in your cupboards to be used for paprika or chili powder.
The hot sauce tastes great with almost everything so there’s no reason not to try this spice out.
It will spruce up your dishes without having to buy different kinds of spices – plus, you can use it for other things like cooking or as an ingredient in dips!
8. Red Pepper Flakes
Red pepper flakes are another popular spice that you can substitute for paprika. It’s made from dried and ground chilies, so it has a spicy taste to it.
Red pepper flakes have more bite than some other spices on this list because they’re made from chili peppers that are already dried and ground up.
9. Aleppo Oepper
When you need to substitute paprika but don’t want to affect the flavor of your dish much, try using Aleppo pepper! It’s made from crushed and dried chilies so it has a nice kick to it.
Aleppo pepper is similar in taste and texture to ground chili peppers so this would be another good choice if you’re looking for something spicy to spice up your meals.
What does Paprika Taste Like?
Paprika is made from dried, ground chili peppers so it has an earthy, smoky flavor to it with hints of sweetness.
It’s a red powder that adds a bit of heat to your dishes but doesn’t have too much taste on its own which is why it makes such a great substitute for other spices.
It’s popular in many cuisines and it adds beautiful color to your food.
Is Cayenne Pepper Same as Paprika?
Paprika and cayenne pepper are similar but they’re not the same thing. Both come from dried, ground chilies so they have a spicy flavor to them.
But paprika is made from milder peppers while cayenne has a spicier taste because it’s made with hotter peppers.
Cayenne Pepper also has a hotter taste to it and it’s redder in color than paprika.
Paprika is also used as a coloring agent because its deep orange color stands out against other colors – so if you want to substitute for chili powder or cayenne pepper, try using paprika instead!
Can I Make Smoked Paprika from Regular Paprika?
You can definitely make smoked paprika yourself!
Just buy regular paprika and dry it in the oven at low heat for about 10 hours.
Once you’ve dried regular paprika, take off the stems then grind it into a powder to make your own smoked paprika that has a smoky flavor.
The best paprika substitutes are those that can be used as a spice to add flavor and depth to your dishes.
These spices may not look like paprika, but they do the same job of adding another dimension of flavors and taste.
We hope this article has helped you find an alternative or two for your cooking needs.