6 Best Smoked Paprika Substitutes To Try

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Cooking a recipe that calls for smoked paprika, but you can’t find it in your kitchen cabinet? Smoked paprika is a unique spice and hard to replace. No worries! We have brought you smoked paprika substitutes that will give you a similar flavor profile. 

smoked paprika on surface 1

Smoked paprika has a similar taste to Hungarian sweet paprika. It is made from peppers that were smoked over a fire. It has a smoky flavor whenever it touches any recipes. So, now you must be wondering, with such an amazing flavor profile, why do you need a substitute for smoked paprika? 

Sometimes, you can run out of ingredients, and that’s where substitutes will help you regain the same taste. Wondering what the substitutes are for? The best smoked paprika substitutes are chipotle powder, Cayenne pepper powder, sumac, chili powder, ancho chili powder, and guajillo pepper powder.

In this article, we are going to talk in detail about smoked paprika – what exactly smoked paprika eats and some alternatives of smoked paprika that can be easily accessible. Very not because all your queries will be cleared.

Quick Peek: Smoked Paprika

smoked paprika on surface

The following sections tell you what smoked paprika is: its flavor, texture, uses, and health benefits.

What Is Smoked Paprika?

Smoked paprika, also known as Spanish paprika or pimenton, is a spice made from smoking and drying mild capsicum peppers. Then, it is ground into a fine powder. It adds vibrant red color and a smoky fruit flavor to your dish. Spoke to Caprica is widely used in Spanish cuisine. 

It’s one of the favorite spices among many, and sometimes it may be hard to find in the stores. Therefore, today we are giving you the best-smoked paprika substitutes you can use in your recipes and find similar taste and flavor. It’s not spicy enough and is called out with names like pimento, a Spanish name. In other countries, it’s known as sweet smoked paprika.

Ground spices are used in a variety of recipes. From Gitaz, tomato soup to ShakShuka, it’s a common ingredient in many of the world’s cousins. It has a beautiful mix of smoking and spiciness, making it a unique ingredient. It has a unique flavor that is hard to replace. Never fear. These best-smoked paprika substitutes you can rely on to get you out of trouble.

Describing Smoked Paprika: Flavor and Texture

Smoked paprika has a spicy and smoky flavor and adds a bittersweet and smoky flavor to the recipes. Its heat level ranges from mild to intense and you can add it to hearty recipes. It is also a great spice to add to BBQ recipes as it adds that smoky peppery taste to it.

If we talk about texture, smoked paprika has a very fine texture, unlike chili flakes which have a grainy texture. Smoked paprika has a powdery texture instead. You can add it to marinades, sauces, and spice rubs as its a fine texture. 

Uses Of Smoked Paprika

The best way to use smoked paprika is to pair it with something like roasted vegetables. You can use this bright red powder to create a nice color in your dish. Add in ground spices powder for a deep dark color.

Due to its smoky quality, it adds incredibly seductive smoky flavor and aroma to any dish. You can also use smoked paprika in stews, with potatoes, and dry rubs for any meat, Brown rice, sauces, and egg dishes.

Smoked Paprika On The Health Radar| Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

Smoked paprika is a ground spice made from dried capsicum peppers. This paprika can be found in the spice aisle of most grocery stores. It contains capsaicin, a compound found in peppers known for a wide range of health benefits. It has antioxidant properties that can help reduce cancer risk and improve immunity.

Smoked paprika is rich in calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, which are important for building strong teeth, muscles, and bones. Moreover, smoked paprika is also a good source of vitamin A, niacin, vitamin E, and vitamin K.

Why Should We Substitute Smoked Paprika? 

While reading this article, this question may have crossed your mind a few times. If Africa is this amazing, why would I want to replace it? There are a few reasons for this.

Firstly, you have come looking for a substitute. It could be that you have run out of smoked paprika or are allergic to it. In such scenarios, we must be prepared with our alternatives.

Second, even if we enjoy spicy foods, the smoky flavor of smoked paprika may be too much for us. We don’t like the smoky flavor of our food. That’s where milder smoked paprika alternatives come in handy.

Finally, why are you going to the market when you can cook your dish using something you already have in a new pantry? I hope I have provided you with sufficient information regarding smoked paprika. Let’s get down to the crux of this article.

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

6 Best Smoked Paprika Substitutes

Now that you know everything you need about smoked paprika let us discuss the Six best substitutes for smoked paprika.

1. Chipotle Powder

chipotle powder in a bowl

Usually, an ingredient that contains smoked paprika can be substituted for it. Chipotle powder is made from smoked dried jalapeno peppers. The chipotle powder has an ideal amount of rich earthiness to make your food memorable. 

The addition of a bit of spice enhances the flavor profile even further. Smoked paprika is a very mild spice; conversely, a chipotle powder made from jalapenos is strong. So, if you are not a fan of extra heat, start with a little. You should use 1 tbsp spoon of chipotle powder for 1 tbsp spoon of smoked paprika.

2. Cayenne Powder

cayenne powder in a bowl

Looking for a punch of heat? Then, the cayenne powder is the ultimate substitute for smoked paprika. The cayenne powder has a more spicy taste than other spices. So, this is best for those dishes which need more heat, like Mexican or any traditional dishes.

The cayenne powder has an excellent smokey flavor, so it could be a perfect backup for paprika. Cayenne powder is often used for pizza, soups, spice rubs, and sometimes desserts. Use one-third tablespoon of cayenne powder for one tablespoon of smoked paprika.

3. Sumac

sumac in a spoon

You will not easily find this amazing ingredient in your pantry, but there are some chances you do find it. Sumac has a rich red color, citrusy fragrance, and tart flavor. Sumac will add the same color as red paprika to your dish. This is a good substitute for smoked paprika.

Sumac does not have the same smokey profile as smoked paprika. But still, it can create magic in your dish with a fresh, lemony flavor. When you grind dried sumac, it will turn into a gritty texture. You can make sweet and sour beverages or lemonade with sumac.

4. Chili Powder

red chili powder in a bowl

Adding some cumin to your chili powder can make this ingredient the best substitute for soaked paprika. You do not need to look for fancy alternatives to smoked paprika when chili powder is there.

Simply get a bowl out and add two parts of cumin and either sweet paprika or chili. Then combine them, and presto! Once your homemade smoked paprika is finished. So you can start substituting. That couldn’t be easier! Adding cumin can get you the same smokey taste.

5. Ancho Chili Powder

ancho chili powder in a bowl

If you are running for paprika, you will easily find ancho chili powder. Basically, this is dried chili, which is from Mexico and is becoming more and more popular. Ancho chili powder can be the best substitute for smoked paprika.

Powdered ancho peppers, which come from dried poblanos, are a suitable substitute. Ancho chili powder does not have nearly a smokey flavor, but it has a somewhat milder flavor than chipotle, cayenne, and guajillo. You have to use it more than smoked paprika. You shouldn’t be surprised that this pairs well with Mexican foods like pulled chicken or meat rubs.

6. Guajillo Pepper Powder

guajilo powder in a bowl

Even without being dried out by smoking, guajillo peppers are naturally smokey. This can be the best substitute for soaked paprika because of its smoky flavor. The powdered guajillo pepper has a similar sweet-spicy flavor to the original ingredient, making it a good substitute.

Keep in mind that this Mexican pepper is milder in flavor than a jalapeno, so don’t expect a powerful kick.

When you use it, you will get an exact signature smoky taste and aroma like soaked paprika.

A Short Recap Of Smoked Paprika Substitutes

Here is a short recap of the best-smoked paprika substitutes.

Best Smoked Paprika Substitutes In Terms Of Flavor

Cayenne powder is the best smoked paprika substitute in terms of flavor.

Best Smoked Paprika Substitutes In Terms Of Texture

Sumac is the best smoked paprika substitute in terms of texture.

Best Smoked Paprika Substitutes Should Be Least Considered

Chipotle powder is the least considered smoked paprika substitute.

How To Use Smoked Paprika Substitutes In Your Recipes

smoked paprika on surface 1

Smoked Paprika Substitutes

Cooking a recipe that calls for smoked paprika, but you can't find it in your kitchen cabinet? Smoked paprika is a unique spice and hard to replace. No worries! We have brought you smoked paprika substitutes that will give you a similar flavor profile.
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  • Chipotle Powder
  • Cayenne Powder
  • Sumac
  • Chili Powder
  • Ancho Chili Powder
  • Guajillo Pepper Powder


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


I hope you were able to find the finest smoked paprika substitute by the time we got to the end of this post. Smoked paprika offers a nice touch of smoky flavor to dishes, but it can be too much for some folks.

However, substitutes with a milder flavor profile work well as smoked paprika substitutes. You can choose the best substitution based on your preferred flavor profile, and I am confident you will have a great time cooking!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does smoked paprika have a taste?

Paprika has a subtle earthiness to it, as well as a sweet and peppery flavor.

What is the difference between regular paprika and smoked paprika?

Regular paprika contains dried chili peppers that have been crushed. Smoked paprika is made from smoke-dried chili peppers that have been ground into a powder after being dried over an oak fire.

Is cayenne pepper the same as smoked paprika?

No! They both are different. Cayenne pepper is deep in red color and quite hot than smoked paprika. Talking about the smoked paprika, it is less mild than cayenne pepper.

Is smoked paprika hot or sweet?

Smoked paprika has a spicy and peppery taste therefore it is hot.

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