11 Best Sweet Paprika Substitutes You Can Use

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Do you enjoy a little spice in your food? If you do, you’re probably familiar with sweet paprika. Despite its name, sweet paprika is a red spicy powder that adds color and taste to cuisine. If you don’t have any paprika on hand, explore the best paprika substitutes.

Sweet Paprika

Sweet Paprika powder is blood red and has a spicy flavor. However, unlike the other varieties, it lacks the intense peppery sensation. This makes it a great complement to most foods that call for a kick of flavor and a splash of color. Whether you like it or not, if your recipe calls for sweet paprika and you don’t have any, look for suitable substitutes.

Wait! Are you confused about choosing the right sweet paprika substitute? Looks like you are! Worry no more. Chili powder, tomato juice, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, and Aleppo pepper powder are some of the best sweet paprika substitutes that you can have.

Even though you might have tasted this ingredient, you might not have a clear understanding of it. If you are someone like that, I’ll suggest you go through our next session. It will deal with sweet paprika and its peculiarities.

Quick Peek: Sweet Paprika

Sweet Paprika

Sweet paprika is a beautiful crimson hue with a spicy flavor. It has a misleading color, just like its deceiving name. When you see its hue, you might think it’s the spiciest item on the planet. That is not the case! It has a mild spicy flavor that most people enjoy.

If you like spices as much as I do, you probably have a packet of sweet paprika in your pantry. But if you are totally new to this spice, this section is for you. This section will explain everything about sweet paprika. You’ll discover what it is, how to use it, and much more. To learn more, keep reading!

What Is Sweet Paprika?

Sweet paprika is a variety of paprika with a mild flavor. It is obtained from crushing the bright red American bell pepper seeds. Unlike the other paprika available in the market, sweet paprika doesn’t hold a hot taste. Therefore, when someone casually refers to paprika, they might be talking about sweet paprika.

Describing Sweet Paprika: Flavor and Texture

Sweet paprika is a variant of normal paprika and has a spicy taste. However, unlike normal paprika, sweet paprika has a note of sweetness complementing its spiciness. It has a bright red color and is usually in granular form.

Regular paprika isn’t very pleasant. It is too hot as a spice and has a bland smell. Sweet paprika, on the contrary, has a fruity peppery smell. It enhances the flavor and the aroma of the food.

Uses of Sweet Paprika

Sweet paprika can be used in a range of moderately spicy cuisines. Sweet paprika is used to add color to meals and has very little spiciness. Sweet paprika is for you if you have a sweet tooth and can’t stand spicy foods. It adds flavor and color without the spices’ heat.

You can also use sweet paprika to season your favorite dishes. It will enhance the flavor and appearance of the food. To experience its particular flavor, simply sprinkle it over your favorite soups or french fries.

Sweet paprika has a lot to offer if you enjoy experimenting with different flavors. When used properly, sweet paprika may enhance and complement the flavor of any food.

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

When you add a teaspoon of sweet paprika to your cuisine, you’re providing flavor and nourishment. Vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin E, and iron are all abundant in paprika. Surprisingly, a teaspoon of sweet paprika might provide your daily vitamin A requirement.

Paprika is also high in antioxidants. It contains beta carotene, capsanthin, lutein, and other antioxidants. All of them are carotenoid compounds with numerous health benefits. Together with the vitamin A found in sweet paprika, these antioxidants contribute to good vision and eye health.

Sweet paprikas include antioxidants that help prevent inflammation, arthritis, and nerve damage.Several studies suggest that sweet paprika consumption can lower bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol in the human body.

As previously mentioned, paprika is high in vitamin E and iron. Both of these components are necessary for blood formation. Iron aids in hemoglobin production, while vitamin E is required for a healthy membrane.

To sum up this section, we can state that this readily available spice can help you with various health problems. Sprinkle some sweet paprika over your soup the next time you make it!

Why Use A Substitute For Sweet Paprika?

 This question, I’m sure, has crossed your thoughts at least once. While this is a good question, there are a few reasons why you might want to use anything other than sweet paprika in your dish.

To begin with, sweet paprika is produced in western countries and exported to a number of nations. As a result, it can be pricey and may not suit everyone’s budget. For the same reason, there’s a potential that the spice supply will be limited. A substitute will come in handy in these situations. 

It also contains a certain level of spiciness. Although this is a concern with most types of paprika, some other spice options may suit your taste preference.

Furthermore, why go to the store if you have any of the substitutes on hand? You could always just use a substitute to save time. These are compelling reasons to consider employing a replacement.

I believe I’ve covered everything there is to know about sweet paprika. Let me now take you to the article’s main point: the best sweet paprika substitutes. Continue reading to learn more about them!

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

11 Best Sweet Paprika Substitutes

This section has the best substitutes for Sweet paprika. Moreover, you will get to know how to use each substitute in your recipes too. 

1. Chili Powder

Chilli Powder

Chili powder has a flavor and texture that is quite similar to sweet paprika, making it one of the best sweet paprika substitutes.

Chilies are dried and ground into chili powder. Its color is vivid scarlet crimson, akin to sweet paprika. It has a little spicy flavor and may easily be substituted for sweet paprika in most recipes.

Chili powder is the most common and least expensive sweet paprika alternative. It goes well with most foods, including vegetables, soups, and meat. You may simply follow a 1:1 ratio when substituting sweet paprika for chili powder.

2. Tomato Juice

Tomato Juice

If you don’t want the spicy taste but a mild sweetness of sweet paprika, Tomato juice is the best alternative to sweet paprika.

Tomato juice has a mild sweet and sour taste. It can be added as a sweet paprika substitute in dishes that don’t demand a powdered form substitute. Tomato juice brings you the sweet taste of sweet paprika. 

You can combine tomato juice with a bit of chili powder to bring in the closest flavor profile to that of sweet paprika. But when adding tomato juice to a dish, make sure it won’t affect the dish’s consistency.

3. Cayenne Pepper

Cayyene powder

Cayenne pepper has a fruity smell and spicy taste, making it an excellent sweet paprika substitute. Cayenne tastes neither earthy nor hot, but when substituted for paprika, it brings the best flavor profile.

Cayenne pepper, just like sweet paprika, gives a good color to the dish. Cayenne pepper goes well with almost all dishes that use sweet paprika.

But unlike the sweet paprika, cayenne pepper is a bit spicier and carries hotness. So when replacing sweet paprika with cayenne pepper, use less of it. The best way to tone down the heat of cayenne pepper will be to add a bit of sugar or honey. To bring the best flavor profile, add half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to a teaspoon of sweet paprika. 

4. Hot Sauce

Hot Sauce

Hot sauce is something that has a spicy, tangy flavor to it. Undoubtedly it works great as a sweet paprika substitute.

If you are a fan of spicy food, you might have a bottle of hot sauce at your home. It has a sweet, spicy, and tangy taste and adds the right amount of heat to the food. Hot sauce or any other chili sauce can be used as a substitute for sweet paprika.

One good thing about the hot sauce is that it can be used at any cooking stage. You can use it as a marinade or as the last ingredient to garnish the dish. It brings the flavor profile and gives color to the food. You can add hot sauce as much as you want. Just check the taste in between!

5. Aleppo Pepper Powder

Aleppo pepper powder

Aleppo pepper powder has a spiciness somewhere around sweet paprika and cayenne pepper. It is great for adding color as well as flavor to a dish. Thus it can be a good substitute for sweet paprika.

Aleppo pepper has a fruity, spicy flavor with a touch of cumin. It is less spicy compared to cayenne but more compared to sweet paprika. Aleppo, like salt, is a flavor enhancer. Therefore, we can say that when used as a substitute, it adds color and enhances the flavor of the dish.

You can substitute Aleppo in most dishes where sweet paprika is employed. Since Aleppo is spicier, use half a teaspoon of Aleppo for one teaspoon of sweet paprika powder in recipes.

6. Red Chili Flakes

Red Chili Flakes

Red chili flakes have a spicy flavor and chunky texture. Even if it is not in powdered form, both chili flakes and sweet paprika have a spicy nature and work well as each other’s substitutes.

You can easily add chili flakes as a topping to most recipes. But if you are particular about its texture and flavor, just blend it in a mixture. Blended chili flake is just like chili powder and gives spiciness and color to the food. When using a sweet paprika substitute, add only a quarter of chili flakes in place of one teaspoon of sweet paprika.

7. Maras Pepper Flakes

Maras Pepper

Maras have a sweet-spicy flavor and bright red color. Maras pepper flake is something that has a flavor profile very similar to that of sweet paprika. Therefore we can call it the closest sweet paprika substitute.

Maras pepper flakes are grown in middle eastern countries. Even though it is very similar to sweet paprika, it is not available in US supermarkets.

Maras pepper flakes are spicier than sweet paprika. Especially when we are using it in slow-cooked food, it enhances the hot spicy flavor of the dish. However, the fruity sweet taste it holds will not let you miss the sweet paprika! When replacing sweet paprika with maras pepper flakes, use half a teaspoon for one teaspoon of sweet paprika.

8. Black Peppercorn powder

Black Pepper

Black peppercorn has a warm, woody spice taste. Black peppercorn just makes the flavor of the dish boulder. Therefore it works as a good sweet paprika substitute. 

Black peppercorn carries a smoky hot spicy taste. But unlike sweet paprika, black peppercorn doesn’t have many colors to it. So it is most suited for dishes where the flavor is the main aspect. If available, you can use freshly crushed black peppercorn as well.

Once crushed or powdered, use an equal amount of black peppercorn as that of sweet paprika in a recipe. If you are a spice lover, then black peppercorn is for you.

9. Bell Pepper

Bell Pepper

Whether you have green, yellow, or red bell paprika, you can use it as a sweet paprika substitute. Each bell pepper has a different flavor profile but can be used as a sweet paprika substitute. 

Red bell pepper is the raw material from which we make sweet paprika powder. Therefore, if you have some raw red bell pepper, you can put it in the dehydrator and dry it out. Crush the dried bell pepper, and your freshly made paprika powder is ready.

It tastes exactly like the store-bought one. It will also have a fresh prominent flavor to it. But if you don’t have red, you can use yellow or green bell pepper.You can also mince it fresh and add it to dishes. But then it will have a fresh crunchy taste.

10. Chipotle Powder

Chipotle Powder

Chipotle powder is extremely spicy and very flavorful. It can be used as a sweet paprika substitute in spicy dishes.

Chipotle is extremely smoky and spicy when compared to sweet paprika. However, just like sweet paprika, chipotle powder has a sweet undertone. Chipotle can be employed in all the places of sweet paprika as it gives flavor and color to the food. 

One downside of chipotle powder is that, if overcooked, it will have a bitter taste to it.When using as a substitute for sweet paprika, add half a teaspoon for one teaspoon of sweet paprika.

11. Cajun Powder

Cajun Spice Powder

Cajun powder is a blend of various ingredients like sweet paprika, oregano, garlic, and pepper. It can be used as a sweet paprika substitute in different dishes.

Cajun powder has a distinct taste of its own. It won’t have the same intensity as sweet paprika, but it will give your food a spicy twist. However, because cajun powder already contains salt and other spices, keep an eye on them while adding them.

Short Recap Of The Best Sweet Paprika Substitutes

Are you still undecided about which of these substitutes you should choose? Don’t worry; here’s a little clip that may assist you in escaping this difficult predicament.

Most appropriate: Chili powder is the most acceptable sweet paprika substitute since it can practically match the flavor and taste of sweet paprika.

Most Acceptable: Cayenne powder is the most available one. Even if they don’t have the same flavor as sweet paprika, they can be used safely in most dishes.

Best flavor combination: When Maras pepper powder is employed, the flavor profile is the best.

Final Thoughts

I hope you found the answers you were seeking now that we’ve reached the end of the post. Sweet paprika is a versatile ingredient that may add a new dimension to various meals.

Although most of the listed ingredients can be used as sweet paprika substitutes, there is no precise match for sweet paprika’s flavor. However, if you know of any other alternatives to the ones listed above, please share them in the comments area.

How To Substitute The Above Mentioned Ingredients For Sweet Paprika Powder

Sweet Paprika

Sweet Paprika Powder Substitutes

Here is how you can substitute the above-mentioned ingredients for sweet paprika.
5 from 1 vote


  • Chili Powder
  • Bell Pepper
  • Cajun Powder
  • Tomato Juice
  • Chili Flakes
  • Chipotle Powder
  • Hot Sauce
  • Aleppo Pepper Powder
  • Maras Pepper Flakes
  • Black Pepper corn powder
  • Cayyene 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!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a good sweet paprika substitute?

Chili powder, tomato juice, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, and Aleppo pepper powder are some of the best sweet paprika substitutes that you can have.

Is paprika and sweet paprika the same thing?

No, sweet paprika is a variety of paprika. Normal paprika has a very different flavor profile from that of sweet paprika.

Can I use smoked paprika instead of sweet paprika?

Even though both of them are paprika varieties, it is not advisable to substitute sweet paprika with smoked paprika. Sweet paprika has a mild flavor with a sweet undertone. Smoked paprika has a very smoky spicy taste that won’t be suitable for all cuisines that demand sweet paprika.

What is in sweet paprika?

Sweet paprika is made from red bell pepper. It has a spicy flavor with a touch of sweetness.

Can I use regular paprika instead of sweet paprika?

Yes. But regular paprika has a more spiciness and lacks the sweety undertone that sweet paprika has.

What is the difference between cayenne pepper and sweet paprika?

Cayenne pepper has a fruity smell and spicy taste making it an excellent sweet paprika substitute. Cayenne is not earthy, neither it is hot but when substituted for paprika it brings the best flavor profile.

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