Paprika helps prevent your food from being bland with its fiery, smokey, and sweet flavor, depending on the variety you use. However, there are other kitchen ingredients you can use to make your dishes satisfying.
If I find no spicy paprika in my pantry or no time to shop, I use maras pepper flakes, black peppercorns, cayenne pepper, bell peppers, red pepper flakes, and more.
What is Spicy Paprika?
Paprika is a ground
Top Handy Substitutes for Spicy Paprika
Paprika never goes missing in every spicy food lover’s kitchen cabinet. This bright red ground powder is very versatile. I use it to season dishes, add color to recipes, garnish foods, and bring an extra depth of spiciness and flavor to your favorite food.
Do not panic if you forgot to buy paprika or your favorite nearby grocery got no stock; you can replace them with the following:
Maras Pepper Flakes
Most Middle Eastern countries use maras pepper because of its sweetness and spiciness. For every 1 teaspoon of paprika required in a dish, I use ½ teaspoon of maras pepper flakes.
However, if the spiciness is not enough, feel free to add 1 teaspoon of these flakes into your recipe.
With cayenne pepper, I get the same level of spiciness as paprika. This makes it an excellent alternative to spicy paprika.
This red hot chili pepper is a bit stronger compared to paprika. Whenever I use it as a paprika alternative, I reduce the amount. For example, if I cook a dish that calls for a 1 teaspoon of paprika, I only use a ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
I mix the cayenne pepper with some sugar to achieve paprika’s flavor. Adding salt helps minimize the level of spiciness.
As an excellent spicy paprika substitute, the cajun
Chipotle powder is different from traditional chili powder as it is the dried chipotle chili powder and includes other spices, such as garlic powder, oregano, and cumin.
This powder offers a smoky element and a medium
Bell Pepper Powder
Bell pepper powder is another excellent substitute for spicy paprika. And you can create your own at home. All you need to do is get fully ripened red bell peppers and follow the steps below:
- Pull the stems off and place the red bell peppers in a dehydrator. Alternatively, you can preheat your oven to 120°F.
- Once the peppers are brittle, slice them finely.
- Break them up into small pieces using a mill grinder. You can also use a sieve for a finer result.
- Place the bell peppers on a lined baking sheet in your oven to thoroughly dry them. Store the powder in an airtight container.
You can store this homemade red bell pepper powder for up to 1 year. The powder will give every dish a more interesting flavor than paprika. If a dish requires 1 teaspoon of paprika, you can replace it with 2 teaspoons of bell pepper powder.
Aleppo Chili Powder
Aleppo chili powder is made from Halaby peppers that originated in Syria. However, Turkey also produces this pepper nowadays. After harvesting, these peppers are semi-fried and seeded. Then ground to form the powder form.
Aleppo chili powder can get a medium
When cooking a dish that requires 1 teaspoon of paprika, you can use ½ – 1 teaspoon of Aleppo pepper powder as a substitute.
I also use black peppercorns as an alternative to spicy paprika, adding a little
Since black peppercorns do not provide the bright red color that paprika does, I prefer using them in many tomato-based or Italian dishes to achieve that color still.
I always have gochugaru powder in my kitchen cabinet when cooking Korean dishes. This powder is a blend of spicy red peppers.
You can also use gochugaru powder as an alternative to paprika as it offers a mild
For every 1 teaspoon of paprika a recipe calls for, you can use 1 teaspoon of gochugaru powder as an alternative. Do not hesitate to add more if you wish to increase the spiciness.
Pimento de la Vera Powder
Pimento de la Vera Powder is smoked paprika from Caceres, Spain. Since the 16th century, this powder has been part of European cuisine.
You can find three powder varieties: picante (hot), agridulce (medium), and dulce (sweet). The hot variety is commonly used in chorizo and hearty meals.
Once harvested, peppers are hung out on strings to dry out. They undergo up to 2 weeks of oakwood smoking to bring out more assertive flavors and vibrant colors. This makes them an excellent alternative for spicy paprika.
Whenever I cook a dish that needs 1 teaspoon of paprika, I use 1 teaspoon of Pimenton de la Vera powder as a substitute.
Paprika Vs. Chili Powder
Although paprika and chili powder have the same vibrant red color, they differ in taste. Paprika has various varieties depending on the hotness level.
Typically, chili powder is used as a seasoning
The good news is that you can substitute the two. When you add chili powder in place of paprika, you will get a spicier taste in your dishes.
Even if you are out of spicy paprika in your