Have you ever wondered, “What is smoked paprika?”, or perhaps the difference between smoked paprika and paprika in a recipe? I’ve got you covered with these answers and more – plus 20 easy and healthy recipes that use smoked paprika!
What Is Smoked Paprika?
Smoked paprika, also known as Spanish paprika or Pimentón de la Vera, is a variety of paprika made with red peppers that have been dried and smoked. It originated in Spain and is used in a lot of different Spanish dishes but can now easily be found in the US and Canada. It has a sweet, woodsy and smoked flavor, as you may expect from the name.
Smoked Paprika vs Paprika
Both smoked paprika and regular paprika are made from dried and ground red peppers. However, the peppers used to make smoked paprika are also smoked over an oak fire first. This infuses them with that distinct smoked flavor.
Both smoked paprika and regular paprika can be made from peppers of varying spice levels.
Is Smoked Paprika Spicy?
Whether or not smoked paprika is spicy depends on the type of red peppers used to make it. You can find smoked paprika in a variety of spice levels – dulce (sweet), agridulce (“bittersweet” aka mild), or picante (hot). If you opt for dulce smoked paprika, you’ll have a sweet flavor without the spice while picante paprika will definitely add a kick to any recipe.
If the smoked paprika you see in the store isn’t labeled, it’s likely sweet smoked paprika.
Smoked Paprika Substitutes
Smoked paprika should be available at pretty much any grocery store these days, so I definitely recommend grabbing some the next time you’re out shopping. But if you’re making a recipe with smoked paprika and realize you don’t have any on hand, you have a few options:
- Use chile powder. Ancho chile powder and chipotle powder are also made from peppers that are smoked and dried, so they’ll add that smoky flavor to a dish. Keep in mind that chipotle powder can be a bit spicy.
- Add cumin to paprika. Another option is to add some cumin to regular paprika. 2 portions paprika to 1 portion cumin will add a bit of smoky flavor, though it’s not a perfect substitute.
20 Easy Recipes That Use Smoked Paprika
Now that you know the answer to, “what is smoked paprika?” and understand why it adds such an amazing flavor to dishes, let’s dive into some of my favorite recipes that use smoked paprika.
Shredded Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Recipe
For an easy dinner that’s ready in just 30 minutes, turn to this Shredded Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Recipe! With a sauce that’s sweet, smoky, and oh-so-good, this chicken is the perfect addition to sandwiches, sweet potatoes, salads, and more.
Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
Ready in just 20 minutes, these Air Fryer Chicken Tenders feature a crispy, gluten-free breading that’s perfectly spiced with smoked paprika and other spices. Perfect for lunch or dinner.
Baja Fish Taco Rice Bowls
These Baja Fish Taco Rice Bowls are a fun and easy dinner, with smoky, pan-seared fish, crunchy cabbage slaw, and guacamole over a bed of rice. Don’t forget to add your favorite toppings!
Instant Pot Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili
For a gluten-free, vegetarian chili that’s filled with a smoky chili flavor, try this easy Instant Pot Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili. Perfect for busy weeknights!
Mason Jar Southwest Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing
This Mason Jar Southwest Chicken Salad is perfect for meal prep! Fresh and healthy with great flavor, it makes a great weekday lunch.
Easy Mexican Instant Pot Black Beans (No Soak)
These super flavorful Mexican Instant Pot Black Beans come together in just 45 minutes – no soaking required! Serve as a side dish or add to tacos, burritos, rice bowls, and more.
Easy Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower Recipe
Seasoned with a handful of spices and then tossed with oil and Parmesan cheese, this Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower makes a side dish no one will be able to resist.
The Best Marinated Grilled Flank Steak Recipe
Grilled steak has never tasted so good! Marinated in lime juice, cilantro, and a few other spices, this Grilled Flank Steak turns out super tender every time.
Easy Vegan Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
These Vegan Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes make a quick and easy weeknight meal. With just the right amount of spices and ingredients like black beans and corn, these sweet potatoes are ready in just 30 minutes.
The Ultimate Creamy Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
There’s nothing quite like a hearty, warming soup on a chilly night! With a handful of spices, veggies, chicken, and cilantro this Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup is perfect for busy weeknights.
Slow Cooker Barbacoa Short Rib Tacos
The meat in these Slow Cooker Barbacoa Short Rib Tacos is so tender that it almost melts in your mouth! Serve with your favorite toppings, like cilantro, onion, and avocado for an easy weeknight dinner.
Easy 20 Minute Garlic Butter Baked Salmon in Foil
This Garlic Butter Baked Salmon is PACKED with flavor! Seasoned salmon is coated in a honey garlic butter sauce, baked to flaky perfection, and served with lemon slices – all in just 20 minutes!
Epic Sweet & Smoky Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe
This Sweet & Smoky Homemade BBQ Sauce is the perfect blend of flavors. A little sweet, a little smoky, and just the right amount of spicy. Add to chicken, ribs, pork, burgers, and more!
Best Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw
These Spicy Shrimp Tacos feature pan-seared shrimp coated in a smoky spice run. Serve on corn tortillas with your favorite toppings for a dinner that’s ready in less than 30 minutes.
The Crispiest Honey BBQ Air Fryer Chicken Wings
These Honey BBQ Air Fryer Chicken Wings feature a smoky honey barbecue sauce. With the air fryer doing all the work, this addictive appetizer takes just 20 minutes to prepare!
Smoky Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast
All you need to make this Smoky Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast is chicken, bacon, and a few spices (including smoked paprika). Wrap the chicken in bacon, pop it in the oven, and dinner is ready in under an hour.
Hearty Smoky Chicken Chili Recipe
This Smoky Chicken Chili is not only super flavorful, but it’s also super easy to make! Loaded with fresh veggies, beans, and shredded chicken, this easy chili recipe is ready in under an hour.
Incredibly Juicy Air Fryer Chicken Breast
These Juicy Air Fryer Chicken Breasts are the perfect solution for a quick and healthy dinner. Seasoned with basil, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cumin, they have a delightfully smoky flavor that pairs well with almost any side dish.
Super Flavorful Chicken Mole Recipe
A classic Mexican recipe made simple, this Chicken Mole recipe features lots of spices, dried peppers, almonds, tomatoes, garlic, and, of course, Mexican chocolate.