Top 13 Best And Handy Paprika Substitutes

So, you are in a middle of a recipe, and then comes a question what is the best paprika substitute? This happens when you are out of paprika. Paprika is a spice that is made of capsicum annum and has different forms like Hungarian Paprika and Spanish Paprika. Before we jump to know about the substitute for paprika let us understand that Paprika is used for what? Paprika is used as a seasoning in savory dishes to give an excellent flavor. Now, let me know what can be the best paprika substitute for dishes like hummus and deviled eggs.

List Of 13 Best Paprika Substitute

Here is a list of Paprika Substitutes that are handy and can be easily available in your own kitchen.

  1. Tomato Juice
  2. Chili Powder
  3. Black pepper
  4. White Pepper
  5. Red Pepper Flakes
  6. Cajun Spice
  7. Hot Sauce
  8. Bell Pepper Powder
  9. Chipotle Powder
  10. Aleppo Chilli Powder
  11. Cayenne Pepper
  12. Other Chilli Powders
  13. Maras Pepper Flakes
  14. Pimenton De La Vera

Now let’s have a brief look at these paprika replacements.

Best Paprika Substitutes 

Now we know what to use instead of paprika but it is important to know how and how much to use these ingredients when you are using them as a substitute to paprika.

  1. Tomato Juice And Chili Powder 

Tomato Juice And Chili Powder 

Using tomato juice and chili powder mix as a good paprika substitute is known to be the best it gives you the perfect color as it may give when you are using paprika.

So now how much to use this paprika substitute in cooking?

1 tsp of Paprika = 1 tsp tomato juice + 1 large pinch of Chilli Powder 

  1. Chili Powder

Chili Powder

Can paprika substitute chili powder or chili powder cane used as a paprika substitute? The answer is that all chili powders are not the same hence you need to mix some of the species together to make the best paprika substitute. Here is a list of the ingredients to make the best chili powder mix.

sweet paprika – ⅛ cup

garlic powder – 1 ½ teaspoon

onion powder – 1 ½ teaspoon

ground cumin – 1 teaspoon

dried oregano – 1 teaspoon

smoked paprika – ½ teaspoon

cayenne pepper – ½ teaspoon

Mix them all and use it as

1 tsp of Paprika = 1 tsp of chili powder mix

  1. Black pepper

Black pepper

Black pepper substitute for paprika is one of the ingredients that are easily available in every house. Black pepper is used as a seasoning in many dishes and salads. But the only thing that will affect is that it will not give your dish the same color that paprika may give. Although you will get the same level of spicy flavor in your dish.

1 tsp of Paprika = 1 tsp Black Pepper

  1. White Pepper

White Pepper

White Pepper is another most common seasoning ingredient found in your house. Do you know what actually the difference is between black and white paper? Black pepper is the unripe and dried Piperaceae fruit that is cooked. Whereas white pepper is made of the dried seed of the same fruit but when it is ripped. Now how much to use the white pepper?

1 tsp of Paprika = 1 tsp White Pepper

  1. Red Pepper Flakes

Red Pepper Flakes

Red Pepper Flakes give a very unique spicy taste to the dish. Using it as a paprika substitute for deviled eggs will be great. The red pepper flakes are made of cayenne peppers and capsicum annum with some more peppers of the same family. All of them are dried and then grounded. The main purpose of adding red pepper flakes to a dish is that it adds spices to the dish.

⅓ tsp of red pepper flakes = 1 tsp of Paprika

  1. Cajun Spice

Cajun Spice

When you need a paprika substitute that has a blend of many spices together the cajun spice is the best choice. You must definitely keep this spice handy in your kitchen. You can make cajun spice mix at home very easily. You just need to mix the following ingredients in the described ratio.

Paprika – 3

fine salt – 2

garlic powder -2

ground black pepper – 1

ground white pepper – 1
onion powder – 1

cayenne powder – 1

dried oregano – 1

dried thyme – 0.5

1 tsp of paprika = 1 tsp of Cajun spice blend

  1. Hot Sauce

Hot Sauce

What is the best Hot sauce that can be used as a paprika substitute? Any kind of hot sauce can be used for this. Do you know why? Because any hot sauce is a mix of different chilies. So need not worry about which hot sauce will be the best you can use the one that is available to you.

1 tsp of Paprika = 1 tsp of hot sauce

  1. Bell Pepper Powder

Bell Pepper Powder

Running out of paprika and searching for a substitute that is cheap and can be made at home. Follow the process and you can make paprika at home easily.

  1. Buy some red bell peppers
  2. Ripe them
  3. Take off the stems
  4. Preheat oven to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
  5. Cut the peppers into fine slices
  6. Line them in a baking tray or sheet
  7. Put in the oven till they are completely dried
  8. Grind them and store

You can store them for a year.

1 tsp of Paprika =  2 tsp of bell pepper powder

  1. Chipotle Powder

Chipotle Powder

Chipotle powder is made of chipotle chilies that are dried and mixed with some more spices. The mix of cumin, oregano, garlic powder with the chipotle powder gives the flavor of some spice with the smoky elements. Hence is the best Sweet smoked paprika substitute.

1 tsp of Paprika = 1 tsp of chipotle powder

  1. Aleppo Chilli Powder

Aleppo Chilli Powder

Aleppo is the best paprika substitute seasoning and is made of dried Halaby peppers. The ripped Halby is semi-dried, seeded, and then powdered. When you are choosing to add Aleppo chili as a paprika substitute you should keep in mind the level of spicy it is.

1 tsp of Paprika  = ½ tsp of Aleppo Pepper powder

  1. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne Pepper

When you are making a dish and you need some extra flavor with spice then go for the Cuenne pepper as a paprika substitute. But when you choose cayenne then you should remember that it has a very strong flavor than paprika. Many of them who use cayenne pepper prefer to add honey or sugar, in addition, to make the flavor mild. Another option is that you can add cream or broth also.

1 tsp of Paprika = ⅓ tspn of cayenne pepper

  1. Pimenton De La Vera

Pimenton De La Vera

If you are looking for a smoked paprika substitute then Pimenton De La Vera is the best choice. Though you may not keep it handy at home you should add it to your grocery list to use for a special flavor in your dish. To make Pimenton De La Vera the peppers are hung and dried then are kept in an oak wood smoking process for 2 weeks. This gives it a very strong flavor with vibrant color.

1 tsp of Paprika = 1 tsp of pimento de la vera powder

  1. Other Chilli Powders

Other Chilli Powders

This is the last but the best option to use as a paprika substitute. You can use any of the following chili powders as a replacement for paprika.

  • Ancho Powder
  • Guajillo Powder
  • Chile De Arbol Powder
  • Aleppo Powder

1 tsp of Paprika = 1 tsp chili powder


What can be used instead of paprika?

You can use these instead of paprika

  1. Tomato Juice
  2. Chili Powder
  3. Black pepper
  4. White Pepper
  5. Red Pepper Flakes
  6. Cajun Spice
  7. Hot Sauce
  8. Bell Pepper Powder
  9. Chipotle Powder
  10. Aleppo Chilli Powder
  11. Cayenne Pepper
  12. Other Chilli Powders
  13. Maras Pepper Flakes
  14. Pimenton De La Vera

Can I use cumin instead of paprika?

Yes, you can use cumin instead of paprika but you should take care that paprika will give you a smoky flavor but cum in will add heat to the dish. Also, the dish will have a different color that is a yellowish-brown color with cumin. It is recommended that you use half the amount of cumin as described for paprika. 

Is paprika and cayenne pepper the same?

No paprika and cayenne pepper are not the same. Paprika is made of red pepper and red chilies grounded together whereas cayenne pepper itself is a chili that is very spicy. So both are not the same when you compare the heat levels.

What is paprika made of?

Paprika is made of capsicum annuum pods that are dried. There are two main varieties of paprika Hungarian Paprika and Spanish Paprika. 

What Are The Three Types Of Paprika?

If you’re shopping for paprika in a grocery store in the United States, you’ll most likely find three main types of paprika — sweet, smoked, and hot — but you could also run into Hungarian paprika (a topic which can get very complex nuanced) and Spanish paprika (pimenton). Sweet paprika is the most common.


Now, whenever you are stuck in a recipe and want to add paprika but you realize you are out of it. So do not worry now I have given you 13 substitutes that can be easily found. The list has some of the ingredients that can be handy in your own kitchen. Just take care of the heat level that the substitute will give you. Some of the substitutes to paprika I have mentioned are very spicy. But one thing is sure you will get the best flavors from all the above paprika substitutes.