15 Best

Paprika Substitutes

Paprika was originally created in Central Mexico and was later exported to Spain in the 1500s before globe-trotting all the way around the rest of Europe, Asia, and Africa. 

Before you think about scandalizing your dinner party guests with paprika-free deviled eggs, consider using one of the 15 alternatives to make your culinary disaster a little less stressful.

Ancho chili powder

Ancho chilies are dried poblano peppers. They are sweet, mid-level spicy with distinct smoky notes.

Chili powder

Also made from ancho chilies, chili powder is combined with a host of other spices like cumin, garlic, and the elusive star herself, paprika.

Cayenne pepper 

Made from dried cayenne chilies, this spice isn’t shy when it comes to heat, packing a mid-level spiciness. This spice is more orange when compared to the dark red hue of paprika.

Pepper powder

Commonly known as ‘bell pepper powder’, this spice is made from the humble bell pepper — green, yellow and red — and is full of vitamin C. 

Aleppo pepper powder

With its mild spice cut by a dash of acidity, it also adds an earthy tone to recipes. This spice is not ground powder but rather flaked.


Chipotle powder’s rich smoky flavor comes from ground jalapeño peppers. While the flavor is an excellent substitute for paprika, its brown color is different from paprika’s red.


The deep red color of sumac spice is an excellent substitute for the vibrancy that paprika lends to a dish. Sumac is also rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and omega 3 fatty acids.


Saffron is famous for being a precious and expensive spice. Its quality is measured by the intensity of its orange-red hue, with a richer color signifying a higher quality spice.

Achiote powder

In small amounts, this spice will add the color of paprika, without adding too much flavor, and also give you a boost in the calcium and vitamin E departments.


Though it was used to dye fabrics in the past, turmeric now can serve as a substitute to paprika with its earthy, bitter, and pungent flavor, complete with a hint of ginger.


The scent of cumin is unmistakable, and its spice-free savoriness brings a deep rich flavor to any dish you choose to include it in. In addition to this, cumin is bountiful in vitamin B.

Red curry powder

With quite different flavors, red curry powder is certainly no twin to paprika, but it's an excellent substitute for a recipe that requires an especially spicy variant of paprika.


This delicious spice will not compare to the color of paprika, but is a robust substitute nonetheless, while simultaneously helping to heal your gut and liver!

Pink peppercorn 

Pink peppercorn is spicier than paprika, so be sure to use a light hand when adding it to dishes. It also adds a unique sweet pine taste while imparting anti-inflammatory benefits. 

Crushed red pepper

Commonly found in the form of flakes, crushed red pepper brings real heat to your cooking thanks to its use of various kinds of peppers such as jalapeños, chili and Serrano peppers.

What if you have a paprika allergy?

Paprika is a part of the nightshade food family, also known as the Solanaceae food family. To be safe, attempt to avoid any food within this family.

avoid these foods

1. Potato

3. Tomato

2. Eggplant

4. Bell Peppers

5. Cayenne Peppers

7. Hot Peppers

6. Chili Peppers

8. Pimento

Now that you have all the substitutions and information you could possibly need, you’re all set to create some truly amazing dishes.

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