Thinking about what you can substitute for paprika? Wondering what a good paprika substitute that will neither affect the taste profile nor the overall look of the dish is?
Well, we have not just one, but 5 fantastic paprika substitutes that no one can tell apart!
And guess what, we have one amazing and super easy recipe with which you can make paprika powder right at home!
How cool is that?!
Best substitutes for Paprika:
Homemade paprika powder – replace 1tsp of Paprika with 1 tsp of homemade paprika powder.
Tomato juice and chili powder – replace 1tsp of Paprika with 1tbsp tomato juice + ½ tsp paprika powder.
Black pepper – replace 1tsp of Paprika with ¾ tsp of black pepper
Bell pepper powder – replace 1tsp of paprika with 1 tsp of bell pepper powder
Chipotle powder – replace 1tsp of paprika with ½ tsp of chipotle powder
But the question is, do all these substitutes taste the same as Paprika? What health benefits these substitutes posses?
Let us explain, but before we begin to tell you the perfect substitutes for Paprika, you must learn what paprika is because like it or not, many of us don’t even know the difference between paprika powder, cayenne powder, and regular chili powder.
What Is Paprika Powder?
Paprika powder is a mild-tasting red spice, made up of dried and ground, sweet red peppers of the bell pepper plant.
Paprika is widely used in many cuisines, including European, American, and even Middle Eastern.
Given that paprika is made up of mild bell peppers, they aren’t as hot.
They add more of a sweet, smoky flavor to the dish. It goes very well with meat and rice pilafs.
Use them to prepare a meat rub for your roast, or sprinkle over hummus or add in stews.
Whatever the way you choose to use, it is sure to add tons of flavor to your dish.
Can You Substitute Homemade Paprika For Paprika?
Of course, you can! But you must be wondering how to make paprika at home!!
Well, it’s relatively easy and can be made without any fancy ingredients or techniques!
All you need are red bell peppers.
Red bell peppers
- In a dehydrating machine, dehydrate the bell peppers for 24 hours. OR set the bell peppers in a tray in the oven at 150 degrees for 12-24 hours or until dry and crisp. To skip this step, you can also buy pre-dried red bell peppers instead.
- Once dried, deseed and grind the peppers in a coffee or spice grinder.
- Sieve the ground powder once, and your homemade paprika powder is ready for use!
Is Homemade Paprika The Same As Paprika?
When it comes to substituting paprika, there is genuinely no better solution than homemade paprika.
There is no difference between the two.
The only downside is that this solution doesn’t work when you are looking for a quick fix.
If there is no time constraint, then making fresh homemade paprika is clearly the best substitute for paprika!
Health Benefits Of Homemade Paprika:
The benefits of homemade paprika are the same as that of paprika. However, the homemade ones have added benefits such as
- They are organic and hygienic over the regular ones. You can’t be sure how those peppers you bought from the store were made. Were they treated chemically? Or do they contain any preservatives or colors? Etc.
Can You Substitute Tomato Juice And Chili Powder Concoction For Paprika?
Tomato juice mixed with chili powder makes a perfect paprika substitute. Wondering how?
Well, paprika has a sweet after taste with hints of smokiness. Tomatoes make up for the sweetness while chili adds some hotness and smokiness.
Is Tomato Juice And Chili Powder Concoction The Same As Paprika?
The magical blend of Tomato juice and chili powder vary widely in looks but are pretty similar in taste.
Tomato juice and chili form more of a paste; while paprika is in powdered form.
However, it won’t differ the dish in taste or looks.
The best thing about this paprika substitute is that despite being hassle-free, it’s pretty accurate.
Also, both the ingredients are readily available in the pantry, which makes it a favorable alternative for paprika.
Health Benefits Of Tomato Juice And Chili:
- Tomatoes are known for their detoxifying properties.
- They help fight inflammation, lower cholesterol, and strengthen the heart. (1)
- It is also beneficial for healthy digestion.
Can You Substitute Black Pepper For Paprika?
Black pepper has a hot and earthy flavor that is unique and can be distinguished.
Black peppers are made from berries of the P.nigrum vine.
The berries are dried on the vine for nine months, after which they are picked and grounded.
Although black pepper has a distinct taste profile, when you are out of paprika, it can make for a suitable substitute in some dishes.
Is Black Pepper The Same As Paprika?
Black pepper and paprika are entirely different, to say the least.
But dishes where you require some smokiness and hotness of the peppers, black pepper can efficiently work as a substitute for paprika.
However, black pepper may differ the dish in looks.
Make sure to substitute paprika with black pepper in dishes where color is of no importance.
Which means you don’t want the red hue that paprika adds to the dish.
For example, in dishes where you are using tomato paste such as in chili, you will need to substitute paprika with either chili powder or Cayenne pepper.
Whereas if you are making a meat rub, black pepper can be easily substituted for paprika without affecting the look of the dish.
Also, black pepper is a spice shelf staple, which means it is readily available and can be used whenever needed.
Health Benefits Of Black Pepper:
- Black pepper is rich in antioxidants, which helps fight the free radicals in our body and keeps it safe from damage.
- It helps fight against degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. (2)
- It additionally increases the production of good bacteria in the gut and also aids in better absorption of nutrients. (3) (4)
Can You Substitute Bell Pepper Powder For Paprika?
Bell pepper powder is made up of dried bell peppers, and so is paprika.
Paprika is made up of red bell peppers, while bell pepper powder is made up of all varieties of bell peppers, whether red, green, or yellow.
Whichever the case, if you can’t find paprika powder, bell pepper powder makes the right paprika substitute as it has the same taste profile, although spice levels differ according to the type of bell pepper used.
For example, the green bell pepper powder is not as sweet as the red bell pepper, which has a mild flavor.
Is Bell Pepper Powder And Paprika Powder The Same?
Yes, both bell pepper powder and paprika powder are the same.
The only difference is that bell pepper powder is made up of all varieties of bell peppers, such as yellow bell pepper powder, green bell pepper powder, and red bell pepper powder.
While paprika is made up of only red bell peppers.
Health Benefits Of Bell Pepper Powder:
- Bell peppers are rich in essential vitamins such as iron and vitamin C, which together help fight diseases like anemia. Lack of iron causes anemia. Not only does bell pepper provide added iron, but it also includes vitamin C, which accelerates the absorption of iron. (5)
- Carotenoids in bell peppers help keep the retina of the eye protected from damage.
- Nutrients in bell pepper also fight chronic illnesses such as heart diseases and cancer.
Can You Substitute Chipotle Powder With Paprika?
Chipotle powder is made up of smoke-dried jalapeno peppers.
Although chipotle powder looks almost similar to paprika powder and will not affect the dish in terms of looks if used interchangeably.
However, when it comes to taste, the chipotle powder is far hotter than paprika powder.
Are Chipotle Powder And Paprika The Same?
As mentioned above, chipotle powder and paprika are not the same.
But chipotle powder can be used as a substitute for paprika if an increased level of heat is not of concern.
If you like spicy foods, there is no better paprika substitute than chipotle powder.
Incase increased heat levels are not appreciated, you can minus any other spicy ingredient from the dish, to make up for the added heat from chipotle powder.
Health Benefits Of Chipotle Powder:
- Chipotle peppers are known for lowering cholesterol and aiding in healthy weight loss.
- They also help maintain good heart health and reduce the formation of blood clots, strokes, and high blood pressure.
- Chipotle is also known to improve the blood sugar levels in the body, making it a superfood for people with diabetes.
Depending on your use, all the above-mentioned paprika substitutes work amazingly well when you are out of paprika!
However, if it is up to us to choose one that suits all situations best, we would go with the tomato juice and chili powder concoction as it hits all the right notes.
Homemade paprika stands second, as it is a lengthier yet fulfilling process that is sure to give the most accurate results.
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