Q:

What is a substitute for paprika?

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Quick Answer

Acceptable substitutes for paprika include mild chili powders or a small amount of cayenne pepper powder. Cayenne pepper is traditionally much hotter than paprika, so only a pinch should be used if cayenne pepper is the substitution.

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What is a substitute for paprika?
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Full Answer

There are several different types of paprika; however, all paprika is made from sweet, red peppers. Hungarian paprika is also known as rose paprika, sweet paprika and Hungarian pepper. Spanish paprika is often also called pimentón or Spanish pepper. Recipes that specifically call for paprika usually require the use of the Hungarian type.

Generally, substitutions for recipes should only be used in a pinch. Hungarian paprika has a smoky flavor that a substitution of cayenne or other chili powder will not adequately capture. Paprika is usually used in soups, stews and goulashes and as a topping on deviled eggs. If paprika is used in a recipe to add color, such as a garnish, a substitution will not adequately work. Paprika gets its color from zeaxanthin, which does not occur naturally in other ground peppers, such as cayenne. One serving of paprika is 1 tablespoon, and it has 3.67 grams of carbohydrates per serving as well as 2.4 grams of fiber and 19 calories.

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