WHAT IS PAPRIKA& WHAT IS PAPRIKA MADE OF?
Paprika is a spice derived from grinding dried fruits of Capsicum annuum, which includes chili peppers and bell peppers. Depending on the pepper used, the flavor of paprika can range from mild to hot, and its color can vary from brilliant red to dark ruby. Paprika is extensively utilized in Hungarian, Spanish and other Central European cuisines as an ingredient or garnish, as well as for adding a touch of color to various dishes, such as goulash, aioli and deviled eggs.
WHAT IS SWEET PAPRIKA?
This sweet version carries only a hint of heat, though you can also try it in hot and smoked varieties. Regardless of which type of paprika is your favorite, you’ll find that no kitchen should be without it!
WHAT IS SMOKED PAPRIKA?
Smoked paprika, also known as pimento, Spanish paprika or sweet paprika, is a ground red pepper that has been smoked over an open flame to acquire a distinctive smoky flavor. Commonly used in Mexican and Spanish dishes like paella, carnitas and chorizo, smoked paprika adds a level of complexity to a variety of recipes, such as stews, marinades, grilled meats, soups, salads and more. The spiciness level of smoked paprika can range from very mild to extra hot, so it’s advisable to start with a small amount and adjust accordingly.
IS PAPRIKA SPICY?
Paprika is a versatile spice that can exhibit a range of flavors, from mild and sweet to smoky and spicy. Certain varieties, such as Hungarian paprika, can have more spicy characteristics while domestic paprika is typically mild and sweet and Spanish paprikas have a smoke-dried, imparting a smoky flavor.
WHAT IS PAPRIKA USED FOR?
Think of paprika as the gentler, sweeter cousin of hot chili peppers. It enlivens your favorite dishes with fruity notes and a toasty red color without ever taking over the show. Picture that iconic dusting of bold red color atop deviled eggs. That’s paprika! It lends mild, sweet flavor without overpowering the other condiments in your eggs.
If you’re wondering how to use paprika, try it in any pork, chicken or beef stew. Paprika is a mellow ingredient, bringing beautiful color and a hint of sweetness. You’ll find it in everything from barbecue sauce, prepared rubs and marinades to Italian sausage, potato casseroles, cream sauces and egg dishes. We even love it sprinkled on mac and cheese!
McCormick sources whole paprika pepper pods from farmers in warm, dry climates. The paprika grown and bottled by McCormick is nothing but the purest. Paprika is a New World spice, meaning it didn’t take hold in Europe until the 1600s, where it was introduced to Europeans by Bulgarians and Turks. Eastern Europeans — Hungarians in particular — love sweet paprika in recipes like goulash and chicken paprikash, where the color alone makes the dish look especially appealing.
WHAT DOES PAPRIKA TASTE LIKE?
If you’re wondering, “Does paprika have a taste?” It sure does! Mild paprika is the sweeter, gentler cousin of the hot chili pepper family. With fruity, slightly sweet notes and vivid red color, it brightens almost any dish. Use it in rubs and marinades, as a garnish for egg and fish dishes, or as a showstopper in chicken paprikash.
WHAT IS PAPRIKA GOOD FOR?
Use paprika as a base for your own spice rubs. The next time you serve up pork chops, try rubbing them with a combination of paprika, thyme leaves, black pepper and salt before pan frying. Paprika lends a toasty, rich flavor and vibrant red color and is a great addition to winter stews.
WHAT TO USE INSTEAD OF PAPRIKA?
If you’re looking for a vibrant red color with a kick of heat, chili powder, cayenne red pepper and chipotle chili pepper are great alternatives. However, these few spices are much hotter than paprika’s flavor and will greatly alter the taste of the dish. If you’d simply like to add a bit of color, smoked paprika makes a mild yet flavorful substitute, with a sweet and smoky edge.
FLAVORS THAT GO WITH PAPRIKA
Add even more flavor to your meals with herbs and spices that go great with paprika, including:
- Rosemary: Aromatic rosemary adds distinctive Mediterranean flavor to grilled lamb, roast chicken, tomato sauce, roasted vegetables and potatoes.
- Black Pepper: Native to the Malabar Coast of India, McCormick Black Pepper comes from the mature berries of the evergreen vine Piper nigrum. From plantation to package, we monitor the process every step of the way to ensure that every bottle delivers consistent sharp aroma and earthy flavor. In ancient times, peppercorns were rare and valuable. They were used as currency to pay dowries and even rent. Although no longer used as money, pure black pepper is still one of the world’s most valued and beloved spices in all types of food.
- Cumin: Cumin is one of the top 10 selling spices in the U.S. The spice dates back to Egypt 4,000 years ago, and McCormick Cumin is hand-harvested, sun-dried and carefully screened so you know you're getting nothing but the purest flavor. Add this spice for a warm flavor and earthy color to everyday soups, stews, meats and vegetables.
- Oregano: McCormick Oregano is the highest quality oregano because it's cultivated in the rich soil and intense sunlight of the Mediterranean and gently dried for a greener look and more flavorful taste. The Mexican variety grows wild in the mountainous interior of its native Mexico and is related to lemon verbena. It brings citrus and anise flavors, and is much more pungent than Mediterranean oregano.
- Cinnamon: McCormick Cinnamon begins as bark peeled from the base of cinnamon trees grown in Indonesia. We are the only company to have facilities there. This means we are able to clean, dry and sort right there and not wait to be imported to US. The trees must be at least 15 years old, which is when the flavor is fully developed. The trees themselves are naturally sustainable: If cut down, they will regrow. The bark is then cleaned, dried and shipped to our McCormick plant near Baltimore, Maryland. There, it’s cleaned again, gently dried, ground and bottled with nothing but pure cinnamon.
HOW LONG DO SPICES LAST?
While dried herbs and spices typically last for 1–2 years, there are some exceptions worth noting when it comes to the shelf life of spices. Maintain the freshness of your spices and herbs with these helpful storage tips.
GRAB YOUR PAPRIKA PRODUCTS!
- McCormick Paprika
- McCormick Smoked Paprika
- McCormick Gourmet Organic Paprika
- McCormick Gourmet Organic Smoked Paprika
- McCormick Gourmet All Natural Hot Hungarian Paprika
ENTRÉE RECIPES WITH PAPRIKA
- Roasted Paprika Chicken
- Smoked Paprika Shrimp with Poblano Polenta and Red Pepper-Agave Sauce
- Roasted Paprika Cornish Hens
- Spiced Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon and Olives
- Homestyle Pork Chops
PAPRIKA AND POTATOES
SOUP RECIPES WITH PAPRIKA
CLASSIC AND FUN RECIPES WITH PAPRIKA
- Classic Deviled Eggs
- Red Chimichurri Sauce
- Peruvian Kebabs with Aji Verde
- Grilled Fruit Salsa with Lime, Tequila and Smoked Paprika
- Smoked Paprika and Bacon Popcorn
- Hazelnut Stuffed Artichokes with Smoked Paprika Aioli
- Easy Smoky Margarita
- Smoked Paprika Gravy
LEARN MORE ABOUT HERBS AND SPICES
- 5 Must Have Spices to Add to Your Kitchen
- How to Prepare Your Kitchen to Cook More Indian Food
- Learn About Adobo
CUISINES TO TRY
Want to create a meal plan for your Paprika recipes? Need help planning your weekly meals and want to try new recipes? Save your favorite food, dessert, drink recipes and organize your ingredients with McCormick Meal Planner.