5 BEST Hungarian Paprika Substitutes in Recipes

Have you ever tried Hungarian Paprika? This spice is famous for its spice and smokiness, making it popular in European cuisine.

But how do you cook and use Hungarian Paprika, and what are the best substitutes if you don’t have it?

In this article, we will cover the basics of cooking with Hungarian Paprika, plus five ingredients that can be used as replacements when the genuine product isn’t available.

Whether you’re deafening up a traditional goulash or adding a spicy kick to deviled eggs, learn everything there is to know about Hungarian Paprika here.

What is Hungarian Paprika?

Hungarian paprika is a mild but sturdy spice that originates from Hungary.

It comes in four varieties, including sweet, hot, and smoked.

The sweet variety is the most popular, and its flavor ranges from mild to bold depending on when it’s harvested.

In terms of structure, Hungarian paprika is made up of dried bell peppers ground into fine powder.

Its texture is creamy and slightly gritty, while its color can range from bright red to tawny brown.

This spice works especially well with savory dishes, including stews, soups, and roasted vegetables.

When used in cooking, it adds depth and complexity without overpowering the other flavors in the dish.

A pinch of Hungarian paprika is generally all you need to add a subtle kick of sweetness to any meal.

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5 BEST Hungarian Paprika Substitutes in Recipes

If you’re looking for a way to add flavor to your dishes without using Hungarian paprika, you’ll be glad to know there are several viable alternatives that can work as replacements.

Here is a list of five great substitutes for Hungarian paprika in recipes:

1 – Basic paprika

Paprika, in its most basic form, is a spice derived from dried and ground capsicum peppers.

It provides an intense smoky flavor with a deep red color that makes it great for adding taste and visual flair to many recipes.

Depending on the types of peppers used in making paprika, the texture can range from powdery to coarsely granular.

When substituting basic paprika for Hungarian paprika, consider the fact that Hungarian tends to be more pungent with a deep smoky flavor and less spicy.

To replicate this quality when using basic paprika, consider adding 1/4 teaspoon of ground chipotle pepper per teaspoon of basic paprika.

2 – Smoked Paprika

Smoked paprika is an essential spice best known for its distinct and smoky flavor when used in cooking.

As the name implies, it’s made by smoking the dried and ground Pimentón pepper, usually a combination of sweet and spicy peppers, over an oak-fueled fire.

The result is a deep red powder that adds a unique aroma and flavors to many different dishes from around the world.

Smoked paprika has a surprisingly mild taste with just enough heat to balance out the earthly aromas it imparts.

It can also be used to replace Hungarian paprika for those who aren’t as keen on its distinct kick.

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Combined with garlic and oregano, smoked paprika can create truly amazing Spanish or Moroccan dishes, which will leave your guests wanting more.

3 – Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is a great spice to add to your dishes, particularly if you’re looking for a little extra kick.

This ground pepper can range from mild to hot in heat level, depending on the type you buy.

The texture is quite fine and has a red-orange color.

It’s sometimes confused with Hungarian paprika, which is a lot milder; one trick to substitute the two ingredients out is to use two parts of cayenne pepper to one part paprika when following recipes that call for Hungarian paprika.

Cayenne pepper can give an otherwise bland dish some pizzazz with its powerful flavor profile, so be sure to have it handy in your pantry.

4 – Chili Powder

Chili powder is a common spice used to add an intense smoky kick to traditional favorites like chili con carne and tacos.

Made from a blend of ground cayenne peppers and other dried spices, chili powder can often contain quite a lot of heat.

The color of the chili powder depends on the individual spices included in it, generally speaking.

However, most varieties have an orange-red hue.

To the palate, chili powder has a balanced flavor of fruity spiciness that combines sweet, earthy tones with smoky depth.

If you’re looking for an alternative to Hungarian Paprika, chili powder could be an excellent substitute, as it has similar flavor notes but adds some heat to your dish.

5 – Aleppo Pepper

Originating from the Syrian city of Aleppo, the Aleppo pepper is a beautiful chile pepper that is traditionally used as a seasoning for kebabs and hummus.

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Other recipes this pepper enhances range from pizzas to stuffing, adding a unique and slightly fruity flavor.

It has a spicy punch but with only about half the heat of crushed red pepper flakes, which makes it more bearable for those who cannot handle high-heat condiments.

Great for those watching their sodium intake too; this pepper does not require any added salt for flavor-building.

Aleppo peppers have a sweet taste that’s lightly crunchy in texture despite their flaky look – similar to Hungarian paprika.

As a substitution, consider using two parts of Aleppo to one part of Paprika.


In conclusion, Hungarian paprika is a popular, versatile spice that can easily be substituted when required.

Basic paprika, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and Aleppo pepper are all great alternatives to Hungarian paprika with their own unique flavor profiles.

When substituting any of these spices in recipes that call for Hungarian paprika, keep in mind the degree of heat they will impart to the dish in order to achieve the desired flavor.

5 BEST Hungarian Paprika Substitutes in Recipes

5 BEST Hungarian Paprika Substitutes in Recipes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 – Basic paprika
  • 2 – Smoked Paprika
  • 3 – Cayenne Pepper
  • 4 – Chili Powder
  • 5 – Aleppo Pepper


  1. Choose a preferred substitute from the provided list.
  2. Follow the cooking instructions for the selected substitute.
  3. Use the correct proportion of ingredients when preparing the substitute.

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