Spice Shelf: Paprika

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Spice Shelf: Paprika

By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Paprika is made from grinding various kinds of peppers. Many people think it’s bland, flavorless, and boring, but as the fourth most common spice in the world, paprika packs way more flavor than it’s given credit for! Depending on which type of pepper is used, how it is processed, and whether the seeds are discarded or included, Paprika can range from sweet to bitter, mild to hot, and bright red to deep brown.

There are two famous paprika- producing countries—Hungary and Spain. Hungarian paprika is generally strong and rich, while Spanish paprika tends to be milder. Typically paprika that is bright red is milder, while burnt orange paprika is hot.

Hungary is famous for its paprika; it’s their national spice after all! They grow over 40 different types with 8 different grades of pungency and heat. All have a peppery flavor, with varying degrees of spiciness—from mild and delicate to hot and spicy. Some Hungarian paprika contains cayenne powder to kick up the heat even more!

Spanish Paprika has 3 levels of heat: sweet (dolce), semi-sweet (agridulce), and hot (picante). Spain also produces a unique smoked paprika (Pimenton de la Vera). The peppers are smoked before they are ground leaving a pungent smoky aroma and flavor.

The paprika we typically encounter in our grocery stores is usually referred to as “regular paprika”. It is not known for being overtly flavorful or aromatic and is generally used to add color to a dish. Buying good-quality paprika is worth the added cost. It’s typically much more flavorful.

If a dish calls for paprika without specifying which kind, regular paprika or sweet Hungarian paprika are safe bets. But imagine the possibilities! Try changing it up until you find the perfect sweet and spicy flavor.

Paprika deteriorates quickly. To make sure it stays fresh, purchase paprika in small quantities and store in a cool, dark place for no more than 6 months. Some people recommend storing Paprika in zip-top bags in the freezer.

Paprika may be known for its presence in Hungarian goulash, Spanish paella, and good ol’ fashioned devil eggs, but it’s a great addition to other dishes too! Here are some of our favorite recipes:

Tomato Mac and Cheese
Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice Mixed Nuts
Traditional Southern Deviled Eggs
Jerk Wontons with Caribbean Salsa
Shrimp Mashed Potatoes
BBQ Pork Sandwich
Texas Pork Ribs

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Reader Comments:


We love you Paula! You don't need the stupid Food Network (although I certainly miss watching you everyday), keep on keeping on and we (my family and I) will always support you. You have overcome so many adversitys in your life and I know that you can overcome anything. Someday I hope to get the opportunity to meet you as you are a person I certainly look up to. You are a fantastic role model , mother, wife, business tycoon, chef of course, among other things. We love you! P.S. My 1 and 1/2 year old son has loved you since birth, he could be flipping out and just hearing you on the TV would calm him right down every time....see kids know who the REAL good ones are! Keep smiling smile

By Stacey on July 28, 2013


Hi Paula, It's Suzanne Byrd from Virginia. You have heard from me often lately for the past month or so. I like you are now looking for new opportunities and I feel confident that I have found a small miracle that I have been praying for and felt compelled to share it with you. I know you have type II diabetes at least and went on a medication for it. I have not formally been diagnosed but have some of the symptoms, as I love to cook like you and eat butter and sweets and hate to diet...therefore need to lose weight and get healthy...plus I have higher blood pressure and recently weened myself off prescription blood pressure meds. I am feeling there is a God given reason you no longer have your endorsement from is it Norvex (diabetes medication)...as that is a sign that you can do it naturally with no chemical meds and have it be so much healthier for your body. I have made contact with a company and person who has a natural supplement that helps you lose and maintain weight as I need to do and you and Michael have already done...it also is helping people get off blood pressure meds, diabetes meds, cholesterol med, lose with, cleanses and detoxes your system. I know there is a lot of junk on the market as I had tried much of it and wasted the money. But this formulation is created by a scientist and endorsed by NIH (National Institutes of Health in Bethesda Md. - they are experimental and research hospital you know)...think about your friends and people just you alone know which are many I am certain....how many of them are overweight, on some type of medication for some serious ailment (at least one chemical med, that breaks down other parts and organs of your body?) I know both Bobby and Jamie are into being healthy and natural and wanted to share this with you. There is not obligation, but if you are interested in hearing more about this miracle, please respond to my e-mail or give me a sign of interest please. I know given all that is going on right now you may be a little gun shy about people you don't know or even some you do know...but I am just a plain southern lady from Roanoke, Va. (you do a background check on me, my church did so I could volunteer in the nursery)...I have no ulterior motives except to help you and myself and others we know and love to get off the chemical med merry-go-round and get healthy they natural way. I hope things are improving for you and your family....this could be a brand new outlet for you and there is income potential for you and the boys if you like but if not and your just want to purchase product...that is okay too....just want you to know the full scope of the natural phenomena...you all will be amazed and impressed I am certain of it. If you want to get trully healthy the natural way....let me know please.Thanks Love you guys....Suzanne Byrd

By Suzanne Byrd on July 16, 2013


Love you!!!! Your the reason I cook! Amazing food...a beautiful women inside and out!!!! Thanks for doing what you do! Great recipes!!!

By Anonymous on July 06, 2013


Hi Paula, Thank you for posting the article and recipes with Paprika. It is an under appreciated spice I think. I too am a southern cook and love Paprika. So many of my recipes get Paprika added, even some you would not think, like hot dog chili and all my salads, macaroni, potato,chicken pasta, deviled eggs and more all get not only a nice shake of Paprika on the top for color but also added in with the Miracle Whip ( I only use Miracle whip for everything...no mayo at all), to make them bright and beautiful. Any meat dish gets Paprika, even on my fruit salad with cottage cheese on top, the cottage cheese needs a little color...Hope you and them family had a great 4th of July. Blessings. Suzanne Byrd - VA.

By Suzanne Byrd on July 05, 2013


Paula, I am so sorry about everything that has been happening to you in the last couple of weeks. Just goes to show you that you can't be honest in this day and age. Never admit to anything you said or did during your life. I am your fan and will continue to support you. Sincerely, Billie

By Billie Weingarten on July 01, 2013


Keep on being the wonderful bubbly person you are, you are very much appreciated and loved. Would not be surprised if you are making the Motivational circuit as a guru (a la positive thinking, sort of thing). Have been enjoying your utube cooking today. Ann

By Ann on June 28, 2013


I want you to know I will stand with you as you go through what you are going through. I have loved you since the first time I saw you and that was many years ago now. You cook the way I like to eat, and I love everything you make. Hold your head up high, you have done nothing wrong. Keep the faith and keep being strong, because this will all be forgotten.

By Carol Gardner on June 28, 2013


Keep up the good works.Long time fan.let bygones be bygones.

By Jon Toller on June 27, 2013


Dear Paula, Been following the news. I cried with you this morning. Just want you to know that I am rooting for you. Carry yourself proud. And, Never, Ever, Ever give up. I've gotten through it by praying for my accusers and asking Our Heavenly Father to open their eyes and change their hearts so that they will be able to see the errors of their ways and can have forgiving hearts, too. Then, give it up to God. He will take care of it. Promise. Your friend, Mary Ann

By Mary Ann Chavez DO on June 26, 2013


Enjoyed this article about paprika. Think it is an under used spice.

By Paulapnl on June 26, 2013


o my gawd, paprika is one of my most favorite spices in the whole world! I love to put it on my chips, chips and salsa. and, deviled eggs. And you're soo right. It isn't bland, it's loaded with flavor!! love me some paprika

By Chris on June 26, 2013


Behind you all the way Paula. The liberal hate machine loves to spew their hypocrisy!

By Peter Laseau on June 26, 2013

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