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Smoked paprika deserves a spot in any spice drawer; it has an irresistible subtle smoky flavor. Here are the best smoked paprika recipes for using up a jar!

Smoked paprika recipes
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Got your hands on some smoked paprika? Because get ready, you’ve got so many delicious recipes in store! Alex and I have been cooking with smoked paprika for years, ever since I lived abroad in Spain (it’s essential in Spanish cooking). It’s got a subtle smoky flavor, and adds a hearty meatiness to vegetarian and plant based recipes. It’s such a versatile spice that we think smoked paprika deserves a spot in all spice cabinets around the globe!

Looking for smoked paprika recipes to use up a jar of it? You’ve come to the right place. Here are all the most delicious ways to use it, from Spanish roasted potatoes to paella to romesco sauce! Ready to get cooking?

What is smoked paprika?

But first, what is smoked paprika? It’s similar to the more common Hungarian sweet paprika, but it’s Spanish in origin. It’s made up of dried pimiento peppers that that are smoked over a fire, then ground. Here’s something important to note:

  • Smoked paprika may be labeled as any of the following: pimentón, Spanish smoked paprika or sweet smoked paprika.
  • Avoid hot smoked paprika! It’s too spicy and not interchangeable.
  • Avoid sweet paprika or Hungarian paprika! It’s not smoky.

Where to buy smoked paprika?

You can find smoked paprika in the spice aisle in most grocery stores. Refer to the terminology above when you’re looking for it. You can also buy it online here!

And now…the best smoked paprika recipes!

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Best paella recipe

Easy Paella with Smoked Paprika

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


One of the best smoked paprika recipes, this easy shrimp paella recipe with artichokes is simply stunning. Here’s how to make this traditional Spanish recipe!


  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 to 3 roma or plum tomatoes (1 ½ cups finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, peel and deveined*
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 large pinch saffron
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3 cups seafood stock or vegetable stock 
  • 1 ½ cups short grain Bomba rice or arborio rice
  • ¼ cup frozen peas, thawed under water
  • ½ cup artichoke hearts, quartered
  • Lemon wedges from ½ lemon
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish


  1. Prep the vegetables: Mince the onionMince the garlic. Finely chop the tomatoes, removing the cores but keeping the seeds with their juices.
  2. Measure out the ingredients: Measure out all the remaining ingredients before you start. The cooking process goes fast!
  3. Cook the shrimp: Dry the shrimp and add it to a bowl with ½ teaspoon smoked paprika and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. In your largest skillet or a 4-serving paella pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the shrimp and saute until it is just barely opaque, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the shrimp and set it aside.
  4. Cook the paella: In the same pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic until just translucent, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chopped tomatoes, the remaining 1 teaspoon smoked paprika and red pepper flakes, and cook until the tomatoes have broken down and most of the liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the stock, saffron and 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Sprinkle the rice evenly across the broth and tap the pan with a spoon to evenly spread the rice. Bring to a medium simmer and cook without stirring until liquid is absorbed, about 18 to 22 minutes (adjust the cook time as necessary if using a skillet).
  5. Adjust the heat as necessary: If your pan is large enough to span multiple burners on your stovetop, adjust the heat on each burner so you achieve a steady medium simmer. Rotate the pan every few minutes for an even cook.
  6. Add the artichokes and peas: When the top of the rice is beginning to show through the liquid (about 10 minutes into the cook time), press the artichokes and peas lightly into the rice.
  7. Assess whether the paella is done: In last few minutes, carefully watch the paella and rotate pan more frequently. As the paella finishes, you’ll see the steam start to slow down as the water cooks out. If desired, peek at the bottom of a pan by using a knife to scrape back the rice — you shouldn’t see any standing water. The sound will start to change from a simmer to a crackle. This indicates the crust is forming. Let the crackling continue for about 2 minutes before removing from the heat. If you smell any burning, remove immediately.
  8. Add the shrimp and serve: When the paella is done, add the shrimp to top of paella and squeeze the lemon wedges onto the top of the pan. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of kosher salt and add the parsley, if using. Serve with additional lemon wedges.


*Vegetarian and vegan variation: Remove the shrimp. Add 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (or 1 ½ cups cooked) when you add the veggie broth. Increase the salt by ¼ teaspoon.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Spanish
  • Diet: Gluten Free

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Edit Harmat says:

    “Avoid sweet paprika or Hungarian paprika” is not smart advice. It is full of minerals and vitamins and contains 3 times more vitamin C than an orange. It is anti-inflammatory and helps digestion. It is a pain reliever, good for the hair and skin, and helps blood circulation. Why would you want to avoid it?

    The recipe would be more helpful with the exact amounts of the ingredients.