What is Smoked Hot Paprika?

Paprika in a bowl with a chili pepper on it.

Spicy Paprika Ground - Anthony The Spice Maker many people don’t realize that there are many different types of paprika – Hungarian/hot, Domestic, Spanish, smoked, etc.  They are not the same, and flavors will vary based on the soil and conditions in the region where it was farmed. Most of them can add a subtle difference and complexity to your dishes. Depending on the variety of paprika, the color can range from a bright orange-red to a deep blood red and the flavor can be anything from sweet and mild to bitter and hot.

Today we are going to talk about Hot Paprika – a spice I took for granted so many years, but never again!  Hot paprika is the Hungarian variety of paprika, and is generally accepted as superior to the rest. In Hungarian cuisine, paprika is used as a primary flavoring method, instead of simply adding color to a dish. It is most commonly found in classic dishes like Goulash (a stew made from red meat), onions, potatoes, and vegetables, and served over egg noodles, and the creamy Paprikash, a similar stew that uses lighter meats and sour cream.

This beautiful spice adds a peppery, spicy kick to any dish. Some have confused smoked paprika with hot paprika and those are two very different flavor profiles. We do not recommend using smoked paprika in place of hot, as it will definitely change the flavor of your dish.

About Our Hot Paprika

Taste Profile: Smokey with a spicy twist!
Element: Fire
Planet: Mars

Works Great With Vegetables (especially greens), Meat, Stews, and Sauces.

Smoked hot paprika is called Capsicum annuum, Hungarian Pepper, European Pepper, Mild Pepper, and Sweet Paprika. Regular paprika is typically used as a garnish or for adding a rich red color to a dish. The hot and smokey variety adds a rich, deep wood-smoked flavor and spice along with that signature paprika red color.


When to use Smoked Hot Paprika

This is great to use when you are looking for a deep umami flavor, without having to buy a smoker. I prefer to use this for a barbeque taste in pan-fried burgers or anything that is mimicking a meat flavor. When using smoked paprika, a little goes a long way so start small. Use ½ teaspoon at a time and taste as you go. The spice can build as you taste. If you are not a fan of spice, try Smoked Paprika.

Traditional Goulash Recipe | Serious Eats

Recipe ideas for Cooking with Smoked Hot Paprika

  • Chili – Any kind. I mean it!
  • Stewed Cabbage
  • Tacos – Pork, Beef, Lentils, or Jackfruit
  • Collard Greens
  • Chorizo Sausage

TIP: Add celery to a dish for a dish with smoked hot paprika for more savory in your umami* palate.

*Umami: This is the term used for a category of tastes that are savory. 




Chili Pepper Madness
This Hungarian chicken paprikash recipe, aka paprika chicken, is delicious and easy to make, with seared chicken simmered and served in creamy paprika sauce. You can make it mild or spicy!
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 People
Calories 652 kcal


  • 1 tbsp Butter Or Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Pounds Bone-in-chicken Thighs
  • Salt and Pepper To taste
  • 1 Lg Onion Chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper Chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper Chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic Chopped
  • 3 tbsp Sweet Paprika
  • 1 tsp Hot Paprika
  • 1 15 oz can Tomatoes use crushed tomatoes or fire roasted tomatoes, or you can use fresh, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream Room Temperature
  • For Serving Hot Chili Pepper flakes/Fresh, Chopped, Parsley


  • Heat the butter or oil in a large pan.
  • Pat the chicken dry, then season with salt and pepper. Sear the chicken 4-5 minutes per side, allowing the fat to render and the skin to brown. Remove the chicken and set it aside for now.
  • Drain some of the fat from the pan, leaving about a tablespoon. Add the onion and peppers. Stir to get all those flavorful brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for 5 minutes to soften.
  • Add the garlic, paprika, hot paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, for one minute
  • Add the tomato and stir to incorporate.
  • Add the chicken back to the pan. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. It should measure 165 degrees F (74 C) internally when measured with a meat thermometer.
  • Remove from heat. Remove the chicken and swirl in the sour cream a bit at a time until it is fully incorporated. Adjust with salt and pepper.
  • Add the chicken back to the pan and spoon the sauce over the chicken pieces. Heat a bit more if needed.
  • Garnish and serve!



Calories: 652kcal
Keyword chicken, Chicken Thighs, Hot Paprika