Did you know that you can make most of your own spices at home using minimal tools and ingredients? You can even make homemade paprika powder at home using only ONE simple ingredient. Red peppers. 

The Main Ingredients of Paprika

Paprika is simply made from red peppers. They can be sweet or a bell pepper. Some might argue that you can only make your own paprika from paprika peppers, but a paprika is just a variation of a sweet pepper. So if you aren’t picky like us, any sweet peppers will do!

You can even use hot peppers such as chili peppers to add a kick to your homemade paprika powder as well!

The Best Types of Peppers to Make Homemade Paprika

Sweet Peppers

  • Red bell peppers
  • Paprika peppers
  • Alma peppers
  • Sweet red peppers
  • Banana peppers

Hot Peppers

  • Chili peppers
  • Habanero peppers

Save Money by Making Homemade Paprika Powder at Home

Last year I made a batch of red pepper jelly and salsa. I still had quite a few peppers left afterwards so before they turned I chopped them up in a food processor and stored them in a ziplock bag in the freezer to deal with them later. Now a few months later I am pulling them out of the freezer to put to use!

You don’t have to purchase fresh peppers from the grocery store to make your own homemade paprika. You can simply do what I did and freeze your peppers from your garden or when they are on sale or in season to save money. Then when you have time after harvest and canning season you can make paprika!

It is so rewarding to preserve the bounty of your garden in the dead of winter!

Tips

  • Consider wearing gloves when handling the peppers, especially if they are of a spicy variety, to avoid burning hands!
  • You can experiment with different types of red peppers to create variations in flavor and heat levels in your paprika powder.
  • Label your paprika container with the date so you can keep track of its freshness. Homemade paprika powder can last for 1-2 years when stored properly.
  • If your paprika turns brown over time it means it is old and not a flavorful spice anymore. Store away from heat sources, and invest in tight fitting lids to maintain the best flavor.
  • USE PARCHMENT PAPER to line your dehydrator trays. If you don’t, like I did, you will be left with stained dehydrator trays. So if you have any tips on how to remove these stains… comment on this and let me know!

What You Need to Make Homemade Paprika

Red peppers: Fresh or frozen peppers will work equally as well.

Dehydrator: A dehydrator works best to ensure all moisture has been removed from the peppers.

Parchment paper: To line the dehydrator trays to avoid staining (I learned that the hard way)

Steps to Make Homemade Paprika Powder at Home

Thaw the Red Peppers: Start by removing your frozen red peppers from the freezer and allowing them to thaw completely at room temperature in the sink. It is important that they are fully thawed so they can dehydrate evenly. Strain all excess water from freezing.

A bag of chopped red peppers labeled "Rep Peppers 09/23" thawing inside a white bowl on a kitchen counter.

Prep Fresh Peppers: If you are using fresh peppers, rinse the peppers under cold water. Then, cut them open to remove the stems, seeds, and membranes. This will reduce any unwanted bitterness in your paprika. Slice the cleaned peppers into consistent, thin strips or pieces to ensure they dry evenly in the dehydrator.

Arrange on Dehydrator Trays: Lay the pepper pieces out on parchment paper lined dehydrator trays in a single layer, ensuring that none of the pieces are overlapping. This will help the air flow and even drying.

Chopped red peppers spread out on a white dehydrator tray, preparing for dehydration.

Dehydrating Process: Set your dehydrator to 125-135°F (52-57°C), which is a good temperature range for dehydrating vegetables to maintain their flavor and color in my experience. The drying process can vary depending on the thickness of your pepper slices, the type of dehydrator you are using, and your home’s moister level. Generally, it takes around 8-12 hours. You’ll know the peppers are fully dried when they become brittle and snap easily.

Dried red pepper pieces inside a clear blender container set on a towel, ready to be ground into powder.

Grinding: Transfer the dried pepper pieces to a spice grinder or a high-powered blender. Grind them into a fine powder. If you prefer a smoother texture, you can sift the ground paprika through a fine mesh sieve to remove any larger pieces.

A wooden scoop overflowing with fine red paprika powder, lying on a marble surface with scattered powder around.

Storage: Store your homemade paprika powder in an airtight container, preferably a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Keep it in a cool, dark place like a pantry or cupboard to help preserve its flavor and bright red color.

More Dehydrating Recipes

Homemade Paprika Powder

Learn how to make your own paprkia powder at home with sweet red peppers.
Prep Time5 minutes
Dehydration Time 10 hours

Equipment

  • Food Dehyrator
  • Strainer
  • Parchment Paper

Ingredients  

  • Red peppers

Instructions 

  1. Thaw the Red Peppers: Start by removing your frozen red peppers from the freezer and allowing them to thaw completely at room temperature in the sink. It is important that they are fully thawed so they can dehydrate evenly. Strain all excess water from freezing.
  2. Prep Fresh Peppers: If you are using fresh peppers, rinse the peppers under cold water. Then, cut them open to remove the stems, seeds, and membranes. This will reduce any unwanted bitterness in your paprika. Slice the cleaned peppers into consistent, thin strips or pieces to ensure they dry evenly in the dehydrator.
  3. Arrange on Dehydrator Trays: Lay the pepper pieces out on parchment paper lined dehydrator trays in a single layer, ensuring that none of the pieces are overlapping. This will help the air flow and even drying.
  4. Dehydrating Process: Set your dehydrator to 125-135°F (52-57°C), which is a good temperature range for dehydrating vegetables to maintain their flavor and color in my experience. The drying process can vary depending on the thickness of your pepper slices, the type of dehydrator you are using, and your home’s moister level. Generally, it takes around 8-12 hours. You’ll know the peppers are fully dried when they become brittle and snap easily.
  5. Grinding: Transfer the dried pepper pieces to a spice grinder or a high-powered blender. Grind them into a fine powder. If you prefer a smoother texture, you can sift the ground paprika through a fine mesh sieve to remove any larger pieces.
  6. Storage: Store your homemade paprika powder in an airtight container, preferably a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Keep it in a cool, dark place like a pantry or cupboard to help preserve its flavor and bright red color.

Notes

  • Consider wearing gloves when handling the peppers, especially if they are of a spicy variety, to avoid burning hands!
  • You can experiment with different types of red peppers to create variations in flavor and heat levels in your paprika powder.
  • Label your paprika container with the date so you can keep track of its freshness. Homemade paprika powder can last for 1-2 years when stored properly.
  • If your paprika turns brown over time it means it is old and not a flavorful spice anymore. Store away from heat sources, and invest in tight fitting lids to maintain the best flavor.
  • USE PARCHMENT PAPER to line your dehydrator trays. If you don’t, like I did, you will be left with stained dehydrator trays. So if you have any tips on how to remove these stains… comment on this and let me know!

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