Smoked Paprika Roast Chicken


I first experienced smoked paprika on a trip to New Zealand several years ago in a sweet potato soup. My host laughed as my eyes lit up with “Wow, what’s in this?!” At the time, smoked paprika could only be found in specialty stores or Penzeys.

Soon after though, McCormick started selling it and promoting it as a spice, so it’s much easier to come by, and we are always looking for an excuse to cook with it.

If you’ve never used it, smoked paprika is to regular paprika what chipotle powder is to red chile powder. I like to think of it as the flavor of my favorite barbecued potato chips.

The following recipe we’ve adapted from one in a free magazine by our local Raley’s grocery store. The flavor of this chicken is terrific, well worth seeking out this spice if you don’t already have some. Do you use smoked paprika in your cooking? If so, please let us know your favorite uses for it in the comments.

Updated recipe, from the recipe archive, first posted in 2007. Check out the comments section for some great ideas on other things to cook with smoked paprika! ~Elise

Smoked Paprika Roast Chicken Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4.


  • 2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsp melted unsalted butter*
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 whole 4-5 pound roasting chicken
  • 4 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

*If using salted butter, use only one teaspoon of salt in the rub, not two.


1 Preheat oven to 325°F. Rinse the chicken off with cold water. Pat dry thoroughly with paper towels (otherwise the paste won't stick).

2 Mix together the paprika, melted butter, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Spread over the entire surface of the chicken and place on a shallow baking pan.

3 Heat the honey and lemon juice in a small pot and set aside.

4 Bake at 325°F for approximately 1 hour to an hour and 15 minutes. Baste with the lemon-honey mixture after 35 minutes, and then every 15 minutes after that. You may need to adjust total cooking time depending on how big your chicken is.

The bird is done when the juices run clear (not pink) when a knife tip is inserted into both the chicken breast and thigh, about 160°F for the breast and 165°F for the thigh.

Add more salt and pepper to taste.

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Penzeys Smoked Spanish Paprika

La Tienda smoked paprika

Smoked paprika corn dumplings from Brownie Points blog

Pan-seared Ribeye Steak with Smoked Paprika from Gluten-free by the Bay

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Showing 4 of 98 Comments

  • Katrina

    I used smoke paprika mixed with Tastefully Simple Garlic-Garlic, salt n pepper. Rinsed and pat dried a whole chicken. Sprinkled paprika mixture inside the chicken and placed a medium onion quartered, fingerling potatoes, & carrots in the cavity. I liberally sprinkled the whole chicken and placed it in the crockpot on high for 6 hrs. What I thought was going to be enough chicken for a couple of meals and lunches for the hubby and I, turns out he so loved it and we had 1 dinner, and “his” lunch! It had wonderful flavor and very moist. (saved the drippings for another dish) . The hubby is now on the hunt for a “larger” crockpot so I can cook “2” chickens instead of one.!

  • Ginny Gaston

    I made this last night and it was sooooo good! It was really juicy and tender. Will definitely be making this again and would like to try it on the grill. I used a whole chicken that was not a roaster chicken, because that’s what I had.

  • Kathy

    Haven’t read all the comments, so forgive me if this is redundant, but smoked paprika is a go-to spice for barbecue sauce. I’ve also used it in hummus.

  • mags

    I use smoked paprika in my chickpea and chorizo chilli recipe! Love this spice! Will definitely try this chicken recipe it looks delicious thank you:)

  • Maureen

    I know this is an old post, but if you cook the entire chicken on 450 for about 45 minutes, will the skin crisp up?

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