Smoked Paprika Roast Chicken

DinnerGluten-FreeLow CarbChicken Roast

Whole chicken roast with a rub of smoked paprika, butter, garlic salt and pepper, and glazed with lemon juice and honey.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

Check out the comments section for some great ideas on other things to cook with smoked paprika! 

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 165°F.

Add more salt and pepper to taste.

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Showing 4 of 97 Comments / Reviews

  • Nicoya

    We aren’t exclusively vegetarian, but we often cook that way for ourselves or family/friends who are. Smoked paprika is great in chili, beans, or other recipes where you might use bacon or other smoked pork.

  • Diane

    For seasoned hamburgers I use this recipe, but swap in smoked paprika for the regular paprika every time.
    The taste of grilling, year-round, even when I don’t feel like going outside to grill.

  • Lieane

    I make a paste with vegetable/sunflower oil & smoked paprika prep a good sized baking potatoe hasselback style, then drizzle/coat the potato with the paste mix. Wrap in foil and bake at 200F for an hour, after part unwrap & baste the potato and bake a further half hour or until done. Divine with soured cream or butter.

  • Nancy

    I used smoked paprika on chicken thighs that I wrap with bacon and roast in the oven. Yum!

  • 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.!

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