Smoked Paprika Roast Chicken

This paprika roasted chicken gets a smoky-sweet kick from Spanish smoked paprika (pimentón). Baste it with a glaze of lemon juice and honey. It’s an easy roast chicken recipe you can pull off on a weeknight or lazy weekend.

Smoked Paprika Roast Chicken
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.

What Is Smoked Paprika and Why Use 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.

Smoked Paprika Roast Chicken
Elise Bauer

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.

What Is Spanish Paprika?

Spanish paprika, also known as smoked paprika (or pimentón in Spain), is essential to the Spanish pantry and is a useful addition to your pantry, too. It's believed Christopher Columbus brought peppers from Mexico to Europe. Families in Extremadrua, Spain cultivated those peppers and dried them in smokehouses, imparting the smoky flavor in them before grinding them into a powder.

Extramadura, on the Portuguese border of Spain, is still a major Spanish paprika producing region. There are three varieties of Spanish paprika: dulce — sweet paprika; agridulce — medium-hot paprika; and picante — hot paprika.

Add smoked paprika to all sorts of foods — like beef chili, taco meat seasoning, meatloaf, or BBQ sauce — to impart a deep flavor. Sprinkle a few dashes on popcorn, eggs, or hummus to add a little smoky flavor.

Find smoked Spanish paprika in the grocery store spice aisle or online at The Spice House or The Spanish Table.

What to Serve With Roast Chicken

Love Smoked Paprika? Try These Recipes

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Smoked Paprika Roast Chicken

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 75 mins
Total Time 85 mins
Servings 4 servings

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

It's not necessary at all to truss (tie) this chicken; but if you'd like to, read our how-to, How To Truss a Chicken.


  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika

  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 (4- to 5-pound) whole roasting chicken

  • 4 tablespoons honey

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven:

    Preheat the oven to 325°F.

  2. Dry the chicken:

    Pat dry the chicken thoroughly with paper towels.

  3. Mix the butter and seasonings and spread over chicken:

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

  4. Heat the honey and lemon juice: in a small pot:

    In a small pot, heat the honey and lemon juice until the honey fully dissolves. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  5. Bake:

    Bake for approximately 1 hour to 1 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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1336 Calories
94g Fat
21g Carbs
98g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1336
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 94g 120%
Saturated Fat 29g 143%
Cholesterol 503mg 168%
Sodium 1190mg 52%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 18g
Protein 98g
Vitamin C 15mg 74%
Calcium 70mg 5%
Iron 9mg 48%
Potassium 1222mg 26%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.