Slate: The Magical Spice That Makes Vegetables Taste Like Bacon - Kids love Spanish smoked paprika—including my little vegetarian.


One secret in the book was completely revolutionary for our family: “the single most used spice in our houses after black pepper.” It’s pimentón de la Vera , Spanish smoked paprika. “It makes everything taste like bacon (that’s a good thing),” the authors wrote, and they were right! Its smoky, salty sweetness (when you get the dulce , not the picante ) gives a little burst of bacony umami to anything you sprinkle it on.

So I started sprinkling pimentón de la Vera on everything. Roasted potato wedges, as in this easy recipe from the blog Tamarind and Thyme, got even more addictive. Roasted broccoli and cauliflower, tossed with pimentón, gained a deep new flavor note. Mixed with Greek yogurt and garlic, pimentón made a savory sauce into which our kids were delighted to dip carrots and peppers. And it replaced adobo as our go-to addition when quickly heating up some canned black beans on taco night.

Trader Joe’s has a 2.6 oz. tin of Smoked Paprika from Spain for $1.99:



Huge fan of smoked paprika here! I use it to give lots of dishes a boost of umami without having to add a meaty ingredient like smoked sausage or bacon.

Smoked paprika in braised greens and on top of hummus are two of my favs.

I store paprika in the freezer for freshness. If paprika is stored in the spice cabinet too long, I find that the flavor can go off. Not sure if you could call it rancid, but stale paprika is not pleasant and you’ll know it if you taste it.


Love the stuff on eggs.

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I only buy the small container and use it for paella with saffron, cataplana dishes.


Not disagreeing about its wonderfulness (I grew up with it since my mom used it) but hasn’t this been a standard part of the US kitchen lineup for a while now?

Yes it’s delicious and smokey but that doesn’t mean it tastes like bacon…!
I have found that a good high quality spanish smoked pimentón dulce is far and away a different thing from the rest dust in a can most supermarkets carry
Interesting how the author’s daughter has become mostly vegetarian so young.

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I agree on how wonderful it is, but it’s not bacon but chorizo that it likens other food to.

I use it for eggs (deviled, boiled), chickpeas, other beans (esp gigantes), potatoes of course, and recently as a chicken and pork rub, plus octopus and shrimp.

I will say that there are some vegetarians (in my family) who find the smokiness unpalatable exactly because it reminds them of meat.


I use smoked paprika and chipotle powder quite a bit, especially when I’m trying to eat like a vegan.

You are correct.
Not every smoke paprika is of the same quality
The best would be simply organic or Dalia Pimenton de la Vera- I like the hot one as they come with or without the hot variety. They are slowly smoked . Since you are vegan, Have you tried sprinkling it on butternut squash when roasting or making a roasted red pepper garlic aioli pepper sauce with hot smoked paprika? YOU may have to use vegan mayonnaise.


The tin of the Trader Joe’s paprika looks very similar to Artisan Spanish smoked Sweet paprika (Pimenton from La Vera region) listed on Amazon and has the same weight and construction. Could they be the same product?

Hard to know without a side by side taste test, most smoked paprika is packaged in a tin like that and la vara exports a lot of it.
Certainly worth trying what TJs sells, they sell a huge volume of product so it will be fresh

Agreed, and this is coming from a somebody who’s not a big TJ’s fan. I’ve never bought the smoked paprika but I’ve found that their staple condiments of that kind are overall very solid. Their olive oil and balsamic vinegar and dijon mustard are very good especially for the price.

Popping in to say raw celery ribs, smeared with PB of your liking dusted with smoked paprika is the bomb. While passing thru a number of vegan websites that combo kept coming up. Had to try it…


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