A Dash Of Paprika Lends A Smoky Profile To Biscuits And Gravy

When you make a batch of comforting biscuits and gravy for breakfast, the go-to seasonings are probably simple options like black pepper or garlic and onion powders. We can all probably agree that even the most simple biscuits and gravy recipe is delicious, but adding a dash of paprika will elevate the breakfast dish with smoky flavors.

The addition of paprika works best when complemented with sweeter flavors. For example, in our recipe for maple biscuits and bacon gravy, a dash of paprika is paired with sweet notes from the pure maple syrup infused in the homemade biscuits. Tasting Table recipe developer Kara Barrett, who created this recipe, says, "You'll use just a pinch of smoked paprika as a finishing touch on the final dish."

Despite our variation of using paprika in biscuits and gravy, there are other ways to incorporate the spice into the recipe. You can cook it into your gravy along with other seasonings, or you can bake a batch of biscuits dusted with paprika.

Adding paprika to biscuits and gravy

When it comes to using paprika in biscuits and gravy (or any recipe, really) it's important not to overdo it because it's got a strong flavor profile — and you don't want it to overtake the dish. If you're following our recipe for maple biscuits and bacon gravy, you just need a pinch to garnish the dish, as Barrett suggests.

Do you want to add paprika to the regular gravy mixture? That technique will certainly boost the flavor of your gravy too, but you still don't need too much. For an average gravy recipe, you just need half a teaspoon to an eighth of a teaspoon of paprika. As we mentioned, paprika pairs well with sweeter flavors, so maple breakfast sausage or sweet Italian sausage are good ingredients to balance the flavors. For homemade biscuits seasoned with paprika, sprinkle a pinch of the spice on top of the biscuits for an essence of the smoky seasoning, or lean into the sweet and smoky combination with a drizzle of honey or dollop of honey butter before topping with a dash of paprika.

And just in case you're wondering if you should use smoked or regular paprika, it's really up to your preference. The only difference between the two varieties is that smoked paprika is made with dried and smoked chili peppers, resulting in a more intense smoky flavor compared to the milder and slightly sweet profiles of the plain version.