Does Paprika Go Bad? How Long Does It Last? [Best Answer] in 2023

Spicing up your food is an essential part of your recipe. some people like adding Ginger to their food, others -like me- enjoy the special taste of paprika. that’s why I buy my spices in bulk so I have it ready at all times. But did you ask yourself if your special spice can go bad or not? that’s what we are discussing in this article.

Does Paprika Go Bad?

The answer to that is not straightforward, because paprika, theoretically, can’t go bad.

This is because paprika is a spice, and spices are a bad place for bacteria to grow on top of it. This means your spice will remain usable indefinitely.

Paprika Shelf Life

However, this doesn’t mean that paprika never goes bad. With bad storage conditions, you can be sure your powder won’t be worth putting in your food.

Not only bad storage makes paprika stale, but it also can cause it to become oxidized, moldy, and even filled with bugs if you are really careless about it.

Let’s explain how we can avoid this and make sure you can enjoy your spice for the longest time possible.

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How To Store Paprika?

If you want to avoid your paprika going bad, you have to learn how you can store it properly.

Paprika is a ground spice, which means that it only needs to be stored in a dry and cold area. The pantry is preferable, but away from any sources of heat like a stove.

Water and humidity can easily make your paprika go bad. This is why it’s really important to seal off the container from any water or humidity. Even a few droplets can become trouble for your spice.

How To Store Paprika

The last thing is bugs, if your kitchen has a bugs problem, or you notice a bug or two around your window next to the garden, make sure to seal your spice in a tight jar. If those bugs find their way inside, you will be sure to throw them away.

Here are some general guidelines that you can follow to ensure optimal storage for your tasty spice:

  • Avoid light as it oxidizes your paprika, causing it to lose its intensity.
  • Humidity is dangerous, it can cause the spice to become moldy from particles in the air mixed with water droplets.
  • Sealing the container properly can help avoid contamination from the air.

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How Long Does Paprika Last?

Since you know how to store paprika, it’s also important to know its shelf life.

Most commercial paprika has a Best-By Date. Which is an estimation of how long you can store the spice while still maintaining the strong taste.

After this period, paprika may start to lose its intensity, thus not giving the taste you are used to.

How Long Does Paprika Last

Storing paprika in bad conditions can easily shorten the best-by date, making your spice more likely to be bland.

In average storage, and with proper sealing, It can stay for 3 to 5 years, which is long enough for those who bought multiple packs in a sale.

Even after this period, assuming you kept it safe, it can still be used in your recipe, although you might need to put a lot of it to get the same taste.

Paprika Shelf Life [Full Chart]

Ground2 To 3 Years
Dried3 To 4 Years
Whole3 To 5 Years

How long does paprika last in the pantry?

Paprika can last up to 2 to 3 years in the pantry if it is ground or dried, and up to 4 to 5 years if it is whole.

However, it’s important to note that the shelf life of paprika depends on the best-by date of the particular packet, as well as the method by which the spice is stored.

Proper storage and protection from moisture can extend the shelf life of paprika.

Can you use expired paprika for cooking?

Yes, you can use expired paprika for cooking, but the flavor may not be as strong as it would be with fresh paprika. As mentioned earlier, the shelf life of paprika is quite long, and it usually does not spoil.

The best-by date on the packaging provides an estimate of how long the spice will retain its full flavor, but it’s not an exact expiration date.

If the paprika has been stored properly and there are no signs of spoilage, such as mold or a musty odor, it should still be safe to use. However, keep in mind that the flavor may be milder and less intense than fresh paprika.

How To Tell If Paprika Has Gone Bad?

Despite the long life of paprika, you have to be careful of signs of spoilage in it, bad storage conditions can cause your spice to spoil, which shows some or all of the following signs:

How To Tell If Paprika Has Gone Bad


With enough humidity and air, mold can take over almost anything, even your favorite spice. If you forget your jar opened next to the sink, and enough water got into it from the splashes, some mold might arise in it.

Mold is dangerous, and it’s recommended to throw away the whole jar for your own safety.


Some specific bugs enjoy the taste of paprika, plus it’s also nutritious for them. Having a bug problem in your kitchen already makes this more likely. Seeing those bugs can be challenging as they are as small as sesame seeds.


What’s the point of adding spice if it tastes pale? pour some of your paprika and give it a whiff and a taste, if it’s really faint, then buying a new package is the better option.

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Can you freeze paprika to extend its shelf life?

you can freeze paprika to extend its shelf life, but it’s not necessary as the spice can already last for a few years if stored properly. Freezing paprika can also affect the flavor and texture of the spice.

The best way to store paprika is to keep it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and moisture. If you want to extend the shelf life of paprika, it’s best to buy whole pods and grind them as needed rather than purchasing pre-ground paprika.

Wrapping up

It can add a special feel to your dishes, but knowing more about their shelf life and expiration can save your recipe from a tasteless spice.

If you have any questions concerning paprika, feel free to leave a comment and we will reply as fast as possible.

Thanks for reading and we hope you have a great day!

Can Paprika Go Bad

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