Treat your family to the tastes of the world! Hailing from Spain, paella is one of the most popular dishes. Made with toasted rice simmered with shrimp, sausage, and vegetables, this paella recipe packs plenty of flavor in this one-dish dinner. While my kids love it, I definitely make this one for date-night-in with my husband.
Best Paella Recipe
The best paella recipe comes from fresh ingredients. As you read through the list, you’ll see everything is wholesome and easy to find. Paella often comes with the reputation that only master chefs can make it, but you’ll soon be a master yourself!
- Long grain rice – this is the base of your paella.
- Olive oil – perfect for toasting the rice before adding the liquid to simmer.
- Chicken stock – gives your toasted rice some moisture when cooking.
- Shrimp – one of the most essential proteins for any Spanish seafood paella recipe.
- Chorizo – this spicy sausage really adds dimension to paella.
- Saffron – just a pinch and you’ll have that signature yellow hue.
- Garlic – mince it up to add that pungent taste.
- Lemon juice – adds a Mediterranean twist.
- Chopped veggies – onions and yellow bell pepper are a must for rounding out the dish.
- Paella seasonings – dried oregano, hot Hungarian paprika, red pepper flakes, Italian parsley, and a bay leaf give paella that unmistakable flavor.
Easy Paella Recipe
The ingredient list may be long, but Spanish paella is easy to make. It takes 30 minutes to come together and another 30 to cook it once the liquid has been added in. After that, it’s merely patience, waiting as your kitchen transforms with the aromas of a Spanish café on the sea.
Exercise? …I thought you said Extra Rice.
How do you Make Paella from Scratch
To make this Spanish paella recipe from scratch, you’ll mix some olive oil with the paprika, oregano, and salt and pepper to coat the shrimp. You’ll let that refrigerate then turn to your skillet to cook the onion, bell pepper, and sausage. Set those things aside, add the shrimp, and then move the cooked shrimp to the same bowl as your sausage. Then, you’ll toast the rice, add the garlic, seasonings, and saffron. Once the rice toasts, you’ll add the fresh parsley, chicken stock, and lemon juice. Let it simmer for 20 minutes, stirring here and there. When it’s cooked, you’ll add the sausage and shrimp mixture to combine before serving.
Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Spanish Paella Every Time
- Feel free to add other seafood options if you prefer. You can add mussels or clams to the shrimp or leave out the seafood entirely and use chicken. It’s totally up to you.
- While the other seasonings are dried, use fresh parsley. It adds such an impact for the finish, both in color and flavor.
- Make sure you stay on top of that rice. Keep watch as it toasts and then after you add the liquid, stir it intermittently so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.
How to Cook Paella
Paella needs a flat pan over high heat. A paella pan is ideal though if you don’t have one, you can use a flat-bottomed skillet or even a wok.
What are the main ingredients in paella?
In paella, you need rice, saffron, hot Hungarian paprika, chicken stock, lemon juice, chorizo, shrimp, and seasonings to give it that incredible flavor.
What is the most important ingredient in paella?
Some say the rice is the most important ingredient in paella since it is the base of the dish. But without saffron, it would just be rice with seafood which makes it one of the most important ingredients of all.
What rice is used for paella?
Long grain rice tends to be the best rice for paella. If you have jasmine rice, that would be an excellent choice too.
Can you make paella with regular rice?
You can make paella with any white rice though prepare for the texture to be different from what is authentically served. The key is to toast the rice in the pan properly and then add the liquids. Doing this should make it delicious no matter which rice you use.
How is paella traditionally cooked?
To make it traditionally, paella is cooked in a paella pan over high heat. This helps all the ingredients come together with that spectacular flavor we all love.
Can you make paella without a paella pan?
Yes, you can make paella without the special paella pan. However, that pan really is the best. Still, a good flat-bottomed skillet will work just as well if that’s all you’ve got.
What makes a good paella?
When it comes to paella, toasting the rice is key. Using a paella pan will also be easier for making this good. And of course, the high heat and saffron all play a role in making the best paella.
Which ingredient makes the rice yellow in paella?
This ingredient is called saffron. It’s a wonderful aromatic floral element that not only brings out the color but also the flavor as well.
What does saffron do to paella?
Saffron adds a beautiful yellow color to paella. It also has a lovely aroma that adds that extra-special something that makes paella so good!
How Long to Bake Paella
This shrimp paella recipe is cooked on the stove top, though some recipes do have it in the oven. Even still, you’ll need to combine everything on the stove top first, then move it to the oven and bake it for 20 minutes.
Why is my paella rice still hard?
You probably didn’t add enough liquid. Follow this recipe’s measurements to make sure you’ve got enough chicken stock and lemon juice to see the cooking process through. If at the end of the time the rice is still hard, slowly add a little more liquid to help it cook all the way.
How do you make paella taste better?
If you follow this recipe, you’ll have all the aromatics and flavors that make paella taste amazing. Also, using fresh ingredients will ensure you get the best taste.
What goes with seafood Paella?
One of our favorite things to eat with seafood paella is Caesar salad. Fried plantains are another lovely match, though if you want something simple, add sauteed green veggies and crusty garlic bread.
How to Store Paella
Paella needs to be covered and stored in the fridge. If you add more seafood to it than this recipe features, you will want to use it all up the next day.
How Long Does Paella Last?
If you make paella with shrimp and chorizo, it will be good in your fridge for about 3 days. If you’ve added mussels, clams, and more, you’ll want to finish it off the next day so it won’t go to waste.
Can You Freeze Paella?
So, what happens when you’ve made a jumbo serving of paella you can’t possibly polish off before it goes bad? Freeze it! Make sure it’s stored in an airtight vessel and be sure to use it up before a month passes.
How to Reheat Paella?
Reheating paella is best on the stove top. Add a little more liquid to it so it has the same texture as when you first made it.
Homemade Paella Recipe
- 6 tbsp olive oil (divided)
- 1 tbsp hot Hungarian paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 1/2 tbsp garlic (minced)
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 cups long grain rice
- salt (to taste)
- black pepper (to taste)
- pinch saffron
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 bunch Italian parsley (chopped and divided in half)
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 yellow onion (chopped)
- 1 yellow bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 lb chorizo sausage (remove casing and break up into crumbles)
- 1 1/4 lb raw shrimp (peeled & deveined)
- In a medium bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of olive oil, Hot Hungarian paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir in the shrimp and coat evenly, then cover and refrigerate.
- In the meantime, heat another 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and saute the onion for about 5 minutes or until almost translucent. Stir in the bell pepper and sausage and cook for another 5 minutes. Once cooked, place into a large bowl and set aside.
- Take the shrimp from the refrigerator and cook in the same skillet on medium heat, about 3 minutes per side or until both sides are pink. Place the shrimp in the same bowl with the chorizo and bell pepper mix and set aside.
- Next, toast the rice. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the garlic, red pepper flakes, and rice. Stir to the coat the rice with the olive oil evenly for about 3 minutes. Then, add in the saffron threads, bay leaf, Half the parsley, chicken stock and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce heat to a medium low to simmer. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning of the rice. When the rice is cooked, top with the chorizo and shrimp mixture and sprinkle remaining parsley. Serve immediately.
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