Easy Spanish Paella Recipe: A Chef's Paella Recipe for Home Cooks by Chef Gigi

Easy Spanish Paella Recipe: A Chef's Paella Recipe for Home Cooks

Paella is the most popular dish in Spain. You can make it in your kitchen with simple ingredients like rice, saffron, vegetables, chicken and seafood. You don't even need a paella pan! This homemade paella recipe is adapted for home cooking. There are many variations of paella, but this one is my family's favorite.

This easy paella recipe is made with chicken and seafood. Don't be intimidated by the list of ingredients! I bet you have many of them in your kitchen already. Here's what you need to make my paella at home: olive oil, yellow onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomatoes, a bay leaf, smoked paprika, saffron threads, white wine, boneless chicken thighs, fresh parsley, rice, chicken broth, frozen peas, shrimp, mussels, calamari rings and lemon, for garnish.

Serve this flavorful gluten-free Spanish paella for dinner any night of the week or on special occasions for friends and family.

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Cuisine: Spanish
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced medium
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, very finely diced or 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch of saffron threads or powder
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley chopped (divided)
  • 2 cups Spanish rice or medium-grain rice
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 pound jumbo shrimp or prawns (about 12), peeled, tail on
  • 12 mussels, cleaned, beards pulled off
  • 8 ounces calamari rings
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges, for garnish

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Recipe Notes

  • Spanish rice, also called Bomba rice, Calasparra rice and Arroz Redonda, is traditional in paella. If your grocery store doesn't carry it, try Amazon, World Market or an International food market. If necessary, you can substitute medium-grain rice and reduce the broth to 3 3/4 cups.
  • Authentic paella would include making your fish stock from discarded seafood shells. I substitute chicken broth for convenience.
  • If you don't like seafood, leave it out and substitute more chicken or vegetables. You can use any combination of your favorite seafood, including clams, scallops and chopped fish pieces.

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Add olive oil to a large 14-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell peppers and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent. Add chopped tomato, bay leaf, paprika, saffron salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add white wine and cook for 10 minutes. Taste and add salt, if needed.
  2. Add chicken pieces, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and rice to the pot. Cook for 1 minute. Pour the broth slowly around the pan and jiggle the pan to get the rice into an even layer. Do not stir. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Give the pan a gentle shake back and forth once or twice during cooking, making sure not to stir the rice so a crispy crust forms at the bottom of the pan.
  3. Cook for about 15 to 18 minutes uncovered, then cradle the shrimp, mussels and calamari into the mixture. Sprinkle peas on top and continue to cook without stirring for about 5 more minutes. Watch for most of the liquid to be absorbed and the rice at the top to be nearly tender. If your rice is still not cooked, add 1/4 cup more water or broth and continue cooking. Cover and rest for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon slices.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 911

Total Fat: 40.1g

Saturated Fat: 2.2g

Cholesterol: 99mg

Sodium: 1115mg

Total Carbohydrate: 94.9g

Dietary Fiber: 3.2g

Total Sugars: 5.5g

Protein: 40.1g

Vitamin D: 0mcg

Calcium: 93mg

Iron: 4mg

Potassium: 567mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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Paella is the bomb diggity.
Elisa Schmitz
Paella is one of my favorite dishes ever. I actually bought a paella pan but have never used it. Thank you for inspiring me again to try!

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