Learn how to make this authentic Spanish Paella recipe that is loaded up with vegetables, chicken, and fresh seafood!
We love serving up comfort food to our guests when we are entertaining. These hearty delicious meals are amazing and are always simple to prepare. If you are looking for some great comforting food ideas to serve up, then check out my Homemade Macaroni and Cheese or Meatloaf.
Paella in its simplest form is chicken or rabbit that is cooked with sofrito, Bomba rice, and broth. This version of paella is known as Paella de Valencia. We oftentimes think of paella being a combination of proteins such as chicken, sausage, and seafood. This however is incorrect and is almost always one or the other and never a combination. When only seafood is used as the main protein, it is known as Paella de Mariscos.
If you look up Paella in the states, you will notice the combination of proteins cooked together. I am actually a huge fan of this because it reminds me quite a bit of jambalaya. Here are some of the ingredients you would likely find in a paella:
- Bomba Rice (short-grain rice)
- Chicken or Rabbit
- Fish Stock (chicken stock or water can be substituted)
Similar to many classic Italian dishes, this recipe would vary depending on the availability of ingredients. This dish may look different, especially if seafood is involved. There may have been only mussels in some versions, or just shrimp in another, if that was all the fisherman, caught that day.
While the main ingredients of rice, sofrito, broth, and spices remain the same, the proteins would completely change by region in Spain as well. My suggestion is to use some of that old world though and make this dish using ingredients you have on hand or are readily available.
How to Make Paella
Follow these simple instructions for making a delicious paella recipe from scratch:
Cook the chicken in some oil in a large paella pan for about 6-8 minutes per side or until well browned and cooked most of the way through. Set aside.
In the same pan caramelize the onions, then add in the peppers and garlic, and sauté until the peppers are roasted.
Add in the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes to stew them before stirring in the calamari and paprika.
Mix in the rice and saffron and toast the rice for a few minutes in the pan.
Pour in the stock and season very well with salt and pepper.
Add in the chicken, mussels, clams, and shrimp and cook over low to medium heat until most of the liquid is absorbed and then add a lid and cook on low heat for 15 minutes.
Garnish with parsley and serve.
Recipe Chef Notes + Tips
Make-Ahead: This recipe is meant to be eaten right away. You may be able to leave the cover on the pan of the paella and keep warm for maybe 30 minutes before serving.
How to Reheat: Add the desired amount of paella to a pan along with a few tables of liquid and cook over low heat while stirring until hot. You can also warm in the microwave.
How to Store: Cover and store for up to 2 days. This recipe will not freeze well.
If you cannot get the authentic rice used in this recipe, Bomba, then substitute with arborio or any other short-grain rice.
Here is the pan I used (this is an affiliate link that allows me to make a few dollars if you chose to buy it): https://amzn.to/2MXA1Ma
Broth or stock options include: chicken stock, fish stock, shrimp stock, or water
You can use 1 cup of canned crushed tomatoes as a substitute for fresh tomatoes.
More Comfort Food Recipes
Authentic Spanish Paella Recipe with Seafood
- 6 to tal chicken parts 3 each thigh and drums
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 peeled and small diced small yellow onions
- 1 seeded and small diced red bell pepper
- 3 finely minced cloves of garlic
- 2 cored and medium diced fresh tomatoes
- 4 ounces prepared squid
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 cups bomba rice or short grain
- pinch saffron threads
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 12 fresh mussels
- 6 fresh clams
- 6 extra-large shrimp U10
- ½ cup peas
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Season the chicken well on both sides with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Add the oil to a large 13-inch paella pan over medium to medium-high heat and add the seasoned chicken and cook for 6-8 minutes per side or until browned and most of the way cooked.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
- Add the onions to the pan and caramelize over low to medium heat for 10 minutes or until well browned.
- Stir in the peppers and garlic and continue to cook and stir for 8-10 minutes or until the peppers are tender and roasted.
- Add the tomatoes and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until the tomatoes are broken down.
- Stir in the rice and saffron and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Next, add in the stock and season very well with salt and pepper and mix everything together until combined.
- Add back in the cooked chicken along with the mussels, clams, shrimp, and peas spread evenly throughout the pan.
- Cook over low to medium heat for 20 minutes or until most of the stock is gone and barely bubbling on the top.
- Cover the pan and cook over low heat for 15 minutes.
- Garnish with optional chopped fresh parsley or cilantro.
- Make-Ahead: This recipe is meant to be eaten right away. You may be able to leave the cover on the pan of the paella and keep warm for maybe 30 minutes before serving.
- How to Reheat: Add the desired amount of paella to a pan along with a few tables of liquid and cook over low heat while stirring until hot. You can also warm in the microwave.
- How to Store: Cover and store for up to 2 days. This recipe will not freeze well.
- If you cannot get the authentic rice used in this recipe, Bomba, then substitute with arborio or any other short-grain rice.
- Here is the pan I used (this is an affiliate link that allows me to make a few dollars if you chose to buy it): https://amzn.to/2MXA1Ma
- Broth or stock options include chicken stock, fish stock, shrimp stock, or water.
- You can use 1 cup of canned crushed tomatoes as a substitute for fresh tomatoes.