Spanish Seafood Paella Recipe Masterchef

Traditional spanish seafood paella! This well-known saffron infused rice dish is a standard Spanish recipe that comes totally loaded with seafood or something your coronary heart wishes! You don’t want a paella pan to prepare dinner paella, any skillet and even a big pot will do, and it’s surprisingly simple to make.

Terrific festive celebration meals!

If you’ve at all times wished to however been too afraid to strive Paella, I can guarantee you – there is no such thing as a purpose to be scared! If you method it the fitting means – and I wish to maintain my recipes as danger free as attainable – you’ll find yourself with rice that’s cooked precisely to your style in a saffron infused, flavour loaded sauce with all of your seafood cooked to perfection.

No overcooked seafood, and no mushy rice round right here!

The fantastic thing about paella is that it’s the truth is extraordinarily versatile. Don’t get too hung up about getting the precise seafood I take advantage of. Don’t hearken to the authors who inform you that you simply MUST use do-it-yourself fish broth or purchase extraordinarily costly seafood inventory.

I learnt Paella the Migeul Maestro* and Rick Stein means – as he wrote in his Mediterranean Escapes cookbook, Paella, whether or not or not it’s for a fast midweek meal or a big festive gathering, is supposed to be relaxed and enjoyable, not demanding with strict guidelines.

So simply sit back!! 😉

* Miguel Maestro is Australia’s most well-known Spanish Chef.

Spanish Paella - The right rice, right amount of liquid and the base seasonings is the foundation of a great Paella. The additions are up to you! This is a classic Chicken & Seafood Paella.

I say this can be a simple recipe however I AM going to spend a bit extra time on explaining steps and course of visuals than I often do (brief recipe video extraordinarily useful for first timers) as a result of I’m guessing paella is a little bit of a special day dish for a lot of and I wish to make sure you nail it! (And you’ll, I promise – should you comply with my steps!)

Best rice to make use of for paella

The greatest rice to make use of for paella is Spanish rice labelled as:

  • Bomba Rice – or arroz bomba (arroz” means rice in Spanish);
  • Valencia rice or Arroz de Valencia (pictured beneath) – the opposite widespread title for Bomba Rice; or
  • Calasparra Rice -or  Arroz Calasparra.

Paella rice packets are usually very useful offering clues corresponding to photos of Paella or “perfect for paella!” splashed throughout it. 🙂

Where to seek out paella rice – right here in Australia, paella rice is bought at most Woolworths and Harris Farms, some Coles, delis, Spanish or Mediterranean delis (some Italian ones too), or connoisseur shops. See beneath for greatest subs utilizing extra widespread rice.

Paella rice

Paella rice is a brief grain number of rice (ie it’s brief in size, distinctly totally different from basmati which may be very lengthy). The distinctive high quality of paella rice is that it absorbs extra liquid than different sorts of rice with out getting bloated and mushy, making it excellent for a dish like paella the place you need the rice to soak up a great deal of flavour.

Best substitute for paella rice is risotto rice (arborio rice) which has related traits ie. capability to soak up plenty of liquid, besides risotto goes creamy should you stir it. The subsequent greatest is medium grain rice – the identical rice I take advantage of for rice pudding.

I don’t advocate utilizing: brown rice, lengthy grain white rice, black rice, wild rice or some other fancy sort of rice. And in anticipation of somebody asking – NO to quinoa!!! (1,000,000 Spaniards virtually fainted on the thought).

What goes into Paella

I divide the stuff that goes into Paella into 2 teams:

  1. The Base Ingredients – rice, aromatics (garlic, onion, saffron), inventory;
  2. The Add Ins – hen, seafood, chorizo

1. The Base Ingredients

Ingredients in Paella
  • Paella rice – as mentioned above. Buy something labelled as Bomba, Valencia, de Valencia or Calasparra – or just “paella rice”!
  • Saffron – a signature a part of paella is the nice and cozy yellow tinge of the rice and delicate saffron flavour. Saffron is pricey, much more costly than gold by weight! So in case your finances received’t stretch to actual saffron threads, use a pinch of saffron powder (it’s synthetic however will present the identical color hit and a few flavour – however don’t fear, we’ve tons of different flavour on this paella!);
  • Stock/broth – simply retailer purchased hen inventory is ok right here, we’re going to get tons of seafood inventory from the seafood we use. If you’re in Australia and demand on utilizing fish or seafood inventory, get the good things from connoisseur or fish retailers, don’t purchase grocery store cartons (they’re fairly nasty). US reads: I can extremely advocate clam juice as an possibility in order for you additional seafood flavour;
  • Garlic and onion – important flavour base;
  • Tomato – contemporary tomato is the normal methodology however should you can’t get good juicy contemporary tomato (as I couldn’t once I filmed the video), use canned as an alternative;
  • Capsicum/bell peppers – additionally provides to the flavour base, I actually advocate utilizing it; and
  • Peas – non-obligatory, I like that it provides a splash of color in an in any other case very purple/yellow dish!

2. The Add Ins

And listed here are the proteins I put within the paella – hen, chorizo*, calamari, prawns/shrimp, mussels. A really traditional, common mixture.

* 45 million Spaniards simply threw up their palms in protest on the inclusion of Chorizo, declaring it’s not conventional! But outdoors of Spain, it’s thought-about a key ingredient – and it provides a ton of flavour to the dish. So I’d by no means take into account leaving it out!

Ingredients in Paella

Forgot to incorporate calamari within the above photograph! should you don’t discover rings, purchase a squid tube then slice it – as pictured beneath.

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Chorizo and squid calamari for Paella

How to make paella

Here’s how you can make paella in four easy steps:

  1. sear chorizo and squid first, then take away;
  2. sauté onion and garlic, brown hen, then prepare dinner the rice within the broth with a number of the chorizo;
  3. partway by cooking the rice, quidge the prawns/shrimp and mussels during which will leech a STACK of juices into the rice, including a great deal of flavour; and
  4. pop squid again on high, then cowl and relaxation for five minutes earlier than serving!

Part 1 – sear, make flavour base, add rice and inventory

How to make Paella

This half is fairly simple. The solely key tip right here is to solely prepare dinner the squid/calamari for 90 seconds – squid cooks tremendous quick and goes rubbery fairly shortly!

You don’t want a paella pan. Any massive skillet will work nice – or perhaps a huge pot. In reality, paella pans require extra superior cooking expertise as a result of the on a regular basis paella pans are usually fairly skinny which makes the rice very vulnerable to burning except you might have a range burner made particularly for paella (they’ve huge rings that flip down fairly low).

Note how we return a number of the cooked chorizo again in to prepare dinner with the rice. It provides nice flavour into the dish in addition to salt.

Part 2 – prepare dinner rice, squidge in seafood

How to make Paella

The rice is cooked uncovered – this can be a distinct cooking approach for paella in comparison with different iconic rice dishes of the world like Jambalaya and Biryani. Initially, we prepare dinner the rice for simply 10 minutes – at this stage, will probably be partially cooked although it can appear to soak up a lot of the liquid.

But wait! There’s extra liquid to come back!

We add the prawns and mussels partway by cooking the rice as a result of they prepare dinner sooner. So the thought right here is that the prawns, mussels and rice all end cooking on the identical time. If the seafood was added with the rice, they might overcook. Nobody needs rubbery prawns of their paella!

The prawns and mussels (particularly the mussels) leech an astonishing quantity of liquid as they prepare dinner – round three/four of a cup. Not solely does this present the additional liquid required to complete cooking the rice, it’s primarily our very personal do-it-yourself seafood inventory that provides a load of unimaginable flavour into our paella!

Part three – garnish and relaxation!

How to make Paella

The residence stretch! After eight minutes, the prawns shall be completely cooked and the mussels shall be open so you already know they’re cooked.

You might want to style the rice to make sure it’s completely cooked (I do know, I do know, what an inconvenience! 😉). And it can nonetheless be a bit liquidy which is strictly what you need – as a result of now we’re going to cowl and relaxation it off the warmth, throughout which era the surplus liquid shall be absorbed, leaving you with a bit pot of juicy paella rice, prepared for serving!

Pop the cooked squid and reserved garnishing chorizo again on high earlier than you cowl it so the warmth warms them by.

And simply previous to serving, add some wedges of lemon and a sprinkle of parsley for color!

How to serve paella

It’s completely as much as you whether or not you are taking it to the desk as it’s with the seafood utterly overlaying the rice, or whether or not you give it a little bit of a mixture so the seafood will get jumbled by the rice a bit.

I have a tendency to offer it a little bit of a mixture to loosen the rice a bit, combine the flavour by a bit higher and likewise disperse the seafood by. So I carry it to the desk wanting like this:

Photo of freshly cooked Paella

How a lot to make per particular person

Paella is such an excellent dish for a gathering as a result of it’s simple to make masses in an enormous pan or get a number of pans going on the identical time! Use the scaler perform on the recipe card to extend servings.

Allow for 1/three cup / 60g of rice per particular person, plus round 150g / 5 ouncesof proteins and seafood. This is barely on the beneficiant facet – however leftovers maintain properly, and no person needs to be brief!


  1. What rice to make use of for Paella? The greatest rice for paella is Bomba rice, additionally labelled as Valencia Rice or Rice de Valencia (Valencia is the area that Paella is claimed to have originated from). The different widespread rice is known as Calasparra Rice (a area in Spain the place it’s grown). See above in put up for extra info.
  2. Best paella pan / skillet – Paella pans are massive and shallow so the rice spreads out thinly and cooks evenly with out stirring. But you don’t want a paella pan to make paella! Just use a big skillet. The secret’s to make sure the rice is just not stacked up greater than about 2 cm / three/5″ deep (excluding the liquid & seafood added later, however together with onion and so on combined all through rice), to make sure even cooking.
  3. The liquid to rice ratio for paella is often 1 cup of rice to three cups of liquid which is on the softer facet than excellent. I take advantage of barely much less (2.three cups liquid per 1 cup rice) as a result of seafood drops a LOT of liquid (particularly mussels) and you may at all times add extra water/broth on the finish to melt / end cooking rice however you can’t UNDO overcooked, bloated, mushy rice.
  4. Cook in broth, not water – Fact is, the higher the broth, the higher the paella. The greatest is a do-it-yourself seafood broth. The 2nd greatest is a retailer purchased hen broth dolled up by simmering it for some time with some seafood offcuts, or make seafood paella like I’ve (so the flavoured seafood juices drop into the rice). The third greatest is retailer purchased hen broth. Store purchased fish inventory doesn’t make the minimize in my world – sorry. 🙂 (Unless after all, you get a connoisseur do-it-yourself one.)
  5. Don’t stir!! Unlike risotto, paella shouldn’t be creamy. So when you add the broth, don’t stir as this can activate the starch and make it gluey. The greatest paellas have a golden crust on the underside, known as the soccarat, and it’s the very best a part of the paella. 🙂
  6. Add seafood partway by cooking – Paella takes 20 to 25 minutes to prepare dinner. So squidge the seafood in partway by cooking to keep away from overcooking it. Even partially submerged, it’s sufficient warmth to prepare dinner. The solely exception is squid – it must be cooked tremendous quick (2 minutes or much less) or tremendous lengthy to make it tender (60 minutes). Anything in between is horrid and rubbery. For paella, we take the tremendous quick route – prepare dinner it first, take away, add again later.
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Spanish Feast - A multi course feast, easy Spanish dinner menu to make in your own home!

What to serve with Paella

Back in 2016, in my pre recipe video days, I shared this Paella recipe as a part of a three course Spanish Fiesta! So listed here are some ideas to make a full Spanish Feast:

  • Easy Tapas Starters – garlic mushrooms, Spanish potato tortilla, and extra! (No recipe video for these, being that they’re outdated recipes. If you need movies, put in a request within the feedback part beneath!)
  • This paella for the principle
  • Spanish CHURROS for dessert! Astonishingly simple to make – 20 minutes begin to end – and so they additionally reheat extraordinarily properly which makes them nice make forward celebration meals!So. Much. Food.

Note: recipe requires chopped contemporary tomatoes when you have discover ripe juicy ones which I couldn’t. Canned crushed tomato is the very best substitute which is what I’ve used.

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Freshly cooked Paella ready to be served

Spanish Paella

Tap or hover to scaleRecipe video above. The most well-known Spanish dish of all of them! Paella is supposed to be a enjoyable relaxed dish, so do not get hung up about having the very same seafood I’ve used – see Notes. And do not be scared of constructing paella – it’s truly very forgiving when you have the fitting liquid/rice ratios and comply with the order during which I prepare dinner issues!Note on Chorizo – NOT in conventional Spanish Paella recipes nevertheless, it is extensively utilized in Spanish eating places outdoors of Spain. Australia would faint if I excluded it. So it is in!




  • Chorizo – Heat 1 tbsp oil in a 30cm / 10″ paella pan or massive skillet over excessive warmth (Note 9). Add chorizo and prepare dinner till browned on all sides (~ three minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and put aside.
  • Squid – Add squid and prepare dinner for 45 seconds on all sides, then take away and put aside.
  • Garlic, onion, capsicum – Add remaining oil (if wanted). Add garlic and onion, prepare dinner for two minutes. Add capsicum, prepare dinner for 1 minute.
  • Chicken – Add hen. Cook for two minutes till evenly browned however nonetheless uncooked inside.
  • Add Rice – Add rice and blend till the grains are coated in oil.
  • Cooking broth – Add in a lot of the chorizo (reserve 1/four for garnish), hen inventory, contemporary or crushed tomato and saffron. Stir.
  • Simmer 1 – Bring it to a simmer then alter warmth so it is simmering pretty gently (not tremendous quickly, will burn rice). Simmer for 10 minutes – no stirring! At this stage, a little bit of rice needs to be poking by to the floor however there ought to nonetheless be loads of liquid.
  • Add peas, prawns and mussels – Scatter over peas, squidge the prawns and mussels into the rice (partial submerge is ok).
  • Simmer 2 – Cook for eight minutes (flip prawns midway should you assume it’s a necessity) or till prawns are opaque, mussels are open, and a lot of the liquid has been absorbed however nonetheless a bit liquidy. Discard any mussels that don’t open. Remove from range.
  • Check rice – Do a style take a look at to see if the rice is cooked – it needs to be agency however cooked. If it’s too agency to your style, no stress, simply add a splash of sizzling water (not an excessive amount of!) and maintain cooking.
  • Rest – Scatter over squid and reserved chorizo (residual warmth will heat by), cowl with lid then relaxation for five minutes (rice will take in remainig liquid). Paella rice ought to now be tender however “juicy”, not stodgy and thick (whether it is, add splash of water to loosen it).
  • Garnish – scatter with parsley and wedges of lemon. Take to desk as is, then combine up rice with seafood earlier than serving!

Recipe Notes:

No salt? You’ll discover should you comply with the recipe as is, it’s properly seasoned from the chorizo, full salt hen inventory (not low salt) and the seafood. When you style on the finish, in order for you it saltier, add a sprinkle earlier than you combine all of it up for serving.
1. Chorizo – be sure to get cured chorizo (ie already cooked) not uncooked chorizo (ie like uncooked sausage, will not slice neatly).
2. Squid / calamari – typically bought pre sliced, or purchase a tube and slice your self (as pictured in put up).
three. Rice – paella is greatest made with paella rice. Get something labelled: “Bomba, Calasparra, Valencia or de Valencia, or paella rice”. Packs typically have a photograph of paella or “great for paella!” splashed throughout it. It will most likely have the phrase “Arroz” subsequent to it which implies “rice” in Spanish. (Australia – bought at massive Woolies, some Coles, all Harris Farms, Spanish / Euro delis, connoisseur shops).
Best substitutes for paella rice:

  • risotto rice – however add an additional half cup of water with inventory
  • medium grain rice – scale back water to 2 cups per 1 cup of rice (ie use three cups inventory for 1.5 cups rice)
  • lengthy grain white rice, sushi rice – will work per medium grain rice, however completed dish mouthfeel fairly totally different to paella (nonetheless tasty although!)
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Unsure how a lot liquid to make use of to your rice? Make this recipe with three cups of inventory for 1.5 cups rice, that is a secure quantity for any sort of white rice. Then if the rice remains to be too agency on the finish, simply add boiling water or sizzling inventory half cup at a time and maintain cooking. Drizzle everywhere in the pan and simply depart it om the range.
Do not use: brown rice (takes too lengthy to prepare dinner, too agency), basmati (too agency) or jasmine rice (too mushy), sticky rice (texture utterly fallacious for this dish), wild rice (too agency), black rice (too fancy 😂). Do not ask about quinoa (the reply is NO!😂)
If you DO NOT USE seafood, enhance the liquid on this recipe to three three/four cups / 925 ml for the 1 half cups rice (as a result of seafood leeches loads of liquid), and I extremely advocate utilizing a superb hen inventory (or clam juice / connoisseur fish inventory should you can) plus sautéing three chopped up anchovies (or 2 tsp paste) with the onion (it can dissolve, you will not style anchovies – it can assist with flavour loss from no seafood).
four. Tomato – diced contemporary tomato is conventional, however if you cannot discover juicy ones (as I could not once I went to movie the video) use canned as an alternative.
5. Stock/broth – The higher the inventory, the higher the paella. A do-it-yourself fish inventory could be greatest. However, should you use some seafood, it drops juices whereas it cooks which provides a big quantity of flavour into retailer purchased hen broth and that is how I often make it. You might go one step additional and simmer the shop purchased hen broth for a bit with seafood off cuts – that may add a great deal of flavour!
6. Saffron – saffron threads are conventional, however costly! If you are on a finances, use imitation saffron powder as an alternative – 1/four teaspoon is adequate, it is potent stuff.
7. Prawns/shrimp – complete contemporary or frozen thawed prawns are greatest right here as a result of a) they drop extra liquid so as to add flavour into the rice; b) shell protects to extend prepare dinner time. If you solely have pre peeled prawns, squidge them in additional in the direction of the top OR prepare dinner them after the squid, then take away, then stir them again in on the finish.
eight. Mussels – magical for paella! They drop a great deal of liquid which provides a lot flavour into paella – about half cup from simply 10 or so mussels. 
If there’s a bit of raggedy “tuft” hanging from the facet of the mussels, pull them out. Also, except purchased vac packed (as is widespread right here in Australia) that claims they’re cleaned, give them a superb scrub beneath operating water.
CHECK FOR FRESHNESS by smelling every one as a result of one “off” mussel will smash the entire pan of paella (sure, actually).  Fresh mussels odor of the ocean / seawater. You will know should you come throughout an off one (I need not describe the odor, simply belief me, you’ll know).
Leftover mussels from packets – you’ll have greater than you want, use the remaining to make steamed mussels (on theme to serve on facet!).
9. Skillet measurement – to make sure your rice cooks evenly, that you must use a big skillet (or paella pan!) such that the rice is just not stacked up greater than about 2 cm / three/5″ deep (before liquids go in). To check before you start cooking: tip rice in, then triple the height to factor in onion, chicken etc. As long as that is 2 cm / 3/5″ or much less, then it is nice.
10. Variations: Make it a plain hen paella – use 500g/1lb of hen. Substitute with turkey, lamb, beef or rabbit (very Spanish!), and even miss proteins and make it a vegetarian or only a seafood one!
Other seafood that’s unbelievable in paella: Crab, different crustaceans, shell fish, scallops, fish. For issues like fish and scallops, brown first, then add again in the direction of the top (the best way the squid is completed within the recipe).
11. How a lot to make per particular person –  Allow for 1/three cup / 65g of rice per particular person, plus round 150g / 5 ouncesof proteins and seafood.
12. FANTASTIC to make on the BBQ! Stick the pan proper on the grills, then play with warmth power so that you get a pleasant simmer.
13. Nutrition per serving, assuming 5 servings. 137 of the 692 energy is attributable to the chorizo (loaded up with yummy purple spicy oil, completely value it, flavours the rice!).

Nutrition Information:

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