Spanish Seafood Paella Recipe

5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 20 mins Cook Time 40 mins Rest Time 10 mins Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Difficulty: Intermediate Servings: 4 Calories: 376 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Seafood Paella is a Spanish rice dish that originated in the Valencia region. It is a versatile dish that can be made with a variety of ingredients. Here we have our variant which is in our opinion as close to the classic as possible.



  1. Prepare the Broth: • In a saucepan, heat the chicken (or seafood) broth over medium heat. • Add the saffron threads and smoked paprika to the broth. Let it simmer gently while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Prepare the Seafood: • In a large paella pan or a wide, shallow skillet, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. • Add the shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes per side until they turn pink. Remove and set them aside. • In the same pan, add a bit more oil if needed and briefly sauté the squid rings for about 1 minute. Remove and set them aside. If using mussels or clams, add them to the pan with a splash of white wine or broth. Cover and steam until they open, about 5-7 minutes. Discard any that don't open. Remove the cooked shellfish and set aside.
  3. Cook the Aromatics:
    • In the same paella pan, add a bit more oil if necessary, then sauté the diced onions and bell peppers until they become soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
    • Add the minced garlic and diced tomato. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the tomato softens.

  4. Sprinkle the rice over the sautéed aromatics in the pan. Stir for 1-2 minutes to coat the rice with the flavors.
  5. Strain the saffron-infused broth into the paella pan with the rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to distribute the ingredients evenly.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the paella simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is nearly cooked and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Do not stir the rice once it's simmering.
  7. Arrange the cooked shrimp, squid, and shellfish on top of the paella. Sprinkle the frozen peas on top.
  8. Cover the paella pan with aluminum foil or a lid and let it cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until the rice is fully cooked. Remove from heat and let it rest for a few minutes.
  9. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and lemon wedges. Enjoy!


  • Use Bomba rice for the best results. This type of rice is short-grained and absorbs a lot of liquid, which helps it to cook evenly and not be mushy.
  • If you don't have a paella pan, you can use a large skillet or Dutch oven.
  • You can add other vegetables to the paella, such as green beans, zucchini, or tomatoes.
  • If you are using frozen seafood, thaw it before adding it to the paella.
  • Don't stir the rice after adding the broth. This will prevent the rice from cooking evenly.
  • Let the paella rest for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the flavors to blend and the rice to absorb the remaining liquid.
  • If you are using seafood that is not already cooked, cook it until it is just opaque. Overcooking will make the seafood tough.
Keywords: seafood, paella, spanish

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