Classic Spanish Paella Recipe

Classic Spanish Paella Recipe (Easy Seafood)

The most popular dish in Spain, Spanish Paella Recipe, can be prepared in your kitchen using basic items like rice, saffron, veggies, chicken, and seafood. Paella is a delectable and traditional Spanish dish. If you enjoy making international cuisine, you’ll adore this warm dish! This article discusses the steps for making the Spanish paella recipe. 

Classic Spanish Paella Recipe

Don’t miss my other well-liked recipes, such as Torijas and Tortilla de Patatas, if you enjoy Spanish cuisine.

With this Spanish paella recipe, I wanted to recreate a typical Spanish paella that anyone could prepare using the instruction I received when living in Madrid (and without special equipment, like a paella pan).

I am very pleased to share everything I know and have discovered about creating paella with the home chef, honestly and practically after much trial and error.

What is the Spanish Paella Recipe?

They made a traditional Spanish rice meal called paella with rice, saffron, vegetables, chicken, and seafood that are all cooked and served in one pan.

Although paella originated in Valencia, it is regarded as Spain’s national dish and comes in a variety of flavors.

Spanish Chicken paella, seafood paella, and mixed paella are the most popular varieties of paella (a combination of seafood, meats, and vegetables).

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Ingredients for the Spanish Paella Recipe

Classic Spanish Paella Recipe


Rice, saffron, chicken, and veggies are the key components of every paella dish.

Depending on the style of paella or the place where it is produced, they use different ingredients from there.

This simple paella recipe calls for the following ingredients:

Produce onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomatoes, parsley, and frozen peas.

Spices: bay leaf, paprika, saffron, salt, and pepper.

Saffron: this may be the most important ingredient, so it’s best to buy high quality. If your grocery store doesn’t carry it, try an International food market, or Amazon.

Substitute 1 teaspoon saffron powder.

Seafood: jumbo shrimp, mussels, calamari.

Chicken thighs: I prefer thighs to breasts in the recipe since they don’t dry out as easily during longer cook times.

Olive Oil: Spanish olive oil, or any good quality olive oil.

White wine.

Spanish Rice: See my notes below about the rice, and possible substitutions.

Chicken Broth: Authentic paella would include making your fish stock from the discarded shells of seafood. I usually substitute chicken broth, for convenience.

How to Make Spanish Paella

These are the steps to take for Spanish Paella Recipe:

1. Sauté: Over medium heat, add olive oil to the skillet. Garlic, bell peppers, and onion should all be added and sautéed until transparent.

Add salt, pepper, a bay leaf, paprika, saffron, and a diced tomato. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring.

2. Add white wine. Cook for 10 minutes.

3. Add chicken & rice. Add chopped parsley and cook for 1 minute.

4. Add broth. Pour the broth slowly all around the pan and jiggle the pan to get the rice into an even layer.

(Do not stir the mixture going forward!). Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Give the pan a gentle shake back and forth once or twice during cooking.

5. Cook uncovered: Cook paella uncovered for 15-18 minutes, then nestle 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 nearly tender. (If your rice is still uncooked, add ¼ cup more water or broth and continue cooking).

6. Cover and let rest. Remove the pan from heat and cover the pan with a lid or tinfoil. Place a kitchen towel over the lid and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.

7. Serve. Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon slices. Serve.

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Rice in Place of Paella

Classic Spanish Paella Recipe

Spanish rice, also known as “bomba” rice, Calasparra rice, or Arroz Redonda, is the type of rice that is typically used in paella, thus I suggest using it.

Short-grain rice can absorb more water than long-grain rice without becoming mushy.

Spanish rice is available on Amazon, World Market, or in a foreign food market.

You can substitute medium grain rice, such as Calrose rice, which is available at Walmart or other grocery shops, in place of Spanish rice.

To 3 3/4 cups, lessen the recipe’s call for chicken stock. (I don’t advise using long-grain or Arborio rice for paella.)

Don’t wash the rice before cooking because we want to keep the outer layer of starch.

Don’t stir the rice.

Seafood Instead of Paella

If you don’t like shellfish, omit it and increase the amount of chicken and vegetables instead.

Any combination of your preferred seafood, such as clams, scallops, and diced fish, may be used.

If you don’t live close to the water, frozen seafood is a fantastic, readily available option.

(In their freezer department, Costco has a fantastic mixed seafood bag with shrimp, mussels, clams, scallops, and calamari.)

Before usage, make sure to let frozen fish defrost overnight in the refrigerator.

Smell fresh fish before purchasing it to ensure its quality. It shouldn’t smell strongly of fish.

Most of the seafood used here will have no smell or only a faint oceanic aroma (slightly salty). Clean it well (if required, trim any mussel “beards”).

Do I Need a Paella Pan?

No, you can use a regular large skillet to make Paella (I use a 12×2 inch skillet and this recipe fills it to the brim).

They cooked traditional paella in a large paella pan because it allows the rice to be spread out into a thin layer and cooked more evenly.

Spanish Paella Recipe, we have stated the steps in preparing it and everything that is of relevance in this article for those interested in making the most of it.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Secret Ingredient in Paella?

Salmorreta is the secret behind the magic of Alicante-style seafood rice.

It is essentially a sofrito (a sauce used as a base in Spanish cooking) that you turn into a paste.

So that when you make paella, the sofrito is already done, and you simply add it by the spoonful.

2. Does Real Paella Have Seafood?

A truly authentic paella does not contain any fish or shellfish, according to Valencians.

The rice dish, which is widely regarded as a national dish of Spain, is officially recognized as a symbol of Valencian culture.

3. What is the Most Important Spice in Paella?

Saffron is the most precious spice in the world and also a star ingredient in most paella dishes.

Make the most of your paella night by using high-quality saffron.

4. Does Traditional Paella Have Tomatoes?

The main ingredients in every paella dish are rice, saffron, chicken, and vegetables.

From there, ingredients vary depending on the type of paella or region where it’s made.

The ingredients in this easy paella recipe include: Produce: onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomatoes, parsley, and frozen peas.

5. Why is My Paella Mushy?

Paella shouldn’t be mushy, as it is not a risotto.

Your Paella is originally meant to be dried and firm after you had cooked it.

If you notice that your Paella is mushy, then something must have gone wrong.

You may have added more water than is necessary or even stirred while you cooked the dish.

6. What is Original Paella?

Paella Valenciana is the traditional paella of the Valencia region, believed to be the original recipe, and consists of round-grain rice, banquet and Tavella (varieties of green beans), rabbit, chicken, sometimes duck, and garrofó (a variety of lima or butter bean), cooked in olive oil and chicken broth.

7. What is Seafood Paella Called?

Also known as paella marinara, it tastes like iodine thanks to the seafood which gives you a taste of the ocean.

They usually prepared it with squid, prawns, mussels, and clams.

8. Can I Make Paella Without Saffron?

The good news is that paella can be made with saffron substitutes.

While no ingredient will give the same flavor, spices such as turmeric, paprika, annatto, cardamom, safflower, and pre-made paella seasoning can replace saffron.

9. What Can I Substitute for Saffron?

Ground turmeric is the best substitute for saffron and it’s easy to find at your local grocery store.

Some other substitute options include annatto or safflower, but these ingredients are pretty tough to find.

Turmeric is your best option!

10. How do You Get Good Socarrat in Paella?

The socarrat is achieved by turning up the heat in the final minutes of cooking.

You’ll know within the first few bites if the socarrat is present.

Also, do not let your server dish out the paella onto individual plates.

They should serve paella in its pan, lest you lose the coveted socarrat.

if this article, Classic Spanish Paella Recipe (Easy Seafood) has been helpful, kindly share it with family and friends.

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