Paella is the ultimate one-pot Spanish comfort food; it’s hearty, delicious, and easy to make. In just one hour, you can have this tasty rice dish on the table. It has aromatic ingredients that will make your mouth water the entire time it’s cooking.

The recipe is one you’ll want to keep for sure! The dish is a close-up of chicken, chorizo, and shrimp in a paella pan at a medium-close distance.

The Mystery of Paella:

Valencia, Spain, is the birthplace of paella, a flavorful and adaptable rice dish. Rice, meat, seafood, beans, vegetables, and aromatic spices are the traditional ingredients.

Spanish paella in all its grandeur

What’s in Paella?

Because of paella’s adaptability, nearly every cook has their own secret method for making it. First, the ingredients:


Chicken breasts are specified, but you can substitute any other chicken cut. Some critics prefer dark meat such as chicken legs or thighs.


Spicy chorizo sausage is a great addition to paella. Cubed, cured chorizo can be used in a pinch to cut down on cooking time.


Buy shrimp that has already been peeled and deveined to save time in the kitchen.


Paella’s main staple is rice, of course. Your best bet is to use Spanish or short-grain rice.


Paella with Spanish onion and red bell pepper. Some reviewers recommend including extra bell pepper or even peas.

Concentrated Flavor of Chicken

Add some chicken stock to the paella if it starts to dry out.

Saffron, bay leaf, Italian parsley, garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper give Paella its intense flavor.

Making Traditional Spanish Paella:

Step1. Sauté by heating olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion, peppers, and garlic until the onion is translucent. Blend in some tomato chunks, a bay leaf, some paprika, some saffron, some salt, and some pepper. Stir and cook for a total of 5 minutes.

Step 2. Pour in some white wine. Prepare in ten minutes.

Step 3. Put in some chicken and rice. Cook the chopped parsley for one minute.

Step 4. Include broth. Slowly pour the broth around the pan and jiggle the pan to spread the rice into an even layer. (Do not combine further!). Get the liquid boiling. Turn the stove down to medium-low. Toss the pan back and forth once or twice during the cooking process for even browning.

Paella is made in a skillet by first sautéing vegetables, then adding chicken and rice, and finally adding broth.

Step 5. Prepare paella without covering it for the first 15–18 minutes of cooking; then, after adding the seafood (shrimp, mussels, and calamari), nestle them into the rice, sprinkle peas on top, and cook (without stirring) for another 5 minutes. 

You should wait until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice on top is almost done cooking. (If your rice isn’t quite done after 20 minutes, add a quarter cup more liquid and keep cooking it.)

The seafood staples of paella—mussels, shrimp, and calamari—are added to rice already cooking in a pan.

Step 6. Put a lid on it and sleep on it. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and take it off the heat. Cover with a dish towel and set aside for ten minutes.

Step 7. Serve. Lemon wedges and fresh parsley are perfect for garnish. Serve.

Tips for Preserving Paella

Refrigerate leftover paella for up to 24 hours if it has cooled completely. After that point, there may be a chance that the seafood will spoil. For the best results, reheat paella in a paella pan or skillet over medium heat.

Tips on Making the Perfect Paella

Some of the most helpful hints for creating this simple yet impressive dish are as follows:

A great paella relies heavily on rice, as it is the main component. Don’t wash it before throwing it in the pot. Let there be as much starch as possible. The beauty of paella is that all the flavors build upon one another as the dish comes together in one pan. Allow the meat to render completely so that the flavorful fat can coat the rice. 

Paella can be as extravagant or as budget-friendly as you want it to be. You can go the easy route with chicken and sausage or get creative with seafood like mussels, scallops, calamari, and more. Once everything has been added together, don’t mix it too much. Too much stirring will result in a risotto that is too creamy; we want it to have the consistency of pilaf.

Eastside’s cooking practices

I am not a kitchen visitor, though; however, I love to prepare a few of my favorite dishes and offer them to my family and friends. In my opinion, this is the best dish I’ve ever made. My loved ones gave it high marks. I heard nothing but praise for it. Anyone can make this, and I promise you’ll feel proud of yourself for creating such a tasty dish. You will say something along the lines of “I just can’t seem to lift my spirit.”

“Rather than bother with making my own saffron rice, I just bought some in a bag and used that.” The chorizo should be cooked and drained before being added to the mixture. Since I find that shrimp often gets overcooked when thrown into a large pot with a lot of other ingredients, I cooked it separately and added it at the very end. 

What I love most about this dish is that I learned how to make it in Spain from the chef of a renowned food joint that I used to visit often. I lived there for nearly a year, working for a pharmaceutical company. He was a fantabulous chef, and I jotted down some of his paella-making tips in a notebook. 

Since then, I have made numerous iterations of the recipe in my own home kitchen, fine-tuning the proportions of each ingredient and developing my own unique approach to the cooking process.

You can make this dish in any large skillet instead of breaking out the paella pan. Observe the tips I’ve provided. One-pot meals are easy to make and serve because they only require one pan for both cooking and serving.

Understanding paella dishes might be helpful

chicken paella all ready for serving

Traditional Spanish paella (pronounced: “paieiuh”) consists of rice, saffron, vegetables, chicken, and seafood all cooked together in a single pan. Even though it comes from Valencia, paella is now seen as Spain’s national dish. Chicken paella, seafood paella, and mixed paella are the three most typical varieties (a combination of seafood, meat, and vegetables).

I think you should make your paella with Spanish rice, which is also called “bomba” rice, or Calasparra rice. It’s a type of short-grain rice that can hold more liquid without becoming mushy. Spanish rice is easy to find at international grocery stores, supermarkets, and online stores like Amazon and World Market.

In a pinch, you can swap out the Spanish rice for a medium-grain variety, such as the Calrose rice that is sold at Walmart and other major supermarkets. In order to save time and money, cut the chicken stock in the recipe down to 3 3/4 cups. (Arborio rice or long-grain rice are not good choices for Paella.)

We need to keep the starch on the outside of the rice, so don’t wash it before you cook it. You shouldn’t stir the rice while it’s cooking. A layer of crusty, seasoned rice, forms at the bottom of the pan during the cooking process of traditional paella. Socarrat is always included in a traditional paella. The rice will become mushy if you stir it too much.

Sea Food in Paella

What to Know About Seafood in Paella If you don’t like seafood, you can make the dish without it or add more chicken and vegetables. Clams, scallops, and chunks of fish are just a few examples of the versatile seafood that can be used here. If you don’t have ready access to fresh seafood because of where you live, frozen seafood is a great alternative. Remember to thaw frozen seafood in the refrigerator overnight before cooking with it.

You can tell if seafood is fresh by its aroma, so always do so before purchasing. It shouldn’t smell overly fishy. Most of the fish and shellfish used in this dish will have no odor other than that of the sea (slightly salty). Make sure to clean it thoroughly (including removing the “beards” from any mussels).

Is a paella pan necessary?

Paella doesn’t require a special pan or size (I make it in a 12 2/3-inch skillet, and it’s full to the brim). Large paella pans are used for cooking paella because they provide sufficient surface area for the rice to be spread out into a thin layer and cook more uniformly.


Swap out the rice for something else; medium-grain rice works well here; calrose rice is widely available at Walmart and other supermarkets. In order to save time and money, cut the chicken stock in the recipe down to 3 3/4 cups. (Arborio or long-grain rice won’t do in a pinch, but they’re not ideal for paella.)

Use boneless pork loin, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, as a substitute for the chicken. First, the pork is browned in hot oil. Then, put it aside while you sauté the vegetables. Return the pork to the pan and bring it to a boil in Step 3.

Substitute turkey or rabbit for the beef, and brown the meat in hot oil as directed in the first step of the recipe. Put it aside while you sauté the vegetables. In step 3 of the recipe, before boiling, add the meat back into the pan.

Add 1 chorizo sausage, sliced into 1/2-inch discs, as a substitute. The first step in the recipe is browning the sausage in hot oil. Put it aside while the vegetables are being sautéed. In step 3 of the recipe, just before boiling, add the chorizo back into the pan.

Vegetarian paella is made by omitting meat and seafood and adding more vegetables.  l peppers and other vegetables should be added in the first step of the recipe.

Valenciana Paella: Typically, rabbit, chicken, artichokes, and green beans are used in this paella dish.

Seafood Paella cooked in a pan


The author’s views are his or her own. The facts and opinions in the article have been taken from various articles and commentaries available in the online media and Eastside Writers does not take any responsibility or obligation for them.

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