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freshly made chicken and seafood paella.
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4.47 from 191 votes

Paella Recipe

This Paella is a classic Spanish rice dish made with Arborio rice, packed with chicken, sausage, mussels, clams, shrimp and loaded with flavor. It's such a comforting dish, no wonder it's the most popular dish of Spain!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: chicken, paella, seafood, shrimp
Servings: 8
Calories: 427kcal


  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 chicken thighs boneless and skinless cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 chorizo sausages cut into 1 inch pieces (I used Italian sausages)
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper or to taste
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • cups arborio rice *
  • 14 ounce diced fire roasted tomatoes (1 can)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth , low sodium
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce such as Tabasco or Sriracha, optional
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 pound large shrimp shelled and deveined but keep tails on
  • 1 pound mussels scrubbed and soaked
  • 1 pound clams scrubbed and soaked


  • 2 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges


  • Cook chicken and sausage: In a large paella pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and sausage, season with salt and pepper, then cook for about 5 minutes until the chicken is no longer pink.
  • Add onion and garlic: Move the chicken and sausage to one side of the pan, then add the onion to the other half, season with a bit of salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes until the onion becomes translucent and soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Cook the rice: Add the arborio and fire roasted tomatoes to the pan and stir well. Let the rice cook in the sauce from the tomatoes for about 5 minutes, you will notice it will start to brown on the bottom, which is what you're looking for. Add the broth, hot sauce, smoked paprika, saffron and season with salt and pepper if needed. Stir everything together and cover with a large lid. Cook for about 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice, without stirring. The rice will not be cooked through at this time.
  • Add seafood: Turn down the heat to medium-low. Arrange the shrimp, mussels and clams over the rice, cover with a lid again and cook for another 10 minutes or until the mussels and clams open up.
  • Garnish and serve: Turn off the heat and garnish with parsley and lemon wedges. Before serving, stir everything together to allow all the ingredients to marry each other for the best flavors.


  1. *Arborio rice is an Italian short-grain rice.
  2. I used vegetable broth here, that's why the color of the broth is so rich and dark, if you use chicken broth it will be a lot lighter in color.
  3. I strongly recommend using a Paella pan because it has a wider surface and the secret of paella is cooking everything evenly in a single layer and as it cooks the rice gets toasty and crispy at the bottom and that's what you want in a good paella.
  4. Don't be afraid to use more oil as needed, this will keep your rice grains from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Use a high quality saffron. I know it's quite expensive but that's because it's the most precious spice in the world but it is a star ingredient in most paella dishes. A good quality saffron will be the most flavorful, and a just a pinch will do.
  6. You'll notice a crispy layer of rice at the bottom of the pan, that is what you're looking for, it's loaded with flavor. This is why it's important to not stir the rice as it cooks. We are not looking for creamy rice. That golden crust at the bottom is the best part of the paella.
  7. If on a budget and can't afford all the seafood required for this dish, I recommend to at least go with the mussels, since they add so much seafood flavor to the paella as it cooks.
  8. If for any reason you have leftover paella, you'll need to store it properly in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours only because of the seafood. If you didn't use seafood it would last 3 to 5 days in the fridge or up to a month in the freezer. Before storing it though, remove all the shells from the rice and store them separately, return the shellfish when warming it back all together.
  9. To regain some of the original structure of the paella rice, it's best to reheat it in a frying pan with a bit of olive oil. Spread the paella evenly across the pan and saute for a few minutes until heated through. You can also reheat it in the oven in an oven safe dish. Place it in a preheated to 250°F oven and heat for about 20 to 30 minutes.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 427kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 209mg | Sodium: 1355mg | Potassium: 362mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 902IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 5mg