Simple Paella in 45 minutes

Where are my paella fans!? To beautiful Valencia, Spain we go! The birthplace of paella.


This one was a real treat. Today, Marta and me prepared a little more elaborate dish- but sometimes life calls for a little change up! The result was so delicious! I haven’t had paella in a year or so. I used to teach it in my cooking classes. At that time I was tired of smelling paella on me all the time, but now- what I would give to do another class, in-person!


Marta and I made a “quick” version that can be made in 45 minutes from start to finish. You can make your paella as simple or as complex as you want. Today I wanted to be a little extra and used chorizo, chicken and shrimp.


Modern paella most likely started as a peasant dish (some of the best dishes in the world start this way) in the 1800s where the Spanish farm workers would use whatever meat or vegetable scraps they had and mix it with rice.


The main ingredients that make it PAELLA are saffron, paprika, and good olive oil. If using the right rice is stopping you, use a short to medium grain rice. Bomba, Calasparra, Calrose, Carnaroli, are the best to use. Sushi rice or other Italian risotto rice can be used too. 

The other important thing is the pan. If you dont have a paella pan, use a stainless steel one or cast iron one, but not nonstick. These pans give you the best chance of getting that crispy rice or  “socarrat” that everybody is after. 

Thank you Marta for joining me for this trip to Spain! It’s not a Christmas dish, but like Marta said, “any time is good for Paella.” 

See our Live video at the bottom of this post. Click on the post to see the IGTV. I’m warning you its long, but you can see the whole process if you are unsure. 🙂
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Paella Recipe

By Chef Joanna

Travel to Valencia, Spain with this classic recipe for Paella. This quintessential Spanish dish is usually made on Sundays over an open fire. It’s a family celebration and sangria is always present! Learn how to make this simple recipe infused with saffron, smoky chorizo, shrimp, and aromatic vegetables in your own home in a matter of hours. Wow your friends at your next dinner party with this beautiful family-style dish!

Ingredient list

(Makes Paella in small pan, for 3-4)

  • 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil 
  • Chorizo 4 oz. per person (not the Mexican kind that is sold raw, its the cured and dried Spanish or Portuguese kind)
  • Large shrimp no shell 3 oz. per person
  • Boneless chicken thigh 3 oz per person
  • small pinch saffron (⅛ tsp.)
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika  
  • ½ cup paella rice (or medium grain rice) per person (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 2 tomato, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste  
  • 3-4 artichoke hearts 
  • 1-2 carrots, chopped small
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1-2 red bell pepper, chopped small
  • Frozen peas 3 oz 
  • 1.5 quarts Chicken broth  
  • 1 Rosemary sprig (optional)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (optional)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • lemon for serving (optional)

*For vegetarians/vegans:

  • Lima, green beans, and/or white beans 1 cup
  • Asparagus ½ bunch
  • Vegetable broth 1.5 quart 


  1. Dice and chop all vegetables (artichokes, carrots, garlic, red pepper).
  2. Slice chorizo and cube chicken thighs into 1-inch pieces.
  3. Preheat paella pan over medium high heat with one generous tablespoon of olive oil.
  4. Brown the chorizo first to get the flavorful oil from the chorizo. Remove chorizo when it just starts turning golden brown. 
  5. Then, cook the chicken in the chorizo fat. This gives the best flavor! Cook chicken until slightly brown and then remove chicken to a side plate. (You don’t have to cook it fully at this point since it will be added back and will cook again. )
  6. Add all the diced vegetables and cook until translucent and fragrant (just a few minutes).
  7. Lower the heat, make a hole in the middle of the pan just by scooting veggies to the sides of the pan with a spatula, and add the tomato paste and smoked paprika. Cook just for a few seconds until fragrant. (Be careful not to burn!) Add a little water or stock and bring to a boil and to prevent burning. (Stand back!)
  8. Add a big pinch of salt to the pan. Taste the broth for salt. If it has no flavor, add some salt. 
  9. Add rice and stir it in with all other ingredients. Toss so each grain of rice is covered with oil and shiny. Re-incorporate chicken and chorizo to the pan.
  10. In a small bowl, bloom the saffron with a little heated broth or water.
  11. Then, add just enough stock, including the saffron stock, to the pan to cover the rice by ¼ inch.
  12. Bring the pan to a boil for 8 minutes, Then, lower heat and cook another 6-7 minutes, or until rice is soft, and liquid is absorbed. I like to cover it with foil at this point. 
  13. When 5 minutes before doneness, add the shrimp and the peas. Then, cook for the last 5 minutes.When all liquid is evaporated and rice is tender. Turn off heat and cover pan loosely with foil. Let rest for 5-10 minutes, then tear off foil and enjoy!! Best paired with sangria.

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To your happy and healthy life, 


Did you make this recipe?

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