What’s a good recipe for Paella?

Paella, which originates from Valencia and is pronounced paw-ayy-yah, is a rice-based Spanish dish that uses a saffron-infused chicken stock to tint the rice a golden yellow and can contain any and every variety of vegetables, poultry, seafood, shellfish, and occasionally sausage. It is cooked and usually served in a shallow, wide bottomed pan known as a paella pan.


  • 2 cups Arborio or Valencia rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads (optional)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional, for extra flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 pound mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • 1/2 pound clams, cleaned
  • 1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 pound squid, cleaned and sliced into rings
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • Lemon wedges for serving
  • Fresh parsley for garnish


  1. In a small bowl, crush the saffron threads with the back of a spoon and soak them in 2 tablespoons of warm water. Set aside.
  2. In a large paella pan or wide skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in the sliced bell peppers and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until they start to soften. Add the diced tomato, paprika, smoked paprika (if using), cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat it with the vegetable mixture. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the rice is lightly toasted.
  5. Pour in the white wine and saffron mixture, and let it cook for a minute or two until the liquid is mostly absorbed.
  6. Add the chicken broth, starting with 3 cups. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is about 80% cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed. If needed, add more broth.
  7. Nestle the seafood into the rice, placing the mussels, clams, shrimp, and squid evenly around the pan. Add the frozen peas as well.
  8. Cover the paella with a lid or aluminum foil and cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until the seafood is cooked through and the rice is tender but still slightly al dente.
  9. Remove from heat and let the paella rest for a few minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
  10. Enjoy your homemade seafood paella!