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Traditional paella recipe

Traditional paella recipe

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  • Ingredients
  • Seafood
  • Fish

A very traditional paella with chorizo, chicken, peas, squid, mussels and prawns. A paella pan is recommended.

1180 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 125g (4¼ oz) fresh chorizo sausage, casing removed and diced
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast fillets, diced
  • 350g (12 oz) uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1.25 litres (2 pints) chicken stock
  • 100ml (4 fl oz) white wine
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 squid, cleaned and diced
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 75g (3 oz) frozen garden peas
  • 12 large prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 500g (1 1/4 lb) mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • generous handful chopped parsley
  • 8 wedges lemon to garnish

MethodPrep:45min ›Cook:45min ›Ready in:1hr30min

  1. Heat olive oil in paella pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and pepper; cook and stir for a few minutes. Add chorizo, chicken and rice; cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 1/2 of the stock, wine, thyme leaves and saffron. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes; stir occasionally.
  2. Taste the rice and check to see if it is cooked. If the rice is uncooked, stir in 1/3 of the remaining stock. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally. Stir in additional stock as necessary. Cook until rice is done.
  3. Stir in squid, tomatoes and peas. Cook for 2 minutes. Arrange prawns and mussels on top. Cover with aluminium foil and leave for 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the foil and sprinkle parsley over the top. Serve in paella pan garnished with lemon wedges.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(218)

Reviews in English (155)

THIS IS NOT TRADITIONAL PAELLA!! I'm from Valencia (Spain) and i usually eat paellas. I would never eat this kind of rice in a paella pan! We never use chorizo, onion, wine (what the hell!!), peas, or mussels! This is not paella, this is rice with everything you find on the fridge!It's disgusting! If you had this dish in Spain you've been conned.... Please, change the name of the recipe!-08 May 2009


I wouldn't ever use arborio rice for this recipe again, it's too creamy and once it's done the consistency isn't right - paella isn't supposed to be like a risotto.-21 Jul 2008

My partner very much enjoyed this and I'll definitely make it again.-14 Aug 2010

We will be travelling to Spain with this Paella recipe. No, I haven’t been in Spain yet! And yes, I would love to go and see this beautiful piece of land, this wonderful and colourful culture, that Spain has to offer. One of the most colourful and traditional dishes in Spain is Paella Valenciana or you might have heard just PAELLA.

I have been asking myself why I haven’t been making this traditional Spanish dish more often. It is the simplest and flavorful dish you can find in any food culture. Paella can offer flavor of sea, land and hearty vegetables. It is bursting in flavor and that is why I love this colourful dish so much.

Paella is often made from rice, seafood like shrimps, mussels, calamari, chicken and I added also mergues sausages as one of my friend suggested to me. And it really marries so well, all these flavours.

Traditional Spanish Paella

To prepare the herb blend, combine the first 4 ingredients, and set aside.

To prepare paella, combine water, saffron, and broth in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat. Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails intact set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken saute 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Add sausage and prosciutto saute 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Add shrimp, and saute 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion and bell pepper saute 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, paprika, and 3 garlic cloves cook 5 minutes. Add rice cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in herb blend, broth mixture, chicken, sausage mixture, and peas. Bring to a low boil cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mussels to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until shells open discard any unopened shells. Arrange shrimp, heads down, in rice mixture, and cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup lemon juice. Remove from heat cover with a towel, and let stand 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

The secret to the perfect traditional paella

This authentic paella recipe is really easy to make. The key to the perfect paella is using the freshest ingredients you can get your hands on. There’s no point going to the trouble of making a paella with substandard ingredients.

I purchased all my meat from a local farm shop and ordered my seafood just out of the water from my fishmonger. You really can taste the difference.

In addition to that, I made my own stocks. Stock cubes just aren’t good enough!

For this traditional paella a used a combination of mussel and clam stock with homemade chicken stock.

You’ve got to try this parsley and garlic sauce!


Quite complete book and impressive receipes and variations on the basic theme.If anything could be improved it would be:More pictures in the traditional paella section of the book.The idea behind the book's cover (cloth) fits the subject perfectly

Ce livre est bien présenté pratique à utiliser et les explications sont claires, la couverture est rigide, les photos sont appétissantes et donnent envie d'exécuter la recette

Think of this book as more technique based instruction and less of a recipe driven cookbook. There are many Paella cookbooks that have recipes, but fall short on showing you how to make the perfect socarret (the perfectly crunchy rice layer on the bottom)and how to layer in the flavors. You

Takes paella to a new level. Lots of recipes to chose from, ranging from the basics to the truly gourmet. Note that this is not a beginners cookbook. It includes great background and photos but it is also demanding in places (granted paella can be a demanding in general). The implication is

Great cooking book, if you follow the recipes you will have great success making a Paella. The book is very complete and easy to understand, I'm not planning to become an expert but want to enjoy in full the flavors of Spain, in addition to the book you will need to get a good paella pan

Paella Recipe

In València, the cradle of paella, you’ll find many different versions of this tasty dish, which according to many is one the most complicated of the nation’s culinary delights. For many locals, the best paella they’ve ever eaten has been cooked by their mother, father or grandmother, generally a variation on the authentic Valencian recipe. If you don’t have someone to cook a good paella for you and you’d like to give it a try, here we have included the most popular recipe, used in restaurants serving traditional rice dishes across the city. Get your apron on and let's get started!

  • 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil.
  • 1 chicken cut into pieces.
  • 1 rabbit cut into pieces.
  • 300 grams of fresh Ferradura (green beans).
  • 1 medium tomato.
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika.
  • Saffron.
  • 6 cups of water.
  • 200 grams of Garrafon (lima) beans.
  • Salt to taste.
  • 3 cups of rice.
  • A bunch of rosemary.

It’s common to add snails, artichokes and even duck to paella in València. It is sometimes served with lemon wedges and there are also those who add a touch of garlic to the sauté, although opinions on this are somewhat divided. It all depends on individual tastes.

Once the paella is ready, there are some age-old Valencian traditions worth bearing in mind, such as eating the rice with a wooden spoon or directly from the paella pan itself. But this all depends on the context.

Seafood Paella

Arroz a la Marinera—Valencia

This is the dramatic seafood paella that looks stunning, with crustaceans and shellfish. You can vary the quantities of seafood and also use crab, crayfish, or lobster (boil them separately). Andresito, who is collecting reminiscences of people in villages around him in Alicante, told me that on the Alicante Coast, fishermen's families made seafood paellas without any vegetables. When they did not go out to fish, they made arroz de piedras with mollusks from the rocks (piedras means rocks). The fishermen went around local villages selling their fish on scooters, and people inland added vegetables. In Catalonia, where the tradition of mixing meat and seafood is very old, they had pieces of chicken, pork, rabbit, or duck and sausage in their seafood paellas. Today adding meat and vegetables to seafood paella has become common in other regions, where seasonal vegetables such as green beans, peas, artichokes, or peppers also go in. It is called paella mixta. Wine was not added in the past but it is sometimes today. Serve this with Alioli if you like.

Classic paella recipe

This classic Spanish rice dish is a great meal to cook for friends. The mix of seafood is up to you but prawns, mussels and squid give great colour and texture. Make sure you use the largest pan you can &ndash the rice swells up a lot as it cooks.


  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 100 g chorizo, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp mild olive oil
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (around 500g/18oz), cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 red bell peppers, deseeded and cut into chunky slices
  • 350 g paella rice
  • 1 tsp regular or smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch saffron strands (around half a teaspoon)
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 1 l chicken or fish stock
  • 6 small, cleaned squid (optional)
  • 300 g mussels
  • 12 large, shell-on raw prawns, with heads on or off
  • 1 handful frozen petit pois
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3.5 oz chorizo, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp mild olive oil
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (around 500g/18oz), cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 red bell peppers, deseeded and cut into chunky slices
  • 12.3 oz paella rice
  • 1 tsp regular or smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch saffron strands (around half a teaspoon)
  • 3.5 fl oz white wine
  • 1.8 pints chicken or fish stock
  • 6 small, cleaned squid (optional)
  • 10.6 oz mussels
  • 12 large, shell-on raw prawns, with heads on or off
  • 1 handful frozen petit pois
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3.5 oz chorizo, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp mild olive oil
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (around 500g/18oz), cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 red bell peppers, deseeded and cut into chunky slices
  • 12.3 oz paella rice
  • 1 tsp regular or smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch saffron strands (around half a teaspoon)
  • 0.4 cup white wine
  • 4.2 cups chicken or fish stock
  • 6 small, cleaned squid (optional)
  • 10.6 oz mussels
  • 12 large, shell-on raw prawns, with heads on or off
  • 1 handful frozen petit pois
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper


  • Cuisine: Spanish
  • Recipe Type: Rice
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation Time: 30 mins
  • Cooking Time: 50 mins
  • Serves: 6


  1. Put a large skillet, frying pan or flameproof casserole over medium heat, then add the oil. After 30 seconds, add the chorizo.
  2. Fry for 5 minutes until golden all over and the chorizo has released its red oil. Lift out of the pan and set aside.
  3. Add the chicken to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and fry for 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden.
  4. Add the onions, garlic and bell peppers to the chicken, stir, then cook gently for 10 minutes, until the onions and bell peppers are softened.
  5. Add the rice and turn up the heat. Stir well to coat in the oil then add the paprika, saffron, wine and stock and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Simmer the rice for 20 minutes, or until it is nearly soft. Stir the pan several times as it cooks.
  7. While the rice is simmering, slice the squid tubes into thick rings, if using. Leave the tentacles whole. Scrub the mussels and pull any stringy threads away from them (these are known as beards). Tap any open mussels sharply on the work surface. Any that don&rsquot close after a few seconds must be discarded.
  8. Add the prawns to the pan, tucking them into what sauce is left around the rice. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes, then sprinkle the squid, mussels, peas and chorizo over the top.
  9. Cover and cook for another 2 minutes, or until the mussels have opened and the squid has turned from translucent to white. The rice will have absorbed the broth. Discard any mussels that haven&rsquot opened.
  10. Coarsely chop the parsley leaves then sprinkle over the paella. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over.

This recipe is from Simple and Classic: 123 step-by-step recipes by Jane Hornby. Published by Phaidon.

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Learn To Cook Paella At Home

Paella started as a humble countryside meal, cooked by farmers and herders in the fields and mountains surrounding Valencia and Alicante. Now it is world-famous, a symbol of Spanish cuisine so recognizable that it has even become its own emoji. Making paella is an art but it&rsquos not impossible for a home cook &ndash it just takes some care and patience.

What You'll Need

The Pan: The proper cookware for making paella and other arroces is a round flat pan called &ndash you guessed it &ndash a paella. The best paella pans are steel stainless for minimal care, carbon steel for something more traditional &ndash which ensures that heat is evenly distributed. Pans can range in size from 10 inches, which will serve two people, to more than a meter, for serving the masses. Check out paella pans here.

The Rice: One of the keys to great paella is using the proper rice &ndash not just anything will do. Two Spanish varieties &ndash bomba and calasparra &ndash are favored for their unique ability to expand to 2-3 times their size, absorbing flavorful liquid as they grow, without getting soft or mushy. Buy our favorite Calasparra rice here.

The Ingredients: Get creative &ndash start with meat if you want, layer in evenly-cut vegetables, and you can even add a healthy amount of sofrito for extra depth. Garlic, saffron, rosemary, pimentón, bay leaves &ndash all will help add flavor to the rice, if used in balance.

The Liquid: Water is oftentimes the best for making a good paella, if you've built up enough flavor with your ingredients. If you happen to have a good homemade vegetable or meat stock on hand, use it &ndash you&rsquoll get a deeper flavor in the rice, but be sure to balance out adding salt. This is our favorite broth for making paella.

The Heat: Traditionally, paella is cooked over a wood fire outdoors &ndash oftentimes starting with logs of wood and ending with a burst of high heat from dried vine clippings. This gives the paella a wonderful wood smoky aroma which complements the addition of pimentón, and the final kick of high heat helps ensure a crispy socarrat. In the absence of an outdoor cooking space, gas or electric heat will do &ndash just make sure it&rsquos even under the pan.

The Timing: Once the rice is in the pan, it&rsquos time to set a clock and wait. This is both the easiest and most challenging moment of the process: patience is key. Every rice is different, based on its variety and its age, and oftentimes the best way to tell how long it should be cooked is to read the instructions on the bag.

Get that soccarat. Near the end of cooking, with just a few minutes remaining, crank the heat up &ndash that&rsquos how you&rsquoll get the delicious crunchy soccarat at the bottom of the rice.

Get Creative In The Kitchen

There is a time and a place for the traditional Valencian paella, made with rabbit, chicken, two kinds of beans, rosemary, and saffron. And then there&rsquos a time and place for everything else &ndash there are unlimited ways to construct an arroz, none of which are wrong. Get creative &ndash start with meat if you want, layer in evenly-cut vegetables, and you can even add a healthy amount of sofrito for extra depth. Garlic, saffron, rosemary, pimettón, bay leaves &ndash all will help add flavor to the rice, if used in balance. Here are two of our favorite recipes.

Seafood Paella

For the Salmorra:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, preferably José Andrés Extra Virgin Olive Oil
12 cloves garlic, peeled
3 ñora chile peppers (or any other dried sweet chile pepper), seeded
One 16-ounces can plum tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika

Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes.

Add the chile peppers and toast, stirring, for about 3 minutes, then add the tomatoes and sugar.

Cook until the liquid evaporates and the mixture is a dark red-brown color, about 15 minutes. Stir in the paprika.

Transfer the mixture to a blender and purée. Pour into a bowl, and season with salt, to taste.

Notes: Salmorra may be kept in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 10 days. Drizzle the top with olive oil to keep sauce from drying out.

For the rice:
Extra virgin olive oil, preferably José Andrés Extra Virgin Olive Oil
8 large whole shrimp, peeled with heads and tails intact, deveined
4 ounces monkfish, cut into ½-inch cubes
2 ½ ounces fresh tuna, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 ounces fresh squid, cleaned and cut into ¼-inch rings
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup Salmorra
1 cup Spanish bomba rice
Pinch of saffron
3 cups hot, high-quality seafood stock

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 13-inch paella pan over high heat.

Add the shrimp and sear for about 1 minute on each side. Transfer shrimp to a plate. Pour 2 more tablespoons of the olive oil into the paella pan, add the monkfish, tuna and squid and sauté for 2 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the salmorra and rice and cook for 1 minute more, stirring to coat the rice with the sauce. Set a timer for 5 minutes, increase the heat to high and add the hot stock.

Bring to a boil, add the saffron and season with salt. Stir the rice during the first 5 minutes while boiling, then lower the heat and simmer for an additional 11 minutes. Do not stir the rice again as it may cause it to cook unevenly. After about 8 minutes, lay the reserved shrimp on top of the paella to finish cooking for last few minutes. The paella is finished when the rice has absorbed all of the liquid.

Remove the paella from the heat, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let the paella rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with spoonful&rsquos of aioli (garlic mayonnaise) and a green salad, if you like.

Vegetable Arroz

¼ cup Spanish extra virgin olive oil
2 yellow squash, cut in ½&rdquo cubes
1 medium eggplant, cut in ½&rdquo cubes
1 cauliflower, broken into florets
¼ pound wild mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, diced
¼ cup Sofrito
1 cup dry white wine
Pinch of saffron, crushed
3 cups vegetable broth, like Aneto
1 cup Spanish bomba or calasparra rice
¼ cup fresh or frozen green peas
Sea salt, to taste
Allioli, for serving

In a 13-inch paella pan, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the squash to the pan and brown it on all sides. Add the squash and cauliflower and cook for another 2-3 minutes, then add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in the diced tomatoes and the sofrito and cook for a minute, then add the white wine and reduce everything by half.

Add the crushed saffron to the pan and then the broth. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then let it boil for 2-3 minutes. Add the rice and peas and stir until everything is combined, then add salt to taste. Check the box or bag the rice came in &ndash you&rsquoll want to cook the rice as long as is recommended (timing can vary by rice type &ndash always keep the bag!) You want the rice to be slightly al dente, with a nice firm center. Set a timer, and then don&rsquot stir as the rice is cooking. When you have 2 minutes left, increase the heat to high to get the crunchy soccarat at the bottom of the pan. When the rice is done, remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with allioli and share the soccarat with everyone &ndash no matter how much you want to save it exclusively for the chef (yourself).

We made this last night, following the recipe almost exactly. The only change we made was using chicken stock rather than water, assuming it would bring more flavor. The meal was excellent!

In the future, we plan to use sliced chorizo rather than ground, and we plan to try another user's suggestion of making stock out of the shrimp tails. we also under-salted this the flavors didn't pop quite as much right away, but a little extra salt afterwards brought the flavors through. We'd double the batch next time, too, so there would be more leftovers!

Loved the process and the end result. Definitely recommend as way to enjoy some time cooking with your spouse/partner!

We made this tonight and it was excellent. We doubled it and made two paella pans full, and dropped one off for a neighbour. I just hope our teenagers don't clean up all the leftovers tonight so that we can have some for lunch tomorrow.

I have not tried this recipe but and agree that there are many ways of making paella I think some of the suggestions made by Chris Berg would improve the recipe and I agree, no arborio rice.

My puzzlement, however, is that the recipe starts by preheating the oven to 350, but I cannot see where in any step it is put into the oven. What did I miss? Every step has the ingredients cooked on the stove.

Recipe fixes needed to make this better: Use SPANISH chorizo, and slice, keeping them in rings instead of loosely crumbled. For MUCH better flavor, use shrimp or chicken stock INSTEAD of the 1.5 cups of water by simmering the shrimp shells and chicken bones that seem to have been discarded. Why discard the oil in step 2, or saute the chicken then?? Why not cook the shrimp in the same chorizo drippings? Why not cook the (RAW) chicken in that oil instead of cooking it in a different way that has no additional flavor? Why not use chicken thighs or drumsticks instead of boneless cooked pieces that should be sauteed and then cooked with the rice and its liquid to add flavor, as would sauteing finely chopped onions and red pepper strips to add color and flavor. Seems that several steps can be eliminated or changed to add more flavor. No garnish with yellow lemons , green peas, and or red pepper strips. Why no paprika or cayenne pepper ? Just asking.