This Spanish Seafood Paella is a traditional rice dish filled with shrimp, shellfish, smoked sausage, and colorful veggies. Best of all, this incredible meal is super easy to make at home!

Spanish paella in a white braiser: arborio rice topped with clams, shells, mussels, shrimp, sliced sausages, and peas.

Festive Seafood Paella, Made Easy!

Comforting, healthy, and full of flavor, paella might just be the ultimate seafood dish. Originating in Valencia, Spain, it’s a very old peasant dish that can be made in many different ways depending on the meats and veggies that are in season. But, no matter how you make it, paella almost always features fragrant saffron and tender, short-grain rice, cooked to perfection with plenty of spices and seasonings.

Seafood paella is especially popular stateside, with a medley of delicate favorites like scallops, shrimp, chopped fish, calamari…all-the-yum! My easy at-home version uses shrimp, mussels, and clams, but for substitution ideas, please see the “Tips for Success” section below.

If you feel a little intimidated by making paella, don’t be! This dish is actually pretty simple to make, and comes together all in one skillet (or paella pan, if you have one). But before we begin, let me warn you – you might just be blown away by the absolute deliciousness of this recipe! Let’s dive in – quick, before my mouth starts watering again.

What Does Paella Taste Like?

Great question! Well, there are a few dominant flavors in paella, including the seafood and seafood stock, which add a nice ocean-y freshness; white wine, which gives a bit of depth; saffron, which has a golden, earthy, slightly sweet taste; and of course, the sausage and garlic, for a meaty and robust flavor. In other words? Devastatingly delicious.

up close side shot of mussels, shrimp, and clams nestled on top of cooked arborio rice.

The Ingredients You’ll Need

So just what goes into this simple version of paella? Let’s take a closer look! Here’s the full list of ingredients in detail. (For the amounts and nutrition info, see the recipe card at the end of this post. It’s printable!)

  • Olive Oil: You can use any good olive oil here.
  • Shrimp: I used raw jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined. You could use smaller shrimp as well, but you’ll need to adjust the cook time so you don’t overcook them.
  • Seasonings: Smoked paprika and crumbled saffron threads give the dish a beautiful color and earthy, honey-like note.
  • Onion: A small, diced yellow onion is my go-to, but any type of onion is fine.
  • Sausage: For a smoky note, slice up some of your favorite smoked pork sausage. Andouille is a great choice. Cut the slices in half to make half-moons.
  • Bell Peppers: For extra color, I like to dice up both a red and green pepper, but you can use any color that you prefer. 
  • Garlic: Mince the garlic cloves, or put them through a garlic press.
  • Rice: Short-grain rice like Arborio works well. 
  • White Wine: Dry white wine gives the rice a beautiful depth of flavor. If you need a substitute, you could use a small amount of white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or just a bit of lemon juice.
  • Seafood Stock: Store-bought is fine, or you can make your own. Need an easy substitute? Use bottled clam juice instead. Water it down for a milder seafood taste.
  • Clams: I used manila clams, scrubbed and purged (more on this in the “Tips” section).
  • Peas: Fresh or frozen green peas add a pop of color and sweetness.
  • Mussels: The mussels should be scrubbed, rinsed, and have their beards removed.
  • Parsley: Chopped, fresh parsley finishes the dish perfectly.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related News