Instant Pot Paella with Chicken and Sausage
Instant Pot Paella with Chicken and Sausage

You don’t need a paella pan for this one-pot meal! The pressure cooker makes paella quick and easy. This rice dish is peppered with tender chicken and spicy slices of sausage for lots of flavor.

I love using my Instant Pot pressure cooker to make an easy weeknight version of paella. It cooks quickly and evenly, and you don’t have to worry about a pot or pan on the stove.

Ways to customize this paella

Paella is such an adaptable dish, especially in the Instant Pot.

  • If you prefer white meat chicken, dice up some tenders in place of the chicken thighs.
  • If you can’t find classic Spanish chorizo, use andouille or another flavorful cooked sausage. Or use a mild sausage!
  • As for the spices, saffron is traditional for authentic paella – adding a yellow hue and a distinctive floral flavor. But it’s expensive and can be hard to find; Skip it or use a pinch of turmeric instead.
  • If you don’t have smoked paprika, regular sweet paprika will work just fine.

The crispy “Socarrat”

After cooking, you may see a crust of dark caramelization and crispy rice at the bottom of the pan – that’s okay! This is called “socarrat” and is traditional for paella. Simply mix in and enjoy.

Time Saving Tip for the Instant Pot!

Here’s a time-saving pressure cooker trick I use in this recipe: Heat the chicken broth beforehand and thaw the peas in the broth. You can do this on the stovetop or in the microwave, whichever you prefer.

Hot ingredients take less time to come under pressure, shaving a good 5-10 minutes off total cooking time and getting dinner on the table faster!

storage of leftovers

Leftovers of this paella can be kept for up to 5 days and can be easily reheated in the microwave. If the paella seems dry when reheating, stir in a few tablespoons of water.

More instant pot recipes with rice

  • Pressure Cooker Porcupine Meatballs
  • Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
  • Instant Pot Chicken Adobo and Rice
  • Instant Pot Chipotle Chicken and Rice Bowls
  • Pressure Cooker Moroccan Chicken

From the editors of Simply Recipes

Instant Pot Paella with Chicken and Sausage

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
40 minutes

total time
50 minutes

up to 6 servings

If you use a pressure cooker, the cooking time will be the same.

Short-grain rice is traditional for paella, but it’s okay to substitute long-grain white rice or quick-cooking brown rice for this recipe. The cooking times are the same.

Editor’s note: Our original version of this recipe called for a ripe diced tomato or a whole canned tomato (crushed), giving the paella a more authentic flavor. However, we received comments that this resulted in the paella occasionally burning to the bottom. We removed the tomatoes from the recipe to ensure a more consistent dish, but if you want to experiment with tomatoes yourself, add the tomato after you’ve cooked the garlic and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated , before you add the tomatoes add onions. Thanks very much!


  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth

  • Big pinch saffron Threads (about the same 1/4 teaspoon)

  • 1 Cup frozen peas

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 3 cloves garlicchopped

  • 1 Middle yellow onionchopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 lb (3 to 4) boneless, skinless chicken thighscut into 1 inch pieces

  • 6 ounces (about 2 links) chorizo or other spicy sausage, sliced

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon Salt

  • 1 1/2 cups (325g) short- or medium grain rice

  • 2 tablespoon chopped Parsely


  1. Heat the saffron with the chicken broth and defrost the peas:

    In a small saucepan, bring the broth to a boil, then add the peas and saffron. Reduce the heat to low to keep the broth warm and give the saffron a chance to infuse the broth while you prep everything else.

    (You can also heat the broth in a microwave-safe bowl or liquid measuring cup for about three minutes. Add the peas and saffron after microwaving, and cover to keep warm until needed.)

  2. Cooking vegetables, chicken and sausages in the pressure cooker:

    Select the sauté setting on your electric pressure cooker and add the oil and garlic. Sauté until small bubbles of oil form around the garlic and it becomes aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes.

    Stir in the onion and peppers. Fry until slightly softened, another 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the paprika and salt and sauté for another minute.

    Add the chicken and sausage and stir to combine. Sauté 5 to 6 minutes, until chicken has turned opaque. It’s okay if the chicken is still a little pink in the middle.

  3. Scrape the bottom of the pan:

    Add a splash of the hot broth to the pan and use it to scrape off any brown bits that have developed on the bottom of the pan. These browned bits add a lot of flavor to the dish, so don’t skip this step. (This will also help prevent the dish from burning to the bottom while cooking!)

  4. Add the remaining ingredients and the broth:

    Stir in the rice, then pour in the rest of the hot broth along with the peas and saffron. Squeeze any rice grains off the sides of the pot, making sure everything is submerged in the cooking liquid.

  5. Pressure cook the paella:

    Place the lid on the pressure cooker and make sure the pressure regulator is in the seal position. Cancel the “Sauté” cooking program, then select the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” program and set the cooking time to 5 minutes at high pressure.

    The pot takes 5 to 10 minutes to build up pressure, then the cooking program starts counting down.

  6. release pressure:

    At the end of the cooking program, release the pressure naturally for 10 minutes, then release the remaining pressure by moving the pressure regulator to the “Vent” position.

  7. Surcharge:

    When the pressure is completely released, open the pot. Divide among plates, garnish with chopped parsley and serve hot. Leftovers keep for about a week.

    You may get a crust of dark caramelization and crispy rice at the bottom of the pan – that’s okay! This is called “socarrat” and is traditional for paella. Just mix in and enjoy!

nutritional information (per serving)
499 calories
20g Fat
49g carbohydrates
32g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!