Seafood Paella
Seafood Paella

This saffron-infused paella recipe is packed with mussels, clams, and shrimp. Grill it in your largest pan for the best flavor (no special pan needed). Paella will serve up a crowd for your next BBQ party!

are you ready for a party Mix up a pitcher of sangria and call out to your friends and neighbors!

A festive occasion calls for a big statement, and this paella is just that: a colorful rice dish loaded with clams, mussels and shrimp, along with smoky chorizo ​​and saffron for tons of flavor. You don’t need much else to serve alongside, but you could make a green salad if you’re feeling inspired.

Video: how to make seafood paella


Paella with seafood

What is paella?

The origins of paella are ancient, located in the area around Valencia, Spain, near the Albufera Lagoon, where for centuries both fishing and rice cultivation dominated the region.

Paella was the food of farm workers, who cooked rice dishes over wood fires, embellished with whatever ingredients they could find.

The dish is named for the wide, shallow pan in which the paella is cooked. The word “paella” comes from a Valencian dialect and means “pan”, probably derived from the Latin word “patella” for pan.

Do I need a paella pan?

While you can buy a paella pan and even a dedicated outdoor paella grill for cooking, it’s easy enough to adapt the traditional paella method to our home kitchen without much extra effort.

Since I don’t own a paella pan, I used the largest sturdy pan in my pan collection. A cast iron skillet would be ideal, but mine wasn’t big enough and I found my heavy skillet worked well. Since there isn’t a large skillet, you can use a medium sized skillet (about 14×10 inches) instead.

How to make paella at home

Although you can cook paella entirely indoors on the stovetop, given paella’s wood-fired origins, it makes perfect sense to do so bake it outside on the grill. For this recipe I started it indoors on the stove while the grill was heating up and then finished it on the grill. Even, even, medium heat is the goal.

The basic ingredients for preparing paella

Paella is the mother of all stews, making it a great party dish. Improvisation is the order of the day, as even in Spain the question of which ingredients go in paella is hotly debated, making it impossible for foreigners, let alone Spaniards, to strictly prescribe them.

Okay, I know I just said improvisation is the name of the game, but here are a few guidelines:

The paella rice

Paella is essentially a rice dish, and the type of rice makes a difference. Spanish bomba rice, a medium-grain stubby rice that absorbs liquid well but retains some firmness when cooked, is preferred.

Since it’s hard to find and expensive, you can substitute Italian carnaroli, calrose, or another short-grain rice.

The crispy pieces! Once the broth is simmering, stop stirring it. As the paella cooks, the rice stays at the bottom, forming a crispy golden layer at the bottom in the finished dish. This rice crust is called socarrat and is coveted by true paella lovers. The vegetables rise to the top as they cook.

The stock

You can use fish or shellfish stock for this seafood paella if you can find a good source, but I actually prefer chicken stock. It adds depth of flavor, and when the shellfish cooks, you get lots of sweet, salty juices to flavor the rice. Be sure to taste the broth and add salt to taste if needed.


Saffron is also an important ingredient. These orange-red threads are actually the dried stigmas of crocus flowers. Crumbled into a pot of hot broth, saffron gives your paella an earthy, floral, and somewhat mysterious flavor. It also gives the rice a beautiful golden color.

Saffron is a fairly expensive spice, but luckily you only need a few strands to flavor an entire dish of paella. It also keeps for quite a long time if stored in an airtight container and out of direct sunlight, so you don’t have to worry about your extra saffron being used up right away.

Most well-stocked grocery stores should stock saffron, such as: B. Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. Look for it in the spice department.

The sofrito

Paella starts with a sofrito– finely chopped onions, garlic and tomatoes or red peppers gently sautéed in olive oil. It is related to the Italian soffit or French mirepoix. Sofrito lays the foundation for all flavors to blend in the dish; Imagine priming a canvas before painting a painting.

The seafood and chorizo

I chose shrimp, clams, and mussels for this seafood paella version, and Spanish dry-cured chorizo ​​for its smoky, meaty flavor. Chorizo ​​can be a controversial add-in and not all Spanish chefs agree it belongs in paella, so skip it if you like. You can also substitute other cooked sausages and add some smoked paprika powder if you like to get the flavor you want.

Scrub the clams and mussels thoroughly before cooking and discard any with cracked or broken shells.

More Spanish recipes to try!

  • Spanish baked chicken
  • Spanish fried potatoes and tomato sauce
  • Spicy pork stew with chickpeas and sausage
  • White gazpacho

Paella with seafood

preparation time
30 minutes

cooking time
35 minutes

total time
65 minutes

6 servings

If you’re having trouble finding Spanish chorizo, substitute another cooked sausage along with 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (for the smoky flavor).

No BBQ? Cook this indoors! Cook the paella on the stove until step 6. Preheat oven to 350°F. Add the seafood (Step 7), cover pan tightly with foil and cook in oven for 6 to 10 minutes or until rice and shrimp are both cooked through and mussels and clams are open. Check to see if the bottom is browned, and if not, set the pan over medium heat for a minute or two to allow the bottom layer of rice to caramelize.


  • 4 1/2 cups chicken broth

  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threadscrumbled and then loosely measured

  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 yellow Onionfinely chopped

  • 1/2 red bell pepperfinely chopped

  • 3 cloves Garlic, finely chopped

  • 6 ounces gently dried Chorizo ​​Sausagecut into thin crescents (see recipe note)

  • 3 cups short grain ricesuch as Spanish Bomba Rice or Italian Arborio

  • 1 (14ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes

  • 1 Cup frozen green peas

  • 1 pound big (21-24 per pound) shrimppeeled and deveined, leaving with tails

  • 1 lb Shellfishrinsed and scrubbed

  • 1 lb small shellsrinsed and scrubbed

  • 1/4 Cup chopped parsleyfor garnish


  1. Preheat grill:

    Heat a gas grill to medium-high heat (375°F) or light a charcoal grill and let it burn until the charcoal is covered with gray ash.

  2. Steep the saffron:

    In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the broth to a boil. Add saffron and salt. Turn off the heat and let the saffron steep for at least 15 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed.

  3. Cook the sofrito base:

    In a 12- to 14-inch stainless steel skillet or cast iron skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and red pepper and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic and chorizo.

  4. Gather the ingredients next to the grill:

    On a table near the grill, set out the pan with the sofrito, rice, tomatoes, broth, salt, peas, shrimp, clams, and clams.

  5. Start cooking the paella:

    Place the pan with the sofrito on the grill. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes or until the rice is coated in oil and lightly toasted.

    Stir in the broth, tomatoes, and peas. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if you like.

    Spread the rice evenly over the bottom of the pan. Close the grill cover and let the rice simmer without stirring Let steep for 15 minutes or until the rice has absorbed most of the broth. If the mixture looks dry, pour about 1 cup of hot water over it, but don’t stir.

  6. Add the seafood:

    Place the mussels and clams in the rice, hinged side up, to allow them to release their juices into the rice. Arrange the shrimp around the shellfish.

    Cover the pan with foil, close the grill and cook for an additional 6 to 10 minutes (depending on the heat of your grill) or until the rice and shrimp are both cooked through and the mussels and clams are open. (Discard any shellfish that will remain tightly closed once everything else is cooked.)

  7. Check if the floor is browned:

    Slide a spatula under the rice and check if you’ve achieved that elusive golden brown socarrat. If not, place the pan on the heat, uncovered, for a few minutes to lightly caramelize the base.

    Sprinkle with parsley and place the whole pan on the table to serve.

nutritional information (per serving)
680 calories
25g Fat
52g carbohydrates
57g protein
Previous articleVanilla Roasted Strawberries
Next articleEasy Aioli
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!