10 minutes of prep, lots of flavor and a complete healthy meal in one skillet! This simple Seafood Paella is the perfect weeknight meal (and goes great a glass of white wine).
“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.”
― Julia Child
Tasty food doesn’t have to be complicated or intimidating, and this Seafood Paella is proof that good food is made from simple ingredients.
I’m not quite sure what inspired me to make paella this week but it has been a lingering thought in my food-obsessed mind for quite a while now.
Paella is a traditional dish from Spain with Valencian roots. There are many different variations of paella but the original recipe calls for chicken, rabbit, snails, green beans, white beans, and artichokes. The modern recipe consists of saffron-scented rice, green beans or peas, chicken, chorizo, peppers, and some type of shellfish.
Saffron, which is one of the world’s most expensive spices by weight, is a must in paella. Originating on the Greek island of Crete, this spice gives paella its distinct yellowish color and wonderful aroma. For the sake of your wallet, a little saffron goes a long way; so we only need a couple of pinches.
To be honest, this is the first time I ever made paella and it was ridiculously easy. BONUS: it’s quite healthy – no creams, very little fat, and still packed with flavor! Double bonus: It’s a quick family friendly meal that can be prepared in one skillet.
My favorite part of preparing this meal is that it is so versatile. I wasn’t really feeling chicken so I skipped the meat altogether and made a strictly seafood paella. I used fresh mussels, shrimp, calamari, and scallops in this version. Clams and lobster would also be a great addition.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into ½ inch strips
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- 2 Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
- 2 pinches Spanish saffron, soaked in ¼ cup water
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- 3 cups chicken stock
- ¾ cup peas
- ½ pound scallops
- ¾ pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- ½ pound calamari, cut into rings
- 12-15 mussels
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- In a large skillet (that has a lid), heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onions until translucent. Add red pepper and garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add the rice and sauté until it begins to turn golden.
- Add the wine and stir until it evaporates. Lower the heat and add the tomatoes, saffron with its soaking water, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
- Pour chicken stock into pan and bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil, cover with lid and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Uncover and add seafood and peas. Give it a light stir. Cover and cook an additional 15 minutes or until seafood is cooked thoroughly.
- Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.