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One-Hour Shrimp Paella

One-Hour Shrimp Paella


  • 8 ounces 1/2-inch cubes smoked ham (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon (generous) saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot Spanish paprika or hot Hungarian paprika
  • 3 1/4 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
  • 1 pound uncooked peeled deveined large shrimp
  • 1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives, halved

Recipe Preparation

  • Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add smoked ham, onions, and bell pepper, and sauté until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in saffron and paprika, then 3 cups broth and rice. Bring to boil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until rice is almost tender, about 15 minutes. Nestle shrimp into rice, top with olives, and drizzle with 1/4 cup (or more) broth to moisten. Cover and cook until shrimp are just opaque in center, about 6 minutes. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.

Recipe by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen,Reviews Section

Recipe Summary

  • 4 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 bone-in, skinless chicken drumsticks
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced
  • 1 link precooked Spanish chorizo, chopped (2 ounces)
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, in juice
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 box (10 ounces) frozen peas
  • 1/2 pound peeled and deveined frozen medium shrimp, thawed

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium-high. Working in batches, cook chicken (do not crowd pot) until browned, 7 to 8 minutes, turning once. Transfer to a plate (reserve pot) set aside.

Place bell pepper, chorizo, onion, garlic, and tomatoes (with their juice) in pot season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add rice cook, stirring, until translucent around edges, 1 to 2 minutes. Add broth and chicken bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer cover, and cook until rice begins to soften, about 10 minutes. Add peas and shrimp, submerging them in liquid. Cover and cook until shrimp are opaque throughout, 4 to 6 minutes.


This is an impressive dish that is perfect to serve at a party with a group of friends, at an intimate dinner party, or to your family on a Saturday evening. It is a recipe that is endlessly versatile and a great way to repurpose leftover proteins and veggies in your refrigerator.

I have fond memories of a romantic vacation in San Francisco, eating paella in a gorgeous Spanish restaurant. I had never experienced paella before, but I thought it was a safe choice. I mean a rice dish is pretty mainstream. How wrong I was!

What a monumental flavor experience. It was nothing like I expected, yet incredibly delicious. Smoky and spicy from the chorizo, hearty with chunks of tender chicken and succulent shrimp nestled in a bed of tomato and spice scented rice and vegetables. I was hooked after one bite.

We ate right out of the pan. Finally, I hit this crusty, crunchy part on the bottom. Did they scorch our beautiful paella? Should we eat this stuff or complain about burned food?

Luckily, our server educated me on how exquisitely flavorful and decadent this bottom layer was. It was not burned, but instead is a much sought after, prized part of the paella. Socarrat. It was a game changer and something that I thought about, dreamt about, fantasied about for a long time afterward.

This crispy crust is called a Socarrat. It is super flavorful and determines an okay paella from a great paella. Unfortunately, cooking the paella in the oven doesn’t get the delicious Socarrat on the bottom. But no worries. This recipe only looks daunting – it is actually pretty straightforward. If you can make a box of Rice-a-Roni, you can make paella.

How to Make It

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add turmeric cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add bell pepper, peas, and garlic to pan cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in rice spread in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in stock, salt, and pepper. Spread rice mixture in an even layer in pan. Cook, without stirring, 7 minutes.

Arrange shrimp on top of rice mixture cover and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until shrimp are done. Drizzle lemon juice over pan. Serve immediately.

How to make Paella on a Paella burner

Figuring out the exact liquid needed must be accurate. You blow your ratio of liquid to rice and the Paella dish is not likely to be pleasing to your crowd. I use Spanish Bomba rice. Figure one third cup of Bomba rice per person. Bomba rice requires three times the amount of water. This means for every person I need one cup of liquid to go with the 1/3 cup rice. I need to measure out 12 cups of chicken broth for this dinner. Other Spanish rice for Paella, like Valencia, uses a 1/2 cup of rice to a cup of water per person.

I make a sofrito for the Paella a day or more before. It takes two hours to make a good sofrito. There are plenty of sofrito recipes on the Web. I use one that I found in César’s Cookbook: César: Recipes from a Tapas Bar. It calls for four white onions, four cups of diced tomatoes, 4 garlic cloves, and a teaspoon of saffron. Caramelize the onion in 1/4 cup of olive oil for one hour using low heat. Add chopped garlic and cook another 15 minutes. Add diced tomatoes and saffron, cook another 1 hour. This makes two to three cups. I freeze whatever I do not use. A Spanish chef once told me that the sofrito is the key to a fragrant Paella.

The Ingredients for a Paella party of twelve

  • 24 chicken drumettes*
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 whole garlic bulbs, unpeeled
  • 6 Spanish chorizo sausages, sliced across 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 cups of Bomba rice
  • 1 cup of sofrito
  • 12 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 TBS smoked paprika
  • 2 TBS salt
  • 36 jumbo shrimp
  • 36 clams
  • 36 mussels
  • 1 medium bag frozen peas
  • 2 cups of artichoke hearts, rinse.
  • 1 jar of Piquillo pepper, sliced long about 1/3 of inch for garnish
  • 3 lemons quarterd for garnish and squeezing on servings

* My local meat shop special orders a meaty size drumette for us. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. I cook the drummettes in the oven on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes at 375. They will finish cooking in the Paella.


  • Prepare sofrito one day ahead
  • Heat broth in separate pot and add the paprika to broth
  • Pour olive oil over the whole surface of Paella pan
  • Add garlic to the pan
  • Saute chorizo for 2 to 3 minutes
  • Add rice and mix with chorizo and oil
  • Add the sofrito, mix with the rice, spread over the pan
  • Add the salt
  • Add the hot broth
  • Add chicken in a circular arrangement around the pan
  • Bring broth to a boil and then turn to a hard simmer – no stirring after this point
  • When rice begins to swell, tuck in clams and mussels
  • Add peas and artichokes
  • Lay shrimp around and push down slightly
  • Turn over the shrimp when the top side turns color
  • When rice is done, garnish with the Piquillo peppers and lemons
  • Let Paella sit for ten minutes before serving

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Pre-Game Paella

Chicken, kielbasa and shrimp are served in seasoned rice to make a colorful dish that's sure to please.  Best of all, you can have it on the table in less than one hour.

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups uncooked long grain white rice
  • 4 cups Swanson® Chicken Broth or Swanson® Chicken Stock
  • 1 cup Pace® Picante Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 16 ounces (1 package) turkey kielbasa, sliced
  • 3/4 pound small frozen peeled, deveined, cooked shrimp, thawed
  • 10 ounces (1 package) refrigerated cooked chicken strips  (about 1 3/4 cups)

Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the rice and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir the broth, picante sauce and turmeric in the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Stir the kielbasa, shrimp and chicken in the skillet. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the rice is tender.

Easy, Better w couple changes?

I have made this on my own (I created the recipe myself with two bhanges) for less heat if you want, use diced tomatoes (drained for drier rice, undrained for wetter rice) instead of the picante'sause, and instead of the chicken I used Jimmie Dean Mild Sausage. (Cooked and drained before adding to mix) Absolutely delicious, I will definitely try it this way to compare this recipe to mine. I wonder which will be better? I prefer less spice personally

The Best Easy Paella Ever.

This is The Easiest recipe for Paella. I have made it several times. It's so good and tasty . Everybody who tries it says they love it. This recipe makes a lot and the pan is empty before the day is over.

This was extremely easy, and I was pleasantly surprised that my family loved it. My problem is that I can't please them all at the same time, but this recipe was a complete success. My son even asked for the leftovers after hockey practice the same night! Next time, I'm going to add the mexicorn another reviewer mentioned. I'm definitely doing this one again!

My significant other and I love this review. It was so easy and very delicious.

Absolutely delish!! I used yellow rice instead but, this has to be the quickest meal I ever made! So full of flavor! Will def be making again soon!!

Aunt Judy’s Classic Paella from Valencia, Spain

by Aunt Judy – sister-in-law, world traveler, great cook

We spent two weeks in Spain last December. The first week was my husband’s birthday trip to Barcelona which we spent “tripping” on Gaudi!

The second week was a sunny winter beach vacation in Alicante with our daughter and her two children from Sligo, Ireland. In between we spent two days in Valencia to see the sights. Little did we realize the culinary adventure in store for us there!

Before we arrived at our VRBO apartment, our host Emilio contacted us and offered to teach us how to make paella. We accepted his offer immediately and selected black seafood paella from the options he listed. (Really, you can add any combination of ingredients to paella—see Mark Bittman’s master recipe .)

When we arrived he had already purchased all of the ingredients including fresh vegetables and seafood from the market. We had such a good time putting it all together that Emilio stayed and joined us for dinner.

The next day my husband Bill and I went to the market to replenish our paella ingredients and made it again that night. It was almost as good as Emilio’s. So we really can’t recommend any other restaurants in Valencia!

Traditionally, you serve the paella by carrying the paella pan right to the table and everyone eats directly out of it. Of course, you can also plate individual servings, but I still think having the finished paella pan on the table is so spectacular you want to have it as the center of attention so everyone can “ooh and aah”!

Also, traditionally, seafood paella is served with aioli—a garlic mayonnaise—and a great fat! It’s sort of like ordering snails so you can eat the garlic butter.

Prepare the Seafood Broth

We started by getting the fresh seafood broth bubbling on the stove it needs to be hot before you add it to the paella pan. I have not yet made a fresh seafood broth at home—just from a box.

Prep the Seafood

We then started the mussels steaming so we had something to snack on as we were preparing the paella. He used very little liquid in the mussels pot—I guess the mussels themselves released enough liquid. He did add some smoky paprika for flavor. Very tasty!

Prep the seafood you are going to put on the top of the paella. Emilio had langostino for the top of our Valencian paella. At home I have used shrimp, mussels, and squid.

Note: I had never prepared squid before, so I asked the fish guy at Wegman’s how long to cook it. He replied no more than one and a half minutes OR one hour!

By that he meant that to end up with tender squid you need to cook it very briefly or for a very long time. I made sure to keep it under a minute and a half and it was superb!

Type of Rice & How Much

Note: The following is the only “fact” I have in this piece. I like facts, but since I learned it on the fly, I can only pass the guidelines on to you to make up as you go along.

You calculate the amount of rice to use for paella as 50 grams per person. The amount of liquid is 4 times the amount of rice, so 200 grams per person.

He kindly measured the rice—50 grams is about one half cup. So now at home I use one half cup of rice and 2 cups of broth per person. He had bomba rice for us. I have used Valencia rice and Arborio rice at home—just don’t use long grain rice or a sticky sushi rice.

Cooking Tips

You can cook the paella on the top of the stove or on a grill. (If you’re a pro, or like cooking toys, you can also buy a circular cooking ring to fit your paella pan and deliver even allover heat!)

Use a temperature that doesn’t burn when you’re sauteing and keeps it bubbling once you’ve added the broth. If you’re cooking on the top of the stove, you may need to move the pan around a bit to keep the entire bottom of the pan a consistent temperature.

I was nervous about this at home, but it’s pretty obvious if/when you need to make adjustments.


  • Emilio finishes his paella in the oven to make sure it is dry and crusty on top and bottom. If you want to do this, you should turn the oven on before starting the prep.
  • It’s important to note that we cooked the mussels separately from the rest of the paella and then added them to the pan when the paella was done. I find it easier to get them to open if steamed separately.

Paella Pan for Valencia Paella

I bought an inexpensive 15-inch carbon steel paella pan from Amazon. I only knew how to cook paella in a paella pan, so I decided to go for it. There are so many sizes and materials but I selected the traditional (and economical) option—carbon steel.

It does require some maintenance since it can rust, but I have to take care of my wok in the same way. I chose a size that fit the measurements of my stove top, oven, and grill.

I then selected a 15-inch pan that is rated for 3-5 servings since I thought that would be most useful and I could always get a second one if we were going to have a lot of people or wanted a selection of different types of paella. I have used it to feed 2-6 people, so it turned out to be a good choice.

Peppers & Tomatoes

We thinly sliced some Italian sweet peppers and sauteed them in olive oil in the paella pan until soft. He then grated a fresh tomato over the peppers and let it cook down. That was a new one for me! I will try it when we have good tomatoes in the summer so far I have used canned diced tomatoes.

Emilio offered this guidance: don’t add both tomatoes and onions to the same paella because together they will add too much liquid. I have added both, but I drain the tomatoes very well unlike his grated tomato which included a lot of liquid.

I also think that like Emilio using Italian green peppers which have thinner walls than bell peppers adds less liquid.

Artichokes & Rice

The next step was to peel and quarter fresh baby artichokes and then add them to the pan to saute until soft. He put a glass lid on at this point to help the artichokes cook. Since I only have canned artichoke hearts at home, this was not a problem—unfortunately.

At this point we added the rice all at once and stirred to coat it evenly with the oil and the vegetables. We then added the cuttlefish ink to make it black and stirred it. (Like almost anything else, you can get cuttlefish ink from Amazon and a number of other culinary sites.)

He also added a packet of Spanish paella seasoning, but I don’t know what was in it. At home I added a pinch of saffron at this point. As you can see, so far this is a lot like making risotto—until the next step.

Once this is all stirred together, we added the hot seafood broth all at once. Stir to combine and then let it bubble away.

Cook – Stir – Cook

We let it cook for about 20 minutes, maybe stirring gently once or twice and re-positioning the pan on the burner occasionally. The paella is done when it is dry throughout and has formed a nice brown crust on the bottom (soccarat).

One test for doneness is to tilt the pan to thirty or forty-five degrees—the paella should not fall out!

Add & Cook the Seafood for Valencia Paella

Now that the rice is finished, it’s time for the seafood on top. You can cook the seafood separately and just place it on top of the rice prior to serving. This is a good solution if you have a mix of seafood that needs different cooking times or methods. Emilio cooked the langostino on top of the paella for the last few minutes.

At home, I lay the seafood on top of the rice and then cover it all with the lid to my wok so that the seafood can steam. The wok lid works well because it is the right circumference and has a nice high dome.

I put the seafood on in order of the amount of time it needs to cook with the foods requiring the longest time going on first—covering again after each addition. Since this is the method I use, I don’t finish it in the oven like Emilio did.


  1. Stack two sheets of tin foil (to prevent leakage) and shape the middle into a bowl, with 3” – 4” of extra foil hanging around the edges.
  2. Put your meat (except shrimp,) veggies, beans, and spices into the packet. One packet per person, so each person can mix their own.
  3. Add in equal parts rice and water (so if you had ½ cup of rice, add ½ cup of water.)
  4. Add a splash of red wine.
  5. Mix together, and close up the tin foil pouch so your mixture is wrapped up and won’t leak.
  6. Place your tin foil wrap next to the fire or on coals, NOT on an open flame.
  7. Cook for about an hour, moving the packet every 10 minutes or so.
  8. With about 10 minutes left, skewer your shrimp and place them on the grill for approximately 10 minutes, rotating once.
  9. When it’s done, the food should have a slightly browned crust around the edges.
  10. Add in your spiced shrimp off the skewers, squeeze a lemon wedge over the paella, and enjoy!

Get the grill going. We are using the portable firepit and stormproof matches.

Add equal parts rice and water.

Add your choice of meat for protein.

Add your choice of veggies, we like to use peppers to add some texture and color to the dish.

Once your dish is cooked (about one hour), plate it!

Bonus: If you have leftovers, you can throw the whole mixture into scrambled eggs or egg burritos for breakfast the next morning.

Chicken sausage and shrimp paella

2 lbs shelled and cleaned shrimp
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup white wine
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 cups clam juice
4 chicken sausages, precooked
¾ cup chopped onion
2 cups brown rice
¼ tsp pepper
1 tsp saffron threads
2 cans artichoke hearts, drained
1 jar whole pimientos, drained and chopped
1 cup fresh or frozen peas, cooked and drained


1. Marinate shrimp in wine and one chopped clove of garlic for at least one hour.
2. In a large pan, add chicken stock and clam juice. Add chicken sausages and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes over low heat.
3. Remove chicken sausages, cut into ¼-inch slices, and set aside.
4. Add chopped onions, second chopped garlic clove, pepper, saffron, and brown rice. Simmer until rice is fully cooked.
5. Reduce heat and add shrimp to mixture. Stir until shrimp is cooked through. Add artichokes, pimientos, and peas and stir until mixture is hot. Serve hot. Makes 12 servings.

Nutrition facts (per serving)

Calories: 258
Total fat: 4 g (Saturated fat: 2 g)
Cholesterol: 138 mg
Sodium: 620 mg
Carbohydrate: 28 g
Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 24 g

Watch the video: Easy One Pot Paella, Anyone Can Make! (December 2021).