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Spanish Paella Recipe: Quick and Easy

Updated on December 27, 2017
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Before I became a London solicitor, I used to help in our family restaurant. I love good food, enjoy creative cooking, and hate food waste.

This Quick and Easy Paella Recipe will give you a taste of Spain

I learnt to make this quick and easy Paella meal because my Mother lived on the Spanish Costa del Sol, Malaga, for 25 years, where we experienced the delights of Spanish food.

Every Sunday we would have Spanish Paella at different beach cafes - it is the traditional Sunday lunch for Spanish families, equivalent to the Sunday roast in England. Sometimes we could sit at the bar of a beach cafe and watch the cook at work. throwing ingredients into the huge paella pan, listening to the inviting sizzling and savouring the spicy aroma wafting our way, sand shimmering in the heat, waves lapping up the beach, glass in hand. Very pleasant.


More About Paella and its Ingredients

You will already have many of the Paella Ingredients

Paella is a traditional Spanish dish, normally made with whatever meat or fish and vegetables you have to hand, in a rice base

Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients - you will have most of these things in your store cupboard, and if you leave something out or substitute it, you will still enjoy your paella, and feel proud of your imaginative variation.

The thing about Spanish Paella is that it is a traditional rice dish which varies from province to province, using whatever local ingredients are to hand.

So sometimes, in the Spanish interior, it is made just with meat, which might be chicken or rabbit. And sometimes, on the coast, it is made with a mixture of seafood such as prawns, mussels, squid, octopus and/or fish. And sometimes it is made with a mixture of meat and sea food. And you can try putting in different vegetables too.

The ingredients below are for a mixed chicken and seafood paella meal - this is my favourite.

Equipment for Making Quick and Easy Paella - Just use what equipment you have available for this Paella meal

Equipment for Making Paella:

  • ! or 2 large deep flat bottomed pans, or a paella dish (even a large wok would do)
  • 1 large mixing spoon
  • a cutting board
  • A serrated kitchen knife for cutting up vegetables
  • A sharp kitchen knife for cutting up meat or seafood

Buy your Paella Equipment from Amazon - Have a look

You can use alternatives to a paella pan, but, if you love paella, why not get the real thing?

Quick and Easy Paella Recipe





Ingredients for Quick and Easy Paella - A long list of Paella Ingredients, but nothing unusual

Remember that you can make:

a meat paella,

a sea-food paella

or a mixed meat and sea-food paella,

so just choose your ingredients according to what you have available, or what you can buy easily.

Ingredients for Paella: This will make a Paella Dinner for about 6 people:

  • 1-2 large onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic or 1-2 teaspoons of bottled garlic
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, or 1 teaspoon of bottled ginger or sprinkling of powdered ginger
  • 2 large peppers (I use a green one & a red one)
  • about two to three tablespoons of olive oil
  • 500g - 750g chicken chopped up into small pieces

    (raw chicken is best, but if using cooked chicken, just add

    an additional chicken stock cube for extra flavour)

  • 1 chicken stock cube (use a fish or prawn stock cube if you prefer)
  • 250g frozen shelled prawns
  • 500g Rice (Paella or Arborio rice work best but ordinary short or long grain rice is fine)
  • 250g of frozen peas
  • Lemons (use a good squirt of bottled lemon juice if you haven't got a lemon
  • 1 teaspoonful of saffron (you can use turmeric instead, which gives a better colour, but saffron gives a better flavour)
  • 2 medium to large tomatoes
  • sprinkling of chilli powder or seeds - be careful, not too much
  • Sprinkling of paprika
  • Sprinkling of mixed powdered spice
  • Sprinkling of mixed herbs
  • Optional Ingredients:

    Mussels - 1 or 2 per person

    Large prawns - 1 or 2 per person

    2 sprigs of fresh coriander or teaspoon of bottled coriander

Just Be Creative!

Substitute ingredients, try things,

perhaps use a packet of

frozen or bottled mixed seafood.

This is not "haute cuisine" -

it's easy, rough-and-ready,

seat-of-your-pants-style cookery

You can do it - have faith in yourself

Cooking Basic Paella is Easy!

Just experiment till you get it right -

With the ingredients above, it will still taste good, even if it doesn't look too good.

Rome wasn't built in a day

This is How to Make Quick and Easy Paella - Make a big Paella Meal in Half an Hour

Method for Making Your Quick and Easy Paella

Preparation time: 10 Minutes

Cooking time: 30 Minutes (including cooking whilst preparing other things)

Total Preparation and Cooking Time for Paella: 30-35 Minutes

It's quicker to use two pans, so that you can cook things simultaneously, thus cutting a few minutes off cooking time, and also it gives the food more room at the bottom of the pan to fry.

  1. Chop the onions and fry slowly in a generous dollop of olive oil until translucent golden brown,
  2. add the cut up chicken, chili and garlic and cook until lightly browned. Or you can cook these ingredients in a second pan, with a little olive oil whilst the onion is cooking, to save time.
  3. Whilst the chicken and onion are cooking, de-seed and chop the peppers into 2-3 inch chunks. Add to either pan together with cloves, ginger, saffron or turmeric and paprika and any other optional flavourings and continue frying gently and stirring for two or three minutes.
  4. Then, in the same pan, or in a separate pan, put another generous dollop of olive oil and pour in all the rice, stirring and frying it for two or three minutes, until all the rice grains have been lightly coated with oil and are slightly translucent
  5. Then combine the rice with all the other ingredients, and add the chicken or fish stock cubes, and about 1 pint of boiling water and stir, dissolving the cubes.
  6. Let it all simmer on a low heat with a lid on for about ten minutes, then add the peas and small prawns, stirring them in evenly
  7. Slice the tomatoes and arrange the slices in a circle round the pan on top of the rice
  8. Then, if you wish, decorate the paella with the large prawns and mussels and coriander. Slice the lemons into quarters and add these to the top, squeezing some of the juice over the rice. Put the lid back on and continue to simmer for about ten minutes. If the rice looks dry, add a little more water, so that when cooked the rice is a little sticky but not floating in water and not dried out.
  9. Serve when the rice is cooked and soft.

    Traditionally the paella is served from the paella pan at the table.

Important Reminder:



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Did you actually find the Paella Recipe quick and easy, or did you have trouble with it? I love to get feedback (no pun intended, just the mind playing tricks).

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Did You Enjoy This Paella Meal? - Was it Delicious?

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    • chi kung profile image

      chi kung 4 years ago

      I like this recipe and it looks delicious. I haven't eaten anything Spanish yet so I guess it1s high time to taste one :)

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      Great recipe lens and featured on Holiday Cooking

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 7 years ago

      **Blessed** and featured on My Time as a Squid Angel :)

    • Sniff It Out profile image

      Sniff It Out 7 years ago

      I love paella but have never made it myself... perhaps its time to give it a go :)