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Denny's Easy Paella Recipe

Updated on May 18, 2016
Virginia Allain profile image

Food can be basic but over the years we've developed favorite ways to prepare them. Have fun cooking!

A colorful plate of paella.
A colorful plate of paella. | Source

Cook up a Batch of Paella

My husband's an adventurous cook who likes trying new foods. His first attempt at paella was a great success. Here's his recipe with his tips for making it extra yummy.

Paella is a marvelous blend of flavors with shrimp, chicken, and sausage. This colorful rice dish is super-easy to make and the family will love it.

You can develop your own variations over time and fit it to your family's preferences. It's a so tasty with the seafood, sausage, chicken and rice.

We like to make it for guests too. They always love it and are amazed when they see how simple it is to make.

Photo by Virginia Allain.

Prep time: 30 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 8


  • 2 cups green peppers - cut into pieces
  • 2 cups onions - chopped
  • 2 cups peas
  • 2 chicken breasts - cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 pound medium shrimp - cooked
  • 2 chorizo sausages - cut up
  • 2 cups saffron or yellow rice
  • 4 cups of water
  • olive oil to saute the meat in


  1. Brown the chicken and sausages in olive oil with the onions in a large, deep skillet. Add the rice and 4 cups of water. Bring it to a boil. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. (Some rice requires a longer cooking time. Check the package and follow that.)
  2. Add the cooked shrimp and the peas. Continue simmering until the water is absorbed into the rice.

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Close up of the Paella Cooking

You can see the liquid hasn't been absorbed yet by the rice. The peas, shrimp and other ingredients make it very colorful.

Variations on Paella - Cookbooks

There's an amazing number of variations on paella. Try out some of these cookbooks to find the perfect one for your family or for company dinners.

Here are some ingredients others use: scallops, clams, shrimp, cod, squid rings, octopus, snails, rabbit. So almost anything goes as far as seafood and then white meat like chicken or rabbit.

Traditional Paella Recipes from Valencia, Spain

The 7 Most Traditional Paella Recipes: The Way It Has Been Cooked At Home For Generations In Valencia (Spain)
The 7 Most Traditional Paella Recipes: The Way It Has Been Cooked At Home For Generations In Valencia (Spain)

This gives you 7 recipes from Spain for paella - go right to the source. Paella is a Spanish meal based on their abundant seafood and rice.



The Recipe in Photos

Cutting Up the Peppers

My husband chops the peppers after removing the seeds.
My husband chops the peppers after removing the seeds. | Source

Cut up the Peppers

Wash the peppers. Remove the stem and seeds. Cut the peppers into pieces the size of a quarter. We like using red and green peppers for the color they add to the paella.

(photo by Virginia Allain)

The Chopped Onions

I like the onions in fairly good-sized pieces.
I like the onions in fairly good-sized pieces. | Source

Chop up the Onion

We use a sweet onion like a Vidalia. Chop them coarsely.

Sometimes you can get sweet onions from the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Those are called 1015 onions and work just as well as the Vidalias from Georgia.

(photo by Virginia Allain)

Thaw out the Frozen Peas

You can use fresh peas if you want. I just find it convenient to keep a big bag of frozen peas in the deep freeze.

I set the peas out to thaw while I'm chopping up the other vegetables. You can put them still frozen into the paella but it will slow down the cooking a little.

You Can Order Chorizo Online - Or Find It at Your Local Supermarket

Chorizo by Palacios - Hot (7.9 ounce)
Chorizo by Palacios - Hot (7.9 ounce)

I was surprised that they even have chorizo on Amazon. Depending on where you live, you might not be able to find chorizo in your local supermarket. Another place you can try are ethnic food stores.

Decide if you want hot, medium or mild. This gets cut into chunks and cooked with the onions and chicken. We find it easier to cut it into chunks if it is slightly frozen.


YouTube Demonstration of Cooking Paella

Rinse the Shrimp

Denny used medium frozen cooked shrimp with the tails on. You can use larger or smaller, fresh or frozen and without the tails. If it is already cooked, just add it into the paella.

You can also add other seafood like mussels in their shells and scallops. We've found a frozen seafood medley at Sam's Club and Costco that includes shrimp, scallops, mussels, and calamari. That is super-convenient to keep in the freezer so you are ready to make paella at any time.

We particularly like to make it when we have visitors. They are impressed with the tastiness of the meal and are amazed at how easy it is to fix.

Use a Large Skillet or a Paella Pan

I have a deep skillet with a handle, but I can see the advantage of this kind with two handles.

A Paella Pan

Cuisinart ASP-38CR Non-Stick Paella Pan, 15", Red
Cuisinart ASP-38CR Non-Stick Paella Pan, 15", Red

I like the Cuisinart paella pan as it is non-stick. My set is blue. If you don't care for non-stick, which some people don't, there are other pans shown when you click on this Amazon link.

This has 2 handles and a cover It is completely flat on the bottom, so it's not wok-like.

The pan is 4 inches deep and 15 inches across, so you can put a lot of seafood and rice in here.

Wash it by hand, as it is pretty big to go in a dishwasher. Plus your non-stick surface will last longer. It's easy to clean.


Saute the Chicken, Chorizo and Onions

Put the olive oil in the skillet and get it hot enough to sizzle a bit as you add the chicken and sausage and onions. Stir this to keep it from sticking and to cook the pieces evenly. Get the chicken pieces browned.

Measure out the Saffron Rice

Denny is pretty generous measuring out the 2 cups of rice. Add this and the 4 cups of water to the meat in the skillet.

Bring it to a boil and reduce it to a simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Cover it and let the rice cook until it absorbs all the liquid.

This Is the Rice That We Use

Par Excellence Producers Yellow Rice, 3.5 lb.
Par Excellence Producers Yellow Rice, 3.5 lb.

We keep this rice on hand to use as a side dish with meals or for making paella. It's a lovely yellow and has excellent flavoring in it.


Paella Simmering on the Stove Top

Keep an eye on it so it doesn't get too hot and bubble over. Stir now and then to keep it from sticking or burning.

Chop up the Spring Onions

These get added at the table. They don't hold up well to heat, so don't put them in while it is cooking. Chop both the onion and the green stems.

Serve the Paella with White Wine

As you can see, it is a complete one-dish meal. You don't need any side dishes to complete the meal.
As you can see, it is a complete one-dish meal. You don't need any side dishes to complete the meal. | Source

Sprinkle the cut up spring onions over the top of the paella.

Some recipes add scallops and mussels to paella.

Picture of Paella with Shrimp and Mussels

This will tempt the tastebuds, for sure.
This will tempt the tastebuds, for sure. | Source

Photo available on a postcard from Zazzle: Spanish Paella Postcard by bbourdages. The meal is a delight to the eyes as well as a delight to eat. Look how colorful it is with the yellow rice, the pink of the shrimp, the dark mussel shells and the green of the spring onion tops sprinkled over it all.

© 2013 Virginia Allain

Will You Try It?

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    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      You would have to leave out the shrimp for me but the rest of it sounds tasty.

    • heytoto profile image

      Karen Kolavalli 3 years ago from Lexington, Kentucky

      Still haven't tried this recipe, but I'm getting closer! I'm the proud owner of a straight-from-Spain paella pan, so I'm going to make it SOON!

    • profile image

      Ruthi 4 years ago

      I so enjoy Paella and it has been awhile since I have made it. Might just have to remedy that real soon.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      @heytoto: And it was very tasty too so well worth making.

    • heytoto profile image

      Karen Kolavalli 4 years ago from Lexington, Kentucky

      You've made it look much easier than I had any idea! Definitely going to try my hand at it!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 4 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      This sounds pretty yummy and easy. I like that it's a one-dish meal!

    • Othercatt profile image

      Othercatt 4 years ago

      I've never had paella but it sounds yummy!