Nothing conjures up images of warm, sandy, Spanish beaches like the aroma of seafood paella in the air! Traditional Spanish paella is a must-have when visiting Spain. Paella combines rice with seafood (although some recipes use chicken or a combination of both). This is a flavourful seafood paella with mussels, shrimp and chorizo. This is an easy seafood paella recipe that even a novice can make with success.
Saffron gives it the typical paella colour and taste. Peas and bell peppers are typical paella add-ins. Try the following easy seafood paella recipe to recreate this iconic Spanish dish at home.
This paella with mussels, shrimp and chorizo offers a truly authentic taste. I don’t know if you’ve seen those paella-in-a-box kits at the grocery store which are basically rice and a can of seafood in liquid. But if you do, push your cart right past and get the ingredients for authentic paella instead. It is at least a thousand times better!
Classic Seafood Paella Ingredients
Let’s start with the key ingredients in this seafood and chorizo paella recipe. First and foremost you need rice. Spanish rice is a good choice if you can find it because it’s short-grained and soaks up liquid well. This might be labeled as ‘arroz redonda’ (literally ‘round rice’).
Medium-grain rice would also work. Some cooks say jasmine rice is good but I haven’t tried it that way.
This is a ‘paella mixto’ meaning it contains seafood and meat. I used mussels, shrimp and chorizo for a well-rounded taste. I used chicken broth since it complements the fish and meat flavours although vegetable broth would also work.
Saffron is a key ingredient in this seafood and chorizo paella recipe. In fact saffron is what makes paella, well, paella! This yellow spice costs more than $500 per ounce, which is more than gold. Fortunately you only need a few strands. A little goes a long way. Don’t sub turmeric – that also turns rice yellow but tastes completely different.
Butter, onion, garlic, lemon juice, and white wine also go into traditional Spanish paella for an authentic taste. Bell peppers, tomatoes and peas add colour to the dish. Butter, hot sauce, smoked pepper and parsley are the other ingredients in this seafood paella.
How to Make a Perfect Paella Recipe
First you can cook the onion and garlic in butter and then add the broth, wine and mussels. Cook them in there until they’re open. Next you’ll need a paella pan or in fact any wide deep pan. Fry the chorizo and some veggies and season to taste.
The next step in this paella with mussels, shrimp and chorizo recipe is to add the rice, hot sauce and tomatoes. Add the broth and simmer the seafood paella. You don’t need to keep stirring it like you would with risotto. Add the peas and shrimp near the end and serve garnished with parsley.
You can serve this easy seafood paella recipe directly from the pan in the middle of the table. Let everyone serve themselves and offer fresh lemon wedges on the side.
History of Traditional Spanish Paella
Paella originates from Valencia, which is both a port and a rice-producing region. The earliest paellas were cooked over a wood fire for farmers and labourers for lunch. Rice was the main ingredient and then whichever protein and vegetables were handy would go into the pot. Saffron added a special flavour and colour.
Seafood paella is typically Valencian since the region is coastal. Other parts of the country have their own traditional Spanish paella recipes.
In the spirit of the farmers and labourers who first created this dish, a ‘true’ Valencia paella has chicken, snails and rabbit, as well as white and green beans. However, I prefer my paella with mussels, shrimp and chorizo! Beans? Maybe – but definitely hold the snails!
The word ‘paella’ refers to the cooking pan not the actual dish (just like casserole!) A huge paella is a wonderful centerpiece for a special occasion. You don’t need to serve side dishes with it, although crusty bread with aioli (garlic mayonnaise) goes well. Well, if you don’t mind all the carbs that is!
Other popular sides in Spain include fried plantain (yep – more carbs!).
Pimientos de padrón (fried padrón peppers) are also well-loved there as a tapa or side dish. If you can’t find them, shishito peppers are similar. Just fry the peppers whole in olive oil with salt until the skin starts to blister, then serve with more salt ground over them.
Seafood Paella Variations
A shrimp and chorizo paella recipe can be tweaked to your liking. This easy seafood paella recipe suits any kind of seafood. Try clams, fish filets or squid. Chicken is also nice in there, or you could swap the peas for green beans.
This paella with mussels, shrimp and chorizo isn’t hard to make and the result is always impressive. If you love seafood paella, consider getting a carbon steel paella pan. It’s wide, round and shallow with sloping sides to ensure the rice will cook in a single layer.
Once you’ve tried this seafood paella with chorizo, you will want to make Spanish paella again and again!! It rivals the best paella in Valencia, Spain!
Seafood Paella with Mussels, Shrimp and Chorizo Recipe
Seafood Paella with Mussels, Shrimp and Chorizo
For the Mussels:
- 1 1/2 Cup mussels rinsed and scrubbed
- 2 1/2 Cup chicken broth
- 5 Tablespoon butter
- 1 onion yellow, finely chopped
- 3 Cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1/2 Teaspoon saffron
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 Cup white wine
For the Paella:
- 1 onion yellow
- 2 red bell pepper finely chopped
- 3 Cloves garlic finely chopped
- 6 Ounces chorizo sausage mild dried, sliced into thin half-moons
- 2 Cup rice short-grain
- 1 Can tomatoes
- 1/2 Tablespoon tabasco
- 1/2 Tablespoon pepper smoked
- 1 Cup peas frozen
- 1 1 /2 Cup shrimp peeled and deveined, with tails left on
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 Cup parsley fresh
- The first step is to make the broth. You can buy it from the store. In this recipe, we work with ready-made dry broth from the store. Heat the water and put the cube of broth in boiling water. Add the saffron. Leave to stand for about 15 minutes.
- During this time we prepare the mussels. If they are not cleaned, clean the shells well. Set aside.
- Heat the butter in a saucepan, add the onion and garlic. Leave for 5 to 6 minutes to cook or until the onion becomes translucent. Add the mussels. Pour the broth and wine and close with a lid. Cook for 10 minutes or until the mussels are open. If there are mussels that have not opened, do not use them. Throw them away.
- Add a little salt to taste.
- Once the mussels are ready, remove them from the pan in a large bowl. Save the broth.
- In a pan for paella, or if you do not have one, you can use any pan that is deeper. Put 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the sausage. Fry well for 5 to 7 minutes. Then add the onion and garlic. Leave for 5 to 6 minutes to cook on medium heat. Add the red bell pepper. Leave for another 5 to 6 minutes. Add the smoked pepper.
- Rice follows. Fry it for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Add the hot sauce and canned tomatoes. Mix well. Now it's time to add the broth we kept. Pour it over the rice and simmer over low heat for 15 to18 minutes or until the rice absorbs most of the liquid. Just before the rice is ready, add the peas. Add a little water if necessary.
- Prepare the shrimp. Clean them, but leave the tail.
- Put the seafood in the pan and close with a lid for about 10 minutes. Slip a spatula under the rice and check to see if you have achieved the golden brown. If not,set the pan over heat for few minutes again, uncovered.
- Sprinkle with parsley and squeeze a lemon on the paella.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Buen provecho! I hope you enjoy this seafood recipe!
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Bella Bucchiotti is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for food, dogs, fitness, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
This looks so amazing! I have always wanted to try paella