*Affiliate disclosure. 

How many meals can check off all of the following? Nutritious. Unexpected. Fun. Delicious. For us, paella is communal comfort food. It's relatively easy to pull together and is a delightfully indulgent dish that suits nearly everyone. For the gluten-intolerant, rice is a welcome relief from pasta, and the recipe is easy to modify further for other dietary needs. Here's our founder Laura's just-so-slightly decadent, but still sustainable (natch) version.

She sources all of her ingredients locally (even the chorizo comes from a local sustainable farm in California), and likes to follow the classic Spanish version for inspiration. Her recipe changes a little each time depending on what's in season and looks for the most sustainable seafood options (see SeafoodWatch.org). 

One of her favorite delights when biting into paella is the famous soccarat, the crispy rice at the bottom of the pan. Her tip to achieve it, "Don't over stir it! People like to stir and stir and stir and that's exactly what you don't want to do." Read on to learn more about how to achieve the famous soccarat. 

Be sure read our interview with Chef Danny Lledó of Washington D.C.’s Xiquet and his secrets to making his famous paella. 

Paella rice and soffrito in pan on stove top.

Paella rice with soffrito and chorizo. 

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 8 to 10Servings

Ingredients

Paella Recipe

  • 8 cups of fish or chicken broth
  • 2 pounds of fresh chorizo, casings removed
  • 2 medium, or 1 large onion diced
  • 6 garlic cloves smashed and chopped fine
  • 3 ½ cups of chopped fresh tomatoes (or a 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes chopped)
  • 2-3 pinches of saffron threads dissolved in 4 tablespoons of water
  • 1 pound of large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 pound of mussels scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 pound of cockles or clams scrubbed and rinsed
  • 1 pound of scallops or calamari
  • ½ cup dry white wine1/4 cup of of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Preparation

Heat two paella pans (about 13” each,) or one large one (about 18" - 20", or you can use a wide bottom skillet like this) over medium heat. Add one pound of chorizo sausage to each pan. Cook over moderate heat, breaking it up with a spoon, until the fat is rendered and the chorizo is cooked through and lightly browned. Remove the chorizo from the pan, and set aside in a bowl (do not clean the pan; the rendered fat will be used to cook the remaining ingredients and add flavor).

Make the sofrito. Add half of the onion and garlic to each pan with the chorizo renderings. Sweat the onions and garlic over medium heat until translucent and starting to brown. Stir in the chorizo, tomatoes, rice, and saffron water. Gently stir until the rice is fully covered with the sofrito mixture.

Slowly add half of the broth to each pan. Gently stir the rice mixture until it is evenly distributed throughout each pan. Do not stir after this point. Cook for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, season the shrimp and scallops with salt and pepper. In another large skillet, heat ¼ cup of olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add shrimp to the skillet, and sear evenly on each side, about 2-3 minutes total. Remove the shrimp from pan and set aside. Add more oil to the pan if necessary, and cook the scallops 1-2 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Remove the scallops from the pan.

Wipe out the skillet. Pour in the wine and lemon juice. Add the clams and mussels, cover, and cook, shaking the skillet gently until the mussels open about 3 minutes. Remove the shellfish from the pan and set aside. Pour the shellfish sauce over the paella mixture.

Cook the paella mixture for about another 10-15 minutes, undisturbed (do not stir, this is an important step to create the socarrat, the crusty goodness on the bottom of the pan). Once the water has been completely absorbed, crank up the heat for another two to three minutes. Remove from the heat.

Arrange the cooked shrimp, scallops, and shellfish across the top of the paella pans. Sprinkle with roughly chopped parsley and green onions.

Place one or two trivets (depending on how many pans your using) in the middle of your table and place the paella pans on top. Garnish with lemon wedges if desired, and and serve immediately, directly from the pan.

*Note! This article contains affiliate links that are independently sourced and vetted by our editorial team which we may earn a commission on. This helps us reduce the number of ads we serve on Organic Authority and help deliver you a better user experience. We are here to help you navigate the overwhelming world of consumer products to source and uncover thoughtfully made, conscious clean products.

Related Recipes

Succotash Recipe

Sweet Corn Southern Summer Succotash Recipe With Pecorino

Make this simple and sweet southern summer succotash recipe with corn, beans, basil with pecorino cheese. It's delicious and easy to make.

growing onions for veggie burgers

Black Bean Quinoa Burger Recipe with Caramelized Onions, Jalapeños, Avocado, and Blistered Kale [Vegetarian]

This black bean burger recipe has layers of flavors with caramelized onions, jalapeños, and blistered kale. It's the most delicious black bean burger ever!

BBQ Jackfruit Pulled Pork Recipe

The Ultimate BBQ Jackfruit Pulled Pork Recipe

This tasty and easy to make bbq jackfruit pulled pork recipe will quickly become your favorite sandwich and taco filling with its "meaty" texture and taste.

mango on pink and yellow background

Spicy Mango Asian Salad

This sweet and spicy salad is a delightfully crunchy treat any time of year.

Portobello-Burger

OMG This Roasted Portobello Mushroom and Peach Burger Recipe is Everything

This roasted portobello mushroom and peach burger recipe is a vegetarian burger you won't have to make excuses for. It's filled with delicious flavors.

spiralized summer squash recipe

Spiralized Summer Squash Recipe with Tagliatelle, Peas, and Arugula Pesto (Vegan)

A cinch to make, this summer squash recipe combines with tagliatelle noodles, spring peas, and a delectable arugula pesto sauce that screams summer! Enjoy!