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How To Make The Best Seafood Paella

Stop making the same thing every single night and start making this Seafood Paella. It’s so good that everyone in the family loves it! 

How To Make The Best Seafood Paella

Shrimp and Mussel Paella is a classic Spanish dish that is packed with flavor and is loved by seafood enthusiasts all around the world.

It originated in Valencia, an eastern Spanish city, but has now become a popular dish in diverse cultures. It is a one-pan dish that consists of short-grain rice, succulent shrimp, and tender mussels with a mix of vegetables and spices.

How To Make The Best Seafood Paella

The dish is cooked slowly over low heat, absorbing all the flavors from the ingredients, creating a colorful and delectable meal. Shrimp and Mussel Paella is perfect for anyone that appreciates a hearty, healthy, and flavorful seafood dish.

How To Make The Best Seafood Paella

Why You’ll Love Shrimp Paella

How To Make The Best Seafood Paella
  • Shrimp Paella is a dish that is packed with flavors from the savory combination of garlic, paprika, red bell pepper, and a variety of herbs and spices. 
  • It is a healthy dish that incorporates the goodness of seafood with rice and vegetables. Shrimp are an excellent source of protein, while rice provides the carbs necessary for energy. The vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and tomato puree provide the essential vitamins and minerals that the body requires.
  • Shrimp Paella is a one-pan dish that is easy to cook, and the preparation time is minimal. The vegetables and shrimp are cooked together, absorbing all the flavors to create a deliciously rich and flavorful dish. 
How To Make The Best Seafood Paella

Ingredients Needed for Seafood Paella

If you love Spanish cuisine, then you’re going to love this combination of seafood. This is a classic Spanish rice dish that is just so good that you have to make it as often as possible! Here are the main ingredients for this shrimp paella recipe. 

How To Make The Best Seafood Paella
  • Vegetable Oil – Used as a cooking oil to fry and sauté the onions, garlic, and bell peppers for the paella base.
  • Onion – Diced and cooked until translucent, adding flavor and texture to the paella.
  • Garlic – Adds a pungent, slightly sweet flavor to the paella once diced and sautéed.
  • Red Bell Pepper –  Diced and added to the paella base to add sweetness and texture.
  • Tomato Puree – Adds a tangy, slightly sweet flavor to the paella, while thickening the sauce.
  • Pepper – Adds a subtle spicy kick to the paella.
  • Salt –  A crucial ingredient used to season the paella to enhance its overall flavor.
  • Paprika – Adds a subtle smoky flavor and color to the paella, used to enhance the flavor of the dish.
  • Saffron – A spice known for its earthy and sweet taste, used to add flavor, color, and fragrance to the paella. It can be substituted with turmeric to achieve a similar color.
  • Chicken Stock – Used to hydrate the rice and create a flavorful stock that cooks with the paella base.
  • Spanish Paella Rice – It is short-grain rice that absorbs the flavors from the ingredients it is cooked with, creating a rich and flavorful dish.
  • Large Shrimp – Added to the paella towards the end of cooking to provide a sweet and succulent flavor to the dish.
  • Mussels – Added to the paella towards the end of cooking to add texture, flavor, and a touch of color to the dish.
How To Make The Best Seafood Paella

Tips for Making This Traditional Spanish Dish

How To Make The Best Seafood Paella
  • Optional seasonings to add: red pepper flakes, lemon wedges, white wine, cayenne pepper, and flat leaf parsley. 
  • Side options: chorizo sausage, long grain rice, chicken thighs, 

What kind of rice can I serve with this dish?

How To Make The Best Seafood Paella

You can serve it with white rice, brown rice, bomba rice, medium-grain rice, short grain rice, long-grain rice, arborio rice, or any other type of rice you have! 

How To Make The Best Seafood Paella

The next time you’re craving something simple and delicious give this easy shrimp paella a try! You can make it in your pressure cooker or on medium heat on the stove. Shrimp cooks really fast, so make sure you pay attention so it doesn’t burn. Traditional Spanish Rice Dish is so flavorful, you’ll start making this as often as possible! 

If you are looking for more fun dinner recipes be sure to check out this comprehensive list! Easy and Tasty Dinner Ideas For The Whole Family!

The Best Shrimp Paella Recipe
Yield: 3 Servings

The Best Shrimp Paella Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This Seafood Paella is so good and easy to make for a weeknight dinner!


  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1/4 Tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp saffron, ground with mortar and pestle (substitute with 1/4 tsp ground turmeric)
  • 2 1/2 C Chicken stock
  • 1 C Spanish paella rice
  • 8-9 Large shrimp
  • 8-9 Mussels
  • Optional - Lemon and Parsley for garnish


  1. Heat vegetable oil in large round pan and add onions. Cook for 1 minute on medium heat. Then add garlic and red pepper. Cook another 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in tomato paste and spices. Add stock and cook on high until boiling, stirring occasionally.
  3. Spread rice evenly across pan. Once rice is added, do not stir. Reduce heat to low. After 10 minutes, lay shrimp on top of the paella. Cook for 5 minutes, flip the shrimp, and cook another 5 minutes.
  4. Once shrimp have been flipped, steam mussels in a separate pan for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Top finished paella with mussels.
  6. Optional - garnish with fresh parsley and lemon slices.


  • The ideal pan for this dish is a paella pan, but you can use any large metal skillet. Do not use a non-stick pan.
  • Medium-grain white rice can be used instead, but if you can get your hands on paella rice, it makes a big difference in both taste and texture. I didn't believe that at first and used regular white rice the first few times I made this dish. Now that I've tried it with the traditional round rice, I won't be going back. I found this bag at World Market.
  • Saffron is used in the traditional recipe, but it's pretty expensive. Turmeric works fine instead. It will still give the dish the beautiful yellow color, and while it doesn't taste quite the same, it's a pretty close match.
  • Don't skimp on the oil. Since you're not supposed to stir after the rice goes in, it's easy to burn the bottom if you don't use enough oil.
  • Fresh mussels are ideal, but they don't make as much of a difference in the dish as fresh shrimp do. Frozen pre-cooked mussels are a good alternative to make the dish a little easier. Just heat them up in the microwave and this becomes a one-pan dish! 

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 949Total Fat 40gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 29gCholesterol 221mgSodium 2822mgCarbohydrates 63gFiber 3gSugar 8gProtein 81g

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