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I love love love love a well made paella. Tapas are amongst my favorite foods, and paella is certainly a dish I can’t resist when I go to a spanish restaurant. There are some great places for Spanish food in SF, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to recreate paella at home. This is only my second time making paella, so I’m bound to change and improve this recipe, but thought I’d share the basic version.

I made this paella with veggies and mussels, but you can easily make this vegetarian or more meaty. If you want to stay vegetarian, I’d recommend adding some extra veggies like squash, carrots, etc during the step where the bell pepper was added. Traditionally, paella is made with chorizo or other red meat. Since I don’t eat red meat at all, I skipped this, but to include ¬†some of these flavors just saut√© chorizo at the beginning with the onions or add in extra seafood at the time of the mussels. There is no harm in being creative with your paella ingredients! Ole!


  • 1 can peeled, diced tomato
  • 1.5 C rice- short grain
  • 2 C vegetable broth
  • juice of half a lemon plus slices of other half
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C frozen peas
  • 1 t salt and 1 t black pepper
  • 1 T oregano
  • 1.5 T cumin
  • 2 T paprika
  • several pieces of saffron (priceyyyy but worth it!)
  • 1/2 T olive oil
  • 1/4 C chopped parsley
  • 1/2 lb mussels (optional)


1. In a deep skillet, heat olive oil.

2. Sautee garlic and onion for approx. 3 mins until translucent.

3. Add in tomato, parsley, and spices and thoroughly mix together.

4. Fold in the uncooked rice and completely coat with the tomato mixture.

5. Add in the broth, and lightly combine. Then add in peas, bell pepper and the juice of half a lemon.

6. Allow pan to cook, without stirring, for 10-15 minutes. When the rice fills the pan and fluffs up, and very little water is left, the paella is almost done.

7. Tuck the mussels and lemon wedges into the paella. Do not stir! Paella needs to sit and form to the pan’s shape to cook correctly.

8. Cooked mussels will pop open when ready. At this time, turn up the pan from medium to high for 1 minute. When the rice smells toasted and crisps a little on the bottom, the paella is ready. Turn off the pan and serve with some fresh parsley and sangria! Enjoy!

Adapted from Tyler Florence’s Paella recipe!




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