I’m so excited about this paella recipe! I hope you are, too. Paella is a beautiful rice dish hailing from the east coast of Spain, near the port city of Valencia. I tried it for the first time in Barcelona about ten years ago, and none of the American versions I’ve sampled since then have come close—until now.
Paella often includes seafood or meat, but I made this paella vegetarian by mixing chickpeas into the rice and adding extra vegetables. If you were to order this in a Spanish restaurant, it would be called paella de verduras (vegetables). My version is fresh, colorful, and hearty, thanks to brown rice and chickpeas.
This paella is a great party option if your guests are following special diets. It’s vegan/vegetarian/dairy free, gluten free, nut free, and soy free. Although, I’d say it’s a great party option in general! Just add a big green salad and Spanish wine (red or white would work).
How to Make Homemade Paella
If you’re a fan of my baked risotto recipes, you’re going to love this recipe. The method is similar—you cook some aromatics in a pot, then add the rice and bake the pot on the lower rack of the oven while roasting the vegetables on the upper rack. Layer the vegetables on top of the baked rice, and you’re basically done.
The recipe might look long at first glance, but please don’t feel intimidated. The ingredients are basic, and the method is surprisingly simple. This is not a recipe to start when you’re starving, since it will require about 50 minutes in the oven. However, most of the cooking time is passive. If you’re making this for a party, you’ll have plenty of time to clean the kitchen before guests arrive.
For this recipe to work, you’ll need to use the proper equipment. Paella is typically made in a paella pan (called a paellera), but I did my best to find a more common pan option. For this recipe, you’re going to need a large Dutch oven or a large skillet with a snug-fitting lid (both of which must be oven-safe). Baking the rice is the best way to ensure the proper texture—paella rice should be nice and tender, but far from soggy.
You might be able to carefully pour the boiling rice mixture into a casserole dish, cover it tightly with foil, and bake as directed. I’m just not entirely sure it will work since I haven’t tried, and it sounds potentially dangerous.
Watch How to Make Vegetable Paella
Paella Ingredient Notes
Artichokes aside, you might not find this red bell pepper and Kalamata olive combination in authentic Spanish paella. They are common Spanish ingredients, though, and they’re the most feasible vegetarian alternatives to shrimp and mussels that I could come up with. You could use any vegetables you’d like, really. Just roast them until they’re nice and tender.
Traditionally, paella is made with bomba rice, a Spanish variety of short-grain white rice. I don’t know where to buy bomba rice here in the States, and I personally can’t tolerate white rice (hypoglycemia) so I used short-grain brown rice instead. Check my recipe notes for other rice options, which may affect baking time.
If you love smoked paprika and/or peas, I believe you could safely double the amounts below. Saffron is standard in paella, but it’s the most expensive of spices and I couldn’t really taste it in the end product, so I made it optional.
Last but not least—to socarrat or not to socarrat? Socarrat is the irresistibly golden and crispy bottom you’ll find in awesome traditional paellas. It’s not easy to attain a perfect socarrat at home, since we’re using basic home equipment instead of a special paella pan over an open flame.
If you want to give the socarrat a shot, just remove the lid on the baked rice and heat the rice over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. It’s hard to know when exactly to pull the pan off the heat, and you might end up with some semi-burnt rice on the bottom—which I actually enjoy.
If the socarrat leaves burnt bits on the bottom of your fancy Le Creuset, the easiest way to remove them is to scrub off what you can, then generously sprinkle baking soda and a splash of warm water on the pan. Let it soak for a while, then it should scrub right off.
As always, please let me know how this dish turns out for you in the comments! I hope you love it just as much as I do. I’m counting down the days until I get to eat paella again in Barcelona with my friends Ali and Barclay!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Spanish
The best vegetable paella recipe! It’s loaded with vegetables, chickpeas, and savory, smoky rice. This Spanish dish is perfect for serving at dinner parties, since it’s vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. Recipe yields 6 hearty servings.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
- 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
- 6 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes (preferably the fire-roasted variety), drained
- 2 cups short-grain brown rice*
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- ⅓ cup dry white wine** or vegetable broth
- ½ teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled (optional)
- 1 can (14 ounces) quartered artichokes or 1 jar (12 ounces) marinated artichoke, drained
- 2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and sliced into long, ½”-wide strips
- ½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, plus about 1 tablespoon more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus additional lemon wedges for garnish
- ½ cup frozen peas
- Arrange your oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, making sure that you have ample space between the two racks for your Dutch oven. You’re going to need a large Dutch oven (preferably 6 quarts/11-to-12” in diameter or bigger, although I got by with my 5.5-quart Le Creuset) or a large skillet with a snug-fitting lid (both must be oven-safe!).
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in your Dutch oven or skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onions are tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and paprika and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until the mixture begins to darken and thicken slightly, about 2 minutes Stir in the rice and cook until the grains are well coated with tomato mixture, about 1 minute. Stir in the chickpeas, broth, wine, saffron (if using) and 1 teaspoon salt.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cover the pot and transfer it to the lower rack in the oven. Bake, undisturbed, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, 50 to 55 minutes.
- Meanwhile, line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. On the baking sheet, combine the artichoke, peppers, chopped olives, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and about 10 twists of freshly ground black pepper. Toss to combine, then spread the contents evenly across the pan.
- Roast the vegetables on the upper rack until the artichokes and peppers are tender and browned around the edges, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the vegetables cool for a few minutes. Add ¼ cup parsley to the pan and the lemon juice, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
- For optional socarrat (crispy bottom—beware that you might have to scrub burnt bits from your pot later if you do this): Uncover the pot of baked rice, transfer it to the stovetop and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, rotating the pot as needed, until the bottom layer of rice is well browned and crisp.
- Socarrat or not, sprinkle the peas and roasted vegetables over the baked rice, cover, and let the paella sit for 5 minutes. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley (about 1 tablespoon) and serve in individual bowls, with lemon wedges on the side.
I haven’t tried this recipe yet but I’ve found bomba rice in Canada on the Costco online site. Loved eating paella in Spain and I’m looking forward to trying your vegetarian paella.
Thanks for sharing, Candy!
This recipe is very good. I left out the artichoke hearts and added the defrosted peas to the roasted veggies when they came out of the oven to warm them up. As someone who likes and uses saffron though, I have to say that half a teaspoon is too much and would overwhelm the dish. Also, that’s about $12 worth of saffron. Saffron is strong. You only need two or three crumbled threads to get a good flavor. Anyhow, I really liked this dish and will keep on the list! Thank you!
THIS is the bomb! We are a vegan family, and we made this for our Easter Sunday dinner and it turned out perfectly. I added zucchini to it instead of the peas. Planning to make this again at the celebratory dinner for my son’s graduation from nursing school. It’s just plain delicious!
Thank you for sharing your variation, Judith.
Lynda L Wood
I love paella and particularly seafood paella. I had a vegan friend visiting from out of town and was looking to make him a great dish he may not have had before. It was great! It had the wonderful savory, smokey essence of authentic paella and the roasted veggies added rich flavors and textures. I usually use Valencia (white short grain) rice when I make paella, but I used the recommended brown rice and it was hearty and delicious. (I could not find “short grain brown rice” but I used organic whole grain brown rice) Thanks for a recipe I will make again and again!
You’re welcome! I’m happy it fits into your love category with paella! :)
This is delicious! Inside zucchini like someone else suggested because i don’t love peas. Can i freeze this? I’ve loved everything I’ve ever made from your site! Thank you!
I haven’t tried freezing this and sounds like an interesting one to freeze! If you try it, let me know. I’m curious how it would impact the vegetables.
Another great option for dinner. My husband, who doesn’t like brown rice, even liked this one. Thanks!
Thanks for your review, Janet!
This was very good. I omitted the peas and added asparagus and carrots to the roasted vegetable mixture because of my family’s preferences. I might add a few crushed red pepper flakes or some hot paprika next time.
Thank you for sharing, Katie!
May I trouble you to describe how one would make this recipe using a paella pan? (I got one on Amazon and seasoned it – but haven’t used it yet. Would love to try your recipe using the pan.) Thank you.
I don’t have one, so I can’t provide specifics. However, you should still be successful using this method. Let me know!
Hi! I love this recipe and want to incorporate it as the vegetarian option for a dinner party of about 40 people. Stove top and oven will be very busy with the fish we are also serving – can I make your paella the day before and reheat?
Thank you for your help,
It’s best the day of, but you can reheat as needed. I would recommend stovetop if you can. Thanks for your review, Connie!
Hi Kate! So excited to make this recipe tonight! Question for you, is the rice cooked or uncooked when you add it to the pan? I love all your recipes so much! Thank you!
See step 3! You will cook the rice in the pan with the spices, broth etc.
I doubled the spice since I increased the amount to 1.5. I really could not taste the spice. Next time I will add more. I liked the olives and artichokes, just didn’t have enough taste overall. I have used many of your recipes and I love them, this one didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped.
I’m sorry you didn’t love it! I appreciate your feedback, Patti.
Quick clarification- the peas are added frozen and they will cook on top of the baked rice just covered (not in oven) at the end? Love your recipes!
Hi Diane! See step 8. Yes, the peas will be frozen. You will sprinkle them on top and then when you cover, they will thaw. Make sense?
Yes, thanks! That’s what I did when I made it, as it seemed common sense but just wanted to check :) family liked it very much!
I was nervous about the difficulty level and taste, but it turned out beautifully. Def try to have your ingredients prepped bc otherwise it throws off the timing.
Saffron was super expensive and since it was optional, I skipped it. I halved the Kalamata olives and added Castelvetrano olives, which added a buttery rich taste and texture.
If I were short on time, I’d use sundried tomatoes and fire roasted jarred peppers, pan saute the olives, and then add the tomatoes and peppers to heat through.
All in all, a healthy and savory dish for summer. Paella is def one of those dishes I miss as a full time vegetarian and mostly vegan…this version is yummy!
Thank you for sharing! I’m really glad you were able to make this with the ingredients you could find.
I have a dinner party coming up and I’ve got a combo of guests’ eating concerns — gluten-free, not spicy, no dairy, “nothing with eyeballs”. This sounds delicious and perfect. Two questions: 1) how do you serve it in a “pretty way” for company? 3)If I wanted to add some shrimp or scallops for some of the guests, could I just make those separately and stir them into the pot at the end?
Serve in a skillet or in a nice serving platter :) Yes, add in at the end. That should work well.
If you make it in a dutch oven and you let stay in the oven for 5 minutes uncovered you will have this delicious rice crust on the bottom. I would not want to mess up this golden delicious crust. It is looks so appetizing straight out of a dutch oven. The dark black pot provides the right contrast and outline for the redish golden rice, like a perfect framing for a colorful painting. The black olives complete the composition with the repetition of the pot color. Just bring the dutch oven to the table, it is honest and beautiful.
At our house we usually make paella with seafood and sausage but we also frequently make vegan or vegetarian dishes and this one was delicious. It was easy to assemble and didn’t make a bunch of dirty dishes! I thought that the artichoke hearts were particularly good in it.
Thank you for sharing, Cindy!
Kate, thank you for sharing this delicious recipe. I made it last night for my family and it is a winner! I used a local, Australian short grain white rice which was fine. I used my Scanpan Chef’s pan and it was perfect.
You’re welcome! I’m happy you could enjoy this with family.
This was delicious! Lots of flavor!
Thank you for your review, Michele!
Everybody, vegan and meat eaters love this! What a wonderful recipe. I added two types of olives for a color and soy chorizo. I’m so happy I have leftovers. I will be making this again and again. Thank you
Thank you for sharing, Lis!
This is pretty good. The artichoke and olive add a particular layer of salty that I didn’t care for, but otherwise a great recipe. Next time I’ll leave them out and add some broccoli or something similar
That sounds like a great way to make it more your taste, Jay!
This was so very delicious! Totally worth turning on my old, poorly insulated oven even on a hot summer day!
I did the socarrat step and loved that crunchy rice :) I used Samin Nosrat’s method of making steam escape holes in the rice (used a butter knife) then I also poured a bit of olive oil into each of those little holes in hopes it would help reduce any burning-on of rice and maybe also contribute to some crunchiness.
Thanks for sharing!
Angela M Pellegrini
Made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! I followed the recipe exactly and used marinated artichoke hearts. My husband liked it so much he went back for seconds. I will definitely be making this again!
I love it! Thank you for sharing, Angela!
Really great, delicious. Just made it tonight and it was pretty straightforward. I decided to follow the recipe verbatim which I don’t usually do, but may make some minor tweaks next time. Thanks so much for sharing!
I added extra veggies…asparagus, carrots, leeks, tomatoes from the garden, cauliflower, extra onion and garlic in the roasting pan….and made cauliflower rice…I don’t measure …but I was probably a little heavy handed….IT WAS DELICIOUS…AND SO COLORFUL!!! Wish you could see and taste it!
Sounds delicious, Lisa! Thank you for sharing.
I just made this as the vegetarian dish for a family dinner and it was a big hit! Even the non-vegetarians were taking it as a side for their chicken. Easy to follow the recipe, and I will definitely make this again.
Great to hear, Mara!
Looks very tasty but you can’t call it paella , you are not using a paella pan.. paella is not the name of a recipe is the name of the pan
And you’ll never put a paella pan in a oven. However in Spain we have lo lots of rice recipes for oven too. My favourite is “arroz y costra” front Orihuela town , south of comunidad valenciana . Love from Spain
Thanks for your feedback, Paco! I try to keep all recipes as authentic as I can. Thanks for your comment and review!
Could you use cauliflower rice instead of rice?
I haven’t tried it. You could, but it wouldn’t be as substantial or might not hold-up as well to the recipe or other ingredients.
Last week, my roommate and I hosted a Paella night at our home. My roommate made a traditional paella for those of our guests who are not vegetarian while I decided to try this recipe as my girlfriend and her two daughters are vegetarian. This recipe turned out to be the superior of the two dishes despite the traditional dish being made in a traditional paella pan over a gas burner designed to accommodate such a pan. My girlfriend, who is 1/2 Spanish, was skeptical when she saw that I was preparing the dish in a non-traditional pan using a non-traditional method. Needless to say, her skepticism was misplaced as everyone at the party absolutely loved the dish and found it to be the better seasoned of the two. Once again, this blog has come through with another show-stopping recipe that will be added to the rotation in our house. Thank you! Incidentally, next time I think rather than artichoke hearts, I will use canned artichoke bottoms cut up into bite size pieces as some of the artichoke hearts seemed a bit fibrous making them a bit chewy.
This was great! Especially when I had a juicy, salty bite of olive, it was perfect. I don’t think my grocery store had saffron threads, though. Would like to try this sometime.
If using Bomba rice would you recommend using 2 cups?
We just made this. It was great!!! I used a combination of different rices and otherwise did not change the recipe. Lots of ingredients, but not hard to make. It takes a bit of time for it to cook in the oven, but not a lot of active time.
Maureen H Craig
This was really yummy! I subbed out multiple things for veggies from my garden, including the tomatoes. What a great way to enjoy the garden as summer fades to rainy fall!
My husband and I are huge fans of paella (the meat and seafood kind), but haven’t had it since we went vegan this past December. I looked at this recipe a number of times on your site, but I just couldn’t convince myself to try it, even though I’m a huge fan of almost all of your recipes. I just didn’t see how it could possibly measure up to real paella.
The last time I saw it, though, I finally gave in and made it. I am so glad that I did! It was absolutely delicious. Maybe it’s not quite the same as traditional paella, but it’s comforting, filling, and definitely hits the paella spot. Thank you so much!
I’m glad you made it too, Liz! Thanks so much for your review. I really appreciate it.
I’ve been searching for a good vegetarian paella recipe and this is the best one I’ve found. I like the oven technique— the rice turned out perfectly and the veggies were browned and flavorful. I added two chopped fennel bulbs to the peppers and they were delicious. I also used 1/2 green Spanish olives in addition to Kalamata and I liked them better—they turned really chewy and intense in the oven, little flavor bombs. Best of all, I whooped for joy when my socarrat came out perfectly browned and chewy— I’ve never gotten that to work before!
Thank you for sharing, Jessica!
This dish was so delicious. My whole family loved it. I followed the recipe but used white rice which took less time. Definitely spring for the saffron and make the socarrat at the end.
In your risotto recipe, which I made (and loved!), you say the rice mixture can be transferred to a casserole dish to bake if you don’t have an oven-safe Dutch oven. Do you think that would work here too?
I don’t see why not!
Outstanding!!! I made this recipe this morning and surprised my husband with it for lunch and it turned SO SO good! I used the saffron, substituted zucchini for the peas and added some sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms. I also used Jasmine rice and cooked for less time as recommended. The smoked paprika really makes this dish stand out. It’s probably one of the best recipes I’ve ever made and it brought back fond memories of our time in Barcelona. I actually think I prefer this paella recipe better because it’s a lot less greasy. My husband gave it a 10+. It will definitely become a staple in our house:) I adore your recipes and have made your butternut squash soup many times already this season! Thanks for your delicious creations, keep em comin!
Thank you, Monica!
id like to make this farro- is that possible? I’m worried about baking farro for that long of a time. any suggestions?
delicious! i followed the recipe as is except i added 4 small zucchini in large matchsticks to the roasted veg. i also added vegan chorizo to the rice mixture before baking. so flavorful and would have been excellent without my additions. i’m looking forward to leftovers!
Thank you for sharing!
I made this for a family reunion and it was a hit! Everyone came back for seconds. Thanks again for another winning recipe.
I love to hear that, Denise! Thanks so much for sharing.
Greta recipe! I made with seafood mix instead of chickpeas and it is delicious. Thank you!
Hi, I’m in the UK. Can you convert cups to grams for me? I’ve tried just using a mug before but it’s not always worked.
Hi Alice! Sorry, I don’t provide conversions. I know several readers use online conversion tables to convert US measurements to metric. I believe they have recommend myrecipes.com in the past!
I made this last night and it surpassed our expectations!! I used Arborio rice and a stainless steel wok, but no other modifications. The socarrat turned out beautifully following your recommendations. The flavors were phenomenal, thank you for another wonderful recipe! We also made the spaghetti with cauliflower, kale and almonds recipe from your cookbook earlier this week and it will be making it into our normal menu rotation, we loved it! Thanks!!
Loved this one! I did not change a thing. This is another one of your wonderful recipes I will be making again.
This recipe is so good!. I’ve made it multiple times and it turns out perfect each time. I did use zucchini instead of peas and added a few more olives because I love them. It was delicious. Can’t wait to eat the leftovers!
Thank you for sharing! I’m glad this one is a favorite, Jamie.
We love this recipe and have made it twice. But.. both times we can’t seem to get the crispy bottom :(
Hi Lauren! What type of pot are you using?
The flavors in this recipe are fantastic! It takes a bit of doing to create this recipe but it was well worth any effort because it was absolutely delicious. It’s listed as a main dish but I felt there was far too much rice to be a main dish. So I cut the rice in half and supplemented with a small amount of cooked lentils and increased the vegetables. For those in my family strictly vegetarian I served as is… & added garlic scallops for those who like seafood. I always try everything out of my family before serving to friends and I will not hesitate to make this for friends. I love the versatility of this recipe opting for different vegetables other than recommended. Thank you for the great recipes I’m finding on your site.
Thank you for sharing, Lori!
I made this yesterday and I love how easy to make and how tasty this recipe is! The only thing I have to change is the cooking time, my short grain brown rice was not fully cooked. Do you think adding more liquid and baking it longer would do the trick?
Hi Elena! Strange, I’m sorry to hear that you had trouble. Yes, adding a bit more liquid and baking it a little longer should do the trick.
Erin C Engler
This was a great recipe for paella. I added mushrooms to the mix of roasted veggies. I’ve never roasted olives and artichokes before, and they were delicious in the dish!
Absolutely perfect recipe! Adding to our regular rotation. Thank you so much for this!
Hi Kate, do you think you could use white beans instead of chickpeas in this recipe? Trying to clear out some straggling items from the pantry! :)
Hi Maura, I think so! They might disappear into the rice more, whereas chickpeas retain their texture.
I was skeptical at first…. nothing traditional about the ingredients or preparation…. but I was very pleasantly surprised! I omitted the olives, as my husband isn’t a fan… I’m glad I did, though, because I fear the dish would have been too salty for us, had I included them. I did use marinated artichokes, and I added broccoli along with the other veggies, too. I also used saffron, as I feel it’s essential to paella, and it’s also very healthy. I did attempt the saccarrat, (this was my first successful attempt!). I took the advice of a reviewer and used a butter knife to make several little holes or wells in the rice when I placed it on the burner. I then filled them with olive oil and covered for 5 minutes. It came out PERFECT! No burns, only chewy, crunchy texture. YUMMY! Thank you so much… definitely will be making again!
Another winning recipe from Kate!! My grocery store didn’t have red pepper so I use one orange and one yellow instead. I also don’t like olives, so I used another users suggestion of adding chopped asparagus to the roasted vegetable pan instead of olives. Instead of saffron, I added a tablespoon of a special paella spice I got from Spain, plus one package of Sazon (a Puerto Rican catch-all spice). I skipped adding the peas. I served with patates a lo pobre (Poor Mans Potatoes), which cooked on the stovetop in 25 minutes while I waited for the paella to be ready. I will never stop making this!!!
Wonderful you think so, Jackie! I love this one too. Thanks for sharing what you did.
Just made this and it came out very well. I used bomba rice and added some asparagus. Very good vegetable paella.
One of my favorite recipes I’ve ever made from your site…super easy, full of flavors. Highly recommend! I added hearts of palm to my roasted veggies and it was a perfect textural substitute for calamari. Lots of leftovers too…a great dish for this stay at home period of our lives.
This is one of our favorite recipes. My wife says it’s the best thing I make her. The last time I added some Beyond Sausage to the roasted goodies – it fit in quite well.
Thanks for sharing, Evan!
My husband (spaniard) and I absolutely LOVED this dish! I had been searching for a great recipe to use the marinated artichokes languishing in my pantry. It made the perfect dinner to share with vegetarian extended family. I love the roasted peppers. Next time, I just was missing a bit more salt and SAFFRON. Will be making again soon!.
I have never made anything like this and loved this mix of ingredients and flavors! And vegan. I did not have artichokes, so used asparagus and orange bell pepper. Definitely want to try with artichokes next time. The method took some time, but was actually quite easy. Thank you for this unique recipe!
What could I use in place of parsley? Cilantro maybe?
Hi Heather! Yes, I think cilantro is a good sub here.
I made this and it turned out great! I had an eggplant on hand that needed to be used, and I cubed it and threw it in with the other roasted veggies. This is a winner recipe! Thank you!
I’m happy you loved it, Bart! I love that you are using what you have.
We made this the other night, when we were lacking inspiration, and as often when that happens, we refer to your site to gain some ideas. We didn’t have saffron or wine, but it still came out stellar! Savory and so comforting! We will definitely be making this again!
I made this for dinner tonight and I was so impressed! It’s absolutely delicious, and I had fun adventuring into Spanish cuisine. Thanks for sharing this recipe!!
Absolutely wonderful! I chose to leave out the saffron, used long grain brown rice (because it’s what I had on hand), and used veggie broth instead of oil to cook the onions.
I’m happy you loved it, Emily! Thank you for sharing.
I made this last night. It was excellent. The instructions were very clear and easy to follow. I did make a few mods: Sliced onions into thin slivers (much easier), used Jasmine brown rice (it worked fine), we didn’t have any kalamatas but large green olives worked, didn’t have any peas so we used frozen corn. We found some unopened saffron dated from 2000, not sure of the shelf life, but used it anyway. Who knows if it made a difference. Dried parsley is all we had. I cooked it in a large Cuisinart wok-shaped skillet with a glass lid. It worked great and even got some decent socarrat. Other things I may try next time: fry up small cubes of firm tofu to use instead of chickpeas, try some shelled edamame instead of peas, add a some cayenne or chili powder for some heat. It was my first paella. I even found some Spanish wine in the basement. Wife was impressed :-)
My grown son who works overseas has been grounded home with me since mid-March. He is a vegan; I’m mostly vegetarian. We have been taking turns fixing vegan dinners (though I miss my dairy!). Your site has become my go-to for recipes though I always sub what I have.
For this paella, I didn’t realize my son had used all the artichokes last week. I added roasted eggplant, zucchini, and broccoli. Not having your recommended cookware, I did CAREFULLY transfer the boiling rice/tomato mixture into a lidded Pyrex and all went well!
Thank you for all of this!
You’re welcome! I’m happy to hear you and your son can both enjoy this recipe. I appreciate your review, LeeAnn!
Could I sub saffron yellow rice for brown rice?
Hi Abby, you could try it. Although it may change the cooking time and liquid needed.
Kate I love your recipes so much! My new years resolution for 2020 has been to try a new recipe every week and I’ve had so much fun cooking/eating my way through your website! I’ve made (and loved) 13 of your recipes since January! I just recently purchased your cookbook as well. Thank you for so many incredible vegetarian/whole food recipes!
Loved this paella! Added a little chipotle pepper seasoning to up the “smoky” flavor and add a kick!
I made this today. Was outstanding. Will be making it for a dinner party, once the lockdown restrictions are completely gone. Loved it. So easy.
I love all of your recipes so can’t wait to try this. I have a paella pan that I’m wanting to use (first time), will it work in that and if so how would I change it – all on the stove or still in the oven? Thanks :)
Hi Amy! This one was designed specifically for a dutch oven to bake it. Does your pan have a lid?
Thanks for the reply :)
No it doesn’t – it’s just the open pan
Is it crazy to add in some mushrooms??? You probably could not call it paella anymore…
You could try it!
SOOOOO, we tried making this paella tonight and it was phenomenal. I have to kids (5 & 11), The 5-year old would of fought us to the death for trying to put this many veggies on a plate….He ate it ALL. The seasoning was a little on the lesser end so we added some juice from the olives when we added the broth and it turned out great! Obviously, this was according to our taste buds, but this recipe was good. Thanks!
You’re welcome, Ricardo!
Why is the sodium so high in this recipe? I can’t figure it out… I’m also using Fire roasted tomatoes with no salt.
Hi Lynda! You can find more information on my nutritional information on the blog. I wish I could say it is perfect, but I have found it is only an estimate. If you are using different ingredients than listed, your results will be different. You can always input your specific ingredients for more accurate picture.
Used cauliflower and sprinkled bacon bites for my husband.He always needs a meat of some kind, Delicious.!!!!
I just made this tonight for two of my girlfriends and it was delicious. I followed the recipe exactly except I was able to find actual paella rice at Whole Foods which worked perfect. I also had about a quarter teaspoon of saffron, instead of a half teaspoon. The girls and I loved it and they asked for the recipe. Great for entertaining since the majority of the second half of the recipe is just in the oven. Thanks!
I’m glad you loved it, Jessie! Thank you for sharing.
I just made this for the second time. It’s very yummy.
I did a half recipe in a large carbon steel skillet. I placed the skillet directly on the baking stone in my oven and got a nice socarrat in the oven.
I used a commercial Spanish sofrito instead of tomatoes. And I added some salmon with the roasted veggies because it had some leftover. If I do that again I think I’d substitute clam juice for the broth. …but then my family isn’t vegetarian. We just like a light alternative sometimes.
Easy and delicious! I tried this using my casserole dish since I don’t have a Dutch oven (pouring the rice mixture into the casserole dish before popping it into the oven) and it worked perfectly.
Wondering if I can use fresh ripe tomatoes from our garden instead of canned? Maybe if I peel and seed them? What do you think, Cookie & Kate?
Hi Casey! I really like the depth of flavor canned tomatoes provide. I would be hesitant with fresh without trying it as you would need to add some extra seasoning to get the flavors just right.
My family liked this recipe overall! I appreciated the accurate cooking times. Everything was cooked to perfection. However, 1/2 tsp of saffron threads was too much for us, and it really overwhelmed the dish. I will use only half as much next time. Maybe even less. We also didn’t like the artichokes – we could only find marinated ones which are just too salty and vinegary for this already salty dish. For those unable to tolerate too much sodium – I used unsalted vegetable stock which still kept a good flavor; nobody reached for the salt at mealtime.
Thank you for sharing your feedback, Casey! I’m sorry you didn’t love this one as is, but know what you would like to do next time.
Absolutely delicious. Full of flavor.
I know this kind of defeats the purpose of this recipe, but if I wanted to add some type of seafood or meat to this recipe, when would I incorporate that? Thanks in advance! :)
Hi Sophia! Since I’m a vegetarian, I don’t have much guidance for you. Maybe cook separately and then add at the end.
Sooo good! My husband and I don’t like olives so I added asparagus, which turned out great. I feel like any roasted veggie would work here so there’s lots of room to experiment. Thank you for the recipe.
I like it! Thank you for sharing, Lina.
My young adult son and I have made many of your recipes, and really enjoyed them all! This one was a disappointment though. We looked at traditional paella recipes, and thought that substituting green beans, lima beans and/or butter beans for the garbanzo beans would make it more authentic and tastier. Carrots are not in the traditional recipes apparently, but we thought the additional sweetness and flavor could help replace the chicken and/or fish that is in non-vegetarian recipes. The lemon juice did help. We even bought a 5.5 Dutch oven, as we did not have one for this recipe. As I said, we’ve loved your other recipes, so it’s hard to give this one a poor rating, but that is our honest opinion.
It was delicious!! Had a wonderful fresh flavor with the lemon and parsley. Thank you.
Great to hear this one was a hit for you, Cynthia! I appreciate your review.
This rice is super flavorful. My mistake was that I didn’t see the note at the bottom to alter the cooking time if you use a different rice, so it was overdone. Still good though!
Made this tonight. It was amazing. Thanks!
I made this last night and loved the flavors. The rice turned out a little dry i think since I used Jasmine. Next time i’ll get brown rice and see if it helps.
I made this for dinner tonight. It was delicious. I was afraid to burn my rice so my socarrat did not get as crispy as I’d hoped. Next time I won’t be so timid.
I live in a small rural town so ingredients are sometimes hard to find. No Kalamata olives to be found so I added an extra 1/2 cup of cooked chickpeas to the roasting vegetables. This gave a delicious second texture to the chickpeas in the dish. I will continue to do this even when I can add the olives. Secondly, I added my lemon juice to my veggies before roasting so they would get a little bit of the tartness missing from the olives baked right in. It worked great. I used brown basmati rice and it took 55 minutes.
Even the child that proclaimed tomatoes and rice do not go together asked for seconds.
Thank you for sharing! I’m excited you loved it.
Oh. My. Gosh! this is so good. My “socarrat” was perfect. This is a great recipe to have for guests. Can’t wait to have a dinner and celebrate with this healthy delicious dinner. I used arborio rice and it was really good.
You can find bomba rice at Whole Foods. If you have one of those fancy local supermarkets in town, they’re usually a good bet as well.
Hi, excellent recipe. I used Manzanilla olives instead and served the Garbanzo beans separately. Highly recommend this healthy flavorful dish.
This recipe is so yummy! Makes a bunch for next day lunches too. Definitely a fav…along with your curried cauliflower soup.
Wonderful, Jill! Thank you for your review.
I made it using eggplant and carrot but omitted the peas and chickpeas. I used fire roasted tomatoes, smoked paprika, and turmeric rather than saffron. It was very good. I’m going to tweak it in the following ways: reduce the tomato to broth ratio. It was a little heavy on tomatoes for us. Plan the time to cook in the over for way longer. After 50 minutes, the rice (short grain brown) wasn’t cooked at all or absorbed. I ended up turning the oven up to 400 and cooking it another 30 minutes at least, and even then, it wasn’t quite cooked all the way.
Hi! Sounds like you are getting creative. Did you let it come to a boil on the stovetop before placing it in the oven?
I made this recipe last night and we loved it! I’d only made a seafood paella a few years ago for a dinner party and it was great. My family are vegetarians now and I couldn’t wait to try this. It is delicious! The only thing I did differently was I used jasmine rice and due to the shorter cooking time, I cooked it on the stovetop instead of in the oven. I will be making this again and again! Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes!
Thank you for sharing your experience, Sabrina!
Kate -I made this recipe tonight and absolutely loved it. I ordered Bomba rice from Spain to make it even more authentic. I will be making this recipe again. I do have a paella pan though. How can I make this in a paella pan?
Hi Len, I haven’t tried it in a paella pan. If it has a lid, you can try it the same way depending on the size to accommodate the broth.
I absolutely love this recipe! I made it exactly as the recipe reads and love the flavors and textures! I found the prep and cook time to be easy as well. Thank you!
You’re welcome, Ann!
Delicious! Followed the recipe exactly and it was a hit. Next time, I’ll cut down the amount of rice and double the veggie topping. We ended up with only rice at the end and it was a bit much.
Thank you for sharing! I’m sorry you found your ratios off. I know others have added and extra pepper and peas and didn’t mind the results. Maybe try that next time!
Was really goo but too much rice for me. Next time, will not drain the tomatoes and halve the rice and broth. Will not decrease the veggies.
I’m sorry to hear you didn’t love it as is, but happy you are going to have it again.
This was delicious and so easy to personalise to suit family tastes. I used arborio rice and changed up the veg but the flavour of thr rice was so good! Can’t wait to make again.
That’s great to hear, Shannon! Thank you for your review.
Hi! I’m a spaniard living in Massachusetts, native from the region of Valencia. I would like to share some tips for making an excellent vegeatble paella:
-With regards of the vegetables, I find that mushrooms (either button or shiitake) make an excellent substitute of meat. They also add some umami flavor. Asparagi are great as well. I’d also recommend adding some finely chopped or minced fresh tomato.
-Meat paella is typical from the interior of the region of Valencia, which have some awesome mediterranean mountains; and clasically made with local ingredients. You can simulate that mediterranean aroma with a bit of rosemary or thyme.
-You can also be creative with the beans. Chickpeas are typical from the interior of Alicante, in the southern part of the Valencian Country. Green beans are a must for me, but I’d rather use only fresh ones. Finally, in Valencia they use a type of large white bean called garrofó, which you can simulate with some canellini or Lima beans. Again, it’s better if you buy them dried and rehydrate them a few hours beforehand.
-With regards of the rice, the key is the shape of the grain. You’d want to use short grain, so it can absorb more liquid and thus gain more flavor.
-Also, you don’t need to use the oven. Just sauteé everything in a large pan or skillet and once everything has a nice color, add some minced tomato, some rice, the herbs and the broth. Try to adjust the intensity of the stove so the rice has a nice texture by the time the broth evaporates. You can add some water later if needed, or increase the intensity. If you want some socarrat, leave it with low heat for 5 extra minutes after the broth has evaporated.
This is in my “keepers” for recipes (along with many other C&K recipes). I made it this week for dinner, as written, and it is AMAZING. You know a recipe is top-notch when my meat-loving husband raves about it too. We had the leftovers for a few nights after and it was still delicious each night!
I love it! Thank you, Megan.
I made this recipe 3 times and it’s delicious! The short grain rice works well and is chewy. I did not have saffron, so not sure how much that adds to the dish. It comes together easily but I would recommend having ingredients pre-measured and ready to go. I did the sacarrat and my husband and I liked the crunchy part! One of my favorite dishes to pair with a nice glass of red wine!
That’s great! I love that you have made this dish so many times already. Thanks for your comment, Hope!