Weeknight Seafood Paella

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This easy seafood paella, made with shrimp, clams and chorizo is a delicious one-pot weeknight dish! Under 30 minutes too cook!

This easy seafood paella, made with shrimp, clams and chorizo is a delicious one-pot dish!
Seafood Paella

This clam and shrimp paella with chorizo is seasoned with saffron for that authentic paella flavor. Paella, a popular dish in Spain, is a favorite in my house. It’s a one-pot meal made of rice, seafood, chorizo, and veggies. Another delicious Spanish rice dish that I love if you don’t like seafood is my mom’s Arroz Con Pollo.

Clam and Shrimp paella

What is in a traditional paella?

Paella originated in Valencia, Spain and is popular throughout the country. Paella is a Spanish rice dish, generally seasoned with saffron and paprika, cooked in a large frying pan. Paella can include a variety of proteins, including chorizo, sausage, chicken, mussels, clams, or shrimp.

In Spain, paella is cooked in a special skillet called a paellera, but you don’t need a fancy paella pan to make this dish. A large skillet with a fitted lid will work perfectly.

The must-have paella ingredients are saffron and rice. Saffron is a red spice, which gives the paella its yellow color. Saffron can be expensive, but you don’t need much for this seafood paella recipe.

The best rice for paella is short-grain rice, like Arborio. You can also use medium-grain rice if that is what you have. I would not recommend long-grain rice.

There are many variations of traditional paella, so feel free to use what you have on hand. You can easily substitute the clams with mussels – just be sure to thoroughly scrub the mussels first. You can also add some chicken and use less seafood.

What to Serve with Paella

I like to serve this shrimp paella with a light salad and a glass of Spanish red wine. Gazpacho, a classic Spanish soup served cold, would also be great with paella.

Variations:

  • If you can’t find clams, use mussels or double the amount of shrimp.
  • If you want to add chicken, use less seafood and add a half-pound of diced chicken breast or thigh when you add the broth.
  • If you don’t have fresh bell pepper, jarred roasted peppers will work too.

paellaThis easy seafood paella, made with shrimp, clams and chorizo is a delicious one-pot dish!This easy seafood paella, made with shrimp, clams and chorizo is a delicious one-pot dish!This easy seafood paella, made with shrimp, clams and chorizo is a delicious one-pot dish!This easy seafood paella, made with shrimp, clams and chorizo is a delicious one-pot dish!

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This easy seafood paella, made with shrimp, clams and chorizo is a delicious one-pot dish!
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4.91 from 31 votes
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Weeknight Seafood Paella

9
10
9
SP
263 Cals 24 Protein 26 Carbs 6.5 Fats
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Yield: 4 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: Spanish
This easy seafood paella, made with shrimp, clams and chorizo is a delicious one-pot weeknight dish!

Ingredients

  • 16 cherrystone clams
  • 16 extra jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small cooked chorizo link, sliced thin (1.75 oz) I use Goya
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/4 cups short/medium grain rice
  • 1/3 cup finely diced tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thin strips
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped parsley, for garnish

Instructions

  • Clean the clams and soak in cold water for 20 minutes.
  • Transfer the shrimp to a bowl and season with 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice and Old Bay.
  • Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of oil and sauté the chorizo, onions, garlic and paprika until soft, about 3 minutes.
  • Push aside, add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in the center and add the rice, stirring to coat with the oil. Sauté 3 minutes.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, broth, salt, saffron threads (crumbled between fingers) and bay leaf.
  • Mix and bring to a boil, stirring once, place the bell pepper over the rice, reduce heat to low and cover tightly, cook 15 minutes. Uncover, add the clams, shrimp and peas.
  • Cover tightly again and cook on low heat until the clams open up and the shrimp are cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Uncover the skillet, raise the heat to medium-high and cook to toast the bottom of the rice, you should hear it sizzling, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Discard the bay leaf and garnish with parsley.

Nutrition

Serving: 3/4 cup rice with 4 clams, 4 shrimp, Calories: 263kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 6.5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 100.5mg, Sodium: 1435mg, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugar: 2.5g
Blue Smart Points: 9
Green Smart Points: 10
Purple Smart Points: 9
Keywords: paella, pantry rice dish, seafood paella, shrimp and clam paella

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68 comments

  1. This paella is amazing!  Made it on the grill super simple and tasty!

  2. We fell in love with paella when we travelled to Puerto Rico for the first time 14 years ago for our honeymoon. Every time we returned to San Juan after that we also made sure we went out for a paella dinner one night.

    This was my first attempt at making my own paella and it was delicious! The flavors of this paella took us right back fourteen years to that small intimate restaurant in old San Juan! I was unable to get clams so I use chorizo, black tiger shrimp and boneless skinless chicken thighs. It was very easy to make–most of the time was spent prepping all the ingredients–and was so yummy! Will be making this every time we are missing our regular trips to Puerto Rico!

  3. I made this earlier this week with shrimp and chorizo, no clams. Oh my goodness it was delicious! My husband declared it a keeper! Will make this again and again.

  4. I am making this for Noche Buena. What type of pan is it that you use for this dish?

  5. Perfect size for my family of four! So flavorful as well.

  6. Another amazing recipe, I followed it spot on and it tastes so delicious!

  7. the sweet pimenton went well! I wasn’t sure about the cherrystone clams — those were absolutely huge. not sure my local grocer gave us the right thing (or that they were still fresh in OH in october) — we wound up throwing most of those out. good taste and smell with the other stuff though!

  8. Make this as soon as you can! The only thing I changed was using canned clams instead of fresh. Other than that, I followed it exactly. This dish is filling. I served it with a side salad.

  9. I made this last night with a few variations. I used some frozen mixed seafood medley that included mussel meat (no shells), calamari, and octopus. I also added some tail on raw shrimp and some local sourced smoked sausage. I didn’t have any Old Bay, so I substituted the same amount of Cajun seasoning. Instead of chicken broth, I substituted Better Than Bullion fish base. The amount of salt seemed a bit much for me, so I scaled it back to 2/3 the amount in the recipe.

    Cooking instructions are pretty darned good. I even got some of the crusty rice in the bottom of the pan :). I wish I would have waited a few minutes longer before adding the seafood. The shrimp especially were a bit tough from over cooking. Next time, I’ll probably just sautés the seafood and not put it in until the rice is almost done. 

    Even though I scaled back on the salt, the dish turned out to be extremely salty – barley edible. Next time, I’ll just go with a pinch of salt and salt it after it’s done if it needs it.

    Will definitely try it again with the above mentioned changes.

  10. I have pimenton (sweet paprika) in my cabinet and wanted to use it in paella – can I use it in this recipe?

  11. This recipe is delicious and the house smelled amazing!  Only used shrimp (1lb) and smoked sausage instead of chorizo (1 pkg). Make sure to use short/medium rice- took a little longer to cook rice than 15 minutes. Added shrimp and cooked til done. Did not ‘sizzle’. It was amazing!  Make sure to have all ingredients prepped before starting!

  12. Wow Wow Wow!
    This was amazing, everyone in my house loved it, added grilled chicken thighs for the teenage boys 
    To make things go smoothly, make sure you prep all ingredients before starting to cook! 

  13. Simply awesome. Just made a few changes – can’t do bell peppers (Replaced with radishes) and prefer jasmine rice. All instructions were spot on! Everyone loved it. 

  14. First: this tasted delicious.

    Second:. Looking for advice. Tried to make this keto friendly by subbing in cauliflower rice and reducing the liquid down to 1 cup. That was still too much so I would probably go to half a cup next time. Do you have any tips to make the consistency better or a better way to make it keto?

  15. Out of this world goodness!  We eat fish/seafood every other day.  Even if that day falls on a dinner out day 😊. Had to try this recipe, has everything we love and did not disappoint.  My husband requested I put this in rotation…lol. Thanks Gina!

  16. I’ve already made this twice since being quarantined and will be making it a third time tonight!   Super easy and delicious!  

  17. This is an excellent recipe for Paella! We followed step by step and only subbed mussels for the clams, everything else stayed exactly the same. We have a paella pan and used that instead and just made sure to cover tightly with foil when needed. 
    Definitely going to be making this again! Thank you! 

  18. This recipe was a big hit with our family. We could not locate Mussels or Clams, so we doubled the shrimp. I added the shrimp shells and saffron to my chicken broth and simmered for a few minutes to add additional shrimp flavor. I strained the broth to remove the shells and added that enhanced broth to the rice to cook. Chef Kiss!

  19. My whole family absolutely loved this recipe!

  20. This is fantastic! I’m so glad I made this. What an excellent recipe!. I did change a few things to ingredients I like better,  but those were add ins. The base recipe itself is what is so good.  I selected scallops over clams, smoked turkey sausage vs. chorizo and asparagus instead of peas. 

  21. Great dish, easy to make. I just doubled the shrimp since clams were hard to find!

  22. Everything looks great but I had a hard time getting the rice to cook. It was a bit soupy. 

  23. What a great weeknight meal that felt fancy but wasn’t difficult at all!
    I made a few adjustments (Mahatma yellow rice instead of saffron for cost reasons and pre-cooked frozen clams because of availability) but it was still so good and I really felt like I was cooking gourmet!
    Hubs went back for seconds and the 6 year old even liked it.
    Will definitely make again.

  24. After having experienced the quarantine 15, I came back to your site with hopes of finding a healthy recipe I could convince my boyfriend to eat (and enjoy). THIS IS IT! While this is not traditional, this recipe held incredible flavors! The only thing I did differently was to add a sliced Serrano pepper in with the onion for some extra heat. Other than that, I followed this exactly. It’s hard to believe this is such a low calorie meal because it was so delicious! If Saffron wasn’t so expensive I would add this in on a biweekly rotation. Thank you Gina, for an amazing recipe!

  25. Super excited to make this tonight! Do you cook the rice beforehand or put it in uncooked and it cooks in the broth? Thanks 

  26. We didnt’ feel like going out for saffron, so we made it without. It was still soooo good. This is probably my favorite rice dish, so tasty!!!

  27. I never post reviews for recipes, but I had to for this one!  Absolutely amazing!  My kids are great eaters and love different kinds of dishes, but this is already a favorite!  And in a world dominated by chicken fingers and hot dogs, I’m fine if this is just an adaptation of the “official” paella.
    Thank you!

  28. Made this for dinner and it’s delicious! Note that it’s best to follow water / rice ratio that’s on the package. I added too much so our rice was a little mushy but still very flavorful. I used shrimp and scallops … so good! 

  29. Made this two nights ago. First time eating or making paella. I’m hooked!  It was delicious 

  30. OMG. I doubled this recipe for my family of 5 (we’re all big eaters LOL) and the flavor was AMAZING. The only change I made was adding a can of baby clams since we only had about 20 shelled ones. Even my picky brother ate seconds. Thank you for this recipe as well as all of your others!! You are the majority of my pinterest dinners!

  31. I thought this was wonderfully flavorful and super easy. I couldn’t find cooked chorizo, so I got a 9oz chub, cooked it and drained it and then used half – following the recipe as written. (The rest will go in eggs for breakfast). I didn’t use clams, but added a chopped flounder filet as that’s what was in the freezer. I let it marinate with the shrimp. Thank you for yet another great recipe!

  32. This is incredible, I used cut up chicken breast and browned it with the onions, garlic and chorizo instead of clams, everything else was the same.

  33. Hi! I eat low carb. Do you think it would be possible to make a version of this with cauli-rice? Thanks!

  34. This was delicious!! My husband asked me to find a way to have a little sauce so I may add some canned diced tomatoes instead of cut tomatoes so there is a broth in the bottom. 

  35. This was delicious. Loved the flavor. I did make it a little different, used baby scallops instead of chicken.
    I was not sure if the rice should be cooked before adding to pan so I cooked the rice before adding. Took a little longer for broth to cook down but worth the wait.

  36. This was so good!!! My picky kids even liked it. I used kielbasa instead of chorizo because they can’t deal with anything spicy. But other than that no changes!!! This will definitely be added to my list of my family’s favorite recipes.

  37. If you make this with chicken instead of clams, would you add it the same time as the shrimp? I’m always worried about getting my chicken cooked through. Thank you so much for these recipes! We love Skinnytaste so much. It’s what got me back into cooking <3

    • If you want to add chicken, use less seafood and add a half-pound of diced chicken breast or thigh when you add the broth. Thanks Courtney!

  38. Hi Gina,
    Love this idea! Can you used canned clams in place of fresh?

    Thank you!

  39. What I like about your version of Paella is the ingredients are readily available at our Giant Eagle supermarket.  Also, you rarely, if ever, insist a recipe must be exactly the way you offer it.  We are 
    always able to change anything.  Sausages are my favorite meats but I’ve never taken to chorizo
    and will substitute it.  Actually, since I am possibly clogging up my arteries with plaque, I should
    not be enjoying sausages any longer unless you can recommend some that won’t require me to
    get a stent sometime in the future.

    Thank you so much for this site.  WW must really appreciate all you do that promotes their  weight
    loss plan.  If not, they, and all of us users of your knowledge of food and flavor,  must need to let
    you know.  You’re a blessing to me.  YUM!

    • I love your comment and shout out to western PA and Giant Eagle!  Just wanted to suggest that many of the poultry based sausages (turkey or chicken) have delicious seasoning and offer less saturated fat and cholesterol.

  40. OMG this looks and sounds fantastic! We typically only eat whole grains when it comes to rices and pastas…If I were to make this with whole grain brown rice (Uncle Ben’s), will I need to adjust cooking time?

  41. Where is “Print” button !!!???

  42. It must be in the air! I’m making paella for Mother’s Day today and obviously went to SkinnyTaste first where I didn’t find anything 🙁 But, alas…right on time! My husband doesn’t eat clams or muscles, but I’m going to use lobster tails instead. Also, love the addition of Old Bay!!! 

  43. Quick question…video says to simmer for 25 min after adding shrimp, but directions on recipe says 10-12 min. Which is correct?

  44. I love your recipes, but please, this is not paella. I come from the specific region paella is from and this is missing the whole point. There is never chorizo or peas in paella and the most important thing is to have the best homemade broth that can be made. I understand you were trying to make a seafood paella (not valencian paella), but those 2 ingredients don’t fit there. Also Old Bay in a Spanish recipe? Also in ordee to achieve the perfect texture in rice you need the thinnest alumimium pan you can get (paella pans can be bent if you punch them). I am very sorry for critisizing but this hits home and I just want people to get to know the original recipe

      • This is the “weeknight” meaning Quick….Skinny as the name of the website version of Paella!… If you want the correct authentic recipe available…please publish it or don’t criticize

      • Replying to Khloe as there is no button to reply. There are many traditional recipes if you google Valencian paella, but there are many versions that can be faithful to the original idea as long as some things are respected:
        1) Using very good broth (which can be made in advance and frozen, which will mean it can fall under the “weeknight” category.
        2) Using the thinnest aluminium pan you have (also, nothing to do with your points about “weeknight” and “skinny”)
        3) Using plain ingredients so that the broth-infused rice is the king: chicken, rabbit, green beans (the flat ones), white fish, squid, mussels, etc.. That is why using chorizo or old bay is off-limits (also, is chorizo skinny?). Usual seasonings are saffron and sometimes rosemary.
        Gina, if you are interested, I can give you my mum’s recipe for either of these: valencian paella, meat paella or seafood paella. Please let me know

    • Traditional paella is delicious, and have had it in Spain numerous times, but it is NOT a 30 minute easy meal to make. Your points are valid, but being offended and responding in the manner you have is unnecessary. I have a paella pan, and several traditional recipes, but guess which version I’m making tonight? Gina puts out recipes intended to help people make healthy, but tasty versions of dishes that people may not think of or know how to make otherwise. I’m sure if people are trying to get the most traditional, time consuming, Spanish paella with all the bells and whistles they are not coming to this site as the end all be all. 

  45. Can you use cauliflower rice for this dish. 

  46. Is there a typo error – it calls for 1 link chirizo and then it says “I use goya” ?? Please clarify

  47. I assume this serves 4?