Weeknight Seafood Paella
This easy seafood paella, made with shrimp, clams and chorizo is a delicious one-pot weeknight dish! Under 30 minutes too cook!
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.
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.
- 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.
More Rice Recipes You Will Love:
- Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole
- Greek Chicken Meal Prep Rice Bowls
- Lentil and Rice Bowls with Eggs and Bacon
- Korean Beef Rice Bowls
- Shrimp, Peas and Rice
Weeknight Seafood Paella
- 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
- 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.