Paella is one of the most famous Spanish dishes and it's one of my favorite ones too because I really love rice. This is not the traditional recipe because is a healthier vegan version, but it's quite similar and it tastes amazing, you need to give this awesome paella a try.
Use the veggies you want, I use different ingredients every time I make paella, it depends on the season or the vegetables I have in my kitchen. Sometimes I add seaweed too, like wakame or nori. Seaweed is a great fish alternative and it's also full of minerals.
Traditional paella is made with chicken or fish broth because it isn't usually vegan, but I've used this super easy to make vegetable broth, it's healthy, delicious and so simple. When I don't have vegetable broth I rehydrate dried seaweed in hot water and use this water to make the paella. If I don't have seaweed neither, I use water, but I never use store bought vegetable stock or stock cubes because they are full of unhealthy ingredients like monosodium glutamate.
I've used fresh and frozen veggies, but if you can use only fresh ones, good for you! Frozen vegetables are so convenient, cheap and you can eat veggies that are not in season.
Paella is usually made with Bomba rice or short grain rice, but I prefer to use Basmati because it has a lower glycemic index. Brown rice is a great alternative too, but it takes much longer to cook, although is healthier.
To get the beautiful yellow color you can use saffron or turmeric powder. Please don't use food dyes, turmeric is also really cheap and it's much healthier. Traditional paella is made with saffron, but it's more expensive than turmeric and also less easy to find, but you can use both. I've used paprika too, because I love how it taste, but it's optional.
I've used a paellera to cook my paella, it's a pan, traditionally round, shallow and made of polished steel with two handles, but you can use a regular pan or even a pot.
When you cook paella you don't have to stir the rice unlike risotto, but sometimes I do if rice sticks to the bottom of the pan, actually, there is usually a layer of toasted rice at the bottom of the pan, called socarrat here in Spain. It tastes amazing, but it's toxic and you can find benzopyrene in it, which is a dangerous carcinogen.
Vegan Spanish paella is really delectable. It's also cheaper, lighter and healthier than the traditional one. It's typical to sprinkle lemon juice over paella, so you can serve it with some lemon slices on top. Lemon juice is full of vitamin C and helps to detoxify the body. I hope you like this Spanish recipe, ¡qué aproveche! (enjoy your meal!).
Vegan Spanish Paella
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic
- ½ onion
- ½ red bell pepper
- ½ Italian green pepper
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen artichoke hearts
- ½ cup frozen green beans
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 1 ¼ cups Basmati rice
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- Salt and black pepper to taste, optional
- Heat the oil in a paellera or a pan over medium heat and when it's hot, add the garlic, onion, red and green pepper (chopped). Cook until golden brown.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for another 5 or 10 minutes.
- Add the frozen veggies and cook 5 minutes more.
- Add the rice and cook until it begins to be translucent. Pour the vegetable broth (hot), add the turmeric powder, the sweet paprika, and salt and black pepper to taste.
- Stir the paella until all the ingredients are mixed and cook over medium or medium high heat for 15 or 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Add more vegetable broth if the rice is hard and dry.
- Let stand the paella (covered) for at least 5 or 10 minutes.
So creamy and lovely. I had no idea I loved turmeric! Thanks for a great recipe!
Hi Sherry! Thanks a lot 🙂
Muy Delicisioso. Me comí todos
Hola Lulu! Me alegra que te gustara 🙂
This meal was amazing soo good and so quick and easy
Hi Lucy! Thank you so much 🙂
I made this today. I like the creamy texture and the healthy ingredients.
Hi Deb! Thanks for your comment 🙂
I’ve made this several times now and even meat eaters love it! Delicious!
Hi Diana! Thanks a lot 🙂 Have a nice day!
Jane Grice says
I used Miso paste and the juice from a can of chopped tomatoes as the vegetable stock. I also added carrots and mushrooms. Had to use smoked paprika as I didn’t have sweet paprika. I served it to Vegans and meat eaters, they had a side of meat with it. Everyone loved it and cleared their plates. It looked quite different as I didn’t chop the veg as fine and I left the green beans whole, but it tasted great. I might add a little chilli next time.
Hi Jane! Sounds great 🙂 So glad you guys enjoyed it!
Hey just so you know, MSG is found in both tomatoes and seaweed and isn’t at all unhealthy. It was originally isolated from seaweed.
Hi Ember! Thanks for your comment 🙂
Lee Dunham says
Muy deliciosos. Me comí todos
Adelene Loh says
Love to try my hands on Paella dishes, but do not know how or where to start especially how to cook the rice. Kindly advise on a youtube to go from the beginning.
Hi Adelene! You just need to follow my recipe 🙂 Have a nice day!
I just want to add that we use some varieties of Japonica rice (bomba, sena...), not basmati (indica rice), and sagranfran instead of turmeric, so if you have these ingredients at hand and want to give it a try you are going to get a taste that is closer to the original.
And also, some info that a lot of people don't know, arròs a la paella is a traditional dish that originated in País Valencià, very extended in Catalunya and Múrcia (even though we changed the real Valencian paella a little bit), it's not really a Spanish dish, since it was only typical in these areas. Paella means pan in English.
I am going to cook your recipe, I haven't eaten it for at least 3 years, before I changed my diet to a vegetarian, and yours looks really nice 🙂
Hi Carla! Valencia is in Spain, so it's a Spanish dish 😉 Besides, we eat paella all over the country, just in case you didn't know. Hope you like it!
I made the paella today and it came out really great. The red lentils I used folded well into the dish.
I love that you give freedom to use the vegetables that you want. And the rice that you want. What came out as a result was a fantastic dish that tasted excellent, with everything just as I wanted. Wonderful.
My vegan dinner guest loved it too. Lots of compliments.
(Full disclosure, I had my scrumotious vegetable paella with a side of chicken parmesan. Yeah baby!)
Hi Alvis! Sounds great 🙂 So glad you enjoyed it!
I think lentils will go great in this dish to add some protein. Lentils are supposed to absorb the flavors you cook them in so I cooked some today with garlic, safron and some Onion powder. Tomorrow I will attempt to complete the dish using brown rice.
Thanks for sharing. I don't see how this can taste bad. I love everything in it and it's fun to give new things s try.
Thanks for sharing.
Hi Alvis! You're so welcome 🙂 I've never tried paella with lentils, but sounds amazing!
Daisy Katzef says
I cooked this paella recipe using brown rice instead of basmati and cauliflower instead of frozen artichokes since I don't have them and the result was delicious. It took me two hours all in all to finish cooking. I am gonna cook this again. Thank you.
Hi Daisy! Sounds great as well 🙂 So glad you liked it!
This paella recipe is absolutely delicious!
I have been using brown rice, and although it takes a little bit longer, it is well worth the wait. We are so happy that you are sharing authentic Spanish recipes with us.
Please never stop. 🙂
Hi Lawrence! Thanks a lot for your kind words 🙂 You're SO welcome!
I made this tonight in my cast iron skillet ~ knew I would love it when I saw basmati rice and veggies 😍 Simply delish ~ thank you
Hi Susan! So glad you liked it 😀
What a beautiful and simple-to-follow recipe. I made this for my husband today to celebrate Dia de Los Reyes, and he raved about it. I fell in love with paella when we visited Spain last summer, and it felt like I was there again. I used brown basmati rice (I too like to keep an eye for the glycemic index), and doubled the vegetable broth. YUM!
Hi Bonnie! Thanks a lot 🙂 So glad you liked it!
Oh my. I just made this and it's so damn good! Thank you for such a delicious and simple recipe. Can't wait to try some of your other recipes.
Hi Steph! So glad you liked it 😀 Have a nice day!
Thanks for this! Do you cover while cooking, after the rice is added?
Hi Lisa! You're so welcome 🙂 No, I don't. Have a nice day!
This recipe is amazing! One question - do you wait for the rice to go translucent and then add the stock? Or do you put it all in the pot together? Thank you so much, it looks fabulous!
Hi Prav! Thanks a lot 🙂 It's better to wait for the rice to go translucent, but it's up to you. Hope you like it!
Thank you for the great recipe! This paella is one of my family's favorite dishes and so easy to make!
Greetings from Germany 🙂
Hi Iris! You're so welcome 🙂 Have a beautiful day!
This looks delicious! Do you think this would work with some sort legume added - like garbanzo beans for example? Or should I serve those on the side? What do you usually serve it with?
Hi Rachel! I've never tried a paella with legumes, but you could try... We serve paella with a salad 😉 Have a nice day!