Photo: Squire Fox; Styling: Kaitlyn Du Ross 
Hands-on Time
35 Mins
Total Time
55 Mins
Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups rice mixture and 1 lemon wedge)

This paella-inspired dish starts by infusing purchased chicken stock with shrimpy goodness; it's an easy step that makes full use of shrimp shells that would otherwise be discarded.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 450°.

Step 2

Peel shrimp, reserving shells; set shrimp aside. Combine shrimp shells, chicken stock, 2/3 cup water, and saffron in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and keep warm.

Step 3

Combine chopped tomato, onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, sugar, and garlic in a food processor; process until smooth.

Step 4

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add tomato mixture to pan; cook 6 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring occasionally. Add uncooked rice to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Drain stock mixture over a bowl; discard solids. Add stock mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat 12 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed (do not stir). Top with reserved shrimp, tilapia, and peas. Sprinkle with remaining 5/8 teaspoon salt. Cover and bake at 450° for 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Sprinkle with parsley; serve with lemon wedges.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

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Ratings & Reviews

Sort of bland, but has potential

April 04, 2015
After reading the reviews, perhaps my expectations were higher.  I made the recipe exactly as written.  I must say, the shrimp came out perfectly.  I'd make the tilapia pieces a bit bigger next time as they came out slightly over-cooked.  But to me the real problem was that it lacked flavor.  Both my husband and I felt that it needed some extra seasoning - maybe some red pepper flakes or even adding a jalapeno in with the tomato mixture.  I will say that my tomato wasn't ripe enough, so that may have been a factor.  Dunno.  I will try this again some day with some tweaking to the seasonings.  Definitely a recipe for when you have at least an hour to spend in preparation.

CatieIrishRose's Review

June 08, 2014
This is a great recipe! The dish is full of flavor. I used an organic Moroccan saffron I purchased from Amazon, which enhanced the flavor of the dish. If you are interested, you can check it out here Thanks! Keep these great recipes coming!

expatatlantan's Review

May 25, 2014
This was simple and really delicious. I keep shrimp stock made from scratch in the freezer, so skipped the chicken stock. This rice is the real star--I'll definitely make this as the underpinning for other fish in the future. It would be good with red snapper too or sea scallops.

LDombeck's Review

May 04, 2014
This is a very good paella substitute. I used to live in spain and I make a mean traditional paella. That usually takes me 2.5 hours. So even though this takes about an hour, it's still faster. It took me longer than 12 minutes to get the rice done and I had to stir it some at the end to distribute the rice around the pan. My whole family, who is used to my traditional paella recipe, said this a very good, close second.

Hellokitty27's Review

April 25, 2014
I hardly ever rate recipes, but I had to this time. Not only was this dish delicious, the times/quantities/instructions were right on. I was eating and hour after I started, and the rice, shrimp and fish were perfectly cooked. I didn't use the onion (because I didn't have one for the first time ever!) so I doubled up on the tomato and it came out perfectly. I can't wait to make it again.

CherylT's Review

April 05, 2014
My family and I enjoyed this recipe although I didn't use saffron (I found out I was out at the last minute) or tilapia. Instead of the tilapia I used extra shrimp. I also substituted edamame for the peas as we like them much better. Everyone enjoyed the dish and I look forward to making it again with the saffron. I also plan on using it for leftover tilapia.

Torkewitz's Review

March 15, 2014
Made this for dinner tonight. It was *ok*. The flavor was all right but to me the rice was kinda gummy. Also it took much longer than 55 minutes to make--more like 95 minutes, most of the time waiting for the liquids to be absorbed. I am not sorry that I made it but won't make it again.