8 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups paella, 1 shrimp, and 1 mussel)

Nourishing, vibrant, and served without pretension, paella has held a place of honor and practicality in Spanish homes for centuries. If mussels aren't your favorite, you can easily substitute littleneck clams in their place--just be sure to thoroughly scrub the clams' shells in cold water before using. To round out the meal, choose a good Spanish red wine from the Rioja region, grab a crusty baguette, and serve with a light salad.

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare the herb blend, combine the first 4 ingredients, and set aside.

Step 2

To prepare paella, combine water, saffron, and broth in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat. Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails intact; set aside.

Step 3

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; saute 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Add sausage and prosciutto; saute 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Add shrimp, and saute 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion and bell pepper; saute 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, paprika, and 3 garlic cloves; cook 5 minutes. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in herb blend, broth mixture, chicken, sausage mixture, and peas. Bring to a low boil; cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mussels to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until shells open; discard any unopened shells. Arrange shrimp, heads down, in rice mixture, and cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup lemon juice. Remove from heat; cover with a towel, and let stand 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

Ratings & Reviews

ilistem's Review

June 16, 2010
Excellent. I have made this many times now to rave reviews. Plus I have adjusted the recipe according to ingredients I have on hand or to food allergies of guests. I have always used chicken breasts and kielbasa with shrimp. Sometimes adding prosciutto but I have never used mussells, which I would like try. I use Mahatma saffron rice in 5 oz packages. (I use three for the recipe)

December 25, 2016
Three 16-oz cans of broth is exactly 6 cups, so equal to double the 3 cups rice. The recipe is correct.

December 25, 2016
Plus, the additional cup of water (or wine substitute) ensures plenty of liquid.

prgirl42's Review

May 07, 2011
This is fantastic - made it last night for a group of friends and they all kept going back for more.It's very forgiving with substitutions. You can use any spicy cured meat for the chorizo - I used some spicy italian cured meat I had left over. I didn't use red pepper either but added a few drops of tabasco, and I used less onion and parsley and it still tasted great.

eerrico's Review

March 16, 2009
I have made this recipe twice, first time, I used chicken breasts instead of thighs because I couldn't find them, and it was fantastic! The second time I did use the thighs and did not like them at all, it made the paella kind of "greasy." Before I put the leftovers away, I removed and discarded the chicken, and the next day, it was fantastic! So, lesson learned, next time, use chicken breasts, and try reheating it the next day by putting it in a metal dish with some water and covering with foil... Even better!


May 05, 2016
Senor Thomas approves

Spanish Paella

August 07, 2016
We really enjoyed this recipe. I forgot to buy the red peppers, so we skipped that. I had fres tomatoes, so we seeded and chopped them. We also used clams in addition to the mussels. And we omitted the ham. That being said, I found it needed a little more salt. Maybe because we used fresh tomatoes and skipped the salty ham. Otherwise, it was yummy! The liquid was spot on. Next time I would use more chorizo and cut them in 1/2 moons. And definitely will remember the red pepper!

Pretty good

September 16, 2016
Made this per the directions except skipped the mussels and subbed white wine for the water. Pretty time and labor intensive, and not cheap to make, but it did turn out well and made a lot. It's a good date night activity if you like cooking together.

Good solid recipe but not quite 5 star

December 25, 2016
This was good-not awe-inspiring, but really good.  Made for Christmas Eve dinner and enjoyed it  I followed the recipe to the letter, except I used Andouille sausage and added ~1 t of smoked paprika.  I think subbing white wine for the water would have been a good idea.  

Raised in Spain - I can tell you this isn't paella

January 17, 2018
I'm not sorry to say this: this is what foreigners get served when they come to Spain and stay in places such as Madrid and Sevilla, famously known for... well, not their paella. The original paella comes from the Spanish Eastern shore (Levante) and it has only 3 variants: seafood paella, chicken & rabbit paella, and snails & game paella. Except the seafood one that's made -yes!- with onion and garlic! plus the seafood, the other two only have green flat beans, white broad beans, saffron, sweet paprika, and the only meat you'll ever find in it are rabbit, chicken, and sometimes duck. No sausage. No chorizo. No peas... I think you get the point. What this recipe is about is what's called "mar y montaña" with rice. Plus, who the hell cooks seafood with chicken broth?!