Classic Spanish Paella

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En español: Paella española clásica

Most non-Spaniards think that paella is Spain’s national dish. Whereas Spaniards themselves think of paella as a regional dish from Valencia on Spain’s east coast.

Valencia is Spain’s most important rice-growing region and has been since the Moorish invasion 1200 years ago.

paella valenciana
Paella Valenciana (no seafood)

Valencia alone has over 200 variations of arroces or rice dishes, rice in Spanish is arroz. A true paella Valenciana does not have any seafood but uses a meat mix of chicken, rabbit and snails with added green and white beans.

This simple paella recipe uses a mix of meat, seafood and colourful veg for a lively combination of flavours and textures.

The name comes from the pan it is cooked in ‘la paella’ and not from the dish itself.

family fiesta paella

In Spain a giant paella is often the centrepiece of a fiesta or just a family gathering and everyone just digs in. Our Spanish friends tell us that they fight for the well done parts caught on the bottom of the pan!


Classic Spanish Paella

This simple paella recipe uses a mix of meat, seafood and colourful veg for a lively combination of flavours and textures.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Cooling Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 6
Calories 510 kcal


  • 1 large pinch Saffron strands
  • 600 ml Chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil plus extra for drizzling
  • 125 g Chorizo roughly chopped
  • 500 g Chicken thighs skinned and chopped
  • 1 medium Onion finely chopped
  • 3 Garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 Red pointed pepper deseeded and chopped
  • 2 tsp Pimenton (smoked paprika)
  • 250 g Spanish paella rice
  • 4 Medium tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 75 g Frozen peas
  • 250 g Whole Prawns cooked with shells on
  • handful Flat-leaf parsley chopped, to serve
  • 2 Lemons to serve as wedges


  • Stir the saffron strands into the stock and set aside to infuse while you prepare the rest of the paella.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a paella pan or a large deep frying pan with a lid. Tip in the chorizo and fry for about 3 mins until crisp and the oil has been released. Remove the chorizo and drain on kitchen paper, leaving the oil in the pan.
  • Stir the chicken into the pan and fry over a high heat for 7-8 mins, or until the meat is golden and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and set aside.
  • Pour another 1 tbsp of oil into the pan, tip in the chopped onion and garlic and stir-fry for 4-5 mins, until softened and just starting to colour. Stir in the pepper and paprika with the remaining tablespoon of oil and stir-fry for a further 1-2 mins. The pan should have lots of crispy, brown bits on the bottom, which will all add flavour.
  • With the heat still quite high, quickly stir in the rice so it is well-coated in the oil, then pour in the saffron-infused stock plus 450ml boiling water, scraping up the sticky brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
  • Return the browned chicken pieces to the pan, then add the chopped tomatoes. Cover the pan and cook on a medium heat for 10 mins, stirring once or twice. Scatter the peas, prawns and fried chorizo over the top, cover again and leave to cook a further 5-10 mins, or until the rice is just cooked and most of the liquid in the pan has been absorbed.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, put the lid on and leave to rest for 5 mins. Stir a few times to mix the ingredients, season to taste and scatter over the chopped parsley. Serve with lemon wedges and an extra drizzle of oil, if you like.


Calories: 510kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 30gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 6gFiber: 5gSugar: 6g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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