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Maria's Classic Paella

Rated as 4.71 out of 5 Stars

"I have loved paella since the first time I tried it while traveling through Spain at 17. Though I could never make it as great as my friend's mom in Madrid, this recipe comes so close! It's a favorite at our house for Sunday dinner and tastes all the better when made in a traditional paella pan (brought back in a suitcase, no less!). I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!"
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1 h 25 m servings 814
Original recipe yields 8 servings


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  1. Bring stock to a simmer in a stockpot over medium-low heat. Stir crushed saffron into the simmering stock.
  2. Heat olive oil in a paella pan over medium heat. Fry chicken thighs in hot oil until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion is translucent, 5 to 7 minutes more. Arrange the chorizo into the pan around the chicken thighs and cook until warmed, 3 to 5 minutes per side.
  3. Pour rice into the paella pan and stir to coat with oil; season with sweet paprika. Stir grated tomato into the rice and cook until the tomato is warmed, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Pour chicken stock into the paella pan and bring to a boil while scraping any browned bits of food off the bottom of the pan with a flat-edged wooden spoon. Smooth surface of rice with the wooden spoon in an even layer so it cooks evenly.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, without stirring, until the rice has softened but has yet to completely absorb the stock, 15 to 30 minutes.
  6. Place clams and mussels, hinged-side down, into the rice; continue simmering until the mussels and clams open, 5 to 7 minutes.
  7. Nestle prawns into the rice; add bell pepper and peas. Continue cooking until the bottom of the rice is browned and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle parsley over the paella, and garnish with lemon wedges. Serve with baguette slices.


  • Cook's Note:
  • For this recipe, a special 4-person paella pan was used to create the authentic flavors of paella found in Spain. If you're not able to find a paella pan at your local specialty kitchen supply shop, you can also use a large flat-bottomed pan for this recipe, but it does need to have a flat bottom and able to be heated evenly to cook the rice.
  • You can use other vegetables, like green beans, Spanish beans, and artichoke hearts along with the peas in this recipe or leave them out. We prefer just the peas in our paella. You can also use all mussels or all clams, based on your preference.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 814 calories; 38.1 80.1 37.4 98 1150 Full nutrition

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  1. 31 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

My son woke up this morning with the bug to cook. Eager to assist, I suggested this Paella recipe which I saw printed in the Aug/Sep 14 allrecipes magazine. Other than not being familiar with...

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My son woke up this morning with the bug to cook. Eager to assist, I suggested this Paella recipe which I saw printed in the Aug/Sep 14 allrecipes magazine. Other than not being familiar with...

This was my first time making paella, but it won't be my last! We loved this dish. I made it on Christmas Eve so I added a grilled lobster, prawns and blue crabs, but I wouldn't do that unless i...

Used a can of Rotelle in place of plum tomatoes.

Delicious paella! I left out the chicken and used a package of mixed seafood that I picked up at Whole Foods yesterday, which worked perfect! I scaled this down to 6 servings (1-1/2 cups paella ...

While I have eaten lots of paella, this was my first attempt at making it. I was nervous, but this recipe was perfect and easy for even a first-timer to follow! It was delicious! I didn't change...

Use 4 1/2 cups of Chicke

we enjoy this so much, that it's a staple at our cook outs

This recipe is excellent. I substituted arborio rice as I could not find Bomba rice. I also added in bay scallops along with the shrimp. Ultimately I needed an additional cup of chicken stock (m...

Absolutely delicious!!! Did not modify the recipe at all either. Fantastic fish.