Easy Paella


Paella is a classic Spanish dish featuring saffron rice with chorizo, chicken, and seafood. This easy recipe marinades the chicken in paprika and oregano for added flavor and adds the shrimp at the last minute for fantastic results. Serve this delicious paella in the center of your table so everyone can dig in.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs

When you're in need of a hearty meal that's delicious and easy to make, turn to paella: The ultimate one-pot Spanish comfort food. This flavorful rice dish is ready in just an hour. Plus, it'll have your mouth watering the entire time it's cooking thanks to its aromatic ingredients.

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What Is Paella?

Paella is a flavorful and versatile rice dish that originated in Valencia, Spain. It's traditionally made with rice, meat, seafood, beans, vegetables, and aromatic spices.

Learn more: What Is Paella and How Do You Make It At Home?

What Is in Paella?

paella in pan on grill
Medea Dudley

Because paella is so versatile, almost every chef has their own recipe. Here's what you can expect to find in this Easy Paella.

This recipe calls for chicken breasts, but you can use any cut of chicken you like. Some reviewers choose chicken legs or thighs.

Chorizo will add a little kick to the paella. If you're in a pinch, you can use cubes of cured chorizo to save some prep time.

Buy pre-peeled and deveined shrimp to save on prep time.

Of course, the major ingredient in paella is rice. Any Spanish or short-grain rice will work.

This paella has a Spanish onion and red bell pepper. Some reviewers like to add more bell pepper, or even peas.

Chicken Stock
To keep the paella from drying out, add chicken stock.

Paella is super flavorful thanks to the saffron, bay leaf, Italian parsley, garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper in the dish.

What Rice Should You Use For Paella?

Spanish rice, or bomba rice, is the most common rice used in paella. However, any short-grain white rice, or even medium-grain white rice, will work.

How to Make Easy Paella

Easy Paella

You'll find the fully detailed recipe below, but here's what you can expect from this Easy Paella recipe.

Marinate the Chicken

Allow the chicken to marinate in olive oil, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight).

Cook the Rice

Heat olive oil in a paella pan and stir in garlic, red pepper flakes, and rice. Add saffron, bay leaf, parsley, chicken stock, and lemon zest. Simmer rice for 20 minutes.

Cook the Protein and Vegetables

Cook chicken, onion, bell pepper, chorizo, and shrimp until done. Then add to the rice mixture.

Do I Need a Paella Pan to Make Paella?

Not necessarily. Even though a paella pan is designed specifically for making paella (obviously), you don't need one to make a great paella. A paella pan is wide and shallow, which is helpful to create a nice crust on the paella. But if you don't have the special pan, you can use any wide and shallow skillet.

How to Store Paella

Store leftover (completely cooled) paella in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. After that, the seafood may be at risk of going bad.

Reheat paella in a paella pan or skillet on the stove for the best results.

Nicole's Best Paella Tips

What does culinary producer Nicole McLaughlin (a.k.a. Nicole McMom) love about paella? "I love this for entertaining because you serve it straight from the dish — and it's actually quite an affordable way to feed a lot of people." Here are a few of her best tips and tricks for making this one-pot wonder:

· As the main ingredient, rice is key to a great paella. Don't rinse it before adding it to the other ingredients! Keep it as starchy as possible.
· The beauty of paella is that all the flavors build upon one another as the dish comes together in one pan. Let the meat render fully so the flavorful fat coats the grains of rice.
· Paella can be as extravagant or as budget-friendly as you want it to be. Keep it simple with chicken and sausage or incorporate mussels, scallops, calamari, and more.
· Once everything is assembled, avoid stirring it too much. Excessive stirring will create a creamy risotto — we're after a more pilaf-like texture.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"Other than adding more chicken and omitting the shrimp, I followed the directions exactly. I think this is the best thing I've ever cooked. My family enjoyed it. I was told repeatedly how good it was. I would suggest ANYONE to cook this, it is easy and you feel accomplished after crafting such a delicious meal," says My soul cleaveth unto the dust.

"I made this even easier by using prepackaged saffron rice instead of making my own. I recommend cooking the chorizo separately and draining it before adding it to the mix. I also cooked the shrimp separately and added it at the end, since I think some of the shrimp tends to get overcooked if you have it in a large pot with many other items. I made this for my husband's birthday dinner, with a few tapas as appetizers, and it was wonderful," according to Sara.

"This was my first time making paella, and I hoped that it would be as good as all the reviews from others who have made it. It. was. wonderful! This recipe is going to be a keeper, the husband had two bowls, and has said, 'This is great!' six times, and it's only been 20 minutes since I served it," raves Kansas Cook.

Editorial contributions by Bailey Fink and Corey Williams



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon ground paprika

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste


  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch pieces

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 2 cups uncooked short-grain white rice

  • 1 pinch saffron threads

  • 1 large bay leaf

  • ½ bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

  • 1 quart chicken stock

  • 2 medium lemons, zested

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium Spanish onion, chopped

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, coarsely chopped

  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 1 pound chorizo sausage, casings removed and crumbled


  1. Mix olive oil, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper for marinade in a glass bowl.

  2. Begin paella: Add chicken and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

    seasoned raw chicken in a clear bowl
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet or paella pan over medium heat. Stir in garlic and pepper flakes, then stir in rice. Cook and stir until rice is coated with oil, about 3 minutes.

    pan with rice and chopped herbs cooking
  4. Add saffron threads, bay leaf, parsley, chicken stock, and lemon zest. Stir until well combined and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

    Pan with cooked rice and herbs
  5. While the rice is cooking, heat olive oil in a separate skillet over medium heat. Stir in marinated chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.

  6. Add bell pepper and sausage; cook and stir, breaking sausage up with a spatula, for 5 minutes. Add shrimp; cook and stir until shrimp are bright pink on the outside and the meat is opaque, about 2 minutes.

    One pan with cooked shrimp and chicken, another pan with rice

    Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

  7. Spread rice mixture onto a serving tray. Top with meat and seafood mixture.

    a mid angle close up view of easy paella with chicken, chorizo, and shrimp in a large skillet ready to serve.



Try using cubes of cured Spanish chorizo to speed up prep time.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

736 Calories
35g Fat
46g Carbs
56g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 736
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 10g 52%
Cholesterol 203mg 68%
Sodium 1204mg 52%
Total Carbohydrate 46g 17%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 56g
Vitamin C 31mg 155%
Calcium 73mg 6%
Iron 6mg 34%
Potassium 778mg 17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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