Paella in a large pan with serving spoon and lemon wedges

Easy paella

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(101 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 4

Whip up this easy version of the traditional Spanish seafood dish straight from the storecupboard. Add extras such as chorizo and peas if you like

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal431
  • fat5g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs66g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre3g
  • protein34g
  • salt2.14g
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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 tsp each hot smoked paprika and dried thyme



    A spice that's central to Hungarian cuisine, paprika is made by drying a particular type of…

  • 300g paella or risotto rice
    Risotto rice

    Risotto rice

    To create an authentic creamy Italian risotto, the use of specialist rice is imperative. It…

  • 3 tbsp dry sherry or white wine (optional)
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes with garlic



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 900ml chicken stock
  • 400g bag frozen seafood mix
  • juice ½ lemon, other half cut into wedges



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…


  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add 1 chopped onion and soften for 5 mins.

  2. Stir in 1 tsp hot smoked paprika, 1 tsp dried thyme and 300g paella or risotto rice, stir for 1 min, then splash in 3 tbsp sherry or white wine, if using.

  3. Once it has evaporated, stir in a 400g can of chopped tomatoes with garlic and 900ml chicken stock. 

  4. Season and cook, uncovered, for about 15 mins, stirring now and again until rice is almost tender and still surrounded with some liquid.

  5. Stir 400g frozen seafood mix into the pan and cover with a lid. Simmer for 5 mins, or until the seafood is cooked through and the rice is tender.

  6. Squeeze over the juice of ½ lemon, scatter with a handful of flat-leaf parsley and serve with wedges from the remaining ½ lemon.

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Comments, questions and tips

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8th Jun, 2020
I’ve just made this and it tasted good. I’ve never made paella before so I used this as a base to get an idea of how to do it then added other things You have to taste as you are going along, everyone likes different things. I personally used chicken, prawns would have been a good addition as well. I didn’t use any thyme but a tonne of parley, a lot more paprika than recommended and a lot of garlic. I’m not a 100% of the amount of stock and tomatoes, but figure that out as you go along, pour a little in at a time. I’ve seen a lot of recipes for this using saffron, but with it being lockdown I couldn’t find any. But all in all a good base of how to make a really tasty dish.
Tshepo Madigage's picture
Tshepo Madigage
3rd Jun, 2020
How long is “until the seafood is cooked through and the rice is tender.“ I don’t really like tasting my food until its done?
23rd May, 2020
Please, please, please do NOT put thyme in this dish. It ruins it as such robust herb does not combine with seafood.
29th Oct, 2019
Call this paella is difficult, because it looks like a risotto. In this sense, I recommend looking for Spanish sites of paella or rices. Look for what they call "dry" rices. The way to differentiate this kind of "dry" rices or paellas, it is because they are made in a paella pan, with a thin layer of rice, not with rice to the top and hundreds of ingredients, mixing seafood, beands and chorizo, for example. In Spain there are very good paellas, seafood paella, vegetable paella or the traditional valencian paella.
24th Sep, 2019
As I saw of the different recipes, this page puts chorizo in every kind of "paella". I'm spanish, from Valencia. And I know that paella dont have chorizo nor onion. If you want to follow the real recipe of paella I will pass you the link for that, but please dont use chorizo. We have a beatiful gastronomy and this page its destroing it a little bit. By the way, if you want to do a seafood paella I can pass you the link too. Ps: If you dont know spanish or you dont understand something ask me and I will be pleased to repond you.
28th May, 2019
Used this to make paella for the first time! I'm a pretty experienced cook though. I was a bit nervous seeing some of the negative comments. I followed the simple recipe but allowed a bit longer cooking time for the rice to bulk up(I used basmati) Turned out perfectly! Wife impressed.. (does anything else really matter? Ps used a wok.
5th Jun, 2018
Using risotto rice was not a good idea, I normally use long grain rice which is much better, wish I’d stuck to that!
22nd Apr, 2018
Its more like risotto than paella but stilltastes good with a few tweaks - needs more paprika, garlic & chorizo. Otherwise I'd definitely make again as really quick. Disagree with previous comment about timings - they were spot on. The rice was nearly ready to eat after 15mins simmering so after another 5 once seafood goes in is perfect. Use a non stick pan.
Izzi Howes's picture
Izzi Howes
2nd Jan, 2018
Made this recipe multiple times but I always add about x3 as much paprika as it states as well as saffron, and also sometimes fry a little garlic with the onion at the beginning. It takes alot longer than the stated 20 minutes cooking time, but the rice does eventually absorb all the stock and it is delicious, lots of lemon and parsley finish if off well..
Chris Hall
27th May, 2017
This isn't paella, it's kind of tomato rice with seafood in it. It's OK but I'll try a different recipe in future.


22nd Jun, 2014
When cooking a Paella do you boil the rice first.
AmandaHK's picture
4th Oct, 2016
If I'm using 'dry' rice (not the microwave packet stuff), I tend to rinse it under cold water until the water is clear before adding to the recipe/cooking to remove any excess starch. I find this helps to stop the rice becoming to 'stodgy' or 'clogged'
9th Nov, 2015
No, it will cook in the stock, good luck. I really enjoyed this meal when I made it.
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