Vegetable Paella
Member recipe

Vegetable Paella

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(17 ratings)

Member recipe by


Serves 4

An easy, healthy and filling paella-style dish of vegetables and rice.

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  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 green and 1 red pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 cup (that's cup and not mug) of peas (frozen are fine)
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • a good pinch of saffron threads (not absolutely necessary), dissolved in
  • 800ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • ground black pepper
  • 250-300g any long or short grain rice
  • chopped parsley, optional, as much as you like


    1. Prepare all the ingredients and have them lined up in front of you in the order listed above - sounds a bit pedantic, I know, but always makes cooking easier.
    2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan, add the onions and garlic, cover and cook for about 3 minutes until soft. Then add the peppers and peas, stir in, cover again and cook for a few more minutes.
    3. Make a well in the centre, put the tomatoes in the well and the paprika on top. Then add the stock (with the saffron if you have it), but make sure it doesn't overflow: if it gets more then half a cm close to the rim of the pan, stop adding stock and just use less rice. Season with pepper and stir.
    4. Scatter as much of the rice as you think will fit over the stock (depends on your pan, really), stir it in gently, then allow it to simmer gently until the liquid has absorbed and the rice is cooked. This could take about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Test a bit of the rice to see if it's cooked, add a bit of stock or hot water if it is not done.
    5. Stir in the parsley a few minutes before it has finished cooking, if you want to use it, then serve hot. It's also pretty nice cold and should keep for a few days in the fridge.

Comments, questions and tips

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7th Jul, 2020
My big problem with vegetarian and vegan dishes is the bland taste, but this provided good flavors. I would make it again. My only variations were that I crisped some mushrooms in the oil before adding the vegetables, added some white wine to the liquid mix and amped-up the paprika. I should have cooked it a bit longer to get that crust on the bottom of the pan. Otherwise 8/10.
31st Jan, 2018
A very good, delicious recipe and it went down a treat. It's a good base to work from and as I had a leek that needed using up I sliced it up and added it with the onion and garlic. Also in a separate pan I cooked and browned a couple of handfuls of Quorn pieces in olive oil for 12 minutes (as per packet instructions) and then added that to the paella approx. 5 minutes from the end of cooking. Also when adding the tomatoes I added a sprinkling of chilli flakes to give it all an extra bit of heat. Will certainly make again.
15th Oct, 2017
I didn't have any saffron but added some turmeric for colour, doubled the paprika, added brocolli, a chilli, lemon juice and dried parsley. I thought it was okay as a not too much hassle recipe but it felt like something more was needed to make up for the lack of meat and fish. Good base though.
17th Jul, 2016
This was yummy! Skipped the saffron and followed the suggestion in the comments about adding turmeric. Didn't have any fresh parsley so added some dried along with the spices. This recipe will be my go to for a paella base now.
20th Jun, 2015
Was very yummy. Used three long thin red peppers rather than the red and green recommended, sliced them to look like squid rings which was visually very appealing. We put in a chopped chilli as well which gave it some lovely heat. We used a paella dish with no lid so had to stir it and cook for a bit longer than stated but still worked really well. Would be nice with a few more vegetables but I'm unsure which ones.
laplayastudio's picture
7th Mar, 2014
This is my second time making this, it works really well. I added turmeric to get more yellow colour, some balsamic vinegar and some seasoning salt from USA and also some powdered garlic and half a teaspoon of dried flake chillies as suggested by another commenter. I am cooking this in the Canary Islands so we have lots of saffron at good prices, so did four pinches of this. I also snuck in 4 tablespoons of mild salsa (the kind you dip nachos in) to add to the tomatoes. On the side I did some garlic prawns in olive oil with lots of garlic then finally added that to the top when serving, giving the option of either a vegetarian plate or one with prawns.
11th Oct, 2012
Try this recipe with a half teaspoon to a full teaspoon of dried flake chillies. Put them in the oil with the onions and garlic. Lovely spiced vegetable rice. One teaspoon is quite spicy. Gives it a lovely kick.
laplayastudio's picture
7th Mar, 2014
Yes, this works!
23rd Jun, 2012
I made this recipe in a nursery with a group of children to celebrate our spanish theme. it was simple to make children loved making it and it went round lots of them and they enjoyed eating it
23rd Jun, 2012
I made this recipe in a nursery with a group of children to celebrate our spanish theme. it was simple to make children loved making it and it went round lots of them and they enjoyed eating it.


7th Nov, 2015
Can any leftovers be frozen to eat at later date??
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