Chicken and shrimp paellaI always thought of paella as an exotic, difficult-to-make dish – I think because my mother-in-law was my role model.  She made one that was so impressive I was in awe.  She had the special paella pan and it would come out of the oven bursting with chicken, lobster, shrimp, sausage, and mussels.  I have her recipe, and I promise to share it at some point in the future.  For now, life feels pretty hectic, so I am happy to announce that paella doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming, and you don’t need a special pan.   In Spain, where paella originated, it is actually a common weeknight dinner.  Paella isn’t defined by the seafood and meats it contains.  In fact when it was created in the mid nineteenth century – by workers in the fields of Valencia, Spain – it contained whatever local ingredients were available – usually snails and rabbit.  The saffron-infused short-grain rice and aromatic vegetables are what make paella paella – then it’s up to the chef to determine the combination of meat, poultry, seafood or vegetables. 

Cut up meats and shrimp for PaellaPaella was originally cooked over an open fire, imparting a nice smokiness to the dish.  Smoked chorizo sausage and woody, smoky spices like paprika and rosemary make up for the lack of a wood fire.

cut up vegetables for Paella

sautéed chicken and chorizoI tested this recipe with bone-in thighs and boneless skinless breasts.  I have a slight preference for thighs.  My kids prefer the boneless breasts.  It’s a matter of personal taste, so I decided to give you both options in the recipe.

Spanish Paella I love this for a weeknight dinner, because it all happens in one big pot and it can and should be eaten family style.  The pot comes out of the oven looking really good!  All you need to do is set it in the middle of the table on a trivet with a large serving spoon, and let everyone dig in.

paella with sausage, chicken and shrimp

Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Spanish
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Spanish one-dish dinner with rice, chicken, shrimp and sausage
  • Olive oil
  • 6-8 ounces smoked chorizo sausage, cut crosswise into ¼-inch discs.
  • 1½ boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1½ pounds) sliced crosswise into 2-inch wide strips. or 6 chicken thighs with bones, skin removed.
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1½ cups)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon finely-chopped fresh rosemary
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups aborio rice, rinsed of excess starch
  • 3 cups low-salt chicken broth (I like Swanson's)
  • 12-14 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1-2 roasted red peppers from a jar, sliced into strips or sliced pimientos from a jar.
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, optional garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large oven-proof skillet (at least 12") Cook sausage, stirring, over high heat, until browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Season chicken with 1 teaspoon of salt and sprinkles of black pepper, to taste. Add 1 additional tablespoon olive oil to skillet. Add chicken and sear on all sides, about 2 minutes total. Remove to the plate with the sausages and set aside. (for thighs, season as above and brown 4 minutes per side) Lower heat to medium-low, add onions, and cook, stirring, until the onion softens, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and rosemary and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add rice, Saffron (rubbing it between your fingers so it breaks up as it falls into the pan), paprika, tomatoes, and 1½ teaspoons salt. Stir everything just to combine. Pour broth over mixture. Add chicken strips and sausages evenly around the pan, pushing them down into the rice so just their tops are showing through. Bring the mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and transfer the skillet to the oven. Cook for 8 minutes, uncovered. Remove pan from the oven. Decorate the top with strips of red pepper and raw shrimp. Sprinkle shrimp lightly with salt and smoky paprika. Return the skillet to the oven. Cook for 8-10 minutes longer, until shrimp and chicken are cooked through. Remove from oven and sprinkle with parsley, if you like. Serve hot.



  1. Stef says

    Thanks for this recipe! Much less time consuming and laborious than the one I have. Love Love Paella!

  2. Barbara Joseph says

    Thanks for transporting me back to my trip to Valencia and Barcelona during my junior semester abroad. I had never tasted a rice/seafood dish so savory – I literally ate it everyday! I’ll definitely have to try this.

  3. Tybie says

    Cannot wait to try this! Quick question regarding tomatoes, they are in the directions, but not the ingredients… How many? Every recipe I have tried has been GREAT and I am looking forward to this one! (Bobotie, french onion tart, linzertorte, brussel sprouts, matza ball soup shakshuka, etc!)
    Thanks, this website has been fabulous!

    • Lisa Goldfinger says

      Thanks so much for letting me know about the tomatoes! It’s fixed now. I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed a bunch of my recipes and I hope the paella turns out great for you.
      All the best, Lisa

  4. says

    This looks amazing! I love paella and will definitely try this. I would like to add some other seafoods as well. Just printed it out!

  5. says

    I recently saw Paella at a farmer’s market – a man was making huge pans of it and lines of people were just observing and waiting to get a plate! It was very impressive. Thank you for a beautiful and simple recipe – can’t wait to try it!

  6. Elsa Quevedo Cervantes says

    This is not a paella. Paella is from Valencian Comunity. Paella never is made by saucisses or fish, is tipical from the huerta, kitchen-garden. This is an invent. an “arroz con cosas” “rice with choses” but not paella.

    • Pedro Pica Piedras says

      Elsa, as long as a paella is cooked in an authentic paella pan, and it is made with Bomba or Calaspara rice, Spaniard Saffron, a little bit of smoked sweet paprika, then one can call it a paella and not an “arroz con cosas.” Just because a paella is cooked outside of Spain does not mean we can’t call it a paella. I do agree there is a difference between an authentic paella and a paella, but please, let us call our rice dish a paella if we choose to do so as it makes us happy to share such a treasured dish from your country (I’m assuming you are Spaniard and I’m almost positive I’m right), and be happy instead of critical.

  7. says

    i would like the paella recipe that has the chicken and sausage, but also more seafood other than shrimp. i have made before and it was a hit with my family. now i’m wanting to make for our christmas get together. the recipe i used before called for mussels, clams, scallops, shrimp, crab or lobster and boneless chicken thighs and sausage. also it called for rice, pimento and peas. if you could me i would appreciate it. my family is really looking forward to this dish for christmas.


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