Seafood Paella Recipe

🕔 3 mins (total)
Paella con Mariscos, or seafood paella
Paella con Mariscos, or seafood paella

Paella is probably the Spanish dish most widely-known internationally, but, to give credit where credit is due, it is really a Valencian dish originally. Paella is the word in Catalan-Valenciano for “frying pan”, so the dish gets its name from the special shallow pan in which it is cooked – although the word paella in Valenciano can refer to just about any type of frying pan.

The Moors introduced rice into the Iberian peninsula and casserole-type dishes with rice, vegetables, herbs and spices and either fish or meat became traditional. In Mediterranean eastern Spain, fish and seafood were most common, and so our recipe here is for seafood version. Of course, there are numerous versions of paella and there is plenty of flexibility, so you can swap and change many of the ingredients if you should so wish.


  • One smallish onion

  • Three or four cloves of garlic

  • Half a (red) pepper

  • 1 “tube” of squid

  • Dozen large prawns

  • 8 fresh mussels

  • 80ml of extra virgin olive oil

  • 120ml of tinned fried tomato

  • Saffron

  • Paprika

  • Salt and pepper

  • 600ml of fish stock

  • 130g of round-grain rice


This dish is normally prepared in a traditional paella pan but if you don’t have one, any large frying pan should do the job. First of all, it is a good idea to prepare all the ingredients beforehand because once you start there is very little time between the cooking stages.

  • Dice/chop your garlic, onions and pepper

  • Cut the squid in half and then dice

  • Peel the prawns

  • Clean the mussels by removing the “beards” and giving the shells a scrub

  • Heat the extra virgin olive oil in the paella pan and add a pinch of salt

  • Add the squid to the pan and fry for 2 minutes, moving the pieces around the pan

  • Remove the squid using a slotted spoon

  • Add the onion and garlic, stirring around the pan

  • After 1 minute add the pepper, constantly stirring

  • 3 minutes later add the fried tomatoes

  • Season with (sea) salt and cracked black pepper

  • Add half a teaspoon of paprika

  • After 2 minutes return the squid to the paella

  • Add the fish stock

  • If you are using saffron you can add that now too

  • Gently mix everything together

  • When the broth comes to the boil, add the round-grain rice

  • Gently stir everything until the rice is evenly distributed

  • 5 minutes after adding the rice, add the prawns and mussels, placing them on top of the rice

  • From this point on you should not stir anymore, only gently shake the pan from time to time

  • 5 minutes after adding the prawns and mussels, reduce the heat to medium-low

  • After 10 minutes the broth should be just about gone, and you’re almost done

  • The last step is to make the layer of crusty burnt rice at the bottom of the pan known in Valenciano (or Catalan!) as socarrat. To do this, turn the heat up to high for ONE minute – just long enough to give you the crispy burnt rice without cremating the whole dish! – and then turn off the heat altogether. Cover the paella and leave it to rest for 5 to 7 minutes.

Serving suggestion:

  • Before serving you can garnish the dish with lemon and parsley.

  • And when serving, don’t forget to make sure everyone gets some of the socarrat, or better again, let everyone serve themselves. In fact, many Valencianos leave the paella in the middle of the table and diners eat directly from the dish.

Bon Profit!

Check out our other Mediterranean recipes for dishes to try at home.

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