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Seafood Paella

Seafood paella with chicken, sausage, shrimp, and mussels – the perfect dish to make when serving a lot of guests. Skip to the recipe now, or keep reading!

When it comes to party planning and entertaining guests, my skills are lacking to say the least. Don’t get me wrong, I love having people over and feeding their faces, but I’m the worst when it comes to giving notice ahead of time. My friends are more likely to receive a text from me saying, “OY! Last minute, but do you want to come over in 5 minutes and help me eat this smogasbord of food I made today?” than one reading, “On 20 July, 2016, I humbly invite you to take part in an evening of wining, dining, and Cards Against Humanity with great company and all the food you can fit inside your existence.” Planning is not my strong suit, people. But stuffing my friends and family on a whim? That I can do.

Seafood Paella with chicken, sausage, shrimp, and mussels - a delicious tapas recipe to serve to guests | #healthy #dinner #recipe #spanish #glutenfree

Which brings me to the focal point of this post: paella.


A few years ago, I posted an Easy One-Pot Seafood Paella recipe. I thought I’d revisit the topic, because have you had paella? It’s bangarang. I only make paella once or twice a year, if that, because it does require a time and financial investment plus an occasion to feast. This classic Spanish dish typically includes a variety of animal proteins: chicken, sausage, shrimp, mussels, and/or clams. While paella is an awesome dish to serve as an appetizer/tapas to many, I tend to serve it as an entree for a few…and by, “a few,” I mean 6 easily because holy crap, this recipe makes a ton of food.

Not only does this recipe yield a hefty volume, but it’s also packed with flavor, and is super filling. The order of operations here is to saute the onion, brown the chicken thighs, add the rice, cooked sausage, broth, and seasoning and allow the rice to cook. After most of the water is absorbed, we arrange the seafood all pretty-like and continue cooking until the dish is ready to serve. True story, this dish requires more time to prepare than I usually input into my meals, but it’s definitely worth it – especially if you’re looking for street cred among your friends and family.

To speed up the cook time, you can use 4 to 5 cups of cooked rice, and add about 1 to 2 cups of liquid, rather than going through the full water absorption process. I find rice takes much longer to cook when there are other ingredients (in this case, chicken, sausage, and onion) mixed in, versus cooking it on its own; however, you’ll end up with a more cohesive and flavorful dish if you do prepare it the traditional way using uncooked rice.

Seafood Paella with chicken, sausage, shrimp, and mussels - a delicious tapas recipe to serve to guests | #healthy #dinner #recipe #spanish #glutenfree

I like using already cooked chicken chorizo, which decreases the cook time slightly and lightens up the dish a bit, but you can definitely incorporate your favorite chorizo of choice. Often clams are included in seafood paella, but the grocery store was fresh out when I went to purchase ingredients, so I skipped them. I found the mussels and shrimp made for enough seafood, but you can add an additional pound of clams, and/or substitute any combination of seafood you’d like.

Seafood Paella with chicken, sausage, shrimp, and mussels - a delicious tapas recipe to serve to guests | #healthy #dinner #recipe #spanish #glutenfree

Seafood Paella

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

An easy recipe for seafood paella that results in the freshest most delicious paella ever!


  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 chicken thighs, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups arborio rice*
  • 1 ounce can diced tomatoes, 28-
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Pinch saffron threads, optional
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 1 pound chorizo links, sliced
  • 1 pound mussels, scrubbed


  1. Heat the oil in a large paella pan (or wok or skillet) to medium-high. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. (Note: you can also use a large wok, Dutch oven, or skillet if you don't have a paella pan).
  2. Add the chopped chicken thighs to the skillet with the onion, along with the minced garlic. Cook, stirring every couple of minutes until the chicken is browned, but not cooked through.
  3. Add the rice, diced tomatoes, turmeric, and saffron, and stir to combine, cooking about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken broth, sea salt, and bay leaf, and bring to a full boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until much of the liquid has been absorbed, about 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Remove the cover from the pan and arrange the raw shrimp and mussels in the paella mixture. Replace the cover and cook until shrimp has turned plump and pink and mussels have opened, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Give the paella a big stir and taste for flavor. If necessary, continue cooking the paella if the rice isn't fully cooked. Add sea salt and seasonings to taste. Serve with freshly chopped parsley, lemon wedges and hot sauce.


*You can also use any rice of choice, but arborio rice yields the creamiest texture

Nutrition Information
Serving Size 1 grams
Amount Per Serving Unsaturated Fat 0g

Kitchen tools I used to prepare this recipe:

Seafood Paella with chicken, sausage, shrimp, and mussels - a delicious tapas recipe to serve to guests | #healthy #dinner #recipe #spanish #glutenfree

My tutorial on How to Make Seafood Paella, complete with a photo tutorial and recipe is available at!

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Sarah @ Snixy Kitchen

Friday 17th of June 2016

How can I get in on these last minute food invite texts? I'D SO BE THERE! Especially if this paella were involved!

Kelly // The Pretty Bee: Allergy Friendly Eats

Tuesday 7th of June 2016

I have never had paella...this seems like it needs to be changed, stat! Looks delicious!

Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

Monday 6th of June 2016

Last-minute get togethers are my favorite! Next time I'm feeling spontaneous, I'm going to wow everyone with this amazeballs paella!

Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health

Monday 6th of June 2016

I remember when you were making this on Snapchat and you asked G what it was, lol. At least, I think it was this...

Would you believe I've never had Paella? Your blog makes me feel so inexperienced in the foodie world. But in a good way. :)

p.s. I'd be happy to come help you devour some food at a moment's notice. Say the word and I'm there! 3.5 hours later. ;)


Monday 6th of June 2016

I WUV paella. But, but, but...if you don't cook the rice in the paella, you won't get the socarrat, which is the best part. But, I'd eat it anyway, because paella makes my world go 'round. I'm so glad that Stephie taught me how to make it when she came home from Spain. I'm on my way to have some with you.

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