Seafood Paella

If you have trouble finding Spanish chorizo, substitute another kind of cooked sausage along with 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika (for the smoky flavor).

No grill? Cook this inside! Cook the paella through step 6 on top of the stove. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Add the seafood (step 7), cover the pan tightly with foil and finish cooking in the oven for 6 to 10 minutes or until the rice and shrimp are both cooked through and the mussels and clams are open. Check to see if the bottom has browned and, if not, set the pan over medium heat for a minute or two to allow the bottom layer of rice to caramelize.

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings


  • 4 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled and then loosely measured
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 6 ounces mild dried chorizo sausage, sliced into thin half-moons (See Recipe Note)
  • 3 cups short-grain rice, such as Spanish Bomba rice or Italian Arborio
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 pound large (21-24 per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails left on
  • 1 pound mussels, rinsed and scrubbed
  • 1 pound littleneck clams, rinsed and scrubbed
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley, for garnish


1 Preheat the grill: Heat a gas grill to medium-high heat (375ºF), or light a charcoal grill and let burn until the charcoal is covered with gray ash.

2 Steep the saffron: In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock to a boil. Add the saffron and salt. Turn off the heat and let the saffron steep for at least 15 minutes. Taste and add more salt, if needed.

Paella recipe with seafood steep the saffron

3 Cook the sofrito base: In a 12- to 14-inch stainless steel skillet or cast iron pan, heat the oil over medium heat on top of the stove. Add the onion and red pepper, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic and chorizo.

Easy seafood paella recipe cook the sofrito base

4 Assemble the ingredients by the grill: On a table next to the grill, set the skillet with the sofrito, the rice, tomatoes, infused stock, salt, peas, shrimp, mussels, and clams.

5 Begin cooking the paella: Set the skillet with the sofrito on the grill. Add the rice, and cook, stirring often, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the rice is coated with oil and lightly toasted.

Stir in the stock, tomatoes, and peas. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if you like.

Best seafood paella recipe stir in the stock and tomatoes

Spread the rice evenly over the bottom of the pan. Close the grill cover and simmer the rice without stirring for 15 minutes, or until the rice absorbs most of the stock. If the mixture looks dry, pour about 1 cup of hot water over it, but do not stir.

Seafood paella with rice recipe let the rice absorb the stock

6 Add the seafood: Nestle the mussels and clams into the rice with the hinge sides up so they release their juices into the rice. Arrange the shrimp around the shellfish.

Cover the pan with foil, close the grill and cook for 6 to 10 minutes longer (depending on the heat of your grill), or until the rice and shrimp are both cooked through and the mussels and clams are open. (Discard any shellfish that remain tightly shut once everything else is cooked.)

Seafood Paella with Rice recipe add the seafood

7 Check to see if the bottom is browned: Slip a spatula under the rice and check to see if you have achieved the elusive golden brown socarrat. If not, set the pan over the heat, uncovered, for a few minutes to lightly caramelize the bottom.

Sprinkle with parsley and bring the whole pan to the table for serving.

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  • Nathalie

    Very good ,nice and delicious


  • MJ Jacobsen

    Ok, wish me luck; I’m making this tomorrow for the 4th of July! I’m using a 20 “ paella pan, and using the burner on my turkey fryer for a heat source….. I’ll report back later.

  • Tom Wagner

    I have never had really good paella. This recipe looks absolutely delicious, but I’m just too lazy to make it myself. I think I’m going to try to course my sister in law to make it for us.

  • Kevin

    We made it with my friend. It was little complicated but was not so bad and turned out to be as good as one at authentic Spanish restaurant in town. We need to find way to get fresh mussels. Clams and shrimps turned out to be fresh.


  • Fibia

    I made this on the stove using a cast iron and it was amazing!!!

  • Florence Jensen

    This was fantastic—right down to the socarrat! I did it all in a 12-inch skillet on the stovetop. Great directions to make one of greatest dishes out there!


  • Florence Jensen

    I made this last night and was so pleased with the result. The most important part of paella is the rice, and this recipe delivered—even describing how to achieve the socarrat at the bottom of the pan! I did everything on the stovetop, thanks to the clear instructions! This is the recipe that I will be using from now on.

    Thank you for the great recipes—you are a trusted, reliable source for me!


  • Christine

    Would Jasmine rice work in this recipe?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Christine! Jasmine will give you a somewhat different texture and flavor than traditional bomba rice, but I think it would still work. Let us know if you try it!

  • Annie D

    I have wanted to try cooking paella for years! I’ve read umpteen recipes and watched videos. But still too intimidated. Not sure if I should buy a paella pan, etc.

    But reading this today, there is something especially accessible about this well-written recipe and all the wonderful explanations and photos — it makes me believe I can do this. Thank you, Sally!!

    • SALLY

      Thank you Annie! I hope you try this–it just isn’t that hard and it’s a really fun party dish–you definitely can do this!