A healthy, EASY Spanish seafood paella recipe made with the freshest wild caught shrimp, lobster tails, mussels and clams. Plus just a little chicken andouille sausage for extra flavor.
Pronounced “ pa-e-ya “ , with the “ e” as in “ met” , a meal of very humble origins from Valencia, Spain, it is one of the most popular dishes in the world today.
Large wild shrimp and lobster tails are mandatory, especially If you are looking to make a show stopper dish to impress. Don’t let me see any little baby shrimps in there, okay? You want them big and succulent and fresh!
What rice to use for paella ?
Traditionally the Calasparra (<–amazon) short grain rice is used, but I chose to go for some forbidden light and fluffy white rice I had in the pantry instead, tough risotto rice works fabulous in this recipe as well. Then I cooked it in a saffron infused broth while working on the shellfish and sausage.
What is the best paella pan ?
Correct answer: the one you are going to use the most! True story! 😉
I actually used two cast iron pans, it is so much easier to work with at home on the stove top than a huge traditional pan. Trust me on this one!
The secrets to the best paella ?
- Season your shellfish very well with plenty of garlic powder, sea salt and Spanish smoked paprika. (<-amazon)
- Cook it quickly in the drippings from the chicken andouille. Magic happens in that pan.
- Don’t forget the Saffron! It is was gives the rice that beautiful golden color and exquisite flavor. A pinch of this La Mancha Saffron (<-amazon) is all you need.
Note: Pairs perfectly with a crisp dry white wine!
Spanish Seafood Paella (Healthy)
- 2 c Calasparra, risotto or forbidden white rice (organic)
- 1 spanish onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic grated
- 2 links chicken andouille sausage sliced
- 1 lb wild large shrimp (tails on)
- 2 lobster tails (cut in half lengthwise)
- 1/2 lb black mussels
- 1/2 lb manilla clams
- 1 tsp sea salt + more to taste
- 1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes + more to taste
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + more as needed
- 1 pinch saffron threads
- 3 c shrimp stock or vegetable stock
- 1/2 c steamed green peas (optional)
- 1/4 c flat leaf parsley (roughly chopped)
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
- 3/4 c dry white wine
- 1/2 c green olives (optional)
- Using the kitchen shears cut the lobster tails lengthwise. Rinse and pat them dry, the transfer to a bowl together with the shrimp.
- Drizzle with a lug of olive oil and season generously all over with the sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, coriander, red pepper flakes and smoked paprika. Set aside to rest at room temperature.
- Warm up the shrimp or vegetable stock and season to your taste with sea salt. Add the saffron threads, cover with a lid and allow it to steep while you start the paella.
- In a large deep skillet heat up 3 tbsp of olive oil.
- Add the diced onion with a pinch of sea salt and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and give it a good stir making sure not to burn it.
- Stir in the rice making sure it coats nicely in the olive oil.
- Add half of the white wine and let it simmer until almost evaporated. Stir in the saffron stock and bring to a boil. Cover with a tight lid, turn the flame down to low and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off the flame and allow the rice to sit covered for 5 minutes without peaking.
- In a different skillet heat up a lug of olive oil and sear the andouille sausage until golden.
- Add the lobster tails and give everything a nice toss in all the oils.
- After about one minute add the shrimps and stir to coat. Cook for about 3 minutes until the shrimps curl up and the lobster tail shells turn red. Transfer on top of the paella rice.
- In the same pan that the lobster and shrimp has cooked in, add the clams and mussels. Hit them with the remaining white wine and cover with a lid.
- Allow them to cook for a few minutes until they open and release the sea water. Transfer them on top of the paella together with the sausage, shrimp and lobster.
- Reserve the juices the clams have cooked in to spoon over the paella.
- Serve your paella sprinkled with the green peas, the parsley and garnished with lemon wedges.