This seafood paella recipe is inspired by the classic Spanish rice dish from Valencia. This take features aromatic saffron, a vibrant mix of seared scallops, jumbo shrimp, and salty Spanish chorizo. This recipe is a major crowd pleaser offering the option of either chicken or fish stock to please those who adore the taste of the sea, and also those who may be a little on the fence. Dig into the perfect bite of tender rice from the top and crispy, crunchy caramelized rice perfection on the bottom, also known as soccarat!
Sit back and enjoy this dish with a light and fresh Albariño wine or crisp Cava.
- 6 jumbo shrimp
- 8-10 jumbo scallops
- ½ red bell pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 4 oz spanish chorizo
- 1 quart chicken or fish stock
- 3 cup arborio rice
- 1 ½ cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup dry white wine, albarino or chardonnay
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 tsp saffron threads, a good pinch
- 1-2 large lemons for serving
- Prepare vegetables. Dice onions, bell pepper, and tomatoes, and finely chop garlic.
- Preheat a 16 inch paella pan, or split between two large saucepans, with olive oil to medium heat. Add diced onions and peppers, and saute until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, chorizo, tomatoes, and saffron. Cook the vegetables and chorizo, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have softened, and enough water has evaporated to create a jammy mixture, about 10 minutes.
- Add wine, and cook until the volume of liquid added has halved, about 3-4 minutes. Add the rice and stir until fully coated and lightly toasted, about 3-4 additional minutes. Add stock, stir, and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low, and cook for 20-25 minutes, without stirring.
- Note: rotate the pan periodically to allow for even cooking. Keep an eye on the edges to ensure all of the rice cooks through evenly.
- After about ten minutes of cooking the paella, undisturbed, add the shrimp to the top of the rice to cook. Flip once the bottom appears pink.
- Note: if at any point the rice on top seems dry before it’s fully cooked, add more stock or water, about ½ cup at a time, as needed.
- As the shrimp and paella cook, prepare the scallops. Preheat a separate skillet with butter to medium-high heat. Sear scallops about 4-5 at a time, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes per side, or just until browned.
- Arrange the scallops on the paella once they are cooked. Serve with fresh lemon wedges, and enjoy!
- Note: to ensure you achieve crispy socarrat, listen for a slight crackling sound toward the very end of the cooking process of the rice. You can also test to ensure the bottom layer is lightly frying rather than burning by scraping a small section of the pan to expose what’s going on. Reduce heat if needed.
Maddie is a Minneapolis-based recipe developer and food photographer with a background in Food Engineering and Nutrition. Maddie utilizes her scientific understanding of food to create delicious recipes that are worth repeating. When she’s not experimenting in her kitchen, she’s exploring new cities around the world or fostering pups to help them adjust to the good life and find their forever homes! You can find more of Maddie’s work (and follow her cute fosters) on Instagram or maddieaugustin.com.