Paella Recipe - Jo Cooks

How to make Easy Seafood Paella Recipe

During an enchanting trip that took me through the heart of Spain, where vibrant markets spill forth their bounty and the sea’s treasures are revered, I was fortunate enough to encounter the iconic Seafood Paella. This dish, a masterpiece of Spanish cuisine, weaves together the exquisite flavors of prawns, lobster tails, and the unmistakable texture of Spanish rice. The prawns add a juicy sweetness, perfectly complemented by the rich decadence of lobster tails, while the rice, suffused with aromatic spices, absorbs every nuance of flavor, creating a tapestry of taste that is both complex and harmonious.

Compelled by the unforgettable experience of savoring this dish amid Spain’s picturesque landscapes and spirited locals, I embarked on a culinary quest to replicate it. My journey led me through various trials, each bringing me closer to the authentic essence of the paella I had enjoyed. Now, with a recipe refined and perfected with love and persistence, I am thrilled to share my Easy Seafood Paella Recipe with you. May this dish not only bring the vibrant spirit of Spain into your kitchen but also foster gatherings filled with joy, much like those that inspired its creation. Let’s embark together on this flavorful adventure, celebrating the richness of the sea and the land, intertwined in every bite.

Easy Seafood Paella Recipe

Paella Recipe - Jo Cooks

Easy Seafood Paella Recipe

The Easy Seafood Paella Recipe is a dive into the heart of Spanish culinary tradition, capturing the essence and flavors of a dish deeply rooted in Spain’s coastal heritage. This recipe beautifully showcases a rich medley of seafood, including succulent prawns and luxurious lobster tails, delicately nestled amongst a bed of aromatic Spanish rice. The seafood provides a juicy sweetness, complemented by the lobster tails that add a touch of opulence, while the rice, seasoned with a blend of spices, soaks up every nuance of flavor. Inspired by an unforgettable encounter with this iconic dish during travels across Spain's picturesque landscapes, the urge to recreate such a memorable taste experience led to a journey of exploration and discovery. Through persistent experimentation and a passion for bringing Spanish culture into the kitchen, a simplified yet authentic version of the Seafood Paella was mastered. This recipe not only aims to transport you back to the sun-drenched terraces of Spain but also invites you to partake in the celebration of its rich, gastronomic traditions. With each spoonful, the Easy Seafood Paella offers a taste of the country's bountiful seas and culinary prowess, making it more than just a meal, but an adventure unto itself.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 6 people
Calories 896 kcal


  • 1 big saucepan
  • 1 mixing bowl


  • 1 lb. prawns
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 large Roma tomatoes
  • 6 oz. French green beans
  • 4 small lobster tails
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • Water
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 large pinches of saffron
  • 2 cups Spanish rice
  • 1 large yellow onion


  • Take 3 cups of water to a gentle simmer in a big saucepan.
  • Tongs are used to cut the lobster tails.
  • After 2 minutes of sautéing the onions, add the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Combine the saffron, dripping water, paprika, smoked paprika, Aleppo paprika, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  • Combine the tomato slices and green beans in a mixing bowl.
  • Cook for an additional ten minutes, just until the seafood changes color.
  • Add the cooked seafood chunks last.
  • Serve with rosemary as a garnish.
  • With your favorite white wine, eat the paella sweet.
Keyword fresh parsley, king prawns

Cooking tips about Easy Seafood Paella Recipe

Easy Seafood Paella Recipe | DoorDash Blog

  • Choosing Your Rice: Opt for short-grain Spanish rice, such as Bomba or Calasparra. These varieties absorb liquid well without becoming mushy, allowing them to soak up the flavors of your broth, saffron, and seafood.
  • Saffron Is Key: Saffron imparts a unique flavor and iconic golden color to paella that’s irreplaceable. Use it sparingly, as it is potent. Toasting the threads lightly before adding them to the broth can enhance their flavor.
  • Proper Pan: While a traditional paellera is ideal, any wide, shallow pan will work. The key is to maximize the surface area, allowing for even cooking and the development of the socarrat—the coveted crispy layer of rice at the bottom of the pan.
  • Seafood Selection: Use a mix of seafood for varied flavor and texture. Prawns, lobster tails, and mussels are traditional choices. Ensure your seafood is cleaned properly; for example, debeard mussels and shell prawns if needed.
  • Stock Matters: A flavorful stock is the backbone of paella. If possible, use homemade fish or chicken stock, and consider enhancing it with a bit of saffron and paprika to infuse additional flavors right from the start.
  • Layering Ingredients: Add ingredients in stages to ensure everything cooks to perfection. Typically, the rice is added after sautéing onions and garlic, followed by the liquid. Seafood requires less cooking time and should be added towards the end, with the larger pieces like lobster tails going in first, followed by smaller ones like prawns.
  • Do Not Stir: Once you’ve added your rice and liquid, resist the urge to stir. This allows the rice to cook evenly and prevents activating its starches too much, which can make the dish gummy. The only exception is when arranging the seafood atop the rice.
  • Heat Management: Cooking paella is all about managing heat. Start on a high flame to bring everything to temperature, then reduce to a simmer, allowing the rice to cook gently. This control is vital for achieving the perfect socarrat.
  • Let It Rest: Like many rice dishes, paella benefits from resting off the heat, covered with a clean kitchen towel, for several minutes after cooking. This step helps distribute moisture evenly and makes for a more cohesive dish.
  • Garnishing: Before serving, add visual appeal and freshness with garnishes like lemon wedges, chopped parsley, or peas. These not only enhance the appearance but add bursts of flavor.

Serving suggestions about Easy Seafood Paella Recipe

Easy Seafood Paella

  • Lemon Wedges: Provide plenty of fresh lemon wedges on the side. A squeeze of lemon juice over the paella just before eating brightens up the flavors and adds a refreshing zest that complements the seafood perfectly.
  • Spanish Wine Pairing: Elevate your meal with a bottle of Spanish white wine, such as Albariño or Verdejo, known for their crisp and refreshing qualities that pair wonderfully with the rich flavors of the paella. For red wine lovers, a light Rioja can complement without overpowering the dish.
  • Crusty Bread: Serve alongside slices of crusty bread to soak up the delicious, flavorful broth from the paella. This ensures not a drop of the sumptuous saffron-infused broth goes to waste.
  • Simple Green Salad: A simple green salad, dressed lightly with olive oil and vinegar, offers a crisp and clean contrast to the richness of the paella. It’s a refreshing side that balances every bite.
  • Alioli Sauce: Offering alioli (garlic mayonnaise) provides a creamy and garlicky addition that guests can spoon over their paella if they desire. It’s particularly good with the seafood and socarrat (the crispy bottom layer of rice).
  • Chilled Gazpacho: Begin the meal with a chilled gazpacho as an appetizer. The cool, refreshing flavors of the tomato-based soup make it an excellent start that primes the palate for the main course.
  • Sangria or Cava: For a truly festive occasion, serve your paella with a pitcher of homemade sangria or a bottle of Spanish cava. Both drinks add a celebratory flair and pair beautifully with the array of flavors in the paella.
  • Olives and Manchego Cheese: Start the meal with a platter of Spanish olives and slices of Manchego cheese. These nibbles are perfect for guests to enjoy while the paella is being prepared and embody the spirit of Spanish cuisine.

Top 5 FAQs about Easy Seafood Paella Recipe

Seafood Paella Recipe

  • What type of rice is best for making Easy Seafood Paella? The best type of rice for making Easy Seafood Paella is short-grain Spanish rice, like Bomba or Calasparra. These varieties are preferred because they absorb liquid and flavors well without becoming mushy, which is key to achieving the perfect paella texture.
  • Can I use other types of seafood in the Easy Seafood Paella? Yes, while the recipe includes prawns and lobster tails, you can customize your paella by using a variety of seafood. Mussels, clams, squid, and scallops are excellent additions. Just remember to adjust cooking times based on the size and variety of the seafood used to ensure everything is perfectly cooked.
  • What gives Easy Seafood Paella its distinctive color and flavor? Saffron is the signature spice that imparts a beautiful golden hue and a unique aroma and flavor to the paella. It’s important to use it sparingly due to its potency. Toasting the saffron threads lightly before adding them to the broth can enhance their flavor, giving the dish its characteristic richness.
  • How do I achieve the socarrat, or crispy bottom layer of rice, in my Easy Seafood Paella? The socarrat is a coveted feature of an authentic paella and can be achieved by cooking the paella on a high flame without stirring once the rice has absorbed the liquid. Carefully monitor the heat to prevent burning, looking for a crispy, slightly caramelized rice layer at the bottom of the pan.
  • What are some serving suggestions for Easy Seafood Paella? Easy Seafood Paella is best enjoyed fresh from the pan, served with lemon wedges on the side for guests to squeeze over their portion. Pairing the paella with a chilled Spanish white wine, like Albariño, or a light, crisp beer complements the flavors beautifully. A simple green salad or crusty bread are also great accompaniments to round out the meal.

The Easy Seafood Paella Recipe stands as a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Spain, offering a sumptuous fusion of flavors that transport you straight to the Spanish coast with every bite. This dish perfectly marries the succulence of prawns and the luxury of lobster tails with the aromatic essence of Spanish rice, creating a symphony of tastes that celebrates the bounty of the sea. Born from a memorable encounter with Spain’s vibrant culture and its revered gastronomic tradition, this recipe was meticulously crafted to evoke the spirit of Spanish dining. Through perseverance and a passion for authentic cuisine, an accessible yet genuine version of Seafood Paella was achieved, ready to grace your table. Whether for a festive gathering or a cozy family dinner, this Easy Seafood Paella not only promises to delight your taste buds but also infuses your mealtime with the warmth and joy characteristic of Spanish hospitality. Let this dish be more than just a meal; let it be an adventure, an invitation to explore the depths of Spain’s culinary prowess and to celebrate the simple pleasures that cooking can bring.


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