Seafood Paella Recipe – Simply Delicious Spanish Food!


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seafood paella recipe

Paella is an authentic Spanish rice dish recipe made from rice, chicken or seafood, vegetables, and sometimes meat. It’s one of Spain’s most popular dishes, renowned for its aromatic spices and vibrant mix of flavors.

In this Seafood Paella recipe, we delve into the traditional methods to bring the essence of Spanish coastal cuisine to your kitchen, featuring the freshest seafood, a blend of regional spices, and the perfect rice to create a truly memorable meal.

What Seafood Paella is all about…

Paella originated in Valencia, Spain. The name comes from the Valencian word for “pan,” which refers to the large pan used to cook the dish. Strictly speaking, the word paella refers to the “Valencian paella” which is made with chicken, rabbit (and often snails). However, these days the name ‘paella’ has been generalized, also applying to many of the other rice dishes, such as seafood paella (this recipe), , mixed paella, chicken chorizo paella, vegetarian paella etc.

Since early days, Paella has been a dish that brings people together to celebrate an event. Its popularity has made it spread throughout Spain, becoming, as considered by many, a Spanish national dish with countless variants depending on the ingredients of each region.

What kind of rice to use?

Traditional Spanish Paella recipes are made with a short grain rice variety called bomba, known for its ability to absorb the flavours. In Spain other varieties such as ‘senia’ and ‘bahia’ are also used for this delicious dish. Remember with paella the end result should be rice that is not sticky and can be easily separated, which is quite different to a creamy risotto. The aim is to use a short or medium grain rice that absorbs liquid well but also maintain firmness when cooked. Possible substitutes to bomba rice are Italian Carnaroli, or Calrose. Just be aware long-grain rice doesn’t normally work well with paella.


How paella is made: Step by step Paella recipe

If you are wondering how to make authentic Spanish paella, don’t worry here you will find one of our favourite seafood paella recipe (prawn paella), with steps by step instructions to make this for any special occasion with family and friends.


4 serves.

Total Time:

1 hour and 10 minutes

Seafood Paella Recipe Ingredients:

• 2 cups of bomba or equivalent suitable rice (approx. 400 grams).
• 4 medium size Langoustines (also known as Norway lobster, Dublin Bay prawn or scampi, click here to check it on wikipedia)
• 22 prawns: 4 to decorate and 18 to mix with the rice.
• 680g of crabs (and mantis shrimp if available) for the broth.
• 1 large squid or cuttlefish.
• 18 clean mussels.
• 1 crab to decorate.
• 3 tomatoes.
• 1 onion.
• 6 cloves of garlic.
• 2 tablespoons of sweet paprika.
• 1 bay leaf.
• A little saffron (this is ideal, but alternatively use some saffron colour).
• Salt.
• 1/2 cup of olive oil.
• 6 cups (1.5L) of water for the broth

How to make paella:

1. To make paella start by preparing the broth. In a large pot, bring 6 cups (1.5L) of water to a boil. Add the crabs and mantis shrimp, the onion, 4 cloves of garlic and the bay leaf. Let the broth continue to boil.
2. Peel the prawns. Reserve the tails, and add the heads and peelings to the broth. Leave 4 large ones unpeeled to put on top as decoration towards the end.

prawn paella

3. While the broth is boiling, cut the squid in small pieces, also grate the tomatoes and chop the garlic.

seafood paella

4. In a skillet (or paellera if you have one) heat the oil. Turn heat to medium and add the cleaned mussels, cover them with a lid.

5. Remove the mussels from the skillet when they are open, and cover them with aluminium foil.

traditional paella recipe

6. Now add the Langoustines and the 4 reserved prawns (unpeeled) to the same skillet at medium-high heat, add some salt, stir briefly and remove, do not overcook.

spanish seafood paella recipe

7. Next, in the same oil, add the prawn tails, the squid and the chopped garlic. When they are golden, add the grated tomato and leave it on medium heat for a few minutes.

8. Without removing the above, add the rice, mixing it well, along with two teaspoons of sweet paprika. Stir fry for a few minutes.

spanish rice dish

9. Add 4 cups of strained broth (2 cups of broth for each cup of rice to start), add the saffron and salt to taste. Note you may need to add more broth if your rice selection requires that.

10. The rice cooking time will be around 18 minutes. Cook at high for the first 5 minutes, then set the heat to low for the remaining time.

11. When the broth is absorbed and rice is visible, place the langoustines, reserved whole prawns and cooked mussels on the top for decoration.

seafood paella recipe

12. Remove the skillet from the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

spanish paella recipe

So this is what this seafood paella recipe is about, we hope you enjoy with your family and friend!


• Do not wash rice before cooking.
• Once cooked, let the paella rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
• Generally, plan for about ½ cup (approx. 100g) of dry rice per person.
• Generally, for each measure of rice, use 2-2.5 measures of broth , depending on the type of rice selected.

How much paella rice per person?

Generally, plan for about ½ cup (approx. 100g) of dry rice per person.

What to serve with Paella?

Serve seafood paella with a simple lettuce and tomato salad that acts as entrée, and of course accompany that with your favourite white wine. If you are after something more elaborated to start your meal, you can try a chilled Gazpacho or some grilled vegetables.


For other delicious recipes please visit our Spanish Spanish and Latin American recipe page .

Spanish Connect


Spanish Connect® is a language school in Australia. We focus on providing immersive Spanish language experiences through language acquisition, similar to the way children develop ability in their first language, creating the path to language proficiency in a natural and enjoyable way.