Shrimp Paella

A summertime classic that is easier (and more flexible) than you think!


  • 1.5 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 ½ cups Arborio rice (or any short-grain rice)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon saffron threads (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup pitted green olives
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
  • Lemon wedges (for serving)


  1. In a large paella pan or a wide skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until the onion becomes translucent.
  2. Add the diced bell peppers to the pan and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften.
  3. Stir in the diced tomatoes, smoked paprika, saffron threads (if using), and turmeric powder. Cook for another 2 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  4. Add the Arborio rice to the pan and stir well, coating the rice with the vegetable mixture.
  5. Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth, season with salt and black pepper, and give it a good stir. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  6. Meanwhile, in a separate skillet, heat a little olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the peeled and deveined shrimp, season with salt and black pepper, and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side until they turn pink and opaque. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and set aside.
  7. After the rice has cooked for 15-20 minutes and most of the liquid has been absorbed, scatter the frozen peas and pitted green olives over the rice. Give it a gentle stir.
  8. Arrange the cooked shrimp on top of the rice, pushing them slightly into the mixture. Cover the pan and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes until the rice is fully cooked and the flavors have melded together.
  9. Remove from heat and let the paella rest, covered, for a few minutes before serving.
  10. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve the shrimp paella hot, with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the dish.