Spanish Rice Dish Paella Recipe ‐ This simple Shrimp and Chorizo Paella is easy to make, has classic paella ingredients with all Spanish flavors. Feed and impress a crowd with this paella recipe!
This post was originally published on April 17th, 2016. It was updated March 2nd, 2018
Shrimp and Chorizo Paella
I have been working on this Shrimp and Chorizo Paella recipe for a little while, and I felt like it was time to share. Ever since I studied in Spain, I have been wanting to make Paella. Even though the region I lived in wasn’t particularly known for their Paella, they still had an excellent variety to choose from for those who wanted to sample this classic Spanish dish.
What is Paella?
Paella is a rice dish from Spain, originally from the Valencia region. Paella is named after the word “paelle” which means “pan”!
How to make Paella
For some reason I was very intimidated by Paella, and I never quite got around to making it until now. I wanted to figure out how to make paella from scratch, using all the traditional spices.
Spices in Paella
It took a few trial runs, but the last time I made this Shrimp and Chorizo Paella I was happy with the results. Saffron and smoked Paprika are definitely necessary.
The best rice for Paella
It does help to get the right kind of rice and make sure to use the right amount of liquid. I was able to find some Spanish paella rice (redondo rice, or bomba rice) but it can be hard to find. The preferred kind of rice is a short grain white rice, so Arborio is the next best thing if you can’t find paella rice. Be sure you read the packaging and use the amount of liquid that is recommended.
Because Paella has been a very popular dish all throughout its history, it went through a lot of adoption and adaptation. There is no one true traditional Paella list of ingredients. But at a minimum you need the following:
- Rice – Bomba rice (arroz bomba) or arroz redondo, but if you can’t find those, try Arborio, another kind of short grain white rice
- Saffron – This potent vibrant spice has been in Paellas since day one
- Smoked Paprika – to impart the smoky flavor one would get from cooking on a wood fire
- Protein – Really, anything goes, but in this case we will use Chorizo and Shrimp. Spanish chorizo is extra smoky so it complements the smoked paprika
- Liquid – Some kind of stock, in this case chicken stock
- Anything else you want! Beans are a popular ingredient even though I am not using them in this Paella recipe
I wanted to put shrimp and chorizo in my paella recipe because that seemed to be closest to the kind I ate in Spain even though the traditional Valencia Paella is never made with chorizo. Of course the seafood paella usually had mussels, clams, squid, shrimp and fish, but I wanted to keep it on the simple side so I just used shrimp. You can use any kind of meat or seafood that you would like, or even skip the meat altogether.
The hardest part was keeping the bottom from burning. This is partially because I have an electric stove (I would prefer gas) and partially because the pan I used was a bit thin. If you are using an electric stove, be sure to keep the heat on low and keep an eye on it to watch for burning, and also try to choose a pan with a thicker base for better heat distribution.
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Shrimp and Chorizo Paella
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1.5 cups bomba rice or Arborio* Paella rice
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon saffron threads 2 pinches
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes or 2 chili de arbol
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt*
- 8 ounces Spanish chorizo* the kind that is dried and cured NOT Mexican chorizo which is ground sliced into rounds
- 1 pound raw shrimp
- fresh chopped parsley
- Heat a large paella pan (or large saute pan) over medium heat. Add the olive oil. When oil is hot, add the onion and saute for 5 minutes, until onion is softened and turning golden. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
- Add the tomato paste and continue to cook until it is completely mixed in and the onions are rust colored, 2- 3 minutes.
- Add the salt, paprika, chili flakes, turmeric and saffron, stir to incorporate.
- Add the rice and stir fry until the rice is completely coated with the oil and spices.
- Stir in the stock. Bring to a simmer.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add in the sliced chorizo and cook for about 5 more minutes.
- Arrange the shrimp on top. You may need to press the shrimp into the rice with a spoon so that they are almost covered with the remaining liquid. Cook for 5-10 more minutes or until liquid is evaporated.
- Sprinkle parsley on top and serve.