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.
My whole family LOVES this (that never happens!!) and I’ve lost count of my visitors that have asked for the recipe. Super easy and sooo yummy. I have made it with chicken, chorizo, shrimp or a combo of those and it is awesome.
Oh yay, I’m so glad to hear that! Thanks so much for leaving a comment!
Pretty much followed to a T but did add in a splash of white wine. It was AMAZING!!
I’m so glad you loved it!
Michael L says
Fantastic recipe. I precooked the chorizo and even used a spicy smoked sausage on other occasions. Highly recommend
So happy you loved it!
RANDAL MICHAEL KOTELES says
Great flavor but not so authentic. In Spain they aim to make the bottom crunchy. It even has a name, socarrat.
Try it sometime.
Also if you can’t find chorizo in the provinces, like here, Zatarains andouille works in a pinch. I fry it first.
Michael LaPlante says
I used smoked kielbasa as a substitute. Came out great!
So glad you liked it!
I did 3 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of yellow rice. Turned out amazing. Loved the recipe and super easy.
So glad you loved it!
I used “paella rice” that we found — 2.5 c dry and 8 c broth (chicken-better than bouillon, omitted salt from recipe). It took longer to cook and I ended up covering the paella pan with tinfoil after turning off the heat for about 10 minutes until all of the broth was absorbed. This was my first time making Paella and it was totally delicious!! The spices were perfection.
I’m so happy you loved it Alana!
Jordan G. says
We absolutely love this recipe. My boyfriend asks for it quite frequently and stocks up on paella rice every time he goes to the store so I can make it for him lol.
I add mushrooms and red pepper as well. We also just use the rice that has saffron in it already for cost purposes. This recipe is definitely a family favorite!
I’m so glad to hear you love it!
I’ve never made paella before, honestly I’ve never eaten it before. This was so good, my family loved it. I was missing a couple of ingredients and had to make an adjustment or 2 but it was amazing. Thank you.
Yay, so glad you loved it Jenny!
Steve B says
This was excellent, and I will definitely be making it again. I will also try some other protein choices, but the shrimp and chorizo was sooo good! Thank you for a great recipe!
So glad to hear that Steve!
steve r says
My go to Paella recipe. Have made several times. I use 2 chili arbol and it really pays to get some good saffron and smoked paprika. I get Moroccan saffron from the Atlas Mountains – can find on Amazon. I use sweet smoked paprika from Spain – get at Cost Plus world market. Have done both Bomba rice and Arborio and both work well. Spanish chorizo makes it the most authentic but if you use the good spices for flavor then any smoked sausage will work and flavor will be there.
Thanks Meghan for great base recipe that you can tailor as you like.
Thank you Steve – I am so happy you love the recipe!
This is the best!My son has made this several times for us, my 91 year old Dad loves this.
I am so happy to hear that!
Delicious and relatively easy! I used very low gas heat and moved the pan around a few times so no burning problem. I did cover it for about the last 5 minutes so the shrimp would cook through.
Wonderful! So glad it was a hit!
Heather D Sanchez says
This recipe has so much more flavor than other paella I’ve tasted in the past. I did order special Spanish chorizo and saffron from Spain, both through Amazon. The only thing I added was a can of stewed tomatoes (not the juices, just the tomatoes), which we loved.
So happy you loved it Heather!
Kara Sherk says
This was delicious. I added a Nora Pepper to enhance the flavor. Wish I had some monk fish and fish stock, but in a pandemic I have to use what is in my pantry and this worked perfectly. Thanks for the recipe!
I’m so glad you loved it Kara!
Brian Supple says
Great recipe! I adjusted slightly by adding the recommended white wine and a twist of my own, sauteed scallops.
That sounds amazing, I love scallops!
Delicious. I threw in some peas, mussels, and hard boiled egg. Dont be afraid to burn the bottom a bit. The Socarrat is the dessert! Gracias!
Wonderful! So happy you loved it Dave!
Paul Solotki says
Missing some red pepper strips and peas, which I think is (maybe) traditional.. Made this using Calrose rice for weeknight meal (did not want to waste Bomba Rice). Also grated half a leftover beefsteak tomato and used some leftover pasta sauce I had in the fridge instead of tomato paste. Did not skimp on the saffron or pimenton. My paella pan is 16 inches, so too big for three of us Used 12 inch Lodge cast iron Came out great. Thanks for posting.
So glad you loved it Paul!
Ashley Fitzmorris says
My fiance and I made this tonight and it as Amazing! We went to Spain about 2-3 years ago and had paella there and this was as close as it gets. We both loved it. We may add more seafood next time, but this was a great and simple to follow recipe as a first time paella maker.
I’m so happy to hear that Ashley!
Susan Soucoup says
I love paella and am cooking up your recipe right now. No saffron, so I’m substituting with a pinch of cumin and a pinch of coriander. Smells so good in here and tastes even better.
So glad to hear that Susan!
Who knows? When I lived in Spain , I was taught that the bottom of Paella was supposed to burn.
Hi Meghan. Can’t wait to try this receipe in thanksgiving. Can you tell me the max amount of rice that can be used in the 13 inch pan?
Hi Sally – sorry for the delayed response, we have been moving into a new home this weekend. I used a 13 inch pan for this recipe and it was pretty full so I don’t think I would use more rice than the recipe calls for here. If you need more, you could always double the recipe and use two pans – or you could make two different kinds of paella! This is such a fun idea for Thanksgiving, I hope you all love it!
Thomas Wheat says
Made this last night for my grandkids 7 -9 and it was great.
So glad you all enjoyed it Thomas!
Delicious and easy! I used Arborio rice and with it needed a bit more chicken broth- about 1/2 c. Also- with arborio rice, it takes a little longer to cook- add 10-15 minutes. I used linguisa. My family loved it- it’s a keeper- thanks!
Yay! Thanks for the tips, Maria!
This was so delicious! I browned the chorizo slices at the beginning (and cooked the onion in the leftover fat) and added red bell pepper slices and frozen peas at the end, but otherwise followed exactly (except reducing the hot pepper flakes to just a pinch). My 11 year old loved it too! Thanks for a great recipe!
Yay! So glad you loved it Rose! Love those additions!
Debi Manglallan says
This looks so good. I want to try it but have a silly question – do you cook the rice separately or add it uncooked to the dish?
Hi Debi – nope, you don’t cook the rice before – it cooks in the pan! I hope you love it!
My question exactly! I’ve been reading all the comments trying to find out the answer. Planning to make this today with the addition of peas.
Hi Tika – you don’t cook the rice before.
jawahn Thompson says
Loved it!! I used Silva Portuguese sausage. Aka linguica..couldn’t find the one from the next country over lol but it turned out great with the aborrio rice and 21-25 count shrimp. Will do again!
Wonderful! So happy to hear that!
Hi, what’s the paella pan size you used?
Hi Marie – I used a 13 inch pan that is about 2 inches deep.
Made it tonight. Fantastic. Only problem was my chorizo was too spicy. I put boneless chicken thighs in as well. I will make this again.
So glad you loved it Carolyn!
Tasted really good! Would definitely make it again!
Yay! So glad to hear that, thanks Katy!
Is the raw shrimp supposed to be cooked or uncooked!?
Hi Kate – Raw shrimp is uncooked.
Delicious and easy to make. I used Arborio rice and Salvadoran Chorizo. My family liked it as well.
Hi Carissa – so happy you and your family liked it!
I just made this last night, after returning from Spain two weeks ago! I used Arborio rice, Silva Spanish Chorizo, and Key West Peeled and Deveined Tailless Shrimp (slightly small, but it was the only raw shrimp I could find).
I had to add about 1/2 cup extra chicken stock, I think because Arborio might absorb more than the Redondo or Bomba? At certain points I covered the pan, because I was worried about the liquid absorption…so I’m not sure I was supposed to do that.
It turned out VERY spicy!! Overall, my guests really liked it, and even my 9 year old daughter ate the rice (didn’t like the protein choice). They suggested that I tone down the red chile flakes next time, and use bigger tail-on shrimp. I will definitely use this recipe again and see if I can find the preferred rice and shrimp…or maybe go vegetarian. It was much easier than I anticipated. Thank you for sharing!!
Hi Sarah – I’m so happy your guests loved it! The spiciness factor is very personal, so absolutely adjust that to taste! You can also use it with almost any protein, or vegetarian as you mentioned. Thanks for your comment!
HILDA STERNER says
Just got done having a BOWL OF THIS delicious pAELLA. I DIDN’T HAVE Arborio RICE, SO I USED JASMINE RICE INSTEAD. I DIDN’T HAVE CHORIZO, SO I useD kielbasa. IT WAS REALLY GOOD, I LOVED THE SMOKEY FLAVOR, BUT I’M NOT SURE WHY I CAN’T CAPITALIZE ANYTHING IN THIS BOX.
Hi Hilda, – yay, so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Sorry about the caps lock, I am working on getting that fixed.
I bought chorizo on sale and was looking for a recipe to make it with. Came across yours and will be making it tonight along with creamed corn cake and crab/parmesean stuffed squash. i’m so excited!!
Hi Josi – Yay! I hope you loved it!
it was good, though a little salty which is likely because I had Mexican chorizo? Also, I didn’t have saffron, so just did without it. The shrimp and rice were divine though – thanks so much for sharing your recipe!
Looks fabulous! Ive never made paella before so pardon my ignorance, but do I cook the rice before putting it in the pan with everything else, or is there enough liquid in the dish to cook the rice? Thanks!
Hi Sharon – no, you don’t need to cook the rice before hand, it cooks in the pan with the liquid. Thanks for your question, I will update the recipe to make it more clear. I hope you enjoy it!
I love paella and this recipe is amazing! my family lived in El Rubio near Estepa in Andalusia for a few years and I always struggle to recreate the proper flavour until now!
I usually also add half a pepper (yellow orange or red) fry it off on a high heat so it’s a bit charred & add it in before the chorizo.
I like to cook it around 20-30 mins longer and add probably 1 cup of white wine (I’m also drinking it at the time so my measurement may be off!!) the rice soaks it up really well no need to add more rice & it adds an extra flavour. I’m sure for some people this would mean the rice is overlooked but for me it’s like buying a bowl of it from the market when it has been cooking for hours ☺️
Hi Becky, I am so glad you love it! I love the idea of adding wine, I will have to try that next time!
Tammy Sims says
Cannot wait to make this for our Sunday Family dinner tomorrow! So glad I found your blog! Now I have it flagged as a favorite and am pinning many recipes to make! So excited!
Yay! So happy to hear that Tammy, I hope you and your family love it!
Tammy Sims says
Ended up making it last night and OMG!!!! It was delicious and a huge hit! I doubled the recipe , served with a good crusty bread. Enough for lunch today and take home for my daughter and son-in-law. Definitely a keeper and won’t change a thing!
Tammy – Yay! Thank you so much for letting me know, I am so glad that you loved it!
Oh, paella…. I did not realise until now how much I need to make one! Chorizo and shrimp… such a great combo. Love the recipe!
Thank you so much Katrin!
Jennifer A Stewart says
Our Kroger is running a regional food thing right now, and they are just finishing up Spain. They have Paella pans and kits on sale and I was thinking about getting one because I love to eat it but not to make it. It always seemed so hard. Thanks for making it easy:)
Jennifer, I worked with them on the Tase of Spain thing! I tried out the paella kit, it is really good, and you can just add your protein. Or you can make it from scratch. I found the Paella rice through their Taste of Spain promo (here in the PNW our Kroger affiliate is called Fred Meyer). Hope you like it!
Aena | Scrambled Chefs says
Let me start off by saying that I LOVE PAELLA! Plus this recipe is so super easy! I absolutely love making different paella recipes and I’m definitely legit making this one tomorrow night – thanks for this beautiful recipe <3
Thank you so much Aena! I hope you love it!
I just simply love everything about this dish. I love how you use simple ingredients and how easy the recipe looks! I have never made paella at home but now I really want to make some!
Thank you so much Shadi! It really is pretty simple, I hope you love it!
Sandi (@fearless_dining) says
This is a gorgeous paella….it is always a fun dish to make for friends.
It would be great for a dinner party! Thanks Sandi!
I love making paella…and I have an exact one on my blog too!! LOVE chorizo and shrimp..waiting to get some mussels so I can throw that in as well.. Love the pictures! Thanks for reminding me of paella again… Pinned!
Ooh, I’ll have to check out your recipe Swayam! mussels are great in Paella too, they were always used when I ate it in Spain. Thank you so much for pinning!
Bam's Kitchen says
Paella with delicious spices is always a family favorite. I wish I had one of those huge paella pans you see in the restaurants. You need a size like that when you have hungry teenage boys. LOL
Haha! No doubt! Those big pans are amazing! Thanks Bam 🙂
Stephanie | The Foodie and The Fix says
I’ve never even considered attempting paella, even though I love it. Honestly, I always have a tough time cooking rice properly, it’s my in-the-kitchen Achilles heel (that and chocolate chip cookies, don’t ask) I’ve always been pretty intimidated by it, but your recipe makes it feel so doable! I’m wanting this right now – and it’s 9:30 in the morning 😉
Haha, I know, rice can be difficult! But this really turned out well, I hope you give it a try! Thanks Stephanie!
My Dish is Bomb says
Great tip for the type of rice! I never would have thought paella required a different kind of rice. I have some Arborio left over in my pantry from a risotto that I’d love to use for this. Awesome flavours, keep up the Spanish recipes, love them!
Thanks so much Katy! Yes, the rice does make a big difference, I was surprised!
Yay for paella!! I can never find bomba rice so I always just go for the arborio! This sounds so good with the chorizo!!
I had a hard time finding it too! I found another kind of paella rice, but it is nice to know that Arborio will always be there 🙂 Thanks Ashley!
This looks AMAZING. I haven’t ventured into making paella yet, but oh my gosh this dish looks to DIE for!!
Thank you Traci! It was much easier than I imagined!
Tina Marie says
This looks just like a meal I had while on vacation! Stunning and vivid colors. I’ve saved this recipe to see if I can make it. Your pictures are fantastic.
Thanks so much Tina! I would love to hear how it turns out!
Michelle @ Giraffes Can Bake says
This looks sooooooo good!
For the longest time I hated shrimp, then my friend had freshly cooked Paella at her wedding and it was so good it made me love shrimp! I definitely need to try this
THank you Michelle! Shrimp can be an acquired taste, that paella sounds great!
Julie at Hostess At Heart says
I love paella but have never made it before, and your shrimp looks amazing Meghan!
Thank you Julie!
Megan @ Meg is Well says
I’m intimidated by paella, which is why I haven’t made it yet. I’ve been craving shrimp lately because of all your recipes! I want to eat this right out of the skillet it looks so good.
Haha, Meg – when I posted this I was like “…is this too many shrimp recipes in a row? Oh well…” So I’m glad you appreciate it! But I am going to try to lay off the shrimp for awhile, so people don’t get sick of them! Thanks so much, hope you give this a try!
Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry says
This looks like the perfect date night dinner, but easy enough to be made on a weeknight.
Exactly! Thanks Nicole!
I want a bowl of this right now, washed down with a nice full Spanish red. I also wish I had a gas stove…..next place I live, I guess. Thanks for the pan tips!
Sounds like heaven Annie! We had a gas stove in Portland, but it is hard to find one in an apartment around here :/
I’m so excited, as I believe I’ve collected all ingredients to pull off a few of these yummy recipes!!
I love Fred Meyers, & now Krogers, where I
currently live, even MORE because they helped you share some of this Spanish delishousness!!
I even got some of the bowls to help duplicate your look!!
I will share my finished products with
Can’t wait to see it!
Ashlyn ~ Dollop of Yum says
I have never tried making paella but I have always wanted to! Your recipe looks absolutely fantastic Meghan! 🙂
Thanks so much Ashlyn! I hope you give it a try!
Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet says
Looks like you nailed this paella Meghan! Well done! Keep the Spanish recipes coming — I can’t get enough. 🙂 Hope you’re having a good day!
Thanks Dear! Have a lovely day as well!
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says
Well I, for one, am happy you aren’t done with all the Spanish dishes, girlfriend! I love paella and I happen to think it tastes a billion times better homemade. Yours looks out of this world delicious! Shrimp and chorizo made for one hearty and scrumptious paella! Gimme ALLLL dat! Cheers, girlfriend!
Thanks so much Lady!
This recipe is very one-note as it is, but could definitely be improved. With the chorizo and the smoked paprika and the tomato it was very rich and smoky. I intend to make this again but add in a little red pepper and celery to brighten and complicate the flavors! Thanks!
Dawn at Girl Heart Food says
What a perfect one pan dish, Meghan! I’m a big fan of chorizo so this recipe is totally calling my name, especially since it has smoked paprika too. I’d love to sit down with this, a big hunk of bread and glass of vino…I’d be set! Cheers girlie 🙂 Have a lovely week!
Thanks Dawn! Bread, wine, paprika – yes, the perfect meal! 🙂