I love trying cuisine from different parts of the world. It has the ability to momentarily take you to that part of the world and experience a little of it right where you are. With the global pandemic, I’ve been trying lots of recipes from all over the world and today I’m taking inspiration from Spain and making this Easy Gluten Free Paella.
Paella is something that I’ve had from different people over the years, but never tried it myself. I love the flavors of sea food, sausage and spices that come together to form this delicious one pot dish that is best shared with family and friends.
For my Easy Gluten Free Paella, I’ve taking some of the traditional components, added my own little spin to create an easy recipe that is perfect for weeknight dinner or a quick dish when having a friend or two over.
What is Paella?
If you’ve never had, or you aren’t sure what it is, it is a Spanish rice dish that consists of saffron, chicken, seafood and sometimes other meats, that has been cooked in a large shallow pan. It is probably one of the most famous Spanish dishes.
How to make our Easy Gluten Free Paella
There are many Paella recipes out there, some that use only seafood, others use a combination of meats, and some that use both meat and seafood. According to Saveur there really is no one original paella recipe, but the ingredients and style of cooking has remained consistent over the years.
The rice that is traditionally used in Paella is Bomba rice. It is a short grain rice, similar to that or risotto rice, known as arborio rice. If you can’t get Bomba rice, arborio rice is a great substitute.
Meats & Seafood
For our recipe we used a combination or shrimp, chicken and sausage. The sausage that is usually used is chorizo sausage. It is a pork based Spanish sausage. I don’t traditionally eat pork so I used a smoked chicken sausage to replace, but the flavors was still super delish!
This is one of the key ingredients in Paella. Not only does it add a nice color to the paella, but also great flavor and aroma. These days getting saffron is a little difficult, so I use it when I can get it, but I also add turmeric (sometimes called saffron in the Caribbean) which gives the paella its traditional yellow tint and also adds a great flavor to the dish.
I love the flavor of smoked paprika. It gives the paella a great smoky flavor that is so traditional to the dish!
Because I’m adding chicken to my paella, I used chicken stock which I always have on hand. But you can use seafood stock for a deeper seafood flavor to your paella.
I’m all for adding a veggie to my dishes, and since you can basically add almost anything you want to paella, I added in some sweet peas with give a nice color and extra texture to my paella
If you’re familiar with paella, it is made in a shallow pan, known as a paella pan. It has a wide surface and allows you to cook everything evenly and in one layer. I don’t have a paella pan, I definitely want one though, but if you’re like me and don’t have one, I use a large 12 inch cast iron skillet.
This recipe feeds about 4 and the 12 inch skillet works perfectly for the amount of ingredients we used.
For me Paella reminds me of Pelau a traditional Caribbean rice dish that is cooked down with coconut milk and other great additions. It is comforting just like this Easy Gluten Free Paella and a great weeknight dinner or lunchtime dish!
For more comforting dishes from around the world try our Easy Gnocchi.