Super Easy Paella Recipe

An easy shrimp paella served in a bowl with a lemon wedge and garnished with parsley.

5 from 4 reviews

This Easy Paella recipe needs only 10 main ingredients, 30 minutes, and one pan. It's naturally gluten-free and dairy-free and can be made with or without saffron. Substitute green peas for an easy vegan paella.


  • 16 uncooked shrimp, tails off and deveined (see notes for vegan)*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, sliced thinly and halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked arborio rice
  • 2 1/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 lemon, juiced (1 lemon provides about 2 tablespoons of juice)
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley


  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (or saffron -- see notes)**
  • 2 medium Bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper


  1. Sear the shrimp: In a large frying pan on medium heat, sear the shrimp -- cook for about 2 minutes total, flipping mid-way. Remove shrimp from the pan and set aside.
  2. Saute the vegetables: Add oil, onion, and bell pepper to the pan. Cook on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften, stirring on occasion to prevent burning or sticking. Lower the heat to medium and add garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes or until garlic is fragrant and golden brown.
  3. Make the Sauce: Add tomato puree, rice, broth, parsley, and spices. Bring to a low boil for 15 minutes or until rice is mostly cooked, stirring on occasion.
  4. Combine: Add shrimp and bury them in the paella. Cook for 5 minutes more, stirring as needed. For a vegan paella, replace shrimp with pre-cooked or thawed frozen green peas.
  5. Finish: Turn off the heat. If rice is still too firm, cover with a lid and towel (still no heat) until liquid is absorbed and rice is al dente. Add lemon juice or serve with lemon wedges and enjoy!


*Vegan/Green Peas: If adding green peas, add thawed or pre-cooked peas at the same time (or in place of) shrimp in step 4 of this recipe. I recommend thawing frozen peas first to keep cooking times consistent.

**Saffron: If using saffron, soak 2-3 strands in 2 tablespoons of warm water while you prep. Then add the saffron and water in place of turmeric in this recipe.

Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

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