Easy Spanish Paella Recipe

Do you want to learn how to make a real Spanish paella in the privacy of your home? Like most old recipes, the paella one has been refined with time. It has become kind of a canvas on which you can add your own preferred ingredients.

Paella doesn’t take its name from its ingredients or from its origin, but from the name of the wide traditional pan used to cook the dish on an open fire. This dish is original from Valencia, a city that lies on Spain’s southeastern coast, even tough is now cooked all over Spain and internationally. Paella means “frying pan” in Valencian, Valencia’s regional language


As mentioned, you can put any kind of protein you want in the paella, and it will not denature the dish, as long as the rice and a few other key ingredients (like saffron) are there. Since it is an emblematic dish part of the Mediterranean Diet, the usual proteins are chicken and seafood.

This recipe uses chicken and shrimps as proteins, but feel free to substitute them if you want. You will notice the recipe calls for lots of different spices, to achieve the traditional flavor. You can find most of them in your regular grocery, while others could be found almost exclusively in Spanish groceries.

  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 pounds of skinless and boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 pound of peeled and deveined shrimps
  • 2 cups of uncooked short-grain white rice
  • 1 quart of chicken stock
  • 2 zested lemons
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
  • 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 bunch of chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


1.  In a medium bowl, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir in the chicken pieces to coat, cover, and refrigerate.

2.  Place the paella pan on the fire and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

3.  Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, and rice during 3 minutes.

4.  Stir in the saffron threads, bay leaf, parsley, chicken stock, and lemon zest. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes.

5.  Meanwhile, heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a separate pan over medium heat.

6.  Stir in the marinated chicken and the onion, and cook for 5 minutes.

7.  Stir in the bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes.

8.  Stir in the shrimps and cook until both sides are pink.

9.  Top the paella with the meat and seafood mixture.

10.  Enjoy!

The best Spanish Paellas in NYC

At Socarrat, we offer you a very tasty variety of paellas that are sure to please your taste buds. If you love seafood you can choose in between the Paella de Pescado y Marisco (seafood paella), Paella de Arroz Negro (black rice paella), Paella de Langosta (lobster paella)Fideuá De Mar y Montaña, or the signature Socarrat Paella, with a mix of meat and seafood.

If you do not like seafood or are simply not in the mood, we have Paella de Carne with short ribs, chicken and chorizo, and our Paella de la Huerta, which is vegetarian. If you can’t come on site to eat our best paellas recipes or other food, you can call the restaurant directly to place a pick-up order, or have your favorites delivered to your door by ordering through Socarrat!

About us

Socarrat is a Spanish restaurant since 2008 offering a wide variety of tapas, paella, sangria and an extensive selection of wines with three locations in the heart of Manhattan.


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