Spanish style rice dish – Mixed Paella with Chicken, Shrimp, Sausage, and Bell Peppers. Spiced up with smoked paprika, red chili powder and turmeric.
I used to think that paella was a highly complicated dish involving saffron threads, numerous ingredients, complicated mix of meats and seafood, and some secret spices. Well, turns out nothing could be further from the truth! This paella with chicken, shrimp, and sausage is one of the easiest meals I have ever prepared!
What is paella?
Paella is a Spanish (Valencian) rice dish prepared either with seafood, or meats, or vegetables or the mixture of those. Popular types of paella include seafood paella, vegetable paella, mixed paella (which often includes different kinds of veggies, seafood, sausage, chicken, duck, and rabbit). Saffron is usually used as seasoning. Olive oil is always used in the preparation of paella.
As you can guess, since my paella recipe includes shrimp, sausage, chicken and bell peppers, you could call it a mixed paella.
How to make mixed paella
All you do is basically throw all the ingredients together with spices, and that’s it!
And I only used 2 pans: 1 skillet for cooking the meats and combining everything, and 1 pan for cooking (boiling) rice. Pretty easy and clean for such a sophisticated looking dinner, if you ask me! Also, paella is great for utilizing any leftover chicken, shrimp or sausage – you can just throw those leftovers from last night’s dinner right in! 🙂
- I did simplify this paella by omitting saffron (which is expensive and can take a long time to cook and release the flavors). To replace saffron, I added other colorful spices, such as sweet smoked paprika and red chili powder! As a result, my paella did not suffer a bit without saffron! Be sure to add only 1 teaspoon of each spice (paprika and chili powder) initially and then add more, if you desire more spiciness. Also, add just a touch, a pinch of turmeric – only for color purposes, but make sure not to add too much, because turmeric has a very strong flavor that will overpower other flavors.
- You can use either rice or orzo pasta, if you don’t have rice. Orzo pasta is a very short pasta that looks very similar to rice.
- At the very end, add some chicken stock to the paella to make it juicier! Start with 1/2 cup and add more if desired. Paella is much better when it’s juicy vs. dry!
I never thought that paella would be something I could cook midweek after work, but it’s easy enough to pull it off! And, it’s so tasty and bursting with flavors! Absolutely, one of my favorite dishes lately!
Shrimp and rice always go so well together, and not only in the paella dish. If you never tried shrimp and rice combination, you definitely should! My favorite shrimp and rice recipes are cilantro lime and black bean shrimp and rice and shrimp with mango salsa and rice.
Spanish (Valencian) rice dish: Paella with chicken, shrimp, sausage, and bell peppers. Easy to make, gluten free recipe.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound sausage spicy, cut into small slices
- 1 pound chicken breasts , cut into small cubed pieces
- 1 red bell pepper , chopped
- 1 green bell pepper , chopped
- 1 pound shrimp (20-30 shrimp, deveined and peeled, with tails still on)
- 8 green onions , chopped
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (start with 1 teaspoon and add more if desired)
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder (add more, if desired, - depends on how spicy you want it)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric , for color
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups rice , uncooked
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sliced sausage, sliced chicken and cook for about 5 minutes, covered.
Add chopped red bell pepper and green bell pepper, stir in with sausage and chicken, cover, and continue cooking for about 5 more minutes, on medium heat.
Add shrimp and cook until shrimp just turns red. Add chopped green onions.
Add spices (sweet smoked paprika and red chili powder), add just a touch of turmeric for color. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and keep the skillet covered. The shrimp and green onions will continue cooking slightly when covered and off heat – without overcooking.
Cook 2 cups of rice in a sauce pan according to package instructions.
Add cooked rice into the skillet with shrimp, chicken and sausage. Mix everything well, so that olive oil, juices from spicy sausages, and other cooking juices and spices coat orzo or rice.
Add some chicken stock or water to make paella more juicy vs. dry. Keep adding more chicken stock or water to achieve the desired consistency of your paella – I think the juicier it is, the better. Add more salt and pepper if needed.