How to Cook Vegetarian Paella like a Native

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If you’re a vegetarian in Spain, you can still eat the national dish by trying out a vegetarian paella. Paella was originally created in Valencia but is enjoyed across all of Spain. This Spanish favorite food usually made with either seafood or meat but vegetarian paella doesn’t lack any of the traditional taste! Vegetarian paella is still full of local vegetables and produce that give the dish a classic flavor. Grab your paellera, or paella pan, and try out this delicious vegetarian paella recipe!

how to cook a vegetarian paella
Spices and fresh ingredients are very crucial if you want an authentic taste.


Ingredients for Vegetarian Paella:

  • 600 grams short-grained rice
  • 250 grams mixed beans (kidney, lima and flat green beans)
  • 1 medium sweet pimento pepper
  • ½ onion
  • 250 grams of pre-steamed artichokes
  • 1 can of crushed or pureéd tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
  • ⅓ tablespoon of saffron
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 liters of vegetable stock
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Virgin olive oil

How to Prepare Vegetarian Paella

  1. Pour the oil in a paellera, or paella pan, making sure to completely cover the bottom of the pan. Level the oil well and start the fire.
  2. Wash all vegetables and rinse the rice in a colander and cut the fresh vegetables into different sizes.
  3. First, fry the sweet red pepper to infuse the oil, then remove the pepper. Next, fry the largest vegetables and vegetables which take longest to cook. Continue stirring the vegetables so they do not burn. Add a bit of salt to the veggies. Next, add the beans, garlic and tomato pureé and let it fry for a few minutes.
  4. Bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a separate pot, then pour it into your paellera. Let your vegetables boil at a high heat for several minutes until they are soft. Then, add the saffron.
  5. Add the rice to the pan when the broth is boiling and vegetables are soft. Distribute the rice evenly throughout the pan using small circle motions and make sure to spread the vegetables too.
  6. Let cook for around 15-20 minutes until the rice has evaporated the broth. If the rice is not fully cooked, add more broth and cook to evaporate. Re-add the sweet pimento in the last five minutes of cooking. Turn off the heat and let rest for a few minutes. Now, enjoy Spain’s national vegetarian dish!

If you’d prefer to try a traditional non-vegetarian paella recipe, check out our authentic paella recipe. Don’t forget to serve this paella with some fresh Spanish sangria!

how to cook a vegetarian paella

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