Paella is a Spanish dish that is typically made with rice, saffron, and a mix of seafood and meats, and is cooked in a very large shallow pan over low heat for a long time (slow and low). To me, that translates to: a complicated undertaking that requires a special pan and a lot of patience, aka I’m not interested.
However, this recipe based on Simple Veganista’s easy vegetable paella recipe is quite the opposite of all of those assumptions. It’s a 30 minute meal, can be make in a regular ol’ skillet, and is pretty fool proof!
In this recipe, we replace the seafood and meats with lots of gorgeous and colorful vegetables, including bell peppers, tomatoes, asparagus, artichokes, and peas. You could interchange those for whatever vegetables you prefer or have on hand, making this a pretty flexible recipe that you can adapt to any tastes. If you want to add some protein, you could mix in a can of cannelini beans, or chop up a few links of vegan sausage to throw in the pot. Both options would be delicious.
Trust me, you’ll be feeling like you’re in Valencia soon enough with this warm and fresh dish!
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped asparagus
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
salt to taste
1 can artichoke hearts in water, drained and quartered
1/2 cup frozen green peas
In a wide flat-bottomed skillet or a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onions, garlic, bell peppers, and a pinch of salt. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add asparagus, diced tomatoes, paprika, red pepper flakes, turmeric, and bay leaves, and cook another 3-5 minutes. Next, add in the rice and broth, stirring gently until the rice falls to the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook at a gentle boil for 15 minutes without stirring. Scatter the peas and artichoke hearts on top and cook for five more minutes. Remove from heat and cover for 10 minutes with a kitchen towel. Lightly fluff the rice, squeeze lightly with lemon, and serve. Discard bay leaves before eating.