When it comes to crowd pleasing dishes, this traditional Spanish rice dish ticks all the boxes. The secret to a perfect paella lies in cooking the rice, meat and seafood to perfection while creating a glorious crust on the bottom of the pan. All you need to finish this dish is a good squeeze of lemon and a crisp green salad.






Skill level

Average: 2.6 (28 votes)


  • 80 ml (⅔ cup) olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 6 scampi, heads removed, cut in half lengthwise
  • 12 green king prawns
  • 500 g chicken breasts, skin-off, cut into 8 thick strips
  • 2 chorizos, thickly sliced
  • 1 red capsicum, thickly sliced
  • 1 green capsicum, thickly sliced
  • 250 g Calasparra (see Note) or other short-grain rice
  • 80 ml (⅔ cup) white wine
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) passata 
  • 1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
  • 500 ml (2 cups) hot fish stock
  • ½ tsp saffron powder 
  • 1 kg pot-ready black mussels (see Note)
  • 500 g vongole or clams, purged (soaked in salted water), scrubbed
  • thinly sliced red chilli, finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and lemon wedges, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


You will need a 30 cm round paella pan or deep frying pan for this recipe.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a paella pan or deep frying pan over low heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook for 5 minutes or until softened but not coloured. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Wipe pan clean and heat another 1 tbsp oil over high heat. Add scampi and prawns. Cook for 3 minutes or until starting to change colour. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Heat another 1 tbsp oil over high heat. Add chicken, chorizos and capsicums, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until capsicums soften. Transfer to the onion mixture.

Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in same pan over medium heat. Add rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until transparent. Add white wine and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until almost evaporated.

Add the onion and chicken mixture, passata and paprika, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until combined. Add fish stock and bring to the boil. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in saffron until combined. Cook for 15 minutes, then add scampi, prawns, mussels and vongole, and reduce heat to low.

Cook for a further 15 minutes or until liquid has evaporated and seafood and chicken is cooked; add a little hot water and cover with foil if further cooking is required.

Increase heat to high and cook for a further 5 minutes or until a crust forms on the base; you will smell the rice starting to 'toast’. Remove from heat and cover with a clean, damp tea towel for 5 minutes, to rest.

Scatter with chilli and parsley, and serve with lemon wedges.


•Calasparra rice, from specialist food shops, is a short-grain rice, grown in Calasparra, Murcia.

•Pot-ready black mussels, available from most fishmongers, are cleaned and bearded.