speedy spanish weeknight paella

A few years ago I had the opportunity of a lifetime to study abroad in Spain. After staying in the capital of Madrid, we travelled up to the northern coast and landed in the seaside town of San Sebastian. A beautiful city not only known for its two unique beaches, tapas affectionately known as “pinxtos,” and ritzy neighborhoods, but also boasts some of the freshest seafood I’ve ever tasted.

This traditional Spanish dish may seem like a task, but Bon Appetit’s recipe is so simple, you’ll be enjoying a glass of sangria while you wait for it to practically cook itself! I added a little extra liquid while the paella was simmering and I stirred slightly midway through cooking, but other than that, here’s their unaltered beginners version of Weeknight Chorizo and Clam Paella!

An impressive weeknight dish that's simple!

An impressive weeknight dish that’s simple!


2 cups chicken broth 

Pinch of saffron threads

Saffron is an investment but a little goes a long way with this spice

Saffron is an investment but a little goes a long way with this spice

A dozen littleneck clams 


1 link Spanish chorizo, sliced into thin rounds 

1/2 cup minced onion 

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 

1 tsp paprika 

1 1/2 cups arborio rice 

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 cup white wine 

1 large red pepper, roasted in the broiler and  cut in 1/4 inch strips

1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed

Bring broth, saffron, and 1 1/4 cups water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add clams, cover, and simmer until clams open, 3–5 minutes; transfer clams to a small bowl (discard any that do not open). Turn off the heat and set broth aside.

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat; add chorizo and cook until it just starts to brown and oil turns red, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a small bowl.

Add the onion to the skillet. Stir until onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and paprika; stir constantly, about 3 minutes.

Stir in rice; season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until rice is lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.

Slightly toasting the rice adds an extra layer of flavor as if you were cooking all day!

Slightly toasting the rice adds an extra layer of flavor as if you were cooking all day!

Add wine; stir constantly until liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute. Stir in broth and red pepper. Simmer, stirring only slightly midway through cooking, but rotating skillet often for even cooking, until liquid is almost absorbed and rice is tender, 20–25 minutes.

Add peas, chorizo, and clams with juices, tucking clams into rice. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook until clams are heated through and rice along bottom of pan is slightly crisp, about 2 minutes.

A fun dinner for the family!

A fun dinner for the family!

I absolutely love this recipe! There are so many versions of paella which incorporate different types of seafood, shellfish, chicken, etc. but often times, the simpler, the better. Since I try to base my dinners around what’s on sale at the grocery store, this was also a budget friendly dish that went a long way! Que bueno!

Eat Well,

Stephanie a.k.a. The Foodetarian

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