Vegetable Paella

How to make authentic Vegetable Paella like they do in Spain! A simple, easy, vegetarian dinner recipe that comes together in under an hour! Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free!

5 from 8 reviews

How to make Vegetable Paella like they do in Spain! A simple, easy, vegetarian dinner recipe that comes together in under an hour! Vegan and GF. By Silvia Cooks



  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced  (1 1/2 cups or 100g)
  • 1 leek, diced and rinsed (1 cup or 80g)
  • 2 garlic cloves, rough chopped


  • 2 small carrots (1 cup diced or cut small batons or 105g)
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced or chopped (or 150g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce (or 1 tablespoon tomato paste)
  • 1/2 sheet of  nori seaweed, chopped and mixed with 1 tsp water – or see notes
  • ¼ tsp saffron, crushed ( one pinch- 812 strands)
  • 1 cup (220g) round short-grain rice (bomba rice, arborio rice, Valencia Rice, Senia, Bahia or Calasparra varieties)
  • 2 ¾3 1/2 cups hot  vegetable broth  (see notes)
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts (canned is fine) 
  • 1 cup frozen green peas (100 g)
  • salt to taste
  • lemon juice to taste
  • 12 fresh rosemary sprigs

Garnish: Fresh parsley and lemon slices


Make the Sofrito: Set a large cast-iron pan to medium heat, pour a generous amount of olive oil and once hot, add the finely chopped onion and leek.  Once these have softened, add the chopped garlic and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the carrots to the center of the pan.  Once the carrots are a little golden on the sides, add the chopped mushrooms, saute for 3-4 minutes.

Add tomato sauce (or tomato paste), softened nori seaweed and crushed saffron(use your fingers).  Mix well until all ingredients are coated. Cook for a few minutes then add the rice, saute 1 minute.

Pour in 2 3/4 cups of the warm broth and the artichoke hearts and give a stir. Shake the pan a bit to ensure the rice and vegetables are evenly spread. You can also gently mix with a spoon. The tradition says to not stir it anymore after adding the liquid, so this is a good time to taste the broth and adjust with salt and a little lemon juice. You can add one or two rosemary sprigs to give it a little extra flavor.

Increase heat, bring to a simmer then lower heat and simmer gently on low uncovered for another 15 mins or until the rice is al dente. Taste the rice. If it’s still a little hard, add some water (always hot) or broth until cooked through.  Add the peas to the top of the paella and cook until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Keep in mind some rice ( like arborio) requires more liquid to cook all the way through.

Turn off the heat, cover with a lid, foil or newspaper and let it rest for 5-10 mins. Serve immediately. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley, and serve with a slice of lemon on the side.


I made this using Arborio rice– it took 3 cups of warm broth and 1 extra cup of water.


Keywords: vegetable paella, vegan paella, vegetarian paella, winter paella,

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