| Prep Time: 19 mins
| Cook Time: 30 mins
| Total Time: 45 mins
You may need: Dried Garlic Powder
Paella Mixta (mixed seafood and meat paella) is one of Spain's most identifiable dishes. This one-pan rice dish has many variations but typically includes meat, seafood, shellfish and / or some fresh vegetables. Paella Mixta originated in Valencia on Spain's east coast, and is a standard on many top restaurants' menus.
If you've never made a paella before, it may seem intimidating. However, paella is infinitely adaptable to your tastes and forgiving to cook - if you add too much liquid, simply cook a little longer. However, there are a few keys to making a good Spanish Paella Mixta to point out. Use Valencia (paella) rice, a short-grain variety that cooks perfectly al dente. Target, Wal-Mart, and Whole Foods are known to carry paella rice (save yourself a trip and order online). Another tip is to use a pinch of saffron to imbue the broth with the quintessential flavor. Finally, use the widest (flat bottom) pan as possible so that the rice spreads out evenly on the bottom (a 12′′ pan is probably the minimum). Customize the remaining ingredients and follow our recipe steps to achieve your perfect paella!
1 pinch (~15 threads) Piquant Post Spanish Saffron
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, minced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded & sliced into finger -sized strips (or use 6-8 whole mini-bell peppers)
2 ripe tomatoes, cored then minced
2 Tbsp of Piquant Post Paella Spice
1 tsp salt (optional)
8 oz pre-cooked Andouille Sausage, cut into rounds
1/2 lb of squid, sliced into 1/4" rings
1.5 cups Valencia or bomba rice (short-grain)
3.5 cups low-salt chicken stock
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
1/2 lb shellfish (~12 clams or mussels)
1 lb large (12-16 ct) shrimp, shell-on, tail-on
2 Tbsp chopped parsley for garnish
lemon wedges for garnish
Paella Mixta is best made with the proper Spanish rice: look for Valencia, Bomba, or Calasparra rice varieties selected for their ability to absorb water and maintain an al dente texture. You might even order online at Amazon, Target, or WalMart to save trips searching store shelves. Arborio rice is great for risotto, but not for paella mixta, where it ends up becoming too moist.
Save time by buying frozen cooked tail-on (peeled) shrimp.
For this recipe we use (Louisiana-style) Andouille sausage as a decent substitute for authentic Spanish Chorizo. Mexican chorizo has a different set of spices and texture, and is not recommended for paella.
Paella is traditionally cooked over an open flame or fire. The intense heat develops a nice crust on the bottom of the rice. In fact, in Spain, the crust of the paella rice is the most sought after part. This is why it's important to not stir the pan once you add the rice so you develop a crust.
How do you know if you're cooking long enough to develop a crust at home? First, the liquid should be completely disappear in the pan for at least a few minutes. Second, you might start to hear a little, soft crackling sound from the rice once the moisture has been soaked in and the heat is searing the rice on the bottom. This is a good sign you're getting close. Finally, you can take a spatula to lift the side of the rice and check the bottom to see if it's developing a chocolate-brown colored crust.
No need to use bay leaves in our recipe. Our Paella spice blend has just the right amount of freshly-ground bay leaf in it.
(optional) Finish the dish by squeezing a little lemon over the top.
Lastly, optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don’t sweat it if you don’t have them.
Place saffron in a small bowl & pour in 1/4 hot water. Let the saffron soak & "bloom". Set aside for later. In a large flat pan (at least 12", and 15" is ideal), heat oil on Med-High. Add onion and cook for 4 mins. Add garlic and bell peppers, stir to mix, and cook for 3 mins. Add tomatoes, salt, and Spanish Paella Spice, stirring to coat. Cook for 2 mins.
Next add sausage & squid to pan and cook for 3 mins. Add in rice and stir to thoroughly mix with the other ingredients. Then, add in chicken broth and the bowl of saffron threads and liquid. Stir mixture for 1 min, working the rice to settle on the bottom of the pan. Don't stir rice from this point forward. Cook until the broth begins to simmer vigorously, then reduce heat to Med.
Cook the paella for 8-10 mins, simmering gently. There will still be broth in the pan and the rice will just begin to show in the liquid. Gently nestle the shrimp and shellfish into the rice so they are as immersed as possible. Add the peas over top. Cook for 6-8 mins or until shells open and shrimp are pink. Discard any shellfish that don't open.
Taste rice to determine texture - if too firm, add a splash (~1/3 cup) of water and continue cooking. When finished, let paella rest for 5 mins. Serve in bowls with parsley and lemon wedges for garnish.
Paella Mixta is a blank canvas waiting for you to experiment. Beyond the short-grain rice, tomatoes, onions, saffron and spices, you can feel comfortable adding just about any meat, seafood, or veggies that you like.
Some ideas to spur your creativity: try artichoke hearts, zucchini, mushrooms, mussels or clams, green beans, asparagus, or (pitted) green olives.
Try our vegan Summer Vegetable Paella for a plant-based take on the Spanish classic!
Looking for a quick and easy alternative to paella? Try our authentic Spanish Seafood Fideua recipe for a fun pasta take on paella flavor.
Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!