Prawn and chorizo paella

Whip up this delicious Spanish classic for your next family dinner. Packed with veggies, prawns and peppery chorizo, it’s a must-try.





  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 chorizo sausages, thinly sliced
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large red capsicum, seeded, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) arborio rice
  • 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 cups (750ml) salt-reduced chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup (90g) frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup (60g) frozen corn kernels
  • 300g raw banana prawns, peeled leaving tails intact, deveined
  • 100g baby spinach leaves



Heat half the oil in a large deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring, for 5 mins or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate.


Heat the remaining oil in the pan. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 3-4 mins or until onion softens. Add the capsicum and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 2 mins or until aromatic. Add the rice, tomato, tomato paste, paprika, turmeric and stock and stir to combine. Season. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 25 mins or until the rice is just tender and the liquid is absorbed.


Top the rice mixture with peas, corn, prawns and chorizo. Cover and cook for 5-7 mins or until the prawns are cooked through. Stir in the spinach.

Seafood paella recipe

Think of Spanish cuisine and the first dish you may think of is paella – the flavour-packed one-pot meal of golden rice, meat, seafood and veggies that is loved all over Spain and around the world. An ideal celebration dish, paella can be upsized to feed a crowd and specialty paella pans are available ranging in size from individual servings all the way up to metre-wide pans to cater to large parties. Thankfully, it’s easy to make a simple family-sized paella in a regular frying pan using everyday ingredients available at Coles. Making paella from scratch takes a little longer than some other family favourites such as pasta – about an hour from start to finish - but it doesn’t need much hands-on cooking. Once everything is combined in the pan, you can leave it to cook gently and just stir it every now and then until the rice is cooked through and you’re ready to add the toppings.

Equipment you will need for seafood paella

The beauty of paella is that it’s a one-pot dish – all you need is a large deep frying pan big enough to hold all the ingredients. Ideally your frying pan will have a matching lid so you can cover the pan for the last part of cooking. If it doesn’t, don’t worry – just cover the pan with foil or anything else that can trap in the steam, such as a heatproof plate or round baking tray.

If you happen to have a traditional paella pan handy you can use it to make this recipe. This style of pan has two handles, sloping sides and a wide, flat base. These pans are often used for cooking paella on the barbecue to give it a crusty base and an extra smoky flavour. If your frying pan has a flameproof handle you can use it to cook this paella on the barbecue over but you may need to adjust the cooking time and use indirect heat to avoid burning the rice.

Ingredients you will need for seafood paella

What should you put in paella? Well, traditional paella recipes often contain a mix of seafood, such as prawns, mussels and squid, and meats including chicken and chorizo sausages. This seafood paella recipe uses a simple combination of 300g raw banana prawns and 2 chorizo sausages, but if you want to you can use a mix of seafood instead of the prawns. A marinara mix from the deli is a convenient buy, but mussels in the shell look great in the finished dish. For the best presentation, when you peel and devein the prawns, leave the tails intact. 

Cut the chorizo sausages into thin slices and cook them in the pan first before adding other ingredients so they release their flavour into the oil. Then fry a mix of finely chopped onion and capsicum along with crushed garlic in the pan. This aromatic vegetable base is known as soffritto in Spanish cooking. Next add the rice. Authentic paella recipes may call for Spanish varieties of medium to short grain rice, but medium-grain white rice or Italian-style arborio rice works just as well here. Tomato is a key flavour in paella, so add a can of diced tomatoes and a tablespoonful of tomato paste for a richer taste. You also need a touch of spice – 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika for smokiness and pepperiness, plus half a teaspoon of ground turmeric to give it a golden colour. Traditionally the colour would come from saffron threads, which also add a unique and intense flavour, but turmeric is a cheaper and easily available substitute. If you’d rather add saffron, infuse a pinch of saffron threads in a little hot stock and add this to the rice mixture instead of the turmeric. 

You’ll need stock to cook the rice, so stir in 3 cups (750ml) salt-reduced chicken stock, bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the rice is tender, stirring occasionally. When it’s ready, the liquid should have been absorbed into the rice.

The seafood and veggies need to be added near the end of cooking so they don’t overcook. Scatter these ingredients over the top of the rice along with the fried chorizo – to keep it really simple we’ve used frozen peas and corn kernels – then cover the pan to trap in the steam and cook until the prawns change colour. Just before serving, stir in baby spinach leaves so they wilt in the hot rice.

What to serve with seafood paella

This hearty one-pan meal contains protein, carbs and veggies, so you don’t need anything extra to serve with it – just put your paella in the middle of the table and let everyone help themselves. The best thing to serve on the side is a simple dish of lemon wedges for squeezing over the seafood paella for a fresh and zesty finish. If you’d like to add a side, some lightly dressed mixed salad leaves would be perfect.

Now get cooking

Once you know how to make paella and have mastered the basics of this delicious Spanish-style rice dish, you can enjoy this all-in-one pan meal any time and can vary the ingredients to make it your way. There are lots of ways to change up the basic formula for a twist on the original Spanish seafood paella recipe. Try an oven-baked version that’s fragrant with cumin and fresh orange – our Spanish-style chicken & rice. Find out how to swap the rice for couscous or even cauliflower rice in our easy chicken paella recipe, topped with tasty grilled veggies. Or use microwavable rice for a quick and easy chicken paella . For more quick and easy dinner ideas, check out our What’s for Dinner recipe collection.


Nutrition Information

Per Serve

Energy: 2426kJ/580 Cals (28%)

Protein: 25g (50%)

Fat: 17g (24%)

Sat fat: 5g (21%)

Carb: 77g (25%)

Sugar: 11g (12%)

Fibre: 9g (30%)

Sodium: 961mg (48%)



  • How to store seafood paella?
    It’s easy to overcook seafood when reheating, so this seafood paella is best enjoyed on the day you make it. If you need to make it the day before, only cook the paella to the end of step 2, then cool. Store the rice mixture and chorizo in separate airtight containers in the fridge. Reheat the rice mixture, covered over low heat, then continue the recipe from step 3. 

  • Can I freeze seafood paella?
    Follow the tip above and freeze the rice and chorizo in separate airtight containers for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and then continue from step 3. 

  • Can I make it without chorizo?
    To leave out the chorizo without losing too much flavour, try adding an extra crushed garlic clove and another ½ teaspoon ground paprika. For a spicy kick, add 1 finely chopped long red chilli with the capsicum.

  • Can I use any veggies in this seafood paella?
    Add any fresh or frozen veggies you have to this paella. Vegetables that take longer to cook can be finely chopped and added with the onion and capsicum, while quick cooking veggies should be added after the rice is cooked.

  • Can I make it with chicken instead of prawns?
    You can replace the prawns with cooked chicken thigh pieces if you like.

Check ingredient labels to make sure they meet your specific dietary requirements and always consult a health professional before changing your diet. View dietary information here.