Weeknight Seafood Paella

This easy seafood paella, made with shrimp, clams and chorizo is a delicious one-pot weeknight dish! Under 30 minutes too cook!

Weeknight Seafood Paella

This clam and shrimp paella with chorizo is seasoned with saffron for that authentic paella flavor. Paella, a popular dish in Spain, is a favorite in my house. It’s a one-pot meal made of rice, seafood, chorizo, and veggies. Another delicious Spanish rice dish that I love if you don’t like seafood is my mom’s Arroz Con Pollo.

What is in a traditional paella?

Paella originated in Valencia, Spain and is popular throughout the country. Paella is a Spanish rice dish, generally seasoned with saffron and paprika, cooked in a large frying pan. Paella can include a variety of proteins, including chorizo, sausage, chicken, mussels, clams, or shrimp.

In Spain, paella is cooked in a special skillet called a paellera, but you don’t need a fancy paella pan to make this dish. A large skillet with a fitted lid will work perfectly.

The must-have paella ingredients are saffron and rice. Saffron is a red spice, which gives the paella its yellow color. Saffron can be expensive, but you don’t need much for this seafood paella recipe.

The best rice for paella is short-grain rice, like Arborio. You can also use medium-grain rice if that is what you have. I would not recommend long-grain rice.

There are many variations of traditional paella, so feel free to use what you have on hand. You can easily substitute the clams with mussels – just be sure to thoroughly scrub the mussels first. You can also add some chicken and use less seafood.

What to Serve with Paella

I like to serve this shrimp paella with a light salad and a glass of Spanish red wine. Gazpacho, a classic Spanish soup served cold, would also be great with paella.


  • If you can’t find clams, use mussels or double the amount of shrimp.
  • If you want to add chicken, use less seafood and add a half-pound of diced chicken breast or thigh when you add the broth.
  • If you don’t have fresh bell pepper, jarred roasted peppers will work too.

More Rice Recipes You Will Love:

Weeknight Seafood Paella

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 25 mins

Total Time: 45 mins

This easy seafood paella, made with shrimp, clams and chorizo is a delicious one-pot weeknight dish!

  • 16 cherrystone clams
  • 16 extra jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small cooked chorizo link, sliced thin (1.75 oz) I use Goya
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/4 cups short/medium grain rice
  • 1/3 cup finely diced tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thin strips
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped parsley, for garnish
  • Clean the clams and soak in cold water for 20 minutes.

  • Transfer the shrimp to a bowl and season with 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice and Old Bay.

  • Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium heat.

  • Add 1 teaspoon of oil and sauté the chorizo, onions, garlic and paprika until soft, about 3 minutes.

  • Push aside, add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in the center and add the rice, stirring to coat with the oil. Sauté 3 minutes.

  • Add the diced tomatoes, broth, salt, saffron threads (crumbled between fingers) and bay leaf.

  • Mix and bring to a boil, stirring once, place the bell pepper over the rice, reduce heat to low and cover tightly, cook 15 minutes. Uncover, add the clams, shrimp and peas.

  • Cover tightly again and cook on low heat until the clams open up and the shrimp are cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes.

  • Uncover the skillet, raise the heat to medium-high and cook to toast the bottom of the rice, you should hear it sizzling, about 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Discard the bay leaf and garnish with parsley.

Serving: 3/4 cup rice with 4 clams, 4 shrimp, Calories: 263kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 6.5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 100.5mg, Sodium: 1435mg, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugar: 2.5g

Blue Smart Points: 9

Green Smart Points: 10

Purple Smart Points: 9

Keywords: paella, pantry rice dish, seafood paella, shrimp and clam paella