Easy Chicken, Chorizo and Shrimp Paella Recipe

Yields: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 6 ounces Spanish chorizo, sliced into rounds
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup short-grain rice (such as Bomba or Arborio)
  • 1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • Fresh lemon wedges and chopped parsley, for garnish


  • Large, wide skillet (at least 12-inches) or a paella pan if you have one.
  • Small saucepan


  • Prep the saffron: In the small saucepan, bring 1/4 cup of the chicken broth to a simmer. Remove from heat, add the saffron threads, and let steep while you prepare the rest.
  • Cook the chicken and chorizo: Heat the olive oil in your skillet or paella pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add the chicken to the hot pan and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the chorizo to the pan and cook until browned and some fat has rendered, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the plate with the chicken.
  • Sauté the vegetables: Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Flavor base: Stir in the smoked paprika and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the diced tomatoes (with their juices) and the saffron-infused broth you prepared earlier.
  • Cook the rice: Stir in the rice, remaining chicken broth, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add shrimp and peas: Nestle the cooked chicken and chorizo back into the rice. Distribute the shrimp evenly over the top and scatter the frozen peas. Cover and continue cooking for 8-10 minutes or until the rice is tender, the liquid is mostly absorbed, and the shrimp are pink and cooked through.
  • Finishing touches: Remove from heat and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes. This allows the flavors to meld and any remaining liquid to be absorbed.
  • Garnish and serve: Fluff the rice gently with a fork. Garnish with fresh lemon wedges and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.


  • Socarrat: For a slightly crispy bottom layer (the prized ‘socarrat’), increase the heat to medium-high for the last minute or two of cooking before resting.
  • No saffron: Substitute a pinch of turmeric for color, though the flavor won’t be identical.
  • Make it your own: Feel free to add other vegetables like bell peppers or substitute mussels for the shrimp!

Enjoy your delicious and flavorful paella!


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