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Paella for Two Recipe - Paella para Dos


This paella for two recipe provides the opportunity to prepare any of three kinds of paella - mixta (a mix of meat and seafood), marisco (seafood), and vegetariana (vegetarian). The process for each kind is basically the same - Prepare the sofrito of onion, tomato, and garlic. Then, add chicken, seafood or vegetables, and rice. Simmer in broth until rice is done, and let "rest" for 5 minutes.

The ingredients list below starts with those ingredients that all three kinds of paella have in common, like rice. Then, ingredient options for mixta, marisco and vegetariana are listed separately. Use the ingredients as listed, mix and match, or use your own ingredients. Every family in Spain has their own version of paella, so why shouldn't you?

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 2 Servings


  • Ingredients in All Paellas
  • 1/2 small yellow or white onion, diced
  • 1/2 tomato, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 2-4 cups broth (chicken, fish or vegetable broth)
  • 5-7 oz "bomba" rice or medium grain rice, such as Calrose
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • Spanish olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 lemon(optional)
  • Mixta Ingredient Options
  • 2 drumsticks or thighs
  • 1/4 lb pork loin (fat trimmed), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 calamari (squid)
  • 4 small clams, such as venus or manila (frozen or fresh)
  • 4 raw shrimp, medium or large - shell on
  • 1/4 sweet bell pepper
  • Seafood Ingredient Options
  • 2 calamari (squid)
  • 4 raw mussels in shell (frozen or fresh)
  • 6 small clams, such as venus or manila (frozen or fresh)
  • 6-8 raw shrimp, medium or large - shell on
  • 1/4 sweet bell pepper
  • Vegetarian Ingredient Options
  • 1/2 can white beans, rinsed
  • 1 artichoke, trimmed and cut in quarters
  • 1/4 medium eggplant, cubed
  • 1/2 green or red bell pepper, sliced in strips


As mentioned above, there four basic steps to prepare paella. The instructions below are broken into those four steps. Any specific tasks for one of the versions - mixed, seafood or vegetarian, are noted.

Prepare all the ingredients:

  • Clean and chop the vegetables per description in ingredient list above.
  • If using pork, cut into serving-size pieces.
  • If preparing seafood or mixta versions, clean the squid of innards and spine, then remove the tentacles. Cut the squid tubes into rings. Rinse and drain all shellfish.

Cook the Sofrito:

Place the paella or frying pan on medium heat and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. When pan is hot enough, sauté the onions, garlic and tomatoes in the olive oil, stirring often until onions are translucent.

Cook Other Ingredients:

Mixta: Add the chicken and brown on all sides. Then add squid and cook 10-15 minutes, stirring often.

Seafood: Add squid and cook, stirring often for about 10-15 minutes.

Vegetarian: Add the artichoke, eggplant, pepper and lightly sauté. Vegetables should still be firm.

Cook the Rice and Finish:

Add the rice, sprinkling in the form of a cross on the pan. Stir for 2-3 minutes to thoroughly coat the rice with oil.

Crush the saffron threads between your fingers, and add to the warm broth. Slowly pour broth into the paella pan until ingredients are covered. Spread meat and vegetables evenly over bottom of pan.

Mixta and Seafood: After adding broth, arrange mussels around outside edge of pan, pointing up. Place clams and shrimp in pan, spreading out evenly. Add slices of pepper on top.

Simmer uncovered to cook rice. Add more broth if needed. If using peas, sprinkle over the top, when rice is almost cooked.

When rice is cooked, remove from heat and cover with aluminum foil or large tea towel. This allows the paella to “rest” for 5 minutes before serving.

Optional: Slice lemon into wedges and serve alongside paella.

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