How To Cook The Best Seafood Paella Recipe

Are you ready to indulge and be pampered with something special? Brace yourselves as we will be learning how to cook seafood paella!

If you are still puzzled by how to make seafood paella, we will help you best to enlighten surely. For this reason, you will learn about seafood paella, some relevant information about this cuisine, and where it is from originally. Likewise, you will discover different ways to cook this dish as well as with additional tips and trivia. 

You don’t need to wait for special occasions such as birthday parties, Christmas or the New Year’s just to enjoy a seafood paella meal.

What is an Easy Seafood Paella Recipe

Seafood paella or Paella de marisco is one of the many kinds and variations of Paella. This dish replaces meat with seafood such as clams, mussels, and shrimp, which also does not use beans and green vegetables, unlike other paellas.

Paella is a Spanish dish that initially came from the city of Valencia. In Valencia’s regional language, which is Valencian, Paella means “frying pan.” The name came from the traditional way of preparing the dish using a pan in an open fire.

seafood paella in a large pan with shrimps on top
(Photo Credits to: revista aventurero)

Additionally, Paella became the ’ food’ food farmworkers’ food who make and prepare cereal grain dishes over wood fires with whatever ingredients they could find and eat. 

Likewise, the paella seafood recipe contains ingredients other than paella variants. To give you confidence and proof, here are the shellfish paella ingredients:

  • Rice – seafood paella and all of its other variants are considered a cereal grain dish. That’s why the type of rice you will be using makes a difference. Arrow Redonda or the short-grain rice (round rice) is the perfect choice in making paella dishes. Other varieties used in Spain are Senia, bomba, bahfa, and thaibonnet. 
  • Saffron – this spice is derived from the flower Crocus sativus and is commonly known as “saffron crocus.” Saffron gives the shellfish paella a bit of sweetness and mysterious flavor to your Paella. It also contributes a luminous yellow-orange gorgeous color to the Paella. Saffron is a powerful antioxidant. It has impressive health benefits such as improving moods and may treat depressive symptoms, have cancer-fighting properties, may reduce appetite, and aid weight loss. It may also reduce the risks of heart disease and lower blood sugar levels. 
  • These red fruits that are considered vegetables by health professionals are good sources of Vitamins A, B9, and C and minerals like potassium. It also has antioxidant properties such as lycopene that helps in lowering high cholesterol levels. Tomatoes give extra flavor to your Paella.
  • Green peas not only give color and life to your shellfish paella, but green peas also have something to offer. Green peas are nutritious and healthy because it contains a fair amount of fiber and antioxidants. Additionally, they may help in protecting you from some chronic illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. 
  • Squid – it gives the shellfish paella an umami taste. Also, its meat doesn’t just provide a new flavor; it is a nutritious shellfish ingredient to add in different dishes such as Paella. Besides, it is low in calories, a good protein source, vitamin B6, B6, E, and selenium. You don’t need to worry because it has no cholesterol and carbs! 


A seafood paella without the shrimp on top of it is lifeless! Shrimp is an essential part of the paella ingredient. Aside from protein, it contains nutrients and vitamins needed by our body. Shrimp consumption can also promote heart health and brain health because of its omega-3 fatty acid content. 

  • Clams- if you don’t want mussels to include in your paella dish, clams will surely be the perfect substitute instead. Just make sure to thoroughly scrub the clams before preparation and discard cracked or broken shells. Moreover, clams are low in fat while high in protein. It is a great shellfish choice with the average amount of minerals, such as zinc, iron, magnesium, and B vitamins. 
  • Crabs – crab meat is an excellent choice to add to your Paella. Crabmeat is also low in fat and contains omega-3 fatty acids. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals that are essential for the human body. 
  • Stock – when preparing shellfish paella, you can use fish stock or chicken stock. But it is preferred to use chicken stock instead because it adds depth of flavor. Be sure to taste the fish or chicken stock to check if it needs extra seasoning with additional salt. 
  • Other ingredients needed to fulfill your paella dreams are onion, garlic, paprika, salt, ground black pepper, olive oil, lemon, boiled egg, and water. Condiments commonly seen in your kitchen are components that give your dish extraordinary taste and flavor of Shellfish Paella Recipe.

There are many ways you can choose from when making Shellfish Paella. Since you are the boss and the main chef, it is your decision whether to make it in the classic style or the quick-prep style. With this, we are here to share different techniques for preparing this dish that will surely help you with a hassle-free kitchen experience. 

Some of them are as follow below:

seafood paella being cooked in a large pan
(Photo Credits to: Creatrice Mondial)

Slow Cooker Seafood Paella Recipes

Is it possible to make and prepare Paella in the slow cooker? Yes, it is! Almost anything can be done and made in the slow cooker. 

When using this kind of way of making your Paella, you need to add all ingredients except for the equipment’s shrimp. Mix them well; they have it in high mode for 3 to 4 hours or in low for 6-8 hours. 

After this, you can start adding the shrimp and mussels to the equipment and then simmer it for an additional 15 to 30 more minutes or until the shrimp is pinkish and the mussels have opened. 

Crockpot Seafood Paella Recipes

Crockpot dishes are somewhat similar to the way of using the slow cooker. All ingredients are placed in the crockpot and set over low heat for 3 to 4 hours. Procedures are the same as the other equipment. 

  • Instant Pot Seafood Paella

Using an instant pot is a modern way of preparing your Paella that significantly simplifies preparing it quickly and with a little effort. 

Place sauteed garlic, onion, and tomatoes seasoning in an instant pot with salt, pepper, paprika, and saffron to taste. Next is adding the stock you’ve chosen to use in this paella dish and the addition of water and cereal grain. After this, flatten the finished cereal grain and sprinkle it with some green peas as a garnish. 

Then, move on with your shellfish paella, arrange the mussels, shrimp, clams, and crabs over the flattened rice and then finish for 15 minutes. If you want to add more color and decorations, add sliced boiled eggs and lemon together with the shellfish placed on top of the dish. 

Just as quick and easy as this, your shellfish paella is now ready to be served. 

  • Grilled Seafood Paella

Paella doesn’t get any better than this version of the dish. 

In this preparation style, you will need a 15- inch paella pan to ensure that the rice will finish in a thin, even surfaced layer simply because the key to this dish is the crusty caramelized rice layer at the bottom of the equipment. 

It is almost the same procedure as when using an instant pot instead of a pan. Except, this way of preparation, it is heated in an outdoor grill that is high for about 450°F to 550°F. You can still use kitchen equipment like a casserole in the grill if you prefer just having the smoked flavor. 

Aside from the preparation styles presented above, you can apply and choose from making your Shellfish Paella. There are other variations of this dish in addition to the famous shellfish paella. 

Two variations are considered famous. These are the Paella Valenciana and Paella mixta. 
The Paella Valenciana is the traditional Paella using meat and some vegetables. In contrast, the Paella mixta, on the other hand, is the one with the combination of meat, shellfish, veggies, and sometimes beans, whereas it is called mixed Paella. Both are finished in a magnificent pan.

Easy Troubleshooting Techniques in cooking Seafood recipes

Perhaps, you might think of failing quickly with the overwhelming ingredients of this dish. Don’t worry as we are here to help you overcome that fear even though sometimes unavoidable mistakes happen. Here are some ways to troubleshoot and remedy your seafood paella:

  • If your Paella’s final result lacks flavor, you can add the right amount of water to enhance the taste more. The addition of water makes its stock in your Paella, and in that way, you don’t need to add more stock in it. 

Trivia: Benefits of Seafood Paella Recipes and other Easy Variants that you can prepare

Keeping on track of your calorie intake is a must when you are trying to avoid weight gain. A cup serving of seafood paella contains about 345 calories and 11 grams of fat. Though it might be high because of the numbers, this doesn’t mean it’s a fattening food. 

The presence of the rice as an ingredient in this recipe makes it a high-carb food. In contrast to that, the seafood ingredients such as shrimp, oysters, and clams are low in fat and calories. With this, it makes it a healthy choice and option if you still want to eat Paella.  

Nonetheless, it will always depend on you on how you will control yourself. Regular exercises and your activity plays a vital role in whether you will gain weight or not.

Rewarding yourself sometimes will help you motivate yourself more but make sure of the moderation. It is you who needs to be responsible for your own body to be healthy as you live and enjoy every day. 

Variations that you can prepare at home

Chicken Paella Chicken will always have a special place in our hearts. Almost every dish that is known to Earth has a chicken variation. Aside from that, chicken is widely available in any region and easy to prepare as well. Suppose you are worried about the chicken’s taste impact in dishes like this, don’t worry. This is because, just like most crustaceans, chicken stock or broth consists of a fantastic flavor that goes well with dishes like this. 

To prepare this variant, you can start by boiling the chicken meat ahead of other ingredients. Do not throw away that stock, for you can use it in the recipe itself. The stock will sip into the rice as it expands. This will ensure that the flavor would be screaming chicken taste in every bite of dishes like this. 

Chicken is an excellent alternative because it is low in calories, perfect for those who are on a diet. It is easy to digest as well as compared to other meats. Also, it has lower cholesterol compared to crustaceans like lobsters and the likes. 

Sausage PaellaTired of the usual paella dishes? Why not elevate it by changing the meat with sausage. In this way, you can appeal to kids because they like dishes with sausages instead of lobsters and veggies. If you don’t have sausage available, you can change it to hotdogs, spam, or pepperonis.

There are lots of sausages to choose from around the globe. So we know that you might be a little amazed when shopping for this sausage paella version. Don’t worry because we got your back. We can provide you some tips on which sausage to use depending on your preference. 

Kielbasa – kielbasa means sausage in Poland. This sausage is called Kielbasa anywhere else in the world because of its originating country. This sausage has the shape of a horseshoe. Also, it is made of pork country and smoked to perfection. Aside from that, the flavor is kind of smoky, mild, and sweet. To achieve its maximum flavor, it is suggested to grill or saute it first. 

In this case, you can grill or saute it separately from the paella, then just add it once the paella dishes are already prepared. 

Andouillethis type of sausage is very much present in Cajun cuisine. It is a spicy smoked ready-made sausage that you can serve as a cold cut. To extract its maximum flavor, you can saute it in a skillet with a little bit of oil or butter. If you are looking for a combination of smoky, garlicky, and spicy taste on your paella dishes, then this sausage is perfect to use. 

BratwurstThis type of sausage is from Germany. It is usually made from pork and veal; that is why the flavors are really on point. This sausage type is also seasoned with a little bit of salt, garlic, nutmeg, and caraway. Germans serve this grilled or sauteed in a skillet with a dash of oil or butter. Make sure not to burn this sausage because it will ruin the flavor. Now, if you want a salty and mild gingery flavor on your paella dishes, ensure that you will add this to your grocery list. 

Italian Sausage This hot and sweet type of sausage is made of seasoned pork with garlic, anise seed, and red pepper flakes. If you want your non-spicy penchant diners to enjoy your sausage paella dishes, you can opt to remove the red pepper flakes in the sausage. This will leave this sausage as sweet and savory, perfect for your paella dishes. 

ChorizoThis type of sausage is a variety from Mexico. It is an uncured sausage flavored with chilies, garlic, and Mexican spices. To prepare this, remove the casing first and saute in a skillet with butter or oil. This smoky, spicy, and aromatic sausage will surely entice your guest to dig in and indulge in your paella dishes. 

Diners will indeed dive into this bowl of a delightful dish so prepare to make a lot because everybody will surely consume it in minutes. 

Valencia – Now this one is considered as the original recipe of dishes like this. It consists of rice, green beans, and meat as significant ingredients. For the flavor, saffron, rosemary, sweet paprika, shallots, artichokes, and garlic are ingredients.

Did you know that saffron is the world’s most expensive spice? Dishes like this are genuinely fit for a royal because of the luxury of spices and ingredients included. Saffron threads are from a flower grown in the region of Spain. Although it is available for ten years, the process of harvesting and getting the saffron threads is very delicate. The process made the saffron threads very expensive. 

Vegetable variantIf you want a healthier approach to dishes like this, this variant is perfect. This variant is also called paella de verduras in Spain. In this variant, the sky’s the limit in choosing your vegetable of choice. You can start with broccoli, artichokes, string beans, green peas, and others that you might think will match the rice’s rice’s consistency. 

Brussel sprouts and garbanzos will also play a significant part in making up dishes like this. There are lots to choose from but bear in mind that too many veggies will overcrowd the dish and appeal less to diners. Also, the diners will think that too many veggies are a handful so that they might shy away—the lesser, the better. A friendly reminder would be to focus on the taste instead of adding too many components. 

Mixed Version – if you want to have it all in one serving, this type of recipe matches your preference. Just combine the Valencia, Shellfish, and Veggies to make it even more appealing. The only reminder is to balance everything in the dish to make sure that it will still be as delicious as it is individually.  


We’ve gathered some tips that might be helpful for you to perfect this seafood paella recipe:

Burnt Recipes

Are you worried that your Paella will burn? If the bottom part of the rice yields a golden caramelized crust, which is called socarrat, it is perfect as you’ve reached absolute paella greatness! 

Don’t Stir the Rice.

Avoid stirring the rice while over the heat, maintaining its stickiness and chewiness both simultaneously. Perfectly done, rice is a factor to consider in dishes like this. 

  • To avoid rice being raw and underdone, make sure that your fire is low. The water in the rice will evaporate quickly when the flame is too high, leaving some parts of the rice underdone.  
  • To ensure that the rice will be done evenly, use a broad and round pan with two handles on both sides. The pot will make sure that the rice will be done in a thin and even layer. 
  • Make sure to clean and simmer the clams and mussels appropriately to avoid unwanted stomach aches. Ensuring that the food is safe to eat is the first thing we must provide because we don’t want anyone to upset the stomach because of the food we have prepared. 

Another extra tip that we can give you is to remove the crustaceans’ shells like oysters and lobsters for a better eating experience for your guest. 

Best served with

Paella is known to be the mother of all one-pot dishes. With its delicious taste and exceptional flavors, it is manageable to partner with different kinds of food.

garlic bread on a rectangular plate

Below are some of the foods we think are perfect for serving with shellfish paella.

  • Garlic Bread – with the unique taste and delicious flavors of our Shellfish Paella, we assure you that it will go utterly incredible with some garlic bread. Though our dish is already a complete menu, an addition of garlic bread won’t hurt; instead, it will complement the plate’s flavors more. 
  • Sinigang Soup – who doesn’t love soup? Sinigang soup goes well with this paella dish.
  • Banana Chips – after finishing a plate of this shellfish paella dish, a very healthy dessert such as these banana chips is a perfect combo!
  • Vegetable Salad – shellfish plus veggies? Your vegetable salad will complete our Shellfish Paella. A delicious and healthy dish is coming right up!
  • Leche Flan – if you are a Filipino, this sweet custard dessert with a layer of caramel sauce is the perfect dessert to be served ever! Just like how this yummy dessert is ideal for any dish, of course, it will never go wrong with our shellfish paella dish. 
  • Tiramisu – if you love coffee, then this is an excellent side for dishes like this. You can serve it with ladyfingers, mascarpone, and espresso. Serve it chilled, and it will be a perfect pair for dishes like this. 
  • Sorbet – thick and creamy dishes like this deserve something refreshing to pair with. In that case, sorbet is one of the perfect sides that we can think of. The perfect sorbet to pair recipes like this would be a lemon sorbet. This is because the lemon’s lemon’s tangy and sour flavor will cleanse up the palate after eating a rich and creamy peanut paste. But if you prefer other flavors like strawberry or raspberries, you can also have them as an alternative to lemon sorbets. 
  • Olive oil cake – recipes like this usually go well with a slice of bread. But if in an instance you don’t have any, an olive oil cake will do. This moist cake is straightforward to make and has a long shelf life. So if you have any leftovers with recipes like this, leftover olive oil cake will be the perfect match for it. 
  • Spiced Fruit Salad – we would always like to have something fresh on the side. In this regard, we suggest you choose the fruits that are in season. But if you have a supermarket that almost caters to fruits all year long, then it is perfect for running into to buy some. 

You can choose from mangoes, passion fruits, dragon fruits, and apples. These fruits are almost all year long and have a very refreshing taste that helps cleanse the palate after eating very flavorful recipes. You can also add grapes or strawberries, raspberries, and kiwis. This will not just freshen up recipes like this, but it will surely give you a healthy approach to side dishes that you will serve. 

  • Rhubarb fool: This heavenly delight of creamy side dish is effortless and light to recreate. Aside from that, you can store it in the chiller and make it ahead of time because we know that recipes like paella require full attention in preparation. 
  • Strawberry granita – what a way to end up a dish with a serving of strawberry granita. This is a serving of fluffy and crunchy shaved ice. Compared to sorbets, granitas are semi-frozen desserts made from water, crystalline sugar, and flavorings. If you’re not in the mood for strawberries, you can always opt to use other fruits like raspberries, blueberries, or mangoes. The choices of fruits are endless. By the way, this one is very manageable to enjoy and make your guest happy with a cup of this granita. 
  • Banoffee ice cream sundae: Elevate your ice cream serving with this banoffee flavor. This soft, banana and coffee tandem flavor will make sure that you will end a hearty dish with a bang!
  • White or Red Wine: Continue that aristocratic vibe in recipes like this by having a glass of white or red wine on the side. Not just a glass of wine is healthy, but it is also a great pair of recipes like this. If you want a dry approach to your wine, you can have a bottle of Chardonnay ready. For red wines, any of your favorite red wine will do. Besides, who can go wrong with a bottle of red wine? 
  • Vodka Mojito: Now, this is an elevation of a beverage experience. Try to put up a show to your diners by serving this glass of perfection on the spot. This cocktail drink is perfect for recipes like this and an ideal palate cleanser after a devouring meal. 
  • Sangria: This alcoholic drink is made from red wine, fruit juice, and soda water. In this regard, it will still be refreshing to drink even though it has alcoholic content. Also, it is beautiful to serve this during dinners to promote a good night’s sleep. 
  • At the beginning of the serving, you can serve a plate of cheese and olive platter to introduce Paella recipes. These are cheesy dates wrapped in bacon and then grille dot perfection. After indulging in appetizers like this, your diners will surely be ready to devour your Paella recipes. 

Aside from that, did you know that including dates in your diet is a fantastic movie?

This is because dates are packed with nutritional benefits. It is positively packed with fiber and carbohydrates, making it the healthiest dry fruit present in Earth’s land. The fiber content of this fruit helps aid bowel movement irregularities. 

There are also antioxidants present in the fruit that help fight the formulation of free radicals that damage the body’s cells. Aside from that, it improves brain functionality reducing the chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease.  

In addition to that, if you are pregnant, this fruit is a perfect partner for you in your last trimester because it promotes natural labor. The compounds found in dates mimics the oxytocin needed during labor. Thus, it helps in healthy contractions for easy delivery. Also, it has natural sugars that are required for energy during pregnancy. 

The antioxidants also help prevent cancer formation in your body. Aside from that, it is a perfect substitute for pharmacy bought antibiotics. And since this fruit has natural sugar in it, it fights diabetes by increasing insulin production needed by our body. So, instead of using insulin supplementation, try adding dates to your diet instead and start by serving side dishes like this. 

If you are afraid of damaging your kidney because of consuming a salty dish like the Bagoong, don’t worry because you can always pair it up with this side dish. This fruit protects the kidney as it reduces lesions, causing kidney problems. 

Having that baby-making problem, good thing you are browsing this article because this side dish contains dates that help improve fertility rates in malle and breast enlargement in females. It also increases sexual libido, so if your partner just got home, a glass of wine and this side dish will go perfectly with these paella recipes. 

The selenium, manganese, magnesium, and copper compounds of the dates help treat osteoporosis and improve bone health. So make sure to serve your grannies with this kind of side dish together with paella recipes. Aside from that, it strengthens the nervous system with its potassium and sodium content. This helps in more accessible nerve cell communication. 

If you want a good glow in your skin, better have side dishes like this because they have Vitamin C and D, making one’s skin glowing from the inside. Not just the skin, but it also reduces the chances of hair loss. The dates ensure that there will be enough supply of oxygen running in the scalp. 

If you had a lot of drinks with your friends last night, then this side dish is perfect for aiding your hangover. For it to be effective, first, peel the dates. Soak it in water, better if you consume it the following morning. So to make sure you are always ready, stack this at home. Believe us when we say it is convenient. 

Also, this side dish can help you with your night blindness if you are. It is packed with Vitamin A that nourishes our eyes with the nutrients needed for healthy eyesight. 


Seafood Paella is genuinely a fantastic dish. Its unique taste and different flavors allow us to travel back in time and have a glimpse of other cuisines from around the world. 

You will not have to wait for special occasions and celebrations to enjoy this dish. Shellfish Paella is all worth the try and effort, not just because of being delicious but also because of the health benefits it can give to our bodies. 

We are sure that we’ve satisfied your cravings now. We hope that we gave you enough information and tips on how to make Shellfish Paella. Make sure to tell us what your experiences are and the outcome of your dish. We would be glad to hear from you.

Buen provecho!

For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy!

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Best Seafood Paella Recipe

Would you like to feel like a Spanish Aristocrat in the comforts of your home? It is possible by serving your family this bowl of a delicious meal. Without further ado, scroll down to check out how to make it easier. Enjoy.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword Rice Recipes, Seafood Recipes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 284kcal
Cost $5-$20


  • 1/2 cup Glutinous rice
  • 1/2 cup Rice
  • 1/2 cup Squid cut into rings
  • 1/2 cup Shrimp cooked
  • 1 cup Clam cooked
  • 2 cups Mussels cooked
  • 1/2 tsp Saffron
  • 4 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 pc Onion cubed
  • 4 pcs Tomatoes cubed
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 cup Green peas
  • 2 pcs Crabs
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Shrimp stock
  • 1 pc Lemon julienned
  • 1 pc Boiled egg sliced
  • 1/2 cup Water


  • Heat a cooking pan and pour olive oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, cook the shrimp then remove from the pan. Set aside.
  • In the same pan, half cook the squid then remove from the pan. Set aside.
  • Put-in garlic, onion and tomatoes in the same pan then saute until tomatoes melt.
  • Season with salt, pepper, paprika and saffron.
  • Pour-in the shrimp stock and water then stir well. Bring to a boil.
  • Then add the rice and glutinous rice. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
  • Once the rice is cooked, flatten it over the pan and sprinkle green peas on top.
  • Arrange the squid, shrimp, mussels, clams and crabs on top of the rice, and cook for another 15 minutes.
  • Then, put the sliced boiled eggs and lemon on top of the rice.
  • Serve while hot! Share and enjoy.


Calories: 284kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 725mg | Potassium: 346mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 472IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 3mg
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