This easy vegetable paella is made in just one pan, ready in less than 40 minutes and packed full of that classic paella flavor. Feel free to add seafood or chicken too!
Me and paella go way back. When I was in college I studied abroad in Alicante, Spain, which is nestled on the Mediterranean coast, about three hours south of Barcelona. I stayed with a host family, who was lovely and didn't speak any English, and my madre would often make us paella for lunch.
Lunch in Spain is a big deal. It's the main meal event of the day, and often happens around 2pm. The shops close down, everyone comes home from work and school, and you have a nice family meal, followed by an even nicer snooze. I just adored when I came home from University and smelled paella wafting down the hallway.
When she made it, she used seafood, usually a blend of fish and shellfish. And paella rice, of course (which is similar to risotto/arborio rice). So today I'm giving you my vegetarian version of paella and uses my beloved quinoa instead of rice.
You're going to love how simple this paella is to make. We're only using one pan, an assortment of vegetables (that I bet you already have in your kitchen), just two spices and after just a little bit of simmer time, dinner is served.
Traditional paella uses saffron to flavor it, but if you can't find saffron or it's too expensive, you can substitute turmeric powder. The turmeric is going to throw the taste off a teeny bit, but you will still have that gorgeous yellow hue that paella is known for.
And just like many of the recipes on this site, this quinoa paella is very customizable. You can change up the veggie combo based on what you have on hand, and feel free to add some meat or seafood if that's more your speed. If you're not a bean/chickpea fan but still want to keep it vegetarian, either leave them out entirely or you could add in some tempeh.
One thing I don't recommend skipping are the artichokes. They bring a lovely salty note to the dish and you can taste their briny flavor throughout.
Oh, and the lemon. Definitely squeeze some lemon juice on before you serve it. The acid really brightens up the whole dish and helps the other flavors shine!
A few notes on this dish before I let you go:
- Since the quinoa isn't as starchy as rice, this quinoa paella isn't quite as creamy as the one you might find in Spain
- This can be made in the oven as well as the stovetop – for the oven, put everything in a casserole dish and bake for about 30 – 40 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed (you might need to cover it with foil halfway through)
- Makes great leftovers: either reheat in the microwave or in a small pan on the stove with a touch of water
- And this dish pairs really well with a nice glass of Tempranillo wine!
Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did! If you end up making it, share a pic and tag @simplyquinoa or use #simplyquinoa on Instagram so I can find it and give you a little love in return ❤️️
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 2 - 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup chopped baby bella mushrooms (about 6 - 8 mushrooms)
- 1 (15oz) can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
- 1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
- 1 (14.5oz) can artichoke hearts, in water
- 1 cup white quinoa
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup frozen green beans
- 1 bell pepper, sliced
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon (optional)
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, sauteeing until onions are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for another 2 - 3 minutes until the mushrooms have started to soften.
Once mushrooms have started to brown, add chickpeas, tomatoes, artichokes, quinoa, paprika and saffron. Season with salt and pepper and stir everything together. Add broth and stir again to incorporate. Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce to simmer for 20 - 25 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Remove the lid and stir in the green beans. Smooth the top of the paella with your spoon and arrange the sliced bell peppers on top. Cover again and cook for another 10 minutes.
When ready to serve, squeeze lemon juice on top and serve immediately!
|Amount Per Serving||As Served|
|Calories 261 Calories from fat|
|% Daily Value|
|Total Fat 6.4||10%|
|Dietary Fiber 9.4||38%|
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:
|Total Fat||Less than||65g||80g|
|Sat Fat||Less than||25g||80g|
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