Pepi’s Traditional Seafood Paella Recipe

traditional seafood paella in pan

Summer’s in the air here in southern Spain – and there’s no more summer-y Spanish dish than a seafood paella. This traditional paella recipe from my trusted right-hand cook, Pepi, is authentic, simple and absolutely delicious…


You will need:

  • 1/2 x red pepper – chopped
  • 1 x onions – chopped
  • 1 x small green pepper- chopped (optional)
  • 2 x large tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped
  • 1 x or as much as you like of chorizo – sliced
  • 500-750g cuttlefish or squid
  • 375gms chicken thigh – chopped (you could use bones for stock)
  • 400g raw, peeled prawns (using shells for stock)
  • 1.5 cups of rice
  • 4 cups hot water/stock/liquid simmered with 1 x bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup Fino or Amontillado Sherry
  • 1 pinch saffron soaked in warm water
  • 1 tsp of smoked paprika
  • Steamed mussels (optional), shell on boiled prawns and lemon wedges

Cooking instructions

How to make the dish:

  1. Begin by frying the chorizo in a hot paella or fry pan to release the fat.
  2. Remove chorizo and keep to one side. Leave the fat in the pan.
  3. Add/fry the chicken. Remove and keep to one side.
  4. You may need to add more oil, add chopped onion, stirring for 5 minutes.
  5. Add chopped red pepper and stir for a further 5 mins.
  6. Add chopped green pepper, stirring for 5 mins.
  7. Add peeled, chopped and de-seeded tomato, along with the chicken and 1 x teaspoon of salt. If using, add diced cuttlefish.
  8. Stir for 15-20 mins until the tomato takes on the appearance of puree.
  9. Add the rice. Stir. Add liquid, Sherry, saffron and smoked paprika. Bring to the boil and turn to simmer for 10 mins. Depending on the size of your chicken pieces you can add them after 5 minutes to ensure they are cooked through.
  10. After 10 mins, add prawns and push under the rice.
  11. Add the chicken and chorizo. Cook for a few minutes.
  12. Add squid rings (if using), pushing under, on a medium heat taking care that all areas of the pan have been in contact with the heat. If in doubt regarding dryness, add more warm liquid.
  13. Switch heat off and cover with newspaper or lid. Leave to rest for 10 mins.
  14. Garnish with lemon wedges, steamed mussels and some prawns in their shell.

Other nice to knows…

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 mins
Calories: 420 per helping

Like this traditional paella recipe and looking for more simple Spanish dishes from Pepi? Check out her mouth-watering take on the classic tortilla.

If you want to mix cooking fabulous Spanish food with a holiday in beautiful Vejer de la Frontera, find out more about my cookery courses.