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Vegetarian paella

Easy Vegetarian Paella

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x


This vegetarian paella recipe is full of delicious, hearty flavor! A vegan spin on the classic Spanish recipe, it pleases everyone.


  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 to 3 roma or plum tomatoes (1 1/2 cups finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 large pinch saffron
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups short grain Bomba rice or arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, rinsed under warm water
  • 12 ounces artichoke hearts, quartered (marinated if desired)
  • 1 to 2 jarred roasted red peppers, sliced into strips
  • Lemon wedges from 1/2 lemon
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish


  1. Prep the vegetables: Mince the onion. Mince the garlic. Finely chop the tomatoes, removing the cores but keeping the seeds with their juices. Slice the roasted red peppers into strips, and set aside.
  2. Measure out the ingredients: Measure out all the remaining ingredients before you start. The cooking process goes fast!
  3. Cook the paella: In your largest skillet or a 4-serving paella pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic until just translucent, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chopped tomatoes, the smoked paprika and red pepper flakes and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and cook until the tomatoes have broken down and most of the liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the stock, chickpeas, saffron and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir, then immediately sprinkle the rice evenly across the broth and tap the pan with a spoon to evenly spread the rice. Bring to a medium simmer and cook without stirring until liquid is absorbed, about 18 to 22 minutes (adjust the cook time as necessary if using a skillet). If your pan is large enough to span multiple burners on your stovetop, adjust the heat on each burner so you achieve a steady medium simmer. Rotate the pan every few minutes for an even cook.
  4. Add the artichokes and peas (10 minutes into cook time): When the top of the rice is beginning to show through the liquid, about 10 minutes into the cook time, press the artichokes, peas, and red pepper strips lightly into the rice.
  5. Assess whether the paella is done: In last few minutes, carefully watch the paella and rotate pan more frequently. As the paella finishes, you’ll see the steam start to slow down as the water cooks out. If desired, peek at the bottom of a pan by using a knife to scrape back the rice — you shouldn’t see any standing water. The sound will start to change from a simmer to a crackle. This indicates the crust is forming. Let the crackling continue for about 2 minutes before removing from the heat. If you smell any burning, remove immediately.
  6. Serve: When the paella is done, squeeze the lemon wedges onto the top of the pan. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of kosher salt and add the parsley, if using. Serve with additional lemon wedges.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Spanish
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Vegetarian paella, vegetarian paella recipe, vegan paella