Spanish-Style Shrimp Paella

shrimp paella
Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN, LD
Total Time: 45 min
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 35 min
Servings: 4 (1 1/4 cups each)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

206 calories
4g fat
18g carbs
21g protein
Show Nutrition Label Hide Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 (1 1/4 cups each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 206
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 141mg 47%
Sodium 473mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 2g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 21g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 95mg 7%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 508mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Paella is a traditional Spanish dish, dating back almost 1,200 years. It carries the tradition of being a social dish that people gather around and share over conversation.

As you can imagine, there are many regional variations and many types of fresh seafood, chicken, and sausages can be used. In Spain, paella is made with special short-grain white rice, called Bomba or Calasparra. This version uses medium-grain rice, which is easier to find in U.S. grocery stores.

The proportions of liquid and rice in this recipe are for preparation in a 10-inch skillet. The amount of liquid required can vary, depending on the width of the paella pan and the type of rice.

You may notice the recipe doesn't call for garlic or onions (except for garlic-infused oil). That's because garlic and onions are high in FODMAPs and this recipe is a low-FODMAP version of traditional paella. FODMAPs are a group of poorly absorbed fermentable carbohydrates.

Garlic-infused oil doesn't have FODMAPs. That's because the garlic itself is taken out of the oil but the flavor remains. On the other hand, garlic seasoning will still have FODMAPs.

People with certain digestive conditions—like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)—have difficulty digesting FODMAPs. These foods might trigger uncomfortable symptoms, like stomach pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.

That's where a low-FODMAP diet comes in. A September 2021 study analysis reported that a low-FODMAP diet improved GI symptoms and quality of life in people with IBS.

But not everyone needs to follow a low-FODMAP diet. Feel free to swap the low-FODMAP broth for regular broth if you can tolerate foods high in FODMAPs.


  • 2 cups reduced-sodium, low-FODMAP chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 10 saffron threads
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic-infused olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked medium grain rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3/4 pound raw medium shrimp, deveined and peeled
  • 1 cup diced unsalted tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 medium lemon, thinly sliced


  1. In a small saucepan, pre-warm the chicken broth and white wine over medium heat. Stir in the saffron.

  2. In a 10-inch skillet with a heavy bottom, heat butter and oil on medium-low heat.

  3. Add dry rice to the pan and coat the rice in butter and oil, stirring for 5 minutes or until it begins to brown.

  4. Pour in the wine-broth mixture and add the bay leaf, red pepper flakes, salt, and paprika.

  5. Cover and bring the rice to a boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes without stirring.

  6. Stir in the shrimp and fire-roasted tomatoes. Cover and cook on low-medium heat until shrimp are cooked through and water has evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes.

  7. Just before serving, stir in two-thirds of the fresh parsley. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and sprinkle the remaining parsley on top.

Variations and Substitutions

Saffron tends to be expensive. If it's unavailable or out of your budget, use a little turmeric to create a golden color instead. Start with 1/8 of a teaspoon of turmeric and add more as needed.

To add more smokiness to the recipe, add pancetta, bacon, or sausage. Pan-fry the meat and stir into the paella pan with the shrimp.

Raw mussels, clams, or scallops can be substituted for an equal amount of shrimp.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • Note that low-FODMAP broth is one without garlic or onion.
  • Most shrimp on the market today has sodium phosphate added. Not only does excess sodium phosphate negatively affect the taste, but it can also result in very high sodium and phosphate levels in the shrimp. Read labels and buy shrimp that contains the least sodium per serving. Even shrimp sold at the fish counter has usually been processed with sodium phosphates, so ask to see those labels, too.
  • Serve this paella with a tossed salad for a complete, healthy meal.

Rate this Recipe

You've already rated this recipe. Thanks for your rating!
2 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Altobelli E, Del Negro V, Angeletti PM, Latella G. Low-FODMAP diet improves irritable bowel syndrome symptoms: a meta-analysisNutrients. 2017;9(9):940. doi:10.3390/nu9090940

  2. van Lanen AS, de Bree A, Greyling A. Efficacy of a low-FODMAP diet in adult irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysisEur J Nutr. 2021;60(6):3505-3522. doi:10.1007/s00394-020-02473-0

By Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN, LD
Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN, LD, is a nutrition expert with expertise in GI disorders. She is a leader in using the FODMAP approach with IBS patients.