Spanish-Style Shrimp Paella Recipe

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
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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 a conversation. As you can imagine, there are many regional variations and a variety of types of fresh seafood, chicken, and sausages can be used.

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. In Spain, paella is made with special short-grain white rice, called Bomba or Calasparra. Our version uses medium-grain rice, which is easier to find in U.S. grocery stores. Serve paella with a tossed salad for a complete, healthy meal.


  • 2 cups reduced-sodium, low-FODMAP chicken broth
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 10 saffron threads
  • 1 ½ teaspoons butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic-infused olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked medium grain rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¾ pound peeled raw medium shrimp
  • 1 cup diced unsalted tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 thin slices lemon


  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. Add dry rice to the pan and coat the rice in butter and oil, stirring for 5 minutes, or until it begins to brown. Pour in the broth mixture and add the bay leaf, red pepper flakes, salt, and paprika. Cover and bring the rice to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes without stirring.

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

  4. Just before serving, stir in 2 tablespoons of parsley. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle the remaining parsley on top.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

Saffron tends to be expensive. If it is out of your budget or unavailable, 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 and onions.

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 the shrimp which 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.

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