Seafood Paella

Paella is the classic rice dish of Valencia on Spain’s Mediterranean coast.

It’s a great food for a dinner party: the ingredients take some time to gather, but paella can be made in bulk and provides a complete meal in one bowl. It also uses some wine, so you can drink while you cook and get in the party spirit before the guests arrive!


You’ll need a collection of meats, and seafoods are the usual choice. We chose shrimp, calamari, mussels, salmon, and spicy Italian sausage:

White wine and bone broth provide the necessary liquids. Our ox feet bone broth has plenty of collagen and fats as you can see:

Other ingredients we used are saffron (the threads are soaked in water overnight), red pepper, onion, uncooked white rice, a lemon, garlic, paprika, and parsley:

We also used olive oil and coconut oil (not shown).


You can start by stir-frying the onion and garlic in olive oil for two minutes, then adding red pepper for a minute, then the saffron and paprika:

Immediately after the saffron and paprika, add the rice (this was 2/3 cup uncooked), stir to coat it in oil and spices, add the wine and broth, and cover:

Cover the pot and simmer the rice in the broth about 15 minutes at low heat. As it cooks it absorbs liquid; if the broth runs low, add more bone broth. After 15 minutes looks like this:

At this point add the meat, and cover again to steam-cook the meat:

When we made paella a second time, we cooked the shrimp in coconut oil separately and added it to the paella only after the other meats were cooked. This enhanced the flavor of the shrimp:

Once the meat is cooked, add the parsley, juice of a full lemon, salt, pepper, and any other spices. The first time we made it looked like this:

But it’s really better when it has more parsley. When we made the paella the second time, this was how much parsley we used:

You can see that the second time we used more broth. This is the proper amount of liquid to have; our first version was too dry.

Here was the finished product the first time:

Here it was the second time:


If you’re tired of Cambridge Fried Rice, this is a good alternative: it has similar macronutrient proportions but a totally different taste!

For a bonus, we asked Gordon Ramsay to do a paella video:

Leave a comment ?


  1. Yum. How do we get on the guest list?

  2. Offer to bring the wine!

  3. ah great…makes me want to be in Spain again 🙂
    Could you quickly tell me why you choose to use white rice over brown rice?

  4. Dear Paul,

    thanks for the recipe. I have a quick question for you. You recommend palm oil as a good oil to use. Do you mean the red palm oil or palm kernel oil?? I have seen both in my local Health food store.
    Thanks in advance.

  5. Hi Hans,

    Brown rice is OK but it has some protein toxins that are absent from white rice. So we prefer the white rice.

    Hi Monika,

    Both are healthy oils. The palm kernel oil is similar to coconut oil, high in short-chain fats and ketogenic. The red palm oil is more like butter in its fatty acid mix and has a spicy taste with a lot of vitamin E.

  6. Paul,

    as much as I like you, but I have to point out that you should use paella (arroz bomba) rice!
    It’s very similar to italian risotto (arborio) rice and from outmost importance for a good paella.
    The end-consistency should be a bit less smooth then risotto in general without beeing dry (that’s why you need the right rice type – it just doesn’t work with asian/american rice).
    And I would put chicken and/or rabbit in place of the sausage.
    Purists would also note that it should be prepared on open fire on a wide but low steel paella pan. 😉


  7. Hi Franco,

    Thanks for the tips! We’ll try the bomba rice next time … and the rabbit!

    When erp comes over with the wine, we’ll have you bring the paella pan. 🙂

  8. Done and Done!

    A meeting of great minds and healthy bodies PHD party would be great fun.

  9. Ha!

    Easy to invite somebody who sits 8000 km or so away!

    But who knows if I can pass the security control with my paella pan in the hand luggage… :p

  10. Spanish chorizo — palacios brand — is pretty widely available — and far superior to italian sausage.

    I might stick with the olive oil rather than coconut oil for flavor. But cooking the shrimp separately is probably ok.

    Rabbit is also nice with paella.

  11. Franco, wine is easy to find everywhere, but a steel paella pan is not, so we’ll all come to you.

    Imagine the uproar it would cause when they pass your hand luggage through the scanner and find a paella pan. 🙂

  12. Menu Plan Monday, No Sh*t Sherlock Edition | This Felicitous Life - pingback on January 14, 2013 at 6:09 pm
  13. Ahh… my favourite food and also a paleo site that “allows” rice. I thought I had to give that up.

    I just came across your site. I just recently got into the Paleo Diet and I’ll definitely read your book.

    As Shou Ching is Chinese, I’m wondering what your thoughts are about the relationship between say a healthy diet as you guys promote and alternative medicine especially TCM. How does that fit in? Thanks.

    • We’re intrigued by traditional Chinese medicine but don’t really have a view on it. Most of the herbs used by TCM are quite toxic and can be dangerous in high doses. So they have to be used cautiously, and the quality of TCM practitioners varies widely, as does the quality of herbs used (and sometimes nowadays other plants may be dishonestly substituted for the prescribed herbs). So, buyer beware.

  14. Looks good but the YouTube link is broken

  15. POR FAVOR:


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