If you’re the type who likes to sit around the dining room table with loved ones, then good food is probably a significant part of your life. One of Spain’s most famous dishes is paella, an aromatic recipe shared around the table with friends and family. Healthy and full of colourful vegetables, this vegan paella recipe is delicious, visually appealing, and easy to make. This dish is guaranteed to impress your dinner guests: follow the recipe to get an authentic tasting paella!

What is paella, and do I need a special pan to make it?

Paella is a hearty rice dish from Valencia, Spain. It is named after the pan used to make it, a paellera. In Spain, the traditional paella is cooked outside and eaten straight from this traditional flat-based paella pan. This is a wonderful rice recipe because it can easily be made using only vegetables or adding meat or seafood.

Traditional paella is cooked using a paella pan (paellera), a wide, shallow and thin metal pan with slanted sides designed to allow the rice to spread across the bottom, which helps create a tasty crust. You don’t have to worry if you don’t have a paella pan. You can use a Dutch oven or large skillet and cook it on gas tops or an electric stove and still get a incredible, tasty paella dish.

What kind of rice should I use to make vegan paella?

To achieve that delicious paella texture every time, cook using Dainty Paella Spanish Rice, which has an absorptive quality that will retain the flavours of your broth and seasoning. This short-grain white rice has an exterior hardness that allows it to absorb flavours without getting mushy. Unlike risotto, which is famous for being creamy and soft, a well-turned-out paella recipe should be creamy yet retain its firm texture. Alternately you can cheat and use Dainty Short, a medium grain white rice which will also make a great paella in a pinch.

Can I make vegan paella using a rice cooker?

If you want to save time on cleanup after dinner, you can easily throw the ingredients in your rice cooker and get a delicious Spanish vegan paella recipe in under 30 minutes.

To cook a next level paella, all you need to do is add rice, liquids, vegetables, and spices and press the cook button. Once the rice cooker is done, throw in frozen ingredients, replace the lid and keep the rice cooker on warm for 10 minutes. Garnish, serve warm and enjoy.

Vegan Paella Recipe

Vegan paella



  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil, divided
  • 4 cups/1L Vegetable Broth
  • 1 tsp Saffron Threads
  • 1 Medium Onion, diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into strips
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tomato,diced or 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1½ cups/375mL Dainty Paella, Spanish Rice (or Dainty Short)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Black Pepper, to taste
  • 1 Cup/250mL Frozen Peas


  • Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • Lemon Wedges



Heat the vegetable broth in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Crush the saffron and add to the broth. Simmer for 1 minute and lower the heat


Add 2 tbsp of oil into your paella pan, or a large pan or dutch oven, and turn to medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and peppers. Sauté 3–5 minutes until softened


Add tomatoes, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, bay leaves and dried thyme and cook for 2 minutes


Add the key ingredient, paella Spanish rice, and remaining 1 tbsp of oil to the pan and stir until well coated. Cook for 1 minute to lightly toast the rice and prevent sticking


Pour the broth into your pan with the other ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Do not stir, or the dish will become thick and creamy. Turn heat to medium-high and bring the broth to a heavy simmer for 2 minutes


Turn the heat down to simmer on low and cook for 15–20 minutes. Rotate the pan once or twice for even heat distribution


Remove the pan from the heat and discard bay leaves. Add the peas over the paella. Cover the pan and let rest for 5–10 minutes. Top off with garnishes and serve warm

What should I serve with vegan paella?

Vegan paella is usually served straight from the pan and can be accompanied by several side dishes. It can be served with a green salad with a simple vinaigrette, or a light spinach and endive salad with a lemon-mustard dressing.

You can also enjoy it with a piece of warm crusty bread that you can dip in a mix of olive oil with a few drops of balsamic vinegar for an authentic Mediterranean culinary experience. One thing to remember is that Spanish paella is a rather heavy meal and is best served with something light.

Can I substitute vegetables in this easy vegan paella recipe?

If you’re looking to make a traditional vegan paella recipe, you can’t go wrong by adding vegetables such as green beans, peas, peppers, and artichoke hearts. To boost flavour further you can also try adding tomatoes, garlic, onions, olives, or capers. Using colourful vegetables and spices will give your dish a Spanish flair that everyone will love. Depending on which vegetables you add, you may need to increase the broth to ensure every ingredient is cooked to perfection.

How long does vegan paella keep?

If you have leftovers, paella can be kept in the fridge and be reheated . Place the remaining portion in an airtight container, which will keep for up to 4 days. Ideally, leftover paella should be eaten within a few days, but you can store it in the freezer for up to 2 months. However, the texture will change slightly when you reheat it.

Make sure to let any frozen portion thaw out entirely before reheating it. Ideally reheat in a pre-heated oven at 350F for about 20 minutes. Alternately, you can reheat in a microwave by adding a few tablespoons of water and heating in 30 second intervals until warmed through.

Looking for more delicious rice or vegan recipes inspirations? Check out our easy vegan adapted recipes and make quick and healthy meals in under an hour.