This classic Spanish rice dish sounds exotic but is so easy to make.  Paella is visually appealing because of the mix of bright healthy colors. This is a simplified version of the classic recipe with substitutions to make your life even easier.  This versatile recipe is perfect for any meat lovers, vegetarians, or gluten-free folk that you need to feed. It’s a one-pot dish that will please both the cook and guest alike.

Don’t let the long ingredient list dissuade you…most are spices and flavorings. For the vegetarian, remove meat and add more vegetables like chunks of winter squash, pre-cooked sweet potatoes, or even eggplant.  For the gluten-free, read your ingredient labels and be sure to use gluten-free chicken broth, tomatoes, and sausage.


  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped (or any color pepper)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 16 ounces stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (14 ounces) can chicken broth
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups parboiled rice (like Uncle Ben’s)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 1 lb sausage, precooked kielbasa, cut into slices
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Chop the chicken into 1-inch chunks. Season the meat with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Brown in oil over medium-high heat in a large pot such as a Dutch Oven that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

Remove chicken. Add peppers, onion, and garlic, and cook until soft (about 10 minutes).  Add a touch more oil if necessary. Remove and set aside with the chicken.

In the same pot, combine the tomatoes (chop if necessary) and it’s liquid with the broth and water.  Bring to a boil.

Add turmeric and paprika and stir in the rice. Add the chicken and vegetables.

Cover tightly and reduce heat to simmer (low or med-low).  Cook for 30-35 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.

Add shrimp, precooked sausage, and peas, pushing aside the rice so that shrimp can contact the bottom of the pan. Cook for 5-10 minutes uncovered or until the shrimp are pink.