Seafood Paella with Shrimp, Clams and Chorizo

Seafood Paella
This awesome seafood paella is incredibly easy to prepare. With flavors of citrus and sherry, if you want just skip the seafood and eat the rice!
Seafood Paella

If compliments were worth money, I’d be a millionaire! This seafood paella is the dish that garnered praise this time, which isn’t surprising since it is courtesy of  Yotam Ottolenghi, of Jerusalem cookbook fame.

I’ve written about a few of his recipes and I’m sure I’ll be writing about plenty more (Plenty is also one of his cookbooks, as is Plenty More!). His cookbooks are without a doubt, some of my favorites.

He recently started writing a column in Bon Appetit and it was the photo that caught my eye. Then I spotted his byline, and zeroed in on it like a hawk spotting a pigeon.

I’ve been busy cooking and am exhausted. Manservant came home from Sweden and left again yesterday for Warsaw, and since I didn’t think he’d be here for Fathers Day, we decided to have some friends over.

Friday night found us eating my favorite BBQ chicken but Wednesday found us eating this paella. Finding little neck clams fresh at the grocery made me go for it.

I always have a hard time finding them here in the Gateway to the Rockies! Of course, (now Manservant tells me) he will be back on Saturday, so I guess I didn’t need to knock myself out on his account.

Paella with seafod

What is Seafood Paella?

Paella is a Valencian rice dish from Spain. There are as many versions of it, as there are cooks.

Traditional paellas often contain chicken and sausage and seafood. Others contain just seafood. Some are mixed. I’d love to go to Valencia and try the real thing but I’m very happy with this seafood version.

As for the  word, “paella”, that actually refers to the type of pan used to make what we know as paella.

I’ve made many paellas through the years and even have a paella pan on the top shelf in my pantry. It was much to big for this recipe, so I left it on the top shelf to gather more dust.

I’m not big on gadgets or appliances in my kitchen, so the fact that I even have a paella pan, makes my eyes roll. Trust me a 12″ cast iron pan is big enough to make paella for 6, and we were only four.

Seafood Paella

How do you cook Seafood Paella?

In many seafood paella recipes, the seafood is first cooked in the pan in a bit of olive oil. This recipe is a bit different in that the shrimp, green beans and green onions are cooked on the grill.

I like this method because grilling gives great flavor to this rice dish. However you can first saute your shrimp and veggies and then set them aside until they are ready to be added back to the pan.

Paella was traditionally cooked outside over an open fire and this method hints at that.

I stayed true to this seafood paella recipe, except I did add chorizo in with the pancetta. It wasn’t necessary, but I do love chorizo.

This is a seafood paella and does not have chicken. There are zillions of variations for paella, so don’t be afraid to make up your own.

I liked this recipe because it requires grilling the shrimp and vegetables that go on top of the finished dish. This isn’t necessary but since it is supposed to be summer, (but doesn’t feel like it here) I decided I loved the idea of grilling some of the components. Ma

Seafood Paella

What to serve with Seafood Paella?

We started with some panfried halloumi in garlic butter with fresh oregano and chickpeas and lemon, had a green salad with Spanish olives and this garlic confit toast, and finished with the strawberry slab pie from Food and Wine.

The slab pie was great, because the crust was great, but since I’m not a great pastry roller, it was a real pain in the tuchas. At least that was my take on it, but everyone loved it!

And if you are wondering why I don’t have photos of those items it is because we were too busy eating and maybe drinking. I must admit that the paella photos were taken the next day and they made great leftovers for supper!


What is Paella Rice?

Traditionally the rice in paella is the Spanish Bomba variety. It is short grained and is a variety that is meant to absorb liquid 2-3 x its volume without bursting.

I was lucky enough to find it at my grocery and must say it does make a difference. Flavor and texture-wise. If you can find it, use it!

If you don’t feel the need to have a full paella, feel free just to make the rice. You could always just grill a piece of fish or some shrimp to place on top.

The paellas I’ve made in the past are always rice heavy, and this one is no exception. I would say the rice alone could serve 8-10 people, so adjust accordingly. If you decide to forego the clams, you could always sub in some clam juice for flavor, instead of using all chicken broth.

Enjoy the paella. Don’t let it intimidate you. With all your ingredients ready, this is easy enough.

I started the mixture ahead of time and stopped before I added the rice. You could even grill the veggies and shrimp and set aside until ready. Keep it simple and relaxed.

Now send in the flamenco dancers and some tall gin and tonics and get ready for compliments.


Other great Ottolenghi recipes:

Roast Chicken with Saffron, Hazelnuts and Honey

Spinach Salad with Za’atar, Dates and Almonds

Chocolate Krantz Cake or Babka

And please don’t forget the famous Burnt Basque cheesecake for dessert!

burnt basque cheesecake

I’d love it if you’d Follow me on Pinterest  and Pin and Share!

Seafood Paella



(This is an updated post from 2015)( This post may contain affiliate links where I might earn a small commission at no cost to you.)
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Seafood Paella

Seafood Paella

  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 75 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 1/2 hours
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stove Top/Grill
  • Cuisine: Spanish


This awesome seafood paella is incredibly easy to prepare. With flavors of citrus and sherry, if you want just skip the seafood and eat the rice!



For green sauce:

1 serrano chile, not seeded, coarsely chopped

1/3 c chopped fresh parsley

10 T olive oil, divided

Kosher salt

4 oz pancetta, cut into 1/2″ pieces

8 oz fresh chorizo

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2″ strips

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 t paprika

1/2 t smoked paprika

1/2 c dry Sherry

3 c short grain rice (I used medium because my grocery didn’t have short)

6 c low sodium chicken broth

3 wide strips orange zest and more grated orange zest for garnish

1/2 t saffron threads (Don’t skimp)

12 little neck clams, scrubbed

8 green onions, trimmed

8 oz fresh green beans

12 large shell on shrimp or prawns (heads are fine if you can find them)

Freshly ground black pepper

3 lemons, halved


Puree chile, parsley and 6 T oil in food processor until smooth. Season with salt and set aside.

Heat 1 T oil in a 13″ paella pan or a 12″ cast iron pan over medium high heat. Cook pancetta, stirring occasionally until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes.

Add chorizo, breaking it up as it cooks.

Add onion and pepper and cook stirring occasionally until soft, about 8-10 minutes.

Add garlic and paprika’s and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add sherry and bring to a simmer and cook stirring constantly, until pan is almost dry, about 3 minutes. (I stopped at this point and when I was ready to start again, I just rewarmed it.)

Add rice and cook stirring occasionally until rice is coated and starting to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in broth, orange strips and saffron, season with salt. Bring to a boil, uncovered, reduce heat, and simmer until rice is nearly tender, 12-15 minutes.

Nestle clams into rice in center of pan and cook until clams begin to open, 12-15 minutes. Do not nestle them too deeply into the rice or too close together because they will have no room to open up! Cover pan with foil and simmer until rice is al dente and clams open. Discard any that don’t after about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat, but keep covered, and let rice steam 10 minutes.

While paella cooks, toss green onions and green beans with 2 T of oil and salt and then grill until charred, about 5 minutes.

Then toss shrimp with 1 T of oil and salt and grill until cooked through and shell is lightly charred, about 2-3 minutes per side, depending on size. Grill lemons at the same time, until charred, also.

Arrange onions, green beans and prawns over paella. Drizzle with reserved parsley chile oil. Squeeze some grilled lemon juice over. Place a few wedges on paella. Don’t forget the orange zest! Be ready for compliments.


Thanks Ottolenghi and Bon Appetit!

Keywords: seafood paella, seafood paella recipe, seafood paella recipe easy, paella rice


In 2015 Geordie looked like this:Geordie and Paella

And Now:




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  • Karen (Back Road Journal)
    October 18, 2019 at 10:56 am

    What a flavorful paella…I haven’t made one since we moved to Florida. Thank you for sharing a great recipe.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      October 18, 2019 at 9:06 pm

      You live in Florida? Then you have access to so much good seafood. You must give it a try!

  • mimi rippee
    October 15, 2019 at 10:15 am

    You know what’s interesting, is that the one time I made paella, with ingredients from La Tienda, it was outstanding. I made it after my daughter had spent a summer in Valencia, Spain. When my husband and I went to Spain, I ordered it twice and it was terrible. It was in two towns on the coast, but not touristy places. I’ll just have to make it myself again! Love yours and Ottolenghi’s recipe!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      October 18, 2019 at 9:10 pm

      Well, there are bad restaurants everywhere. And I’ve had success with most of Ottolenghi’s recipes. He did not let me down here!

  • Healthy World Cuisine
    October 13, 2019 at 6:30 am

    This paella looks absolutely delicious. Loads of goodies in a spicy rice. Save us a bowl!

  • Liz
    October 12, 2019 at 3:29 am

    I hear you on the seafood! No better in land locked Indiana! But I’d still make this marvelous paella.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      October 13, 2019 at 12:05 pm

      Other than clams, it is nice to use the little lobster tails and of course, shrimp. Mussels would work, too. Guess I need to go to Whole Foods more often because they have a great selection!

  • Eha
    October 11, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    Love paella and make it for many Sunday brunches every year accompanied by jugs and jugs of sangria ! What a heritage for the Spanish from the Romans and the Arabs 🙂 ! Easy to make indeed – but since the soccarada (crust) is the most important part of the dish, how do you manage the right thickness and consistency with a normal pan, ie one which does not have the thin bottom . . . otherwise one could not term the dish paella 🙂 !

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      October 11, 2019 at 8:38 pm

      You are right Eha on every front. It does help that this is cooked over a burner and in a cast iron skillet that retains heat very well. But I agree with you that the best way to get those delicious crispy bits is to use a paella pan. This recipe does have a crispy crust (the soccarada) but perhaps not as crispy as cooked in a paella pan. The fact that you do do cook this on a burner and then remove it to finish cooking by steaming helps to retain a crispy crust.

      • Eha
        October 11, 2019 at 8:54 pm

        Agreed ! I tend to be a classicist and purist as far as many European methodologies are concerned. Thus: learning in Spain ands from classic Spanish chefs sin Australia. As I normally make this for the hordes in the garden I daresay I shall not change, but shall try it more your way on the occasion I prep the dish say for only 8-10 ! best , , ,

  • John / Kitchen Riffs
    October 11, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    One can never have too much paella! So I’m glad to see this again. STILL haven’t made paella again. It’s been years since I’ve done it. What’s wrong with me?! Well, don’t answer that. 🙂 Your recipe is SO good — thanks.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      October 11, 2019 at 8:39 pm

      Thanks John! It really is a tasty recipe. SO just do it!

  • Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
    June 22, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Paella is on my list of things to make. My husband thinks it's about the best thing you can eat. And I forget which restaurant he had it at. Your photos look delicious. And I'm with you about that Chorizo.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 18, 2015 at 11:21 pm

      I think your husband must have good taste! Thanks LeaAnn!

  • a. maren
    June 21, 2015 at 4:35 am

    this looks so good! i am always a little wary of seafood, having grown up deep inland, but this really makes me want to be brave and go for it.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 18, 2015 at 11:21 pm

      Anymore I think it is hard to get bad seafood as long as you go to a good market! Be Brave! This will reward you!

  • La Table De Nana
    June 19, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Still I don't get your posts..
    that disappoint're a great cook and I love your mouthwatering pics.
    I have to make this Abbe..I have a seafood paella pan too w/ pretty green handles.. I have no clue where it is..
    I'll be using my cast iron..
    Magnifique..I love the look of Littleneck clams don't you?

    Lobster rolls tonight…

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 18, 2015 at 11:20 pm

      Lobster rolls? You lucky duck! Sounds like a pretty paella pan. Too funny, Monique! Save the shells to keep your salt in!

  • Sippity Sup
    June 19, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    I'm laughing, laughing, laughing. I too have a giant paella pan that vexes me. I don't know why I bought it! I don't like specialized kitchen gadgets. It embarrasses me every time I go to hang up a guests jacket because they are sure to ask why there's a giant pan in my hall closet. You've emboldened me to just get rid of it. GREG

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 18, 2015 at 11:19 pm

      Funny, huh? Do it! You will feel so FREE!

  • Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl
    June 19, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    What a delicious looking dish that would be perfect for the upcoming Father's day! My dad would totally dig in!

  • Anthony |
    June 18, 2015 at 12:27 am

    It is also really making me crave on my terrace! Looks amazing In combination

  • Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    June 17, 2015 at 12:32 am

    Wow the colors are amazing! Gotta love Ottolenghi's recipes 🙂 Have a great week!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 18, 2015 at 11:18 pm

      His recipes are always pretty colorful, aren't they? Eat with the eyes, huh?

  • Liz Berg
    June 16, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    My mom used to make Julia Child's paella for us so it's the only one I've served my family and friends. But it makes enough for an army. I'm loving the look of yours so hope to try it soon. Izzy isn't well behaved enough to be anywhere near a plate of food (or else your reflexes are faster than mine :)).

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 18, 2015 at 11:17 pm

      I'll bet that is a great one, too! Try it and I hope Bill likes it! My reflexes are pretty good, but he is learning pretty fast!

  • Chris Scheuer
    June 16, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    This looks just wonderful and yes, I agree Ottolenghi's recipes are almost always a hit! He always has such a fun, unique twist on things!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 18, 2015 at 11:16 pm

      Love his recipes! Thanks, Chris!

  • Cathleen
    June 16, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Oh my goodness, this looks amazing! I am seriously getting hungry now!!

  • zoe
    June 16, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    Instead of telling me how to cook, can you just cook for me?!? I miss you!!!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 18, 2015 at 11:16 pm

      Any time sweetie! Just pop your bottom on the next plane!

    June 16, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    That is the prettiest paella I've ever seen!!! Stunning photos. Your dog is just so freaking cute!!!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      June 16, 2015 at 5:05 pm

      Mimi, it will go to his head! He already knows he's cuter than Freddie, but Freddie knows how to work it!
      Thanks! And it is very, very good!

  • Emanuele @ guyslovecooking
    June 16, 2015 at 7:51 am

    Paella is a great dish, and I agree with the fact there are 'zillions' of version out there. That is the beauty of it, like pizza. If you get the basic right, you can be as creative as you like.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      June 16, 2015 at 5:11 pm

      So true, Emanuelle! However this version was so good, I'm hesitant to change it!

  • Joanne
    June 16, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Ottolenghi recipes have never failed me in the DELICIOUS department. This looks amazing!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      June 16, 2015 at 5:08 pm

      You are so right! And this didn't either!

  • Angie Schneider
    June 16, 2015 at 9:16 am

    o my your paella looks fanfreakingtastic! I am drooling all over those seafood!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      June 16, 2015 at 5:11 pm

      The shrimp were so good cooked simply on the grill. And who can resist clams?

  • Juliana
    June 16, 2015 at 3:07 am

    OMG Abbe, this paella look gorgeous…I love rice dishes and this is one of my favorite one…
    Thanks for sharing the recipe…have a wonderful week 🙂

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      June 16, 2015 at 5:15 pm

      It deserves to be shared, Juliana! Enjoy it!

  • Kitchen Riffs
    June 16, 2015 at 2:48 am

    Seafood paella is the best, particularly if you include clams. I haven't made a paella in years. Always like them — so I guess I need to do one again, right? Yours looks terrific — thanks.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      June 16, 2015 at 5:18 pm

      I was lucky to score clams and still had to pay .79 cents for each one. But they were worth it! I think paella is a great entertaining dish! You don't need much to go with it!

  • Adam J. Holland
    June 15, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    Beautiful. Just beautiful. Hopefully, Manservant will bring you back something from IKEA. 😉

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      June 16, 2015 at 12:55 am

      Thanks Adam! And very funny! Last time he brought me home aquavit and it was really for him. so except for the hotel shampoos and soaps, which I actually like, the licorice is awesome! He's come home with some great varieties and he finds that many pair well with scotch!

  • Cheri Savory Spoon
    June 15, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    Hi Abbe, this looks fabulous, I did not notice this recipe in my Bon Appetite. Looks like you pulled out all the stops for this one.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      June 16, 2015 at 12:53 am

      It was great! And the recipe is in there, but for some reason the photo and the recipe were not on facing pages. At least in mine!