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Vegetable Paella

Paella de verduras, the accidentally vegan paella had been one of my favorite dishes long before I went vegan. After having lived in Barcelona all those years, paella is so close to my heart that I’m surprised it took me so long to share this recipe. Here is my rather simplified recipe:

🍽 Serves 5-6

🕘 1h


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 medium onion

  • 5 cloves of garlic

  • 2 cups of sliced capsicum

  • 1 Tbsp sweet paprika

  • One sachet of paella seasoning or: ¼ tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp saffron, ½ tsp parsley, ½ tsp thyme

  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes / 1 ½ cups of grated tomatoes

  • 3 cups uncooked short-grain rice (Ideally Bomba or Calasparra rice, I used Arborio rice as it’s the most similar and accessible)

  • 6 cups of vegetable stock

  • 1 Tbsp salt

  • 2 cups of green beans

  • 1 cauliflower (florets)


  1. Prepare the ingredients: chop the onion, mince the garlic. Slice and chop all other vegetables.

  2. In a paella pan or other large and shallow frying pan, heat olive oil to medium-high and place cauliflower florets in the middle of the pan. Fry for approx. 5 minutes – until golden, stir occasionally. Remove cauliflower from the pan and set it aside.

  3. To make the sofrito base: Place onion, garlic, and capsicum in the centre of the pan. Fry on medium heat for 5 minutes, stir occasionally but keep them, in the centre. Move vegetables to the edges of the pan. Add a dash of olive oil and spices to the centre of the pan. Mix the spices with the oil and let them heat but be careful not to burn them. Add diced tomatoes to the centre of the pan and bring to simmer.

  4. Mix well and add green beans and cauliflower. Stir well and fry for another 3-4 minutes.

  5. Pour vegetable stock, add salt, mix, bring to boil and simmer for 10 more minutes.

  6. Spread rice over the pan and using a spatula incorporate the rice (make sure the rice reaches the bottom of the pan).

  7. Bring to simmer and cook on medium-high heat for 15 minutes – do not stir. Once the rice has absorbed all the stock, cover the pan with baking paper and cook for another 10 minutes on low heat – this way you make sure the rice is cooked evenly.

  8. Remove from the element and serve with lemon wedges to sprinkle with lemon juice once plated.💚


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