Smoky paprika seafood rice

Savoury smoked paprika gives a real lift to this healthy yet impressive paella-style dish with prawns, baby squid and mussels

  • Prep:15 mins
    Cook:35 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 556
  • fat 14g
  • saturates 2g
  • carbs 63g
  • sugars 4g
  • fibre 4g
  • protein 32g
  • salt 1.7g


  • 1.3l fish or chicken stock
  • large pinch of saffron (optional, see tip)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, 1 left whole, 3 finely chopped
  • 12 large prawns, shells on
  • 4 baby squid (about 250g), cleaned and sliced
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, very finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (hot or sweet)
  • 300g paella rice
  • 250ml fino sherry or dry white wine
  • 300g fresh mussels, cleaned (discard any that are open)
  • large handful parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve


Using saffron

Saffron is the stigma from the saffron crocus. The threads are crimson, have a distinctive honeyish flavour and add a bright golden tinge to the seafood rice. It is one of the most expensive spices in the world, so leave it out if you prefer, however, it will add a distinct Spanish grassy-sweet flavour to the dish. 


  1. Heat the stock in a large saucepan. Add the saffron to infuse, if you like. Take off the heat and set aside. In a large deep-sided frying pan or paella pan, heat 1 tbsp of the oil. Smash the whole garlic clove and add to the oil. Throw in the prawns and cook for 2 mins until just turning pink but not cooked through. Push to one side of the pan and add the squid to the garlicky oil for 1 min or so, again just to colour. Remove the seafood to a plate.

  2. Add the remaining oil to the pan, and cook the onion and celery slowly for 15 mins until very soft and beginning to caramelise. Add the finely chopped garlic, the fennel seeds, tomato purée and paprika, and cook for 5 mins more. Meanwhile, bring the stock to a simmer. Add the rice to the pan with the onion mixture, give everything a good stir, then add the sherry and 1 litre of the hot stock. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15 mins, shaking the pan from time to time.

  3. When the rice is almost cooked but still has a little bite, dot over the prawns, squid and the mussels. Add the cooking juices and the rest of the stock. Cover and cook for 5 mins until the seafood is cooked through, the mussels have opened and the rice is just tender. (You may have to add a splash more water if the rice looks dry.) Discard any mussels that haven’t opened. Sprinkle over some chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over.

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