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Vegetable Paella

Many people recognize paella as a rice and seafood dish from Spain, but there are many different kinds of paella. There are seafood paellas, meat paellas, vegetable paellas, and a famous one called arroz negro, made with squid “ink”! Centuries ago, the Moors brought rice and the special crocus plant that produces saffron from the Middle East to Spain. Enjoy with Mediterranean flatbread and this Valencian salad on the side.

Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup medium white onion, chopped
  • ½ red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup medium-grain white rice, such as Cal Rose or Arborio
  • ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 cups broth, chicken or vegetable
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped, or ½ cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15-ounce) white beans (cannellini, navy, or Great Northern), drained and rinsed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 saffron threads, optional
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. In a large skillet or paella pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often until the vegetables have softened.
  2. Stir in the rice and turmeric and cook 1 minute more.
  3. Add the broth, tomatoes, white beans, salt, paprika, thyme, and saffron, if using. Bring to a boil, stir once, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed.
  4. Add the peas and parsley. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
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