Rachael Ray’s Yummy Paella

Rachael Ray makes paella casserole.

Fish, shrimp, chicken, and more combine for a delightful Spanish treat.

Our favorite fast meal maven shows us how to prepare a make-ahead meal even if it contains seafood.

If you’re not familiar with paella, then Rachael Ray’s version is a great introduction to the Spanish staple.

Similarly, if you’re hankering for the eats during your recent vacation to Spain, then this is the dish for you.

Normally paella requires special cookware and a lot of patience, but Rachael shows us a recipe that is not only simple but can be made ahead. Admittedly, this dish is a bit more involved ingredient-wise and effort-wise. But we promise the effort will be worth it!

Rachael starts by preparing the saffron rice “base” that this casserole is built on. I like her addition of a crisped spaghetti or orzo for extra crunch and nutty flavor.

While your rice is cooking, prepare your next layer of flavor—the chicken. Flavor the chicken with either smoked or sweet paprika; once cooked, remove from the pan. Then cook the onions, garlic, chorizo, and peas with the thyme and sherry.

Combine the cooked rice, chicken, and chorizo mixture together in a casserole dish. Now, if you were making this ahead of time, this is where you would pause and save the rest of the cooking until the night you will serve this dish.

Otherwise, it’s time to cook the seafood! Keep the rice warming in the oven while you cook your fish and shrimp. Once the seafood and finishing sauce is done, place atop the warm rice casserole.

Personally, I also enjoy mussels in my paella, which Rachael does not include in this. If you want to add them, make sure to clean them properly and steam them with the sherry sauce you make at the end. Once they open up, they’re ready to eat! YUM-O!

Paella Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened
  • ½ cup broken thin spaghetti or orzo
  • 1½ cups long-grain white rice
  • Generous pinch of saffron threads
  • 3 to 3½ cups chicken stock
  • All-purpose flour for dredging
  • 1½ teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons EVOO
  • 8 ounces Spanish chorizo, chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ cup plus a splash dry sherry
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 toasted red bell peppers, chopped
  • One 1-pound, thick center-cut fillet sustainable cod or black cod
  • Seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

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