Family-friendly Paella

Over the past few years, we have been so blessed to be surrounded by great friends and a great community. Whether it was the arrival of a new baby, being stuck in the hospital or dealing with uncertainty at home, friends and family helping to bring food over is always so appreciated!

When I get a chance to cook for someone in a similar situation one of my go-to meals is a family-friendly paella.paella

I like that it’s a little different being rice based but also filled with lots of veggies and flavor. We sometimes find time to make a full blown, traditional paella and reminisce on our travels to Spain but for a quick meal this one will do!

If you’re looking for a new recipe at home or something to bring a friend, consider this one!


  • EVOO
  • 2 cups of instant brown rice
  • 2.5 cups of chicken stock
  • ½ cup water
  • Package of smoked turkey sausage (you can also use chorizo, but I’ve found bringing this to friends it’s better to go with a simpler, less spicy option)
  • Large red pepper
  • 2 tomatoes
  • ½ tomato and ½ lemon (optional)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 “hot” pepper – jalapeno or other less spicy option
  • ½ bag of frozen peas
  • Saffron (pinch)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon chili pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Dice up your red pepper, tomatoes, onion, hot pepper and garlic. I put mine in the food processor to make them as fine as possible so no chunks are found by the kids.
  2. Place a large stovetop pan or paella pan over medium heat. Add EVOO to grease the pan.
  3. Add your rice and diced ingredients from step one into the skillet. Yes, dry rice and mix with the other wet ingredients.
  4. Meanwhile bring 2 cups of chicken stock and a pinch of saffron (grind with your fingers) to a boil. Once the stock is boiling, add to the stovetop pan with your rice and veggies. Stir and let rice begin to cook over medium heat.
  5. Cut smoked sausage (or chorizo) and cook in separate skillet.
  6. Begin adding the spices to your main rice pan and mix together.
  7. Once sausage is cooked, add to your paella pan.
  8. Mix well and add the additional ½ cup of chicken stock.
  9. Place cover over pan to let cook, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.
  10. After 20 minutes, check your rice. Determine if you need to add the ½ cup of water.
  11. Once the rice is nearly done, add the peas and stir in.
  12. At the end I always do a quick taste test for flavor and spice depending on the meal recipient. We like it spicy at home and typically add more paprika and chili powder.
  13. Your optional lemon and ½ tomato are optional to garnish your dish. Slice tomato and quarter your lemon.

Enjoy! This has become plenty for our family but you can also serve with a great crusty bread.

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