Paella is a traditional Spanish dish made with all kinds of seafood served over rice, but this vegan spin on the favorite instead uses veggies like bell pepper and mushrooms to give it a “meaty” texture. This recipe is really easy and can be made in less than an hour, perfect if you ever need to whip up a delicious meal.

The key to a good paella is using the right rice, preferably Arborio rice. Another key ingredient to this recipe is a spice called saffron. However, I understand if you don’t want to get a hold of this ingredient: Good quality saffron is one of the most expensive ingredients out there. So, if you don’t want to use saffron you can substitute this ingredient for turmeric. You won’t get the same flavor profile you get with saffron but you’ll still get that beautiful color and there are so many health benefits to turmeric that you might even prefer to use it instead. Whatever you decide to use, this Vegan Paella is guaranteed to turn out delicious!

Why it's healthier: Green peas are high in protein and antioxidants that help boost immunity, give you energy and helps antiaging. The high-fiber in peas helps to regulate blood sugar, which is beneficial for controlling diabetes and weight management.

Healthy ingredients: Magnesium, potassium, flavonoids, carotenoid, phenolic acids, calcium

Vegan Paella

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 25 Min
Total Time: 40 Min


  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Red Onion, diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced
  • 2 Cups Mushrooms, sliced
  • 5 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • ¼ Tsp Pepper Flakes
    ½ Tsp Salt
  • ¼ Cup Diced Tomatoes, canned or fresh
  • 1 ½ Cups Arborio Rice
  • 1 Tsp Saffron Threads
  • 4 Cups Veggie Broth
  • ¼ Frozen Green Peas, thawed
  • Garnish
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Lemon Wedges


  1. Heat up your oil in a large pan/skillet over medium heat. Add your red onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until onions and mushrooms begin to brown. Add your garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute.
  2. Add your smoked paprika, pepper flakes, and salt. Stir it in for 30 seconds to wake up the spices. Stir in your diced tomatoes and your rice. Stir around for 1 minute to slightly toast the rice. Crush the saffron threads over your rice with your fingers and give it a quick mix.
  3. Add your veggie broth and bring to a simmer. Lower your heat down to low-medium and simmer 15-20 minutes or until the veggie broth is cooked off and your rice is cooked. Do not stir your rice once you add the broth, this will release the starches giving you creamy risotto-like texture.
  4. Once the broth has been cooked off, continue to cook for an additional 2-5 minutes. This is going to create a crispy crust like texture at the bottom of the pan. This is called the socarrat and it’s very good! It may take some practice to get this part right but it’s worth it. You can use your spoon to move the rice over to check the bottom to take a look at the bottom. Just be careful not to burn the bottom!

Nutrition Info: Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Calories 377 Total Fat 7.8 g Sat. Fat 1.1 g Sodium 834 mg Total Carbs 69.1 g Fiber 5.3 g Sugars 6.2 g Protein 7.4 g

More From The Beet