Vegetable Paella Recipe (Spanish Style Vegetable Rice)

Madhuli Ajay
Vegetable Paella Recipe (Spanish Style Vegetable Rice)
5330 ratings.

Vegetable Paella Recipe is the vegetarian take on the typical Spanish style rice dish usually made with a variety of seafood and meat. Traditionally, it is cooked and served in a special shallow Paella pan called Paellera. This vegetarian version uses an assortment of healthy and colourful vegetables instead of meat, to make a heart One-Dish Meal. It is also a great way to use up leftover vegetables lurking in your fridge, that you don’t know what to do with. It not only looks appetising and vibrant, but also makes for a hearty meal by itself. If you do not have the Paellera, you can use any wide, flat bottom pan to make it, but choose a suitable pan size that is wide enough, so the rice cooks in a relatively thin layer instead of a pile. Don’t worry if you get a crisp layer of rice that sticks to the bottom of the pan as this is a sign of a good Paella!

You can use any short/medium grain rice so that it absorbs all the flavours well, but refrain from using basmati rice. Saffron is added for a subtle flavour and colour, while the smoked Paprika adds a distinctive ‘smoky’ flavour to the Paella.

Serve the Vegetarian Paella hot along with Watermelon Panzanella Salad.

Try some of our other World Food dishes like:

  1. Roasted Eggplant Parmigiana
  2. Grilled Peri Peri Paneer with Lemon and Herb Sauce
  3. Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

Equipment used: Heavy Bottomed Pan

Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Course: Dinner
Diet: Vegetarian
Equipments Used: Hard Anodised Kadai (Wok)
Prep in

15 M

Cooks in

30 M

Total in

45 M


4 Servings


  • 1 cup Rice , short/medium grain
  • 1 Onion , chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic , crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 Red Bell pepper (Capsicum) , sliced lengthwise
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper (Capsicum) , sliced lengthwise
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper (Capsicum) , sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup Button mushrooms , sliced (you can alternatively use a combination of vegetables like beans, peas, eggplants, zucchini - all chopped up)
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi)
  • 1/2 cup Homemade tomato puree
  • 2 1/2 cups Vegetable stock
  • 1 pinch Saffron strands
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Whole Black Peppercorns , crushed
  • Salt , to taste
  • 5-6 Black olives , pitted, cut in half for garnish
  • Parsley leaves , chopped for garnish
  • Lemon wedges , to serve

How to make Vegetable Paella Recipe (Spanish Style Vegetable Rice)

  1. To begin making the Vegetarian Paella Recipe, first crush the saffron with a pinch of salt in a small mortar pestle and keep it aside for later use.

  2. Next, proceed to make the sauce. First, heat oil in the pan, till warm. Then add onion and the garlic to it, and sauté for 1-2 minutes till the onions just turn pink.

  3. Once the onions are pink/translucent, add the mushrooms and bell peppers to the pan and sauté them for 1-2 minutes more. Cook till they are slightly softened. Next, reserve some of these sauteed mushrooms and bell pepper slices to be used later as a garnish.

  4. Continue to cook the remainder of the veggies in the pan. Next, add the turmeric, smoked paprika and the tomato puree to it and simmer for a few minutes.

  5. Next, add the stock, salt and the saffron and stir well. Continue to simmer it until a few bubbles appear.

  6. The next step is to add the rice to it, stir well and cover the pan. Cook the rice till it is just cooked/al dente (about 12-15 minutes) and the water has been absorbed, leaving fluffy grains of rice. If the rice dries up without getting fully cooked, you can adjust by adding stock as required to cook the rice till it is soft and fluffy, but not mushy.

  7. When the rice is cooked, turn off the heat. You can either serve the Paella in the same pot that you cooked it, or transfer ir into a serving dish or rice platter.

  8. Garnish the paella with sliced mushrooms and peppers along with the olives. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and arrange lime wedge.

  9. Serve the Vegetarian Paella hot along with Watermelon Panzanella Salad.