Easy vegan paella? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Twice over?
This easy vegan paella is a no-recipe-needed, throw-in-the-kitchen-sink dish that is perfect for a weeknight meal or a vegan (or non-vegan) potluck dinner. It’s budget friendly too!
When I think of paella I think of a saffron infused rice dish with clam shells and whole shrimp sticking out of it, which really grosses me out – and I’m not vegetarian nor vegan!
I wanted to make something simple for dinner using what I had around the house but that had a bit more of an exotic feel than hide-the-leftovers-in-a-casserole.
Paella popped into my head. It’s satisfying and (can be) simple and is a one-pot sort of meal.
I’m generally a no-recipe-recipe sort of gal, so other than the rice/liquid ratios, the amounts and types of add-ins you use are totally up to you! This is how I made it:
- 1.5 cups of Pictsweet seasoning blend (a combo of onions, red bell peppers, and celery - found in the frozen foods section. It's one of my favorite shortcut items!)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 15oz can of quartered artichoke hearts
- 1 jar of pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped fine
- 1 can garbanzo or great northern beans
- 1 teaspoon turmeric (or saffron if you're lucky enough to have it!)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (totally optional)
- 2 cups assorted vegetables (I had diced carrots, broccoli and peas)
- 2 cups rice
- 4.5 cups vegetable broth
- Optional first step: toast the raw rice over medium high heat for a few minutes and then remove from the pot. Whatever you do, do NOT look away from the pan! Stir constantly.
- Cook the onion blend over high heat in a 6 quart pot, stirring constantly, until the water has evaporated. Turn the heat down to medium and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot and the onion blend is beginning to sizzle, add the garlic and cook for one to two minutes.
- Add the drained artichokes, olives, beans, and vegetables and continue cooking for abut five minutes more.
- Stir in the dry rice.
- Add the turmeric and optional paprika and cook, stirring, until the spices are well incorporated.
- Pour in about a cup of the broth, scraping the bottom of the pot to get up the yummy little pieces stuck to the bottom (fancily known as deglazing).
- Add the rest of the liquid and bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat down to low, cover the post, and let it cook undisturbed for 25-30 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
Ewwww. Why are you using frozen stuff?
The Pictsweet seasoning blend , which is a combo of onions, red bell peppers, and celery – found in the frozen foods section, is one of my favorite shortcut items! I used it in this Ropa Vieja dish and I use it in lots of other things too. I love the flavor of freshly diced onions, peppers and celery but you can’t beat this stuff for weeknight dinners!
The amount of active time this recipe requires is largely in the vegetable prep. It takes a long time to dice an entire jar of olives. Mental note: Buy olives that are already chopped up.
This vegan paella makes a giant pot, so feel free to cut all of the ingredients in half to make a more manageable family meal, or just freeze the leftovers!