Paella Primavera Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Paella Primavera

Who needs a paella pan? A large skillet stands in for the wide, shallow two-handled cookware in this quick veggie-laden version of the classic Spanish rice dish. Just like its pasta namesake, Paella Primavera lends itself to endless variation. You can substitute zucchini for broccoli in the summer; in the fall, replace half the broccoli with cubed butternut squash.



Ingredient Line: 
2½ tsp. olive oil
Ingredient Line: 
1 red bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
Ingredient Line: 
6 green onions, thinly sliced (1 cup)
Ingredient Line: 
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
Ingredient Line: 
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
Ingredient Line: 
1 tsp. crumbled saffron threads
Ingredient Line: 
1 cup short-grain white rice, such as Valencia
Ingredient Line: 
3 cups broccoli florets
Ingredient Line: 
1 cup fresh or frozen baby peas
Ingredient Line: 
1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
Ingredient Line: 
12 pitted green olives, halved
Ingredient Line: 
12 pitted black olives, halved, optional
Ingredient Line: 
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Ingredient Line: 
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley


1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and green onions; cook 5 minutes. Stir in broth, garlic, and saffron; bring to a boil. Sprinkle rice over ingredients, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 10 minutes.

2. Sprinkle broccoli, peas, tomatoes, and olives over rice. Cover, and cook paella 8 minutes, or until rice is tender. Remove from heat, and let rest, covered, 5 minutes. Season 
with salt and pepper, if desired.

3. To serve, spoon paella into 6 bowls, and garnish each with lemon wedges and parsley.

Nutrition Information: 

5 g
Total Fat: 
3 g
Saturated Fat: 
<1 g
40 g
0 mg
170 mg
5 g
5 g
Serves 6

Comments on this Recipe

Outstanding recipe. Delicious and not at all difficult, although the saffron is expensive. Needs salt and pepper. OK to add parsley to mixture.

The rice is going to cook in the oil??? or so we cook the rice separately?

Love this --lots of prep but worth the work and it all goes into one pan! Yes, saffron pricey, but it makes the dish!



I feel it was bland, and needed a better sofrito in the initial frying... but, it was a nice mixture of veggies...

This was excellent! We used brown rice (precooked and added, decreasing the amount of vegie broth to about 1 cup) and added hot sauce to taste.

This looks amazing.

This dish is delicious! I also used pre-cooked brown rice and reduced the vegetable stock to about 1 1/2 cups. I also added a can of cannelli beans for extra protein.

So good! It's not cheap to make, but if you make more than one batch of it, you can use more of the rice and saffron to waste less. This is delicious and filling. I paired it with a Quorn Naked Cutlet to make the mean even more filling. Delish and so low-cal!

@Tiffany: You don't cook the rice separately. It cooks in the broth. Great recipe, cooked it many times. Make sure to use the lemon- brings out the flavors even more.

@Amy Tumeric is a cheaper alternative to saffron. It will impart a similar color and taste at a fraction of the cost.

I made this tonight and it is going to be a regular feature in my repertoire. Delicious! And easy, too! I love that the rice is cooked with the rest of the meal ... less pots to dirty. I did use saffron and for those who have a Trader Joe's nearby, the saffron is much, much cheaper than in regular grocery stores. And I echo Marjie's comment that the lemon is necessary to bring out all the flavors. My significant other is not a vegetarian and he added chicken to his portion, but he thought the taste of the paella quite yummy on its own, just not enough to satisfy his hunger as a main dish. I might add FieldRoast veggie "sausage" at the end the next time I make this and see if I can convince SO to forgo his chicken.

I made this last night and it was a great success. No saffron, so I took the turmeric suggestion and it worked well! Used basmati rice and it worked great. Def needs the lemon and salt to awaken the flavors. Lovely dish that could accomodate lot of variety in the veggies. KEEPER!!

I love this recipe, and have already made it several times. I make it in the wok; garnish with lots of lemon and salt to taste. Yum!

Delicious! I modified it pretty heavily because I used brown rice. I cooked it with the broth, garlic and tumeric, and when the rice had a few minutes left I added in the rest of the ingredients. It tastes great, though I like the idea about using pre-cooked brown rice. Will have to try that next time (and the bean idea, too).

So delicious! Normally I like meat to have for supper, but this was a real nice dinner. Lots of different taste! Can only recommended it :-)))

This was very good! I used basmati rice and the lemon juice really brought out the flavors! Highly recommended!

So good! I made aioli (garlic, lemon and mayo) bring up the flavor. My family loved it.

Sounds delish! Like others have noted I would probably use brown rice rather than white, but it sounds like (sacrilege?) this would be wonderful with quinoa too ;-)

This recipe looks nice. I'm not quite sure how the socarrat is made...not really a paella without it. I would like to figure out how to make the paella with a socarrat using quinoa--or even brown rice. Is it possible?

I loved this! I did find Goya brand Valencia rice and it is quite a bit different than regular long grain and added to the uniqueness of the dish. I used saffron, but a full teaspoon is a lot, prob could get away with less. I am looking forward to leftovers for breakfast!

Soo good! If you're wondering whether you should make, just do it! You'll be glad you did!

My husbands comment said it all for me, "it smelled better than it tastes." There was nothing wrong with it but it wasn't a great meal either.

I found this one morning and thought it looked so good I made it for lunch. It was fantastic! I would prefer it without the saffron, but that is simply a personal preference. This is a wonderful dish. (:

Made this for dinner today. The only rice I have on hand is brown basmati, so had to cook the rice longer. The saffron taste was a little too strong, so I added some McCormick grilled vegetables seasoning -- really good!

I love this recipe. It's become one of our regular go-to meals. I never seem to have saffron in the house, so I substitute turmeric, and I use brown basmati rice. Delicious!

Well, my hubby loved this dish, even though I forgot the olives! How could I have done that? I LOVE OLIVES!

Well, my hubby loved this dish, even though I forgot the olives! How could I have done that? I LOVE OLIVES! I didn't add lemon either because I am short on those. But I had he saffron on hand from a while ago. Although the paella I ate as a teenager in Spain was not the same, as it had chicken and shellfish, I used Trader Joe's chickenless bouillon to add that flavor instead of veggie broth that I was out of, too. So, hey, paella is just yummy and I'm glad for the recipe. Brings back the days of my youth as a student en Españs. Thank you, VT!

This was terrific, but don't use a teaspoon of saffron, it's too much. 1/3 of a teaspoon is more than enough.

March 2012 pg 40

i wounder if this dish would still work without some of the ingredients..

Delicious! Colorful! Try it and modify this recipe to your hearts desire.

Love this dish. Easy to make and tastes fabulous. Has become a staple and excellent dish for guests.

Veg Times recipe

Paella Primavera looks so tasty.

I'm wondering if this can be made with brown rice?

Paella Primavera

I would sub organic quinoa grain for rice ! And I would put kale in this too! For a meat texture Id use wild Oyster mushrooms for flavor and texture!




Can I substitute, canned organic chopped tomatoes (drained) for the cherry tomatoes?

Yum!! We love this dish - it's easy &amp; quick, it's still delicious reheated the next day, and it's a great way to use up extra veggies. I used jasmine rice because I had some and was still able to follow the directions as stated (except I rinsed the rice). This is the first recipe we made from our first Veg Times mag and we keep going back to it :)

This looks like a very nice dish but it is not a paella. For information about what this dish is please visit

Is the rice pre-cooked before you add into the pan?

Made this for dinner and it was great! I substituted 1/2 cup of white wine for some of the broth... Yummy!

Vegetable Ladened Spanish Rice

Just made this tonight and my family and I LOVED it!!!! Great recipe!

what if I make this? How many people? do you have a large skillet?? xo