Vegetarian paella


Vegetarian paella

This tasty variation on the traditional Spanish dish was inspired by a version sampled in Colombia and makes a great meal to feed a crowd.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Serves: 4


  • 2 red peppers, sliced
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • 300g frozen peas
  • 200g green beans
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 4 teaspoons paprika
  • juice of 3 lemons, plus more lemons to serve
  • olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • salt
  • about 24 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 500g short-grain brown rice
  • 400ml can of coconut milk
  • 15g bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped


  1. Add the red peppers and mushrooms to a large saucepan with the peas, green beans, cayenne, paprika, the juice of one lemon, a generous amount of olive oil, the garlic and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the veggies are starting to soften.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes into quarters. Add the tomatoes and saffron to the mix, then, a couple of minutes later, stir in the rice and coconut milk, adding 700ml of water.
  3. Place the lid on the pan and bring the paella to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let it cook for 1 hour. Try not to stir it too much during this time, just every 20 minutes or so to ensure the rice isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. After 1 hour the rice should feel cooked but still a little al dente. Stir in the juice of the remaining two lemons.
  5. Serve the paella in bowls, with lemon wedges on the side, sprinkling the chopped coriander on top.

Tweak it

If you want to make this heartier, stir in some boiled potatoes halfway through. Or if you’re a fish eater add some fish fillets or prawns to it too, 5 to 10 minutes before the end of cooking.

Recipe courtesy of Deliciously Ella Every Day by Ella Woodward, published by Hachette Australia.


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