Quick Paella with Shrimp & Mussels

Quick Paella with Shrimp & Mussels

6 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2009

Our quick take on paella is studded with mussels and shrimp. Traditional paella made with short-grain rice takes a while to cook and can be a bit tricky. Instant brown rice is a great shortcut—what it lacks in authenticity it more than makes up for in convenience. Make sure you seek out saffron, which gives the dish its distinctive yellow color and signature flavor. Serve with: Spinach salad.

Ingredients 4 servings

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  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups instant brown rice
  • 1⅓ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large pinch saffron (see Note)
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp (21-25 per pound)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 pound mussels, scrubbed well (see Tip)
  • 4 lemon wedges (optional)


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 3 minutes. Add rice, broth, thyme, salt, pepper and saffron and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in shrimp and peas. Place mussels on top of the rice in an even layer. Cover and continue cooking until the mussels have opened and the rice is tender, about 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat and let rest, covered, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
  • Note: The dried stigma from Crocus sativus, saffron adds flavor and golden color to a variety of Middle Eastern, African and European foods. Find it in the spice section of supermarkets, gourmet shops or at tienda.com. It will keep in an airtight container for several years.
  • Tip: To scrub mussels, hold under running water and use a stiff brush to remove any barnacles; pull off any black fibrous “beards.” Discard mussels with broken shells or whose shell remains open after you tap it.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 364 calories; 7 g fat(1 g sat); 5 g fiber; 45 g carbohydrates; 28 g protein; 73 mcg folate; 155 mg cholesterol; 3 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,561 IU vitamin A; 32 mg vitamin C; 85 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 1,086 mg sodium; 402 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (53% daily value), Vitamin A (31% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 3
  • Exchanges: 2½ starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat

Reviews 6

September 29, 2018
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By: Linicha Hunter
Loved it was easy to make and hubbie enjoyed. Will make again very inexpensive shrimps 5 buck mussles 3 bucks..I had all the veggies and spices already. Had to cook longer than what recipe suggested though.
June 10, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Both quick and good I cheated a bit to make it even quicker and easier. Out of saffron, I used packaged yellow rice, frozen mussels in garlic sauce, and frozen pre-peeled shrimp. It was a hit with the family although a bit salty. I probably should have skipped the broth because the yellow rice seasoning and mussels juice had it covered.
January 24, 2010
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By: sergio1291
i made this today and i love this recipe the only thing i did to add taste was i added a shrimp flavor bouillon to the chicken broth but i have to say this is just as good as portuguese paella but just not like mom use to make..
January 23, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
Easy to make and terrific taste. I would recommend for a low calorie meal with great flavor. Very satisfying and even the kids liked it!
November 09, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
I was very disappointed with this recipe. I thought it looked great and would be quick. While it was quick and easy to make, it lacked taste and was bland. In addition, I don't know how they computed a cost per serving of $3.50 in the magazine when all of the ingredients cost me $30 which is $7.50 per serving. In NY, Shrimp alone is $14 a pound! Save your money and skip this dish!
November 06, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
I made this last night and it was super easy to make AND it's a one pot meal which I love considering I don't have a dishwasher. It's not a ton of ingredients so chances are you have most on hand. It was also super quick- and that's coming from someone that's always saying they're a slow cook. I highly recommend this recipe- in fact, I've already emailed it to my mom and a friend!
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