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This Spanish inspired vegan paella recipe is the best because it’s healthy, satisfying, comforting, and so easy to make! In addition, this vegetable paella is gluten-free, made in one pot, and customizable!
This vegan paella is loaded with vegetables like artichoke hearts, peas, peppers and it can also be enjoyed as a main dish or a side dish. Since we are using turmeric instead of saffron threads, this vegetable paella is budget-friendly!
I think artichoke hearts really make this veggie paella very flavorful so I recommend using marinated artichoke hearts instead of frozen. They are a great way to add texture to meatless dishes just like my pasta salad or Nicoise salad!
You can also make a big batch as meal prep and keep it in the fridge for the week. When you want to make a quick dinner, you can just warm up the leftovers and you’ll be set!
But, before we jump into the recipe, let’s talk about how you can customize it and learn some tips.
What is Paella?
It is a flavorful Spanish rice dish that is originated from Valencia, Spain. Since it’s made in one pot, it is a great option for a healthy and quick dinner.
Is Paella Vegan?
Traditional and authentic recipes use seafood and meat so it is not vegan friendly. But we will be using vegetables to flavor this dish to make it suitable for vegans.
How to Make Vegan Paella Step by Step
Bomba rice is a great short-grain rice option for making this recipe because it doesn’t get creamy. But it is hard to find in the stores so I always use Arborio rice for this dish.
Water or Vegetable broth
You can either use water or vegetable broth for this vegan paella recipe but you will need to make sure that it’s boiling hot. If you are using vegetable broth, you can heat it on the stovetop before adding it to the pan.
You can really add any veggies you want but I chose to make it with peas, artichoke hearts and bell peppers. You can also add mushrooms to make it even more delicious if you like.
Onion & Garlic
I used a yellow onion but you can use white and red onion if you like. Lots of garlic cloves make this recipe very aromatic as well.
I love using fire-roasted tomatoes for my recipes because it gives so much flavor. But you can sub for fresh tomatoes if you prefer.
Seasonings & Bay leaves
Since we are not using saffron threads, we will be using turmeric as a replacement. We will also add smoked paprika and bay leaves to give even more flavor and smokiness.
Oil & Salt
Adding chopped parsley and lemon wedges work great as a garnish but you can omit it. you can also use cilantro or lime wedges if you prefer.
How to Make Easy Vegan Paella
- First, cook the onion at least 5 minutes until soft. And then you can add the bell peppers, garlic, turmeric, smoked paprika, salt, and cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Now, you will add the tomatoes and rice and cook for about 3 minutes while stirring. Add the boiling hot water/ broth and bay leaves, stir only once (do not stir too much) and then bring it to boil.
- When it starts boiling, turn it down to medium to medium-low and cook for 25 to 30 minutes uncovered until the liquid is absorbed. Don’t stir it but make sure you are watching so it doesn’t burn.
- Taste to see if it’s done and if not, add a little more liquid and continue cooking. When it’s al dente, remove from the heat and add the peas and artichoke hearts on top of the rice (don’t stir). Cover and let it sit for 10 minutes (don’t skip this step), and then mix it around, garnish with chopped parsley and lemon wedges.
Tips & Variations
- Add mushrooms or other veggies to this vegan paella.
- Don’t stir it during cooking because it’s not supposed to be creamy like risotto.
- Taste the rice to make sure it’s done before taking it off the heat.
- Always adjust to taste, add more salt if needed.
Do I have to use Paella Pan to make Vegan Paella?
You can use one, but I have a minimalist approach when it comes to kitchen items. If you are making it a few times a year, you don’t have to have a specific gadget so I use a large skillet/cast iron. Make sure it’s non-stick or seasoned well and also wide enough to cook the rice evenly.
How to store Vegan Paella
You can store the leftovers in the fridge, covered, for up to 5 to 6 days. It is also perfect for meal-prep and also a quick weeknight dinner!
What to serve it with?
- Pair it with potato leek soup or lentil soup to make it a filling meal
- Serve it with some bread
- Make some cucumber tomato onion salad to go with it.
This vegan paella recipe is very easy and versatile. It is also:
- Hearty & Comforting
- Healthy & Filling
- Meal-prep friendly
- Also so delicious!
More healthy vegan recipes to try
- VEGAN PAD THAI (EASY & HEALTHY)
- EASY VEGAN FALAFEL BOWL (GLUTEN-FREE)
- THAI PEANUT NOODLES (VEGAN & EASY)
- VEGAN MAC AND CHEESE RECIPE (EASY & GLUTEN-FREE)
- BLACK BEAN QUINOA BURGER
- BUFFALO CAULIFLOWER WINGS
So, did you make this? I’d love for you to leave a comment and rate the recipe. You can also share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest and tag me on Instagram using @avocadocentric or #avocadocentric! xo, SelinPrint
This Spanish inspired vegan paella recipe is the best because it’s healthy, satisfying, comforting, and so easy to make! This vegetable paella is gluten-free, made in one pot and customizable!
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 1 red bell pepper (sliced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 and 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 and 1/2 cup arborio rice (sub for another short-grain rice)
- 1 cup fire-roasted tomatoes (sub for 2 medium chopped tomatoes)
- 4 cups water or vegetable broth (hot)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup artichoke hearts in marinade (chopped)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 tbsp parsley (chopped)
- lemon wedges
- Heat the oil in a large skillet/cast iron (or paella pan) over medium heat and cook the onions at least 5 minutes until soft. Add the bell peppers, garlic, turmeric, smoked paprika, salt, and cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes and rice, cook for about 3 minutes while stirring. Add the boiling hot water/ broth and bay leaves, stir only once (do not stir too much), and turn the heat to medium-high and bring it to boil.
- When it starts boiling, turn it down to medium to medium-low and cook for 25 to 30 minutes uncovered until the liquid is absorbed. Don’t stir it and make sure it doesn’t burn.
- Taste to see if the rice is cooked. If not, add a little more liquid and continue cooking. When it’s al dente, remove from the heat and add the peas and artichoke hearts on top of the rice (don’t stir). Cover and let it sit for 10 minutes (don’t skip this step).
- Mix it around, garnish with chopped parsley and lemon wedges.
Add mushrooms or other veggies.
Make sure to use hot water/broth. Simply heat the broth in a saucepan on the stovetop before adding.
Don’t stir it during cooking, it’s not supposed to be creamy like risotto.
Taste the rice to make sure it’s done before taking it off the heat.
Always adjust to taste, add more salt if needed.
- Serving Size: 6
- Calories: 163
- Sugar: 4.1g
- Sodium: 524.8mg
- Fat: 5.1g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 26.2g
- Fiber: 4.4g
- Protein: 3.8g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: vegan paella, vegetable paella, Spanish paella, how to make paella, paella recipe