Spanish Veggie Paella (Easy, Low Cost, One Pot Dinner)

This month I promised I’d share some of all-time favourite one pot meals. After all that meal prepping, cooking and pot washing in December, I need a few weeks of simple meals. Easy, quick prep, cheap, healthy meals that leave only one pot to wash up. Now we’re talking 😉

I’m going to begin with one of my absolute favourite one pot meals – Veggie Paella. This dish is typically made with shellfish, but I’ve used colourful veggies and nutrient-rich nuts instead 🙂

Spanish Veggie Paella

Here’s how I make it…


Serves 4    Hands-on time: 15 minutes    Cooking time: 30 minutes

1 TBSP olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, deseeded and diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
300g / 10½ oz / 1⅓ cups Spanish Paella rice
pinch of saffron*
1 medium tomato, diced
1 litre / 34 fl oz / 4 cups hot vegetable stock (broth)
handful fine green beans, trimmed and halved (use fresh or frozen)
6-8 baby corn
80g / ½ cup cashews
salt, to taste
ground black or cayenne pepper, to taste
16 black pitted olives
sprinkling of green nori flakes or dried parsley
35g / ¼ cup toasted flaked almonds

* Saffron is the spice that gives Paella its distinctive yellow colour and creamy, nutty flavour. It is very expensive though. For a budget-friendly alternative, use ground turmeric (½ tsp)


  1. Infuse the saffron in a little hot water and prepare the vegetable stock.
  2. Gently heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed frying pan (skillet) and cook the onion until it starts to soften. Meanwhile chop the remaining vegetables.
  3. Add the garlic, bell pepper, cumin and paprika to the pan, and cook for a minute or so. If it starts to stick, add a splash of water to loosen it. Stir in the rice and saffron (or turmeric). Add the tomato and vegetable stock to the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered.
  4. Add the beans, baby corn and cashews, and cook for a further 10 minutes. Stir regularly towards the end of the cooking time. If the pan starts to dry out, add a little more stock or water.
  5. When the rice is tender yet retains a bite, remove the pan from the heat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve on warm plates with a sprinkling of olives, nori flakes/dried parsley and toasted flaked almonds.
  6. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 24 hours. As with any rice dish, make sure the leftover rice is cooled quickly and refrigerated within an hour.
  7. This paella is delicious served on its own, however Lil’ L suggested that children may prefer it served with segments of toasted tortilla (like he does 😉 ) When the paella is nearly ready, simply place the tortillas under the grill and lightly brown on both sides.  This makes them nice and crunchy!

N.B. For a super child-friendly paella, use frozen peas and sweet corn instead of green beans and baby corn. Simply add them to the pan 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time.


Spanish Veggie Paella

Enjoy! xx

This recipe has been submitted to Ricki Heller’s #WellnessWeekend

9 thoughts on “Spanish Veggie Paella (Easy, Low Cost, One Pot Dinner)

  1. I don’t know that I’ve ever tried paella–isn’t that crazy? I do have some saffron that I need to use up though, so this would be a great way. Sounds delicious!

    1. Hi Candy!
      Spanish paella would be a great way to use your saffron. It gives the paella the most wonderful flavour and colour. This dish is one of the only occasions where I use a white rice (to keep it authentic). I will have to try it with brown rice one day but I imagine it’ll make quite a difference to the dish in terms of flavour, colour and texture x

  2. Oh, this looks so fabulous! Perfect party food, or perhaps just a great weekend dish. I’ve never had “real” paella, but I know that I want to try this one. 🙂

    1. Thanks Ricki! We love this paella dish and often serve it as a quick week day meal (though it would make great party food too!)
      I hope you’re having a great week. Are you snowed in over there? It’s actually snowing here in the South West UK and my little boy is very excited indeed as it rarely snows here!

      1. Hi Sharon! Not snowed in, but verrrrry cold! I heard about the snow over there, from my best friend who lives there, though–sounds like quite the adventure! Stay warm and drink lots of hot chocolate. 🙂

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