This year, we’re ringing in the holidays with shrimp paella and S.PELLEGRINO® Essenza Sparkling Mineral Water from my local Albertsons. 

This post has been sponsored by S.Pellegrino®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A can of S.Pellegrino pouring into a stemless glass amongst seafood paella

A new kind of holiday dinner

Paella may seem like a new holiday dinner to us here in the states, but in Spain, it’s not uncommon in the least.

I vaguely remember visiting my Great Aunt in Alicante, Spain as a kid and falling completely in love with the paella. The giant cast iron pans full of rice, veggies and the freshest seafood ever were the highlight of my trip. That and the tapas.

With so many changes to our holiday plans this year, we decided to mix up the menu too. This shrimp paella has all the glamour and glitz of a holiday meal, with significantly less dishes and work!

And we’ve found the perfect pairing for this dish in S.PELLEGRINO® Essenza Sparkling Mineral Water Lemon & Lemon Zest.

This flavor has vibrant Mediterranean flavors with the same gentle bubbles you know and love. The best part? It has 0 calories and 0 sweeteners making it a refreshing balance with the rich and flavorful paella.

I was able to find everything I needed at my local Albertsons with their mobile app and scope out any deals before heading in.

You can save $2.00 on TWO (2) S.PELLEGRINO Essenza 8pk now!

Ingredients on an Albertsons bag with cans of mineral water and glasses
Plates of seafood paella next to cans, glasses and a phone

How to make paella

In the 15+ years it’s been since my trip to Spain, I haven’t had the chance to make paella many times.

In fact, the first time I did, I was so terrified I was going to mess it up. I had this false illusion that it would be too difficult, overwhelming and require too many ingredients.

In reality, it doesn’t have to be difficult. My method isn’t 100% traditional, but it’s based off my mom’s Puerto Rican Arroz Con Gandules, so it definitely has legs to stand on. Of course, there are more complex paella recipes with several different kinds of seafood (think calamari, clams, mussels, shrimp, octopus). But you can simplify things a great deal by just picking 1-2 you love.

I chose to use shrimp and mussels because those are two of my family’s favorites. Once you’ve picked your seafood of choice, it’s time to get cooking!

Here’s the rundown on how to make this shrimp paella:

Start with your chorizo and oil in a hot pan. Get the chorizo nice and golden brown so that it releases its’ oils.

At this point, you’re ready to add in your veggies. Onions, bell pepper and garlic are all nonnegotiable in this recipe as they add a great deal of flavor. If you’re into the spice factor, you could dice up a chili pepper and throw it in at this point too.

Once your veggies start to break down and give off some magical smells, it’s time to add in the rice, diced tomatoes, spices and a generous drizzle of olive oil. I find adding olive oil to rice dishes like this helps the rice from getting mushy and sticking together.

Next, it’s time to add in your broth and a glug of hot sauce for good measure. At this point, you can cover your pot and simmer for 10 minutes.

While your rice cooks, you can pan fry your shrimp in a bit of butter and clean off your mussels if you haven’t already.

As soon as the 10 minutes are up on your rice, add the frozen peas and fluff it into the rice. Now is the fun part! Nestle the mussels into the rice and cover the pot again. Cook for another 5 minutes. This final step steams the mussels and infuses them with the flavors from the rice.

A pot on a white table with rice, chorizo and veggies next to cans of S.Pellegrino

Vegan substitutes

While this dish is naturally gluten-free, there are some fun substitutes you can use to make it vegan and top 8 free.

Oftentimes people will substitute the chorizo in this recipe for chicken. Instead, you could use shredded jackfruit. Add it in at the same time and watch it absorb all the delicious flavors from this dish.

Similarly, you could substitute mushrooms for the shrimp. Sauté in a pan with some butter the same way we talked about cooking the shrimp and watch the mushrooms steal the show!

A pot full of seafood paella topped with mussels and shrimp
A plate full of seafood paella with shrimp and mussels.

Happy cooking!

Salima written in cursive
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A pot full of seafood paella.

Shrimp Paella

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  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 45 servings 1x
  • Category: Paella, Rice, Spanish, Seafood
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Spanish, Latin
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • ½ pound of chorizo (out of the casing) 
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper (green or red), chopped
  • 2 cups rice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 3 cups chicken or veggie broth 
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • 12 saffron threads (optional) 
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ pound shrimp, deveined 
  • ½ pound mussels 
  • 1 cup frozen peas 
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1 lemon


Instructions

  1. In a large cast iron or heavy bottomed pot or paella pan add oil and chorizo and brown over medium heat, making sure to break into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon. Continue to cook the chorizo until it begins to brown on all sides (3-4 minutes). Toss in chopped onion and bell pepper and saute with chorizo for 4-5 more minutes before adding in the minced garlic. 
  2. Rinse the rice thoroughly and add to the chorizo along with the olive oil, diced tomatoes, hot sauce, saffron and spices. Mix until rice is evenly coated with spices and oil (about 1 minute). Pour in broth and bring to a boil before lowering to simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. 
  3. While the rice cooks, melt half of the butter in a large pan (making sure the pan has a lid for later) over medium high heat. Toss in shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they are fully cooked through. Set cooked shrimp aside in a bowl. 
  4. Once the rice has cooked for 10 minutes, mix in the frozen peas and nestle the mussels into the rice. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until all mussels have opened up.
  5. Top the rice with cooked shrimp and enjoy with fresh cilantro and lemon wedges. 

Notes

 When cooking mussels it’s important to make sure they are sealed before cooking and open after cooking. Throw any that don’t fit that description away. 

You can use frozen mussels and/or frozen shrimp for this recipe. Repeat the same steps with the thawed seafood.