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Authentic Spanish vegetarian and vegan paella recipe

Visiting Spain means seeing all the menus with plenty of meats, seafoods and generally non vegan or vegetarian food and for many people is a pity because Spanish food is really good. Luckily, there are many dishes that can be vegetarian or vegan, and although you won´t see those recipes in most of the restaurants, you can still make them at home. This is exactly what happens with the Spanish vegetarian and vegan paella recipe.

What is vegetarian or vegan paella?


Before we start with the recipe, you need to know a little bit about what this dish is like. Paella is a typical dish from Spain and being more concrete from the Valencian Community.

The original recipe is the chicken paella, and the one most people eat nowadays is the seafood style. During our trip to Alicante last year, we were able to see that in some restaurants they have vegan paellas, but it´s still not very common yet.

In conclusion, vegetarian paella is still the national dish of Spain, but in this case the only difference is that although it´s done in a paella pan and doing the same process, it doesn´t contain either meat or seafood.  

Is vegetarian paella vegan?


Another question many people have about the delicious vegetarian paella is if it´s also vegan. Well, the truth is that in a 99% of the times, vegetarian paella is vegan as well. It doesn´t need to include any type of animal food.

Anyway, if you are going to have it on a restaurant, we still advise you to ask first, because since it doesn´t exists a “Traditional” vegetarian paella, everyone makes it in a different way and on a few occasions, you can find it done with egg.

Don´t worry because here the recipe for Spanish vegetarian paella is the same as the vegan one.

How to make Spanish vegetarian paella at home?

Now that all the doubts are clear, let´s start making the tasty vegetarian and vegan paella recipe. The good news is that this dish takes way less time when is vegetarian than when is with meat or seafood.

Ingredients for vegetable paella 🥘

  • 1 Red pepper, green pepper (Or both)
  • A Medium size zucchini
  • 1 Can of grated tomatoes (4/5 chopped tomatoes)
  • 4-5 Garlic Cloves
  • ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Onion
  • Around 15-20 asparagus
  • 1 ½ cup of short-grain rice
  • 3 cups of vegetable stock or water
  • 1 tbsp of saffron
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp of sweet paprika
  • 15 Artichokes (Optional instead of zucchini)
  • Black pepper (Optional)
  • Green beans and Judiones (Big yellow/white beans)

Vegetarian Paella Nutrition Facts

  • Vegetarian Paella Calories: 366
  • Total time 🍳: 45 Minutes

Quick and easy vegetarian paella recipe 👨‍🍳

  • 1.Cut in small pieces or slices the different vegetables: Pepper, zucchini, asparagus and of course the garlic and the onion.
  • 2. On a paella pan turned into a medium-high heat, add the olive oil and the salt.
  • 3. The first two ingredients you need to place on the pan are the garlic and then the onion. Leave them until they look a bit golden brown (But don´t let them burn!)
  • 4. Continue with all the vegetables. First the beans, then the zucchini, then the pepper and last of all the asparagus. Stir them all together.
  • 5. Add the sweet paprika, mix it with the ingredients and pour the grated tomato. Keep combining all the ingredients..
  • 6. The next step consists of adding the stock or vegetable broth. Also place the saffron and a little bit more of salt.
  • 7. Let the combination boil for 1-2 minutes and spread the rice through the pan.
  • 8.Turn up the heat and leave it for 7-10 minutes.
  • 9.Once the broth is almost gone, turn down the heat to the minimum, cover the “paellera” with foil paper and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • 10.Uncover the paella, let it cool for 2 minutes and this simple vegetarian paella recipe will be done. Enjoy it!

Cooking vegetarian paella in the oven


Many people ask us about making the paella in the oven, and if we tell you the truth is not our best recommendation. You can do it of course, but in our opinion, it´s a totally different recipe. It would be more similar to “Arroz al horno” than to the traditional paella.

The process begins the same way, just cook all the vegetables together, add the spices and the broth and ones you have it all ready, instead of letting it cook the common way, put it into the oven for around 15 minutes. Your oven baked vegetarian paella will be ready to serve.

What to put in a vegetarian paella?


As you have seen, in our case we used ingredients like zucchini, red or green pepper and asparagus, but there are many other variations. One of the most common options is doing the Spanish veggie paella with artichokes, but we are not big fans and that´s the reason why we didn´t include it.

To give it a whole different flavor you can make an amazing vegetarian paella by using mushrooms or black olives.

And if you want to copy the real experts, try using potatoes or slices of tomatoes…That´s how they do it in some areas of the Valencian Community.

What to serve with a vegetarian paella?


Apparently, there are people who is still hungry after eating a tasty vegetarian paella! Normally, a full dish of paella is more than enough during lunch time, but it´s true that in the Spanish restaurants they serve you one or two entries before the rice.

Marineras (a bread stick with “ensaladilla rusa”) are a common option in the Community of Murcia, but in the rest of Spain people only order a salad before eating paella.

If you don´t want a first dish and you just want an aperitif before the big lunch, you can make aioli (is very easy) and have a few toasts like they do in Valencia.

Enjoy the Spanish vegetables paella!

That´s all you need to know about the best vegan and vegetarian paella, as you have seen it´s much easier than what people always believe. It will just take you about 45 minutes to enjoy one of the most famous foods in Spain.

Hope the recipe was useful, and if you have any other question or suggestion, please let us know!

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Authentic Spanish vegetarian and vegan paella recipe ⭐️ (Easy!)
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