Paella that Won’t Break the Bank

Paella can be a very expensive dish. It has expensive saffron, several different kinds of meat, and seafood selections. You can go all out and make very expensive paella with lobster, expensive fish, imported chorizo and loads of quality saffron. A restaurant in Manhattan, Sofritos, even had a 00 Paella. At our house, we love a good paella. I would love to make it more often, but to buy all the ingredients, it is pretty expensive. When we visited Paris a few years back, we ate at a wonderful Spanish restaurant. There, they had several types of paella, seafood, chicken, rabbit, and fish versions. Since having the paella there, I like to cook my paella in the same way. I don’t like to have too many varieties of meats in the dish. In this recipe, I have just used a seafood melody and a little chorizo as the meat in the dish. I recently found a 1 pound seafood melody, consisting of shrimp, bay scallops and calamari rings, for just $5 at my local Aldi’s supermarket. I have also seen the seafood mix in larger packages at Walmart and Spanish supermarkets. I also used Aldi’s chorizo for this dish. Their chorizo’s casing has to be removed, so the sausage crumbles when cooked. I liked it this way very much because it ran through the rice more evenly than having large slices. I used Badia brand saffron, an inexpensive Hispanic brand. It was about $2.50. I use 1/4 of this package in this recipe. You could also leave out the saffron, because there is plenty of flavor from the chorizo. All in all, after the Aldi’s special’s this paella was just over $10. Previously, I had been spending closer to $30 for this dish.

So, Pardon Me While I Burst into Flames. Thanks Incubus.

This is my most recent exciting picture. I thought it would be more interesting. This is a picture from this past weekend. We visited Hollywood Studios, previously known as MGM. We had lots of fun. My son liked the toy story ride most of all. This picture was from the Lights, Camera, Action Extreme Stunt Show. My son is really into race cars right now, and he enjoyed watching the race cars, motorcycles and jet skis zoom around. Brakes squealed, fire balls raged, a stunt man fell from a building and another stuntman was engulfed in flames. I was starting to think that this park, our last to visit in Disney, was a bore, until we got to this show. It was very exciting!

recipe photo

Paella that Won't Break the Bank

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1 1/4 cups white rice
a large pinch of saffron
1 lb bag seafood melody (shrimp, bay scallops and calamari)
8 oz chorizo, sliced
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 lemon, cut in wedges for garnish
2 cups chicken stock
2-3 teaspoons fresh cilantro
olive oil


Preheat large skillet. Add a a little olive oil. Add chorizo and cook until some fat renders. Add bell peppers, onions and garlic.

Sauté for just a minute or so.

Add rice, saffron and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer covered for 15 minutes.

Remove lid and add seafood melody and fresh cilantro on top of rice. Return lid for another 5 minutes. Paella is done when shrimp have turned pink. Be very careful not to overcook seafood, it will be rubbery. Garnish with additional fresh cilantro and lemon wedges.

All text and images © / Eclectic Recipes
*Nutritional Information is not guaranteed for 100% accuracy.

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  15 Responses to “Paella that Won’t Break the Bank”

  1. MaryMoh — April 28, 2010 @ 10:47 am

    I love paella. Never cooked it myself. Now I can try. Your paella looks very delicious. I love all the coriander sprinkled on top.
    .-= MaryMoh´s last blog ..Beautiful Mt Kinabalu – Malaysia =-.

  2. 5 Star Foodie — April 28, 2010 @ 11:53 am

    Great paella and a very cool photo!
    .-= 5 Star Foodie´s last blog ..Basque-Style Grilled Cheese with Etorki, Piquillo Peppers, and Chorizo =-.

  3. Angie's Recipes — April 28, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

    What a great paella! The presentation looks so pleasant.
    .-= Angie’s Recipes´s last blog ..Banana Oatmeal Cookies =-.

  4. Monet — April 28, 2010 @ 2:49 pm

    Thank you so much for this post…I love paella…my husband and I had a chance to visit Spain last year, and I’ve been wanting to make a batch at home ever since. I’ve always been intimidated by the perceived cost of throwing a pot together, but your post demonstrated that I could do it well and without spending a fortune. Thank you!
    .-= Monet´s last blog ..Strawberry Cake with Rainbow Chip Frosting =-.

  5. Brandi — April 28, 2010 @ 4:51 pm

    You do take the best food pictures! And that paella looks delish. I have wanted to make it forever, but the cost always throws me. With 7 to feed our expense usually doubles. Another one I want to do is a Maryland style crab bake. But good Lord is that expensive!!!
    .-= Brandi´s last blog ..Books Books and more Books =-.

  6. Belinda @zomppa — April 28, 2010 @ 8:17 pm

    Great recipe – I love paella and always up for learning new (and cost-effective) ways of making it. Yours look awesome.
    .-= Belinda @zomppa´s last blog ..Photo of the Day: Moonlight Madness =-.

  7. Cristina — April 28, 2010 @ 8:56 pm

    What a beautiful dish! I’ve never had paella, but you’ve piqued my interest in it. I only recently just purchased my first small vial of saffron…couldn’t believe how $$$ it was!

  8. Kristen — April 28, 2010 @ 10:09 pm

    Love the photo and the recipe! Thanks for sharing!
    .-= Kristen´s last blog ..Ask a Blogger Question #3 – Popular Food Photography Sites =-.

  9. Cookin' Canuck — April 28, 2010 @ 10:47 pm

    I like that you kept this simple with the seafood medley and chorizo. I just inherited a paella pan from grandparents and can’t wait to use it.

  10. Drick — April 29, 2010 @ 8:35 am

    very nice recipe, and I do like the ingredients, nice refreshing blend – hey, I normally quickly scan the page looking at photos and when I saw that fire-ball, I thought it was your house or something – talk about a week-end event …
    .-= Drick´s last blog ..Grilled Shrimp & Gingered Pineapple =-.

  11. averagebetty — April 29, 2010 @ 3:21 pm

    Gotta love the one pan meal!! I love Paella… you’ve got a craving in the making!!
    .-= averagebetty´s last blog ..Oatmeal Raisin Nation =-.

  12. I love paella! Don’t know about a $1000 paella though lol

    Gonna have to try your recipe … some interesting ingredients there. I’ve never tried with chorizo before.
    .-= Marica @ Easy Dessert Recipes´s last blog ..Apr 24, Best Dive Sites in Malta: Comino Diving =-.

  13. JulieD — April 29, 2010 @ 6:55 pm

    I have never had paella…I still can’t believe that. I definitely want to try this recipe. Bookmarking it. Thanks!
    .-= JulieD´s last blog ..Grilled Shrimp =-.

  14. Joanne — April 30, 2010 @ 8:21 am

    I’ve never really understood why saffron is so expensive. Kind of ridiculous. Trader Joe’s actually has a really affordable one that I buy…it lasts forever.

    This paella looks delicious! Love that the chorizo is crumbled throughout!

    Thanks so much for tagging me for this photo event. It looks like a ton of fun!

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