Paella Salad with chicken and shrimp tossed in the best garlic vinaigrette. If you feel intimidated by making paella, this easy paella recipe is for you!
Classic Paella is a fantastic dish from Spain. A lot of my clients used to tell me that they felt intimidated by the idea of making authentic Paella, so I would hand them this Paella Salad recipe, a much easier version of Paella.
This easy fool-proof saffron infused rice Paella Salad is loaded with plump shrimp, tender chicken, artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers and it’s served on a bed of fresh arugula and baby spinach. A simple recipe filled with traditional Spanish flavor!
Easy Paella Salad
What makes this chicken and seafood paella salad so easy to make is that everything is cooked separately. You don’t need to worry about constant stirring or your rice sticking to the pan or your seafood overcooking while the chicken is still raw. How is that for simple paella making?
To make this Paella salad, you can use Spanish rice, medium-grain rice or Jasmine rice. To make this simple recipe even easier, I cook the rice in an electric rice cooker. All you need to do is to turn it on and enjoy perfectly cooked rice every time. To achieve the traditional paella flavor, the rice is cooked in broth and saffron. I use chicken broth but vegetable broth and even seafood broth can be used.
Chicken and Seafood:
In this paella recipe I use large shrimp, peeled with the tails still attached just for presentation. You can remove the tails if you prefer. Seafood paella can be made with other seafood as well. Mussels, calamari and clams are delicious in a Spanish paella!
This Spanish rice recipe calls for boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces. You can use chicken thighs if you prefer.
Vegetables For Paella:
Fire roasted red peppers are a classic addition to rice paella. You can roast your own bell peppers or buy them roasted. I always have frozen peas in my freezer so that is what I use. I rinse the frozen peas in cold water and add them to the warm rice. They defrost immediately!
Artichoke hearts are one of my favorite vegetables, you can buy them canned or frozen. I love to add sliced scallions and chopped parsley for freshness. As for the salad greens, I love the peppery bite of fresh baby arugula and nutritious baby spinach leaves.
The Garlic Vinaigrette:
This super simple and easy to make vinaigrette is loaded with flavor! Trust me, you will make this homemade vinaigrette over and over again. Fresh garlic is best but you can use garlic powder if that’s what you have at home.
Spanish Paella Salad Recipe Tips
- You can customize the ingredients to fit your taste. You don’t like seafood? No worries, make this salad with chicken only or add other ingredients like Spanish chorizo or Andouille Cajun sausage!
- Make your own fire roasted peppers at home by charring them on the stove top.
- Instructions for making the saffron rice on the stove top are provided below on the recipe card.
- Paella salad is the perfect recipe to make for a crowd. I used to serve this recipe at luncheons, mother’s day events, as part of dinner buffets and even at brunch. This recipe is very easy to double (or triple) and always gets rave reviews.
Take A Look At These Other Delicious and Easy Recipes:
- Greek Lemon Roasted Chicken Thighs
- Roasted Greek Potatoes
- Cod with Moroccan Chermoula Sauce
- German Potato Salad
- Creamy Tuscan Shrimp
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Paella Salad with Chicken and Shrimp
For the Saffron Rice:
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups rice
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron crumbled
- Pinch of turmeric
- Pinch of salt
For the Chicken and Shrimp
- 2 chicken breast halves cut into bite size pieces
- 1/2 pound medium shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 teaspoon oregano divided
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika divided
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Veggies and Garnishes
- 1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, quartered
- 1 bell pepper red, yellow, orange or a combination, roasted and julienned
- 1 cup cooked peas
- 3 tablespoons parsley chopped
- 1 small bunch scallions chopped
- 6 ounces baby spinach
- 6 ounces fresh arugula
For the Garlic Vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
- 1 tablespoon shallots minced
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
To Cook the Saffron Rice on a Rice Cooker:
- Place the stock, rice, saffron, turmeric and salt to taste in the rice cooker and turn on. When ready, place in a bowl and stir in the peas. Reserve until needed.
To Cook the Saffron Rice on the Stove Top:
- In a saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil. Stir in the saffron, turmeric and salt to taste. Add rice and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, uncover and stir in the peas. Transfer to a bowl and reserve until needed.
- Season the chicken and the shrimp separately with the oregano, smoked paprika, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
- In a medium sauté pan over medium high heat cook the chicken for 6 – 8 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the pan and reserve.
- In a medium sauté pan over medium heat cook the shrimp for 3 minutes, turn the shrimp and cook the other side for 2 minutes. The shrimp should be pink and cooked through. Remove from the pan and reserve.
- To make the vinaigrette, in a medium bowl whisk the red wine, lemon juice, garlic, shallots and extra virgin olive oil.Season with salt and pepper. Reserve until needed. It will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- In a big bowl gently mix the rice and peas with the artichoke hearts, roasted bell peppers, some of the parsley and scallions. Gently stir in the chicken and shrimp.
- Serve the paella over the baby spinach and arugula. Add some of the vinaigrette and toss gently. Garnish with the remaining chopped parsley and scallions.
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