I’m so excited about this paella recipe! I hope you are, too. Paella is a beautiful rice dish hailing from the east coast of Spain, near the port city of Valencia. I tried it for the first time in Barcelona about ten years ago, and none of the American versions I’ve sampled since then have come close—until now.
Paella often includes seafood or meat, but I made this paella vegetarian by mixing chickpeas into the rice and adding extra vegetables. If you were to order this in a Spanish restaurant, it would be called paella de verduras (vegetables). My version is fresh, colorful, and hearty, thanks to brown rice and chickpeas.
This paella is a great party option if your guests are following special diets. It’s vegan/vegetarian/dairy free, gluten free, nut free, and soy free. Although, I’d say it’s a great party option in general! Just add a big green salad and Spanish wine (red or white would work).
If you’re a fan of my baked risotto recipes, you’re going to love this recipe. The method is similar—you cook some aromatics in a pot, then add the rice and bake the pot on the lower rack of the oven while roasting the vegetables on the upper rack. Layer the vegetables on top of the baked rice, and you’re basically done.