This is a relatively simple paella featuring shrimp and late-summer vegetables: zucchini, corn, tomatoes and peppers. If it’s some other time of year, it’s fine to substitute seasonal vegetables. The important things are a pleasing combination of colors and flavors and keeping the quantity of vegetables in a range of three to four cups.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Toni Lydecker


  • 1 large Italian frying pepper (Cubanelle) or 1 small bell pepper
  • 3 scallions or 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium zucchini or large rib celery
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 ear fresh corn or ½ cup frozen corn
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 12 ounces medium or large shrimp peeled, tails on
  • Sea salt or kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • cups short-grain rice such as Calrose, bomba or calasparro
  • 2 pinches saffron
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon sweet, smoked or hot paprika (preferably Spanish)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3½ to 4 cups salted vegetable broth or water or as needed
  • ½ lemon or lime halved and cut in thin half moons
  • ¼ cup snipped basil parsley or cilantro leaves cut in ribbons


  1. Cut pepper in thin strips. Chop scallions, including green tops. Dice zucchini or sliver celery. (Combine these three ingredients in one bowl.) Core tomato and dice, keeping juices. Scrape corn off cob. Finely chop garlic or squeeze through a garlic press. Sprinkle shrimp lightly with salt.

  2. Place paella pan over one large burner or two smaller burners. Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add pepper, scallions and zucchini, spreading out over pan. Cook for a couple of minutes until softened but not browned, stirring once or twice.
  3. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add saffron and paprika, stirring to tint the rice.
  4. Spread out pan contents and add broth to cover (if using water, salt to taste). Adjust heat so rice mixture simmers gently and cook for 10 minutes. Do not stir! Give the pan a quarter turn now and then to promote even cooking. If rice grains are uncovered early in that process, add a bit more broth.
  5. Distribute diced tomato, corn, shrimp and lemon slices over paella. Cook about 10 minutes longer (again, no stirring), turning shrimp half way through, until rice and shrimp are fully cooked. Garnish paella with basil leaves and let stand at least 5 minutes before eating.
  6. Set the paella pan on the table with a couple of serving spoons and invite everyone to dig in.