Vegan Paella Recipe

Published on May 21st 2022 by Sarah Leadon.
Last updated on March 20th 2024
This recipe, developed through the collective effort of at least six experts, underwent meticulous research and testing for over three months. Learn more about our process in the art and science behind our recipes. This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Disclosure Policy.
Front shot of Vegan Paella in a skillet on top of wooden board

Most people are intimidated by Paella because they think it's too difficult to make. However, paella is a thing of beauty that's extremely easy to prepare. It's made with fresh onions, garlic, peppers, celery, tomatoes, green beans, Bomba rice, and short-grain pearl-shaped rice. With a unique golden color, smoky flavor, lots of fresh vegetables, and a nutty aroma, it's time to gather your friends or family around the dinner table and enjoy this delicious vegan meal. 


Author: Sarah Leadon
Average: 5 (3 votes)
Total rating includes sum of all comments and anonymous votes.

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Time & Serves

Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
5 persons


  • 4 cups Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth 


  • 1 teaspoon Saffron Threads


  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil 


  • 1 medium Onion, diced


  • 2 stalks of Celery, diced


  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 


  • 1 Green Bell Pepper cut into 1/2-inch pieces


  • 5 cloves Garlic, minced 


  • 1 pound Green Beans, cut into 1/2-inch pieces


  • 1 large Tomato, diced 


  • 1 1/2 cups Bomba Rice (you can also use Arborio Rice)


  • 1 cup pitted Black Olives, sliced


  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika


  • 1/2 teaspoon Sweet Paprika


  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt


  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper


  • 2 sprigs Fresh Thyme


  • 1 Lemon, cut into wedges (optional)


  • 1/4 cup fresh Parsley leaves (optional)


To a medium saucepan, add vegetable broth and saffron. Set the mixture over medium-high and allow it to come to a simmer. Wait 1 minute, then decrease the heat to medium-low to keep the broth warm. 


To a 12-inch paella pan or a wide, shallow skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place it over medium-high heat. 


Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers when the olive oil is hot and cook them for 3-5 minutes until the onions soften. 


Next, add the garlic and cook it for 1 minute. 


Add the green beans, tomatoes, smoked paprika, and sweet paprika and cook it for 1-2 minutes. 


Stir in the Bomba rice and the tablespoon of oil and stir to cook the rice in the oil. Cook the paella for 1 minute until it's lightly toasted. 


Add the fresh thyme and gradually add to the broth. Stir in the salt and pepper. Do not stir the paella after adding the seasoning. If you stir the paella, it will release its starches and give the rice a creamy texture. 


Let the paella come to a rolling simmer for 1-2 minutes, and turn the heat to medium-low heat. The paella should be at a mild simmer. 


Cook the paella for 15-20 minutes until the rice is tender. Make sure you rotate the pan a few times to ensure the heat is distributed evenly and the paella is evenly cooked. 


Once the broth is evaporated, keep a close eye on the socarrat or the rice's golden crust that will form on the bottom of the pan. It should start to make a snap, crackle, and pop sound and release a nutty scent. 


The socarrat should take about 1-2 minutes to form. If the paella smells like it's starting to burn, remove it from the heat immediately. 


You can check to see if the socarrat is forming by placing a fork or spoon at the bottom of the pan. If the socarrat does not form, there's no need to worry. It could be the pan you are using, the fat content, or the heating unit. Your paella will still be delicious with or without the socarrat. 


Remove the paella from the fire, add the olives and cover the paella with foil, and let it sit for 5-8 minutes. 


Remove the foil from the paella and add the lemon wedges and parsley if desired before serving. 

Sarah Leadon

Delve into the fusion of food and mood with Sarah. Discover the emotional journey within each recipe. Beyond the kitchen, she's an avid reader and music lover, lost in the rhythms of life.

More posts by Sarah Leadon

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Sarah Leadon

Delve into the fusion of food and mood with Sarah. Discover the emotional journey within each recipe. Beyond the kitchen, she's an avid reader and music lover, lost in the rhythms of life.

More posts by Sarah Leadon