Recipe: Calamari Paella

Paella is a rice dish that originated in the city of Valencia, Spain. This city sits on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and while it's known now for its futuristic "City of Arts and Sciences" it's hard to argue that paella made it famous!

This saffron rice dish was originally a lunchtime meal for day laborers. The added vegetables, beans, and meat were what was available that day, so while there is a classic Valencian recipe with chicken and snails, a mixed paella was always part of history.  Additionally, because of its coastal location, seafood paella has also generally been considered an authentic dish. 

The word paella itself originally referred to the shallow frying pan it was cooked in, but as far back as 1840 it was used to refer to this specific recipe preparation. When cooked over an open flame, the layer of rice on the bottom of the dish roasts to a caramelized crunch - called socarrat and prized as a favorite part of the meal. 

Here, we use calamari with chorizo and chicken broth, but swapping for a vegetable broth and leaving out chorizo makes this dish a pescatarian delight. It's a perfect hot-weather dish because it can be cooked outside, and the tradition of everyone enjoying it out of the same pan means less clean up after! We hope you enjoy this unique calamari recipe for paella. 



Recipe: Calamari Paella

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Ready in: 50 minutes

Serves: 6



● 1 lb. The Town Dock Calamari Rings & Tentacles, thawed

● 2 tsp. smoked paprika, divided

● Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

● 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

● 8 oz. Spanish chorizo, sliced 1/4-inch rounds

● 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

● 3 cloves garlic, minced

● 1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes

● 2 cups Valencia or Aborio rice

● 1/2 cup dry white wine

● 1/2 cup frozen peas

● 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

● 1 lemon, quartered



1. Toss thawed Calamari Rings & Tentacles with 1 teaspoon smoked paprika in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and set aside. Heat stock in large saucepan over medium heat.

2. Heat large paella pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chorizo until lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Add onions, garlic, and remaining smoked paprika, and cook until softened, about 3 to 6 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until mixture darkens in color, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in rice and cook, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add wine and cook until absorbed. Add broth, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

4. Cover and simmer, undisturbed, over medium-low heat for 12 minutes. Uncover and tuck calamari into rice. Cover, and continue to simmer until rice is cooked, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add peas and cook until just warmed through, about 2 minutes. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedge. Serve.


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