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Easy Shortcut Shrimp Paella

Learn how to make paella at home with Easy Shortcut Shrimp Paella that’s ready in 30 minutes total. Garlic, onion, bell pepper and diced tomato with Spanish rice and sauteed shrimp.

Shrimp Paella in a large potDepending on who you ask, you may get a wide range of answers as to what paella is. There are a few basics that should be included, but beyond that, it’s often up to the chef as to the specifics. One thing that is generally true is it can be a time-consuming recipe. This Easy Shortcut Shrimp Paella gives you that classic flavor but saves lots of time and steps.

Close-up of Easy Shortcut Shrimp Paella recipeAll paellas start with a sofrito-a flavor base of vegetables cooked in oil. Typically this includes garlic, tomatoes, and onion. The medley of flavors then infuses into the rice. Another classic element is the socarrat, which is a flavorful crust on the bottom of the pan. These elements all blend together with cooked rice to create the typical paella flavor. Learn more about paellas from Saveur.

To save time and take a shortcut with this paella, I use pre-seasoned Spanish-style rice. It’s cooks in about 10 minutes and has all the seasonings you need for delicious Spanish rice.

Overhead shot of ingredients to make Shrimp PaellaThis rice creates most of the flavor base, along with freshly sauteed garlic, onion and bell pepper. Growing up, my mom would always use canned diced tomatoes to substitute some water in Spanish rice. This trick works wonderfully to create this easy shortcut shrimp paella along with Flavor Infusions Spanish Style rice.

Typically paella includes various seafood, and shrimp is one of the easiest and quickest to cook. Sauteing the shrimp first, instead of cooking with the rice, quickly creates the socarrat—crispy flavor bits that mix into the paella. Plus it adds lean protein to this easy family dinner. With few ingredients and some simple tricks, you’ll have Easy Shortcut Shrimp Paella in no time.

Process shot of Shrimp Paella cooking in a pot

Easy Shortcut Shrimp Paella recipe at-a-glance:

Flavor profiles: Rich, savory and bold Spanish flavors.
Texture: Tender shrimp and veggies with fluffy rice.

More Shrimp Recipes You Might Like

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Easy Shortcut Shrimp Paella

Homemade Easy Shortcut Shrimp Paella that's ready in 30 minutes total. Garlic, onion, bell pepper and diced tomato with Spanish rice and sauteed shrimp.
Course Entree
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword easy paella dish, easy shrimp paella, shrimp paella
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Calories 111kcal
Servings 6
Author: Matt Ivan
Did you know? Servings and ingredient amounts can be adjusted on all my recipes. Click the green number above to change.


  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound peeled, deveined shrimp
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large red or orange bell peppers, cubed
  • 1 cup pre-seasoned Spanish-style rice, uncooked
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 medium lime
  • Fresh chopped chives


  • Heat 1-tablespoon olive oil in a large non-stick pan to medium-high heat. Add shrimp and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, until opaque. Remove from pan, reserving any excess liquid, set aside.
  • Heat remaining olive oil in same pan. Add garlic, onion and bell pepper. Saute 5-7 minutes, until slightly tender. Stir
  • Stir in rice, canned diced tomato, and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat.
  • Simmer 15 minutes covered, until rice is cooked and liquid has soaked up.
  • Stir in cooked shrimp and garnish with fresh squeezed lime juice and chives before serving.


Look for pre-seasoned Spanish-style rice in the rice section of your local grocery store. It's usually available in small pouches.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Shortcut Shrimp Paella
Amount Per Serving
Calories 111 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 204mg9%
Potassium 332mg9%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 1500IU30%
Vitamin C 65.6mg80%
Calcium 39mg4%
Iron 1.1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Entrees and Dinner Recipes | Gluten-Free Recipes | Recipes | Seafood Recipes

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