A simple vegan paella made with quinoa which I made in the Dutch Oven and it is sooo good! The recipe takes very little effort to make with only a few ingredients.
Disclaimer: Swiss Diamond Sent me a free Dutch Oven in exchange for this post. No financial compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.
Have you been to Spain and seen an authentic paella being made?
If you have or if you are one of those people, you have my complete respect and admiration!
I have always wanted to see paella being made in Spain, especially for a crowd. Its one of my top 5 food bucket list.
Until I have a chance to go to Spain and be a part of the authentic paella making process, I figured I would try my own version of the recipe.
Being a non-meat eater, I can never taste the authentic Spanish paella, but, I would love to see it being made. Watching YouTube videos doesn’t do the process any justice.
Instead of using rice, I went with quinoa in this vegan paella. Its not authentic paella because it requires rice. However, I think quinoa would be perfect substitute.
What is Paella?
– Paella translates to “Pan” which is derived from an old French term for “Paelle”.
– Paella comes from the Spanish region of Valencia.
– Its normally cooked in large caldrons in an open air setting using pine cones as fire fuel
– Paella has been modified and experimented by chefs all around the world which has caused somewhat of a controversy
Traditional Ingredients in a Paella
When Valencians’ make Paella, they go for the very authentic method of cooking it and that includes:
– White wine
– Onions, Bell peppers and Sofrito
– Smoked Paprika
Tips for making this Vegan Paella
I made this paella stove top but it would be perfect to make in the oven too. Add your ingredients into the Dutch Oven and place it in a 400° oven. It should take about 20 minutes to cook inside the oven.
In my recipe, I used a medley of colorful quinoa. However, in hindsight, that was not a good idea. For best results, use white quinoa because the saffron color will really stand out. If you don’t have it, you can also use brown quinoa or sprouted quinoa
The quinoa will get a little crusty or toasted. That is supposed to happen because the traditional paella always has a crusty bottom of rice. In fact, many chefs pride themselves in getting the perfectly toasted bottom rice.
Keep the heat at an even temperature when cooking on top of the stove. This will make the vegan paella will cook evenly
To reheat it in the dutch oven, mix a little warm water with sugar in it. Then add this sugar water to the vegan quinoa in the pan and heat on medium for about 10 minutes
Vegan Paella Ingredients
– Quinoa (or any short grain rice)
– Red Bell Peppers
– Smoked Paprika
– Spanish Olives
Why make paella in the Dutch Oven
The Dutch oven knows how to cook paella! It cooks every molecule of each ingredient to the perfect softness. You won’t make paella any other way after you make it in the Dutch oven.
It’s also very hands-free way of making the paella. It’s as simple as putting the ingredients in the Dutch oven and let it cook itself in a regular oven. Your quinoa is going to be so light and fluffy!
How To Make Vegan Paella
For the Paella
- 5 strands Saffron
- 2 Tbsp Water Warm, To soak the saffron
- 1.5 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 cup Quinoa
- 1.5 cup Peas If using frozen, do not thaw
- 1 Red Bell Pepper Finely chopped
- 1/4 Red Onion roughly chopped
- 2 Plum Tomato chopped
- 1/4 cup Artichoke Hearts Roughly chopped
- 2 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Smoked Paprika Adjust to your taste
- 1.5 tsp Cumin Powder
- 4 cup Water
For the Garnish
- 1/2 cup Spanish Olives
- 1/4 cup Pepitas AKA Pumpkin Seeds
- 2 Tbsp Artichoke Hearts Roughly Chopped
- Curly Parsley Finely Diced
- 1 Red Chili Pepper Diced in rounds, Optional
To make the Paella
- Soak the saffron strands in the warm water and set aside
- Place the dutch oven on top of the stove and warm it for about 1 minute
- Coat the inside bottom of the dutch oven with the oil
- Add the quinoa, bell pepper, onions, tomato, artichoke hearts and peas to the pan
- Mix in the saffron water
- Gently add the 4 cups of water to the pan
- Add the salt, paprika and cumin water
- Mix well and close the lid
- Let it cook on low-to-medium heat for 21 minutes
- If all the water hasn’t evaporated, cook uncovered for another 4 minutes max
- Turn off heat and close the lid. Let it stand for about 5 minutes
- Garnish and serve