Gluten Free Seafood Paella

Today I’m making Paella, the amazing Valencian rice dish infused with aromatic saffron.  There are several variations of Paella, that may include chicken, pork, or seafood.  It can also be made vegetarian, or a blend of the above.

This paella is all about the seafood.  I used shrimp and scallops from my freezer pantry and fresh mussels that I purchased the same day.  I did add a link of Andouille sausage, because I love the heat it brings to this recipe.

You don’t need a paella pan to make this dish.  A large, nonstick skillet with a cover works just as well.  You can find reasonably priced pans on Amazon (like THIS ONE) that will get the job done.  If you don’t have a universal lid, you will want to get a pan with a lid.

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  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2-1/2 cups gluten free chicken stock, room temperature
  • big pinch of saffron
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • ——————————————–
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1 link gluten free Andouille sausage, cut into thin coins
  • sprinkle of paprika
  • ——————————————–
  • 8 large raw shrimp, defrosted
  • 8 large sea scallops, defrosted
  • 1 lb. mussels, scrubbed and rinsed
  • fresh Italian parsley for garnish


Rinse the mussels thoroughly under cool water.  Discard any that are cracked or remain open after rinsing.  Defrost the shrimp and scallops.  Peel and devein the shrimp.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet.  Stir in the shallots and cook gently for 1 minute.

Add the rice, stirring to coat with the oil and butter.  After 30 seconds add 1/2 cup of white wine.

Stir constantly, allowing the wine to evaporate.  When most of the liquid has been absorbed, begin adding the chicken broth 1/2 cup at a time.  With the first addition of broth, add the saffron, bay leaves, thyme and turmeric.

Continue adding the chicken broth 1/2 cup at a time.  Stir frequently, and when most of the liquid has been absorbed add the next 1/2 cup.

After 20 minutes the rice should be nearly done.  Add the garlic, Andouille sausage, and all of the veggies.  Sprinkle with paprika and cook for 5-10 minutes.

Don’t add broth after this point, as the veggies and seafood will release their own liquid.

Add the shrimp and scallops at the very end of the cook time, when the rice is done, and veggies are tender.

Stir together and cook for one minute, then add all of the mussels.  Cover and cook for 6 minutes or until the mussels open.

(Important: If any mussels do not open, discard them).

To serve, ladle the paella into wide bowls and garnish with parsley.

Notes ♪♫ Saffron is considered the most important spice in a traditional paella.  It gives the rice a beautiful golden color and distinctive flavor.  Although expensive, I always keep some on hand and use it sparingly in recipes like this one.  If you are looking for a more budget friendly alternative, try using turmeric instead of, or in addition to the saffron as I’ve done in this recipe.


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Paella is a restaurant favorite of mine.  The blend of color, flavor and aroma in this Valencian rice dish is wonderful!  You may be thinking it would be difficult to recreate this magnificent meal at home, but it really isn’t.

Today I made Paella for the first time since my Celiac diagnosis, almost 3 years ago!  Afterward I thought, what have I been waiting for?  Most of the ingredients are naturally gluten free!  Follow my step by step instructions and serve this up for your family tonight.  You do not need a paella pan, a large nonstick skillet will do the trick!  The most time consuming part of this meal is the prep.  Once you start cooking it will come together in about 30 minutes.

4 servings


  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 32 oz. carton gluten free, low sodium chicken broth
  • salt
  • red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • paprika
  • big pinch of saffron
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 oz. gluten free Andouille sausage, sliced into coins
  • 6 oz. chicken breast, sliced into thin medallions
  • 1 cup baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 cup zucchini
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 8 jumbo shrimp
  • 15 small to medium clams
  • butter
  • 2 tbsp. scallions (for garnish)


Mise en place is a French culinary phrase which means “putting in place” or “everything in its place”.  This simple process of gathering and arranging ingredients, cookware and tools before you begin is the secret to preparing recipes like Paella.  So line up your pantry ingredients, dice the veggies, slice the meat and clean the fish before you start cooking!

The rice goes in first, to allow for the necessary cook time.  Add butter and oil to a large nonstick skillet (mine is 14″) over medium low heat.  Brush or swirl it around to coat.

Add the rice, bay leaf, thyme, garlic and pinch of red pepper flakes.  Stir to coat the rice with butter then add 1/2 cup of white wine.  Stir frequently until the wine is almost evaporated.

Begin ladling in the chicken broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly.  Add a big pinch of saffron with the first ladle of broth.  Saffron is a key ingredient in Paella and will give the rice a rich flavor and golden color.

As each ladle of broth is almost absorbed, add another.  Continue doing this for about 20-25 minutes, then begin adding the other ingredients, one at a time.  First the Andouille sausage, followed by the chicken.

Next comes the zucchini, onion, pepper, and mushrooms and cook for 5-10 minutes.  Be careful not to add too much broth from this point, as the vegetables and fish will release their own liquid.

The shrimp and clams will go in last as they will only take about 6 minutes to cook.

Toss the shrimp with the rice and veggies then nestle in the clams.  Immediately close the cover and cook for about 6 minutes, or until the clams have opened (clams that don’t open should be discarded).

Finish with a pat or two of butter and don’t forget to pull out the bay leaves!

Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with scallions and more paprika.  This 5-star dinner will be a hit with the whole family, if you need to make a delicious gluten free meal that everyone will enjoy this is the one!

Notes: ♪♫  For best results, make sure your chicken broth is warm or at room temperature.  As you add each ladle of broth to the pan, you want it to heat up quickly so that the rice continues to cook evenly.  Tip, always start with a new carton of room temperature chicken broth, you won’t need the whole thing and leftovers can be saved for another recipe.


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