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Seafood paella in a cast iron pan

Easy Seafood Paella Recipe


Easy saffron-infused seafood paella recipe with lobster and shrimp! No need for a special paella pan, a large sturdy skillet like cast iron will work well. Be sure to see the tips for best results. Watch the video and step-by-step tutorial above.


  • 4 small lobster tails (6-12 oz each)
  • Water
  • 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I used Private Reserve)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups Spanish rice or medium-grain rice, soaked in water for 20 minutes and then drained
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 large pinches of Spanish saffron threads soaked in 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp Sweet Spanish paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chile pepper flakes (I used aleppo pepper)
  • Salt
  • 2 large Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 6 oz French green beans, trimmed
  • 1 lb prawns or large shrimp or your choice, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. In a large pot, bring 3 cups of water to a rolling boil. Add the lobster tails and let boil very briefly (1-2 minutes) until pink. Turn the heat off. Remove the lobster tails with a pair of tongs. Do not discard the lobster cooking water. When the lobster is cool enough to handle, remove the shell and cut into large chunks.
  2. In a large deep pan or cast iron skillet, heat 3 tbsp olive oil. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the chopped onions. Saute the onions for 2 minutes then add the rice, and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring regularly. Now add the chopped garlic and the lobster cooking water. Stir in the saffron and it's soaking liquid, paprika, cayenne pepper, aleppo pepper, and salt. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and green beans. Bring to a boil and let the liquid slightly reduce, then cover (with lid or tightly with foil) and cook on low heat for 20 minutes.
  3. Uncover and spread the shrimp over the rice, pushing it into the rice slightly. Add a little water if needed. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes or until the shrimp turns pink. Finally, add the cooked lobster chunks. When the lobster is warmed through, turn heat off. Garnish with parsley.
  4. Serve the paella hot with your favorite white wine.


  • Pro-Tip: Depending on the kind of rice you use, you may or not need to soak it in water before cooking. I have found that soaking rice in water for 15 minutes or so (until you are able to easily break a grain of rice between your thumb and index finger) helps speed the cooking process. When you do this, you naturally use less cooking water. The rice cooks evenly and more quickly.
  • Pro-Tip: In some paella recipes, you are almost "forbidden" from stirring the rice early in the cooking process. But it worked best for me this way. Grateful to Bobby Flay for this tip.
  • To add Chorizo: dried Spanish chorizo makes a good addition. Slice it into thin half-moons and once you've sauteed the onions (step #2), add the chorizo and give it a quick cook until it crisps a little, then continue on with the recipe.
  • To add shellfish such as clams or mussels: nestle well-cleaned clams or mussels into the rice at the same time you add the shrimp (step #3), making sure the hinge sides are up so they release juices into the rice. Cover and cook until clams and mussels are open and shrimp turns pink.
  • To add fish: I've been asked if adding fish fillets is an option. If you're going for a thinner white fish like sole fillet, you can cut it up into pieces and add it at the same time you add the shrimp (step #3). Make sure you give the fish a little seasoning. Again, you'll cover and cook a few minutes until shrimp turns pink and your fish is nice and flaky.
  • Visit Our Shop to browse quality ingredients including olive oils and spices used in this recipe.
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean/Spanish

Keywords: Paella, Seafood Paella, Easy Paella Recipe


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