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Vegan Paella: Spanish-Inspired Rice

1 hr


This recipe is our take on one of Spain's most famous dishes, the Paella. Paella is often served with some type of meat or seafood, so to keep it plant-based we've added peas as the protein source.



1 hr


20 min


40 min

Free from

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tree nut

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  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL)
    olive oil
  • 1
    medium onion, chopped
  • 2
    cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp (6 g)
  • ½ tsp
    ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp (1 g)
    dried thyme
  • ½ tsp
    ground cumin
  • ½ tsp
    dried oregano
  • ½ tsp
    cayenne pepper
  • 2
    medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1
    red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1½ cups (300 g)
  • 4 cups (960 mL)
    boiling water
  • 2
    vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 1 pinch
    saffron threads (optional, but recommended)
  • 1 cup (138 g)
    frozen green peas
  • 1½ cups (262 g)
    marinated artichoke hearts, chopped

Optional garnish

  • lemon slice


  1. Add the oil to a large pan* or paella pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook this for 3 minutes.
  2. Then add the spices. Stir for 30 - 60 seconds to toast.
  3. Add in the tomatoes and bell pepper (reserving a few slices for garnish, if desired). Cook for 2 - 3 minutes.
  4. Then, add the paella rice, toasting this for 1 - 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. In a large jug, mix the boiling water and bouillon so that the cubes dissolve**.
  6. Add the liquid and saffron to the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer and cook uncovered for 20 - 30 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Avoid stirring the rice while it cooks.
  7. When the liquid has been absorbed by the rice, taste-test. Try the rice on the outer-most part of the pan as this is the rice that cooks last given it's furthest from the heat source. If the rice is firm but tender, it's ready. Otherwise, add a splash of boiling water or hot stock, and continue to cook until tender.
  8. When the rice is cooked, add the peas and half of the artichokes. Gently stir it in, then add the remaining artichokes on top, along with the reserved bell pepper slices.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat, cover with a lid, and let the paella rest for 10 minutes. Do not skip this step, as it makes all the difference in the taste and texture of the rice.
  10. Remove the lid, garnish, and enjoy!


  • * Try to use a pan that has a large cooking surface on the bottom, so that the rice cooks evenly throughout. A wok-shaped pan, for example, may result in cooked rice in the centre of the pan, but uncooked rice around the perimeter of the pan.
  • ** The water and bouillon cubes can be swapped for vegetable stock if desired. Simply add more salt to taste.


Let us know what you think

Plate method

The Plate Method is a visual tool that helps us ensure our dietary needs are on track. Touch the image below to see how this recipe measures up.

Grains & Starches 36%

uncooked Spanish paella rice

Proteins 12%

frozen green peas

Fruits & Veggies 52%

medium onion

clove garlic

medium tomato

red bell pepper

marinated artichoke hearts

No significant sources of calcium

olive oil

Nutrition info

We believe that focusing on numbers can harm our relationship with food. Instead, our philosophy is to Nourish the Cells & the Soul. If you require specific nutrition information due to a medical condition, please consult with a dietitian or physician. The nutritional information provided is composed with the utmost care. However, we cannot guarantee the correctness of the displayed values, see also our disclaimer.

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Discussion & Rating

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Jo Sandham - Jan. 31, 2024, 12:52 p.m.

Made this a few nights ago, amazing! Just make sure you have a non stick pan as my rice took 35 to cook so it was a little stick to the pan.

Rae - Jan. 23, 2024, 9:39 p.m.

Can you replace paella rice with brown rice?

PUL Team - Jan. 23, 2024, 10:45 p.m.

Hey there, Rae, we imagine you could but brown rice typically needs more time and liquid to cook, so be sure to monitor and adjust as needed for the desired texture. We hope you enjoy the Vegan Paella if you give it a try! 😊

Cora - Dec. 11, 2023, 2:04 p.m.

This is my go to masterpiece recipe! A few years ago I cooked it for my boyfriend's dad who is a big meat eater and he had 3 servings !!

PUL Team - Dec. 12, 2023, 2:48 a.m.

We're so happy that the Vegan Paella was enjoyed, Cora! 😃

Steven Visser - Nov. 2, 2023, 5:37 p.m.

Made it many times already, love it! I usually eat with some mint chutney.

CarrollCooksPlants - Oct. 29, 2023, 11:46 p.m.

This is a staple in our house. Whenever someone asks for my best “plant based meal” this is what I cook. Thank you for an awesome recipe

Teresa Santos - Aug. 15, 2023, 6:59 p.m.

Amazing 😍😍

Monique Eyssautier - Aug. 5, 2023, 10 p.m.

O just LOVE this recipe!
Being a vegetarian all my life: it’s my first paella! I never thought I would ever taste it.
Thanks a bunch.
It is great for family reunions 👍🏻

PUL Team - Aug. 6, 2023, 10 a.m.

Thank you for making it, Monique, so glad it was enjoyed :D

kirst - July 12, 2023, 9:28 p.m.

Really tasty recipe will be making it again

Rebecca A - July 12, 2023, 5:26 p.m.

Delicious! Very easy to make, light, fresh and it's packed with flavor!
We enjoyed it both hot and cold.

Sarah - June 29, 2023, 9:11 a.m.

Mandie - June 15, 2023, 7:19 p.m.

This dish stays one of my favourites!

Tina - June 9, 2023, 11:29 p.m.

Love it (I did exchange a few ingredient whit leftovers and it still turned out really good) . Thanks for the recipie.

PUL Team - June 10, 2023, 4:48 p.m.

Love using up leftovers 🤗 thank you, Tina!

kaylin - April 30, 2023, 10:02 p.m.

this is absoluely amazing. so flavorful its crazy

Sabrina - Jan. 23, 2023, 8:55 p.m.

great recipe

Julia - Dec. 13, 2022, 11:02 a.m.

So delicious. My go to meal!

Vanja - Oct. 20, 2022, 4:06 p.m.

Mhmm, yum! This was one of the best thing I've had in a while. Everything tastes so good together and I'm already ready for tomorrow’s lunch as I have some leftovers 🥰 Thank you so much for this recipe!

PUL Team - Oct. 21, 2022, 5:21 a.m.

Such a big compliment, Vanja! Enjoy the leftovers 💛

Vanja - Oct. 21, 2022, 11:32 a.m.

Thank you so much! 🥺🤍

Kyle - Sept. 19, 2022, 11:24 p.m.

We love this recipe! We double everything except the rice and garlic which we extend to 2 cups of rice and 6-12 cloves of garlic. We also add our saffron about halfway through the rice cooking.

It's great any time of the year, and is really great for a lazy mealprep for the weekend.

All of the Pick Up Limes recipies we have tried have been awesome. Whenever we feel like we want to try a new recipe, this is the first place we look!

PUL Team - Sept. 20, 2022, 2:22 a.m.

Mmm a lovely idea to double it, Kyle, and thank you for the glowing review! It means so much 😊

Amy - July 17, 2022, 4:43 p.m.

Loved it! Made it for dinner for my family who all said it was amazing too. Thank you!! 💚

PUL Team - July 18, 2022, 5:36 p.m.

We're so glad it was enjoyed! Thank you, Amy 🙂

Roy - June 28, 2022, 8:03 p.m.

Great recipe, in my experience it could do with a bit less liquid but your mileage may vary :)

PUL Team - June 29, 2022, 1:57 a.m.

Hey Roy, thanks for sharing your experience with it! Sometimes different brands of paella rice may recommend alternative liquid ratios so we'd recommend following package instructions if desired. So glad it was still enjoyed 🙂

Debby S - June 11, 2022, 8:22 p.m.

Now I have done this recipe for the second time and I love it! My friends also enjoyed it very much.
The second time I also added Jackfruit after reading it in the comments below. That also matched to the dish.

Thank you for your great recipes and tips, Sadia! And also thank you to the whole team for your work! :) I learn a lot through you and get motivated trying out new things and eating healthy. :D

PUL Team - June 15, 2022, 4:08 a.m.

Mmm yum we're excited to try it with jackfruit! We're incredibly grateful for the support and that you've taken the time to share the kind words, Debby 🤗

Joanne - June 10, 2022, 1:13 p.m.


Melanie - May 27, 2022, 7:49 p.m.

This paella dish is always a huge hit with people I cook for. :)

PUL Team - May 28, 2022, 10:43 p.m.

So happy to hear! Thank you, Melanie 🙂

Leona van Koppen - Jan. 10, 2022, 6:43 p.m.

This is the one of the best vegan receipes I know, everyone I made it for loved it. I always use 2 times the veggies because me and my friends are like that. It is such a nicely balanced meal!

PUL Team - Jan. 12, 2022, 2:39 a.m.

This is a massive compliment, Leona van Koppen! It means so much ☺️

Cara - Dec. 5, 2021, 6:05 a.m.

I've made this at least once a month since I first found the recipe over a year ago. Definitely a favourite!

PUL Team - Dec. 5, 2021, 5:45 p.m.

Aw this means so much, Cara, thanks for the kind words!

kaylin - Nov. 1, 2021, 9:24 p.m.

THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE. what amazing flavors! Can't wait to eat it for the next few days.

PUL Team - Nov. 4, 2021, 2:46 a.m.

Woohoo! We're so happy to hear, Kaylin 😊

Jasmina - Sept. 20, 2021, 10:02 p.m.

Best version of vegan paella! I tried also with jackfruit,it's even better!

Sheri - Sept. 14, 2021, 1:14 a.m.

Love it! Have made it many times!

Erin - Aug. 18, 2021, 12:37 a.m.

This is one of our favorite recipes. The spices make it so flavorful and it's a one pan meal! I love that you can also sub in different veggies so it's easy to make with whatever you have on hand.

PUL Team - Aug. 18, 2021, 12:43 a.m.

We're so thrilled you're enjoying the recipe, Erin! It's one of our favourites to try different veggies in :)

Victoria - Aug. 9, 2021, 6:48 a.m.

Amazing! Definitely use the amount of salt the recipe calls for. I also marinated my own canned artichokes with some salt, black pepper, olive oil, and some herbs -- the marinated artichokes were my favorite part! I also threw in some kalamata olives as well.

PUL Team - Aug. 10, 2021, 2:42 a.m.

Mmm sounds so yummy, Victoria, thanks for sharing!

Katherine Vorster - July 25, 2021, 7:03 p.m.

We regularly make this dish. It is an absolute winner, full of fresh vibrant flavours that just pop in your mouth!

Guna - July 24, 2021, 6:55 p.m.

This is absolutely amazing, been my go to over a year now, mushrooms work great here too:)
Perfect to divide in portions and freeze as well!

Sonia - July 22, 2021, 6:42 p.m.

This vegan paella is absolutely amazing! Really.. We got addicted a bit. After we made it for the first time, we made it every week for a few months and it just stayed so comforting and tasty. Both for dinner and lunch. I love the spices, and the artichokes work really well. We accidently used risotto rice (is there a difference?) but that worked great as well. I really recommend this recipe! Thank you for this one :)

PUL Team - July 23, 2021, 2:46 a.m.

Thank you, Sonia, we're so happy the paella was enjoyed! Risotto rice tends to be creamier but we're so glad it worked out 😃

Charlotte - July 22, 2021, 3:06 p.m.

If you had asked me what to include in a vegan paella to make it taste amazing, I wouldn't have thought about artichokes, but they work so well alongside all the spices and the texture of the paella rice. I love how paella can be left to cook slowly by itself and this recipe looks so beautiful when it all comes together. ❤ Thank you for making vegan paella delicious!!

PUL Team - July 23, 2021, 2:30 a.m.

We're so glad you enjoyed the paella, Charlotte, thank you for the very kind words!

Katrien - July 16, 2021, 7:09 p.m.

This recipe is amazing! Really simple to make, but everyone loves it... even my non-vegan family :).
(It tastes even better on the barbecue)

PUL Team - July 18, 2021, 2:25 a.m.

Appreciate the tip and review, Katrien!

lucy - July 11, 2021, 5:37 p.m.

this was so flavorful and comforting!! dreaming of making it again 🤎

Laura - July 10, 2021, 7:50 p.m.

I have made this multiple times and it has always turned out great. It's super simple, yet feels fancy enough to count as a special dinner...a perfect dish to cook for friends or family. I love your videos and recipes so much!

PUL Team - July 16, 2021, 3:54 a.m.

Oh so lovely, Laura, thanks for sharing your review with us :)

Iris - July 9, 2021, 7:44 p.m.

I am IN LOVE with this dish. I usually double the spices and the vegetables, because we like spiced-up food ;) but even as is it's pretty delicious. Definitely the best meat/fish-free paella I've ever had/made!

PUL Team - July 15, 2021, 3:04 a.m.

A massive compliment, Iris! We appreciate the review so much more than we can describe 🤗

Lotte - July 8, 2021, 8:46 p.m.

Ik heb laatst je paella voor het eerst gemaakt, en mijn half Spaanse vriend zei: het ruikt zoals bij mijn oma als ze paella maakt. Een mooi compliment! Het was heerlijk.

Milica - July 7, 2021, 8:59 a.m.

Is there anything I can switch with artichokes? I am not really fan of them.
BTW I love your recipes. For a newbie vegan they are so simple and tasty!!! I have tried couple of them and loved each one of them.

PUL Team - July 8, 2021, 7:06 a.m.

Hi, Milica! Feel free to substitute the artichokes with another vegetable you enjoy eating. Some ideas may include asparagus, mushrooms, celery, Brussels Sprouts or more bell peppers 🙂 We hope you love the recipe!

Cris S - June 5, 2021, 4 p.m.

Love this! Oh, those artichokes! :D

Rachel - May 19, 2021, 6:49 a.m.

Hello PUL! Love your website and your recipes. I would love to make this recipe, looks so good! However I was put on a low FODMAP diet recently and unfortunately can not eat onions or garlic! Do you have a suggestion on a replacement so the dish is not compromised?

PUL Team - May 22, 2021, 7:36 p.m.

Hey there, Rachel! We'd recommend using garlic-infused olive oil to help add the garlic flavour without the added fructans for a garlic substitute. Using chives or adding the top green part of green onions can be added at the end of cooking to help mimic the onion if you enjoy those 😃

Hannah - May 14, 2021, 4:07 a.m.

This was so delicious! Can’t wait to make it again!

Delia - April 22, 2021, 10:17 p.m.

Hi Sadia,

I just made this recipe and we loved it here.

I would like to know how much is the right amount of rice/paella for one serving? Sometimes I am not sure how much rice I should eat when that is the whole meal.

Thank you.

PUL Team - April 24, 2021, 3:10 a.m.

Hey Delia! That's a great question. How much the "right amount" is really varies from person to person. For some of us, it may even change from day to day. For example, sometimes our appetite might be more if we've had a more active day or less for other reasons! For this paella, we've approximated a serving to be around 1/4 of the recipe. Feel free to enjoy more or less based on your hunger though 🌻

Adrienn - April 14, 2021, 10:06 a.m.

Absolutely delicious. I have cooked it more than 3 times in a row.
Super easy mid-week wonder.
I love your website it is a Bible for me on my vegan journey.

PUL Team - April 16, 2021, 6:48 p.m.

We are so thrilled that you're enjoying the recipe, Adrienn! Thank YOU for letting PUL be part of your journey 🤩