Shrimp Paella with saffron Rice

Shrimp Paella

Shrimp Paella, a traditional Spanish rice dish that is quick and easy to make! If you don’t have shrimp, use chicken, sausage, or any other seafood!

During the summer of 2018, my daughter spent the summer in Ciutadella, Menorca for an Archaeological Field School. They were excavating a 6th-century Roman city and they found some amazing stuff!

My daughter specifically loves BioArcheology so she studies the bones and teeth. Dating their finds, identifying the age and sex and origin are the things that she loves to do. And there was no shortage of discoveries during this dig!

If things had been a bit different when I was younger, I would have loved to be an Archeologist/Anthropologist. History and cultures and how societies were shaped and worked have always fascinated me! But I went a different route so I live vicariously through my daughter.

When she returned from Field School, she was in love with all things Minorcan. Patatas Bravas, Paella, and Pomada were at the top of her list.

BTW – Pomada is an amazing and refreshing gin cocktail. It is made with 1 part gin, 3 parts lemonade, ice, and a few basil leaves poured over ice. Haley brought back a local gin from Ciutadella but you can use any brand! Make this cocktail with your Paella! You won’t be sorry!

Do you NEED a Paella Pan??

The more Haley talked about how amazing the food was in Spain, the more I wanted to make it.

Well, actually, I wanted to hop on a plane and go there myself but, you know, life gets in the way.

Maybe I should change my blog to be a Food AND TRAVEL blog so that I can travel full time!

Another dream for another day…

Any way, paella went to the top of my list to make and, of course, I decided that I should have a REAL Paella pan. Santa left one under the tree for me so it was time to make paella!

You don’t really need a traditional Paella pan to make this though. Any large skillet will work. But you do want to make sure that it is large!

Shrimp Paella is one of those dishes where everything is cooked in one pan and then that pan is set on the table for family-style serving. So a large pan is a must!

The best part of Shrimp Paella is the crusty bits!

The best part of paella in most people’s opinions is the crusty, browned rice at the bottom of the pan so serving in the same pan that it is cooked is imperative.

In order to form the crusty bits, the recipe below says to turn the heat up at the end of cooking when you add the shrimp. Make sure that you DO NOT stir the rice at this point or after or you won’t get those crispy bits!

What is Saffron Simple Syrup?

I have been lucky enough to work with an amazing company out of Maine called Royal Rose Syrups.

Their line of simple syrups is so impressive that I honestly couldn’t choose one or two to get started creating recipes with them!

This is what convinced me that I needed ALL of their syrups – ” Royal Rose craft certified organic, Maine made simple syrups and drink mixes capture flavor straight from the farm! By using whole ingredients, and no preservatives or artificial flavors, each syrup makes for an incredibly rich experience.” –From the Royal Rose Syrups website

You can get 25% off for Mother’s Day if you order by May 15th! Use this link:

Celebrate Mother’s Day with 25% Off Floral & Berry Flavored Syrups with code BerryFloral25. (Valid 5/1/20 – 5/15/20)

I just knew that I wanted to work with these organic syrups. They are available all over the country in stores and they are adding retailers all the time! Check their website for a list of retailers!

If they are not in stores near you, have no fear! They will ship them to you! I seriously want ALL OF THEM!

I mean, Barrel Rested Maple Syrup, Orange Vanilla, Hot Toddy, Saffron!!! And the list goes on and on!

I got started with four of them and will be acquiring more as soon as I have more room in my fridge!

These simple syrups can be used in cocktails and mocktails. But I am, first and foremost, a baker. So I worked each of the syrups into several recipes that I will be sharing over the next month or so.

Royal Rose Syrups – Handcrafted in Maine, One Batch at a Time.

**There are affiliate links in this post. I may earn a small commission if you purchase from these links at no additional cost to you.**

First up…PAELLA!

Shrimp Paella with saffron rice

OK, simple syrup may not be typical in paella but hear me out.

I tend to have a bit of a heavy hand with the spices. I LOVE HOT! HOT! HOT!

And what is better than a hot and spicy meal?? One with a bit of a sweet contrast to the spice!

I originally added the Saffron Simple Syrup to some baked goods. But when I was making this paella, I realized that I didn’t have any saffron threads.

And, let’s face it, saffron is not cheap so most people don’t keep it on hand.

The Saffron Simple Syrup from Royal Rose Syrups is so inexpensive but so full of flavor, it was the perfect addition here!

I got a little sweetness, a lot of heat, and plenty of saffron flavor!

If you need other ideas for dinner, check out these recipes!

I am all about easy, one-pan dinners and these are sure to satisfy! Paella traditionally has fish in it, sometimes many kinds of fish all cooked in this one pan. If you don’t have shrimp or fish, you can use chicken (any part) or sausage. Both would go well with the rice and the spice!

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Shrimp Paella

Recipe by Tanya Ott


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 teaspoons Saffron Simple Syrup from Royal Rose

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon ground smoked paprika

  • Dash of ground cayenne

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 1/2 cups arborio rice

  • 7 cups chicken stock

  • 1 1/2 cups green beans

  • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail on


  • In a medium bowl, soak the rice for 20 to 30 minutes. When ready to cook the paella, drain the rice in a mesh strainer.
  • In a paella pan or other very large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until very hot. Add the onion and peppers and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 1 more minute.
  • Add all of the spicesand stir into the peppers and onions and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring.
  • Add the drained rice and green beans and stir for 2 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock and stir into the rice. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until rice is almost tender (this may vary with the type of rice that you use).
  • Uncover and add the shrimp on top of the rice. Do not stir the rice after the first 10 minutes of cooking. The best part of paella is the crispy bits of rice that forms on the pan!
  • Recover and turn up to medium or medium-high. Cook until the shrimp is done, about 6 minutes if the pan is tightly covered.


  • **You can choose to cook your shrimp about halfway in a seperate pan prior to adding it to the paella. This can speed the cooking process and also ensure that the shrimp is cooked properly.

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One Comment

  1. Those syrups are calling my name…..

    beautiful paella, I do have a very small paella dish that a friend from Spain gave me 10 years ago – I used it three times… proving there is somethng seriously wrong with me

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