Easy Vegan Paella (1 Pan!)

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Skillet of our easy vegan paella topped with tofu chorizo sausage

If you think paella is too difficult to make, think again! This one pan wonder is surprisingly approachable, incredibly flavorful, and customizable based on taste and season. We couldn’t help but add some vegan chorizo (check out our recent recipe here) for even more substance. Let us show you how it’s done!

Cherry tomatoes, onion, smoked paprika, saffron, green peas, lemon, artichoke hearts, olive oil, red bell pepper, arborio rice, and vegetable broth

What is Paella?

Paella is a rice-based dish originating in Valencia, Spain. The word paella means “frying pan,” and the dish is traditionally made in a shallow, wide pan with handles on the sides, sometimes also called a paellera.

Paella typically includes rice, saffron (which gives it a yellow color), meat or seafood, broth, and spices. It’s traditionally simmered over an open flame where it develops a crispy crust called socarrat.

Our version is not traditional but is our plant-based take on this delicious Valencian dish. You can find a more traditional (not vegan) paella recipe here from Spain on a Fork.

Pouring vegetable broth over arborio rice, onions, red bell pepper, and seasonings

How to Make Vegan Paella

This recipe starts with combining saffron threads and lemon juice. This brings out the flavor and vibrant red-yellow color of the saffron to get the most use out of it. It’s an expensive spice (because it’s a flower that blooms only one week per year), but it’s essential to paella and has a unique, slightly sweet, and fragrant flavor.

Next, we sauté the onion, red bell pepper, and garlic for a naturally sweet, savory base. Smoked paprika adds a smoky component and sea salt infuses the dish with flavor.

Vegetable broth poured over arborio rice and seasonings

Paella is traditionally made with short-grain round rice, which is considered the best variety for paella because of its low starch content (source). Since it’s not easily available in our area, we used arborio rice, a medium-grain rice that seems to hold up well. Long-grain rices such as basmati and jasmine will be more prone to getting mushy.

Since vegan paella can easily become a rice-heavy dish, we packed this recipe with veggies. Marinated artichoke hearts contribute a salty, brine-y element, cherry tomatoes add sweetness, and frozen peas help it feel more substantial and perfect for spring!

Stirring cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and green peas into a skillet of vegan paella

To finish it off, we included an optional topping of our Easy Vegan Chorizo. It adds extra protein and pairs beautifully with the flavors in this paella.

Pan of vegan paella topped with lemon wedges

We hope you LOVE this vegan paella! It’s:

& Comforting!

It’s a weeknight-friendly, crowd-pleasing entrée. While plenty filling and veggie-packed on its own, it would also pair nicely with our Easy Traditional White Sangria, Romesco Soup with Smashed Chickpeas, Perfect Roasted Asparagus, and/or a Simple Green Salad.

More Comforting Rice-Based Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Bowl of vegan paella with tofu chorizo

Easy Vegan Paella (1 Pan!)

Easy vegan paella that’s packed with seasonal vegetables and so flavorful! Comforting, naturally gluten-free, and perfect for weeknight meals or meal prep. Just 1 pan required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Pan of our vegan paella recipe
4.90 from 38 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 (Servings)
Course Entrée
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Spanish-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 4 Days


  • 1/2 tsp saffron
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (if oil-free, sub vegetable broth)
  • 1 ½ cups diced yellow onion (~1 medium onion as recipe is written)
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper (~1 medium pepper as recipe is written)
  • 3 Tbsp minced garlic (~6 cloves garlic as recipe is written)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup quartered, marinated artichoke hearts, marinade reserved (~12-ounce jar as recipe is written)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup frozen peas

FOR SERVING optional


  • In a small bowl, combine the saffron with the lemon juice to bloom the saffron. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet or paella pan — at least 12 inches in diameter — heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, red bell pepper, and garlic, and sauté until softened — about 5 minutes. Add paprika and salt and toss.
  • Add the rice and stir to coat and lightly toast the grains — about 2 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and the saffron and lemon juice. Stir well to evenly distribute ingredients.
  • Bring broth to a boil. Once boiling, immediately reduce the heat to low. Cover, set a timer for 20 minutes, and simmer for 20 minutes undisturbed, or until the grains are tender and the liquid is fully absorbed.
  • While the rice cooks, cook vegan chorizo (if including).
  • CHORIZO: If serving with optional vegan chorizo, prepare it while the rice cooks. Heat a 10-inch nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add a thin layer of avocado oil and as much vegan chorizo as will comfortably fit in a single layer in the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes, undisturbed. It should sizzle and pop a bit — if it’s not, turn up the heat a little. Once nicely browned on the bottom, use a spatula to flip as evenly as possible to brown the other side for another 3 minutes. Break it up slightly and toss to evenly brown all sides — ~2 minutes. Repeat with any remaining chorizo and set cooked chorizo aside.
  • Test the rice after 20 minutes to ensure it’s cooked. If it needs more time, add 1/2 cup (120 ml) water and cover again for a few minutes. When the rice is tender, turn heat off. Add the artichoke hearts, 2 Tbsp (30 ml) of artichoke marinade, tomatoes, and peas and toss gently. Cover for 2 minutes to warm through. Taste test and adjust as needed, adding more salt to taste, artichoke marinade for acidity, or smoked paprika for depth/smokiness. Optionally, serve with vegan chorizo and lemon wedges.
  • Best when fresh. Leftovers will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Not freezer friendly.



*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 372 Carbohydrates: 68.5 g Protein: 9.8 g Fat: 7.3 g Saturated Fat: 0.4 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4 g Monounsaturated Fat: 1.7 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 1385 mg Potassium: 371 mg Fiber: 8 g Sugar: 8.6 g Vitamin A: 1756 IU Vitamin C: 47.4 mg Calcium: 41.9 mg Iron: 1.2 mg

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  1. Katie says

    We made this last night. We used carnarolli rice, which is similar to arborio and we use it for risotto. I bought some Field Roast chorizo and put it on the side since it’s pretty spicy so we could add in the amount we wanted. My picky eater fiance said, “let’s make it again!”. I loved how much easier it was to let it all cook vs. risotto. This inspired us to try risotto this way(I’m sure the Italians would be mad), but it’s so much less energy intensive.

  2. Hollie says

    I love this recipe so much! I substitute the chorizo for chickpea and kidney beans, and the artichokes with courgette, and it works so well. Ive also used sushi rice in place of the arborio rice (i have a big 10kg bag of sushi rice so seemed more worth it) and it’s fab! Thank you so much! 😊

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Hollie! xo

  3. Amelia says

    This is the definition of quick, easy, cheap, filling, and delicious! I will definitely make this the next time I host a dinner party or attend a potluck.

    I couldn’t find saffron at the store so I used 1:1 sub with turmeric, and it worked just fine.

    Minimalist baker is the best!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, YOU’RE the best! Thank you for your kind words and lovely review, Amelia! xo

  4. Michelle Billing says

    This was delicious paella! Instead of using chorizo, incorporated Jack fruit, which was marinated overnight in a vegan fish sauce. Incl eggplant and zucchini also. The eggplant was salted and soaked overnight, then rinsed before use! This dish was so flavoursome and delicious! It was sooo yum! Thankyou x Eggplant was chagrilld. Will chargrill capsicum and eggplant next time for more flavour!

  5. Christin says

    Simple, but super flavorful! I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised by this dish. I made a couple adjustments — used cauliflower rice vs. arborio rice & used turmeric vs. saffron — it was absolutely delicious to say the least. Thank you for another fabulous vegan dinner! Xoxo.

  6. Jess says

    Made this last night and it was amazing! I used a rice cooker and different rice since it’s what we had but my boyfriend and I both loved it. Paired it with some spicy vegan sausage. We have a ton of leftovers and will be enjoying them tonight again!

  7. Lluís says

    Look, I am Valencian and just feel compelled to leave a comment…….

    Authentic paella absolutely does not have chorizo, it is a capital sin to add some and all Valencians laugh at you poor—– Also, no onion nor garlic!!

    Ingredients for authenthic vegan paella: Spanish rice, red pepper, tomato, artichokes, fava beans, long green beans, saffron.

    Note that paella originally was a just a dish made with whatever you had available/in season, you just added it all to a “paella” (pan) so there’s a few variables depending on the season or region of Valencia where it’s made. This recipewould be elegible for authenthicity.

    A trick: do use Spanish rice, and the quantity of water is always double than the rice, an easy trick for not having to add more water and cooking the rice to perfection.

    PS: note that I do love your recipes and veganism is veganism! But no chorizo on a paella, please…………..

    • Kate says

      I used the recipe the first time with this comment guiding my ingredients – no onion, no garlic – and the flavor was excellent. I’ll continue to leave those out as I make this again. I added more of some vegetables and less of others based on what I had handy – lots more red pepper to make up for the lack of onion – used baby lima beans as I didn’t have fava beans, etc – but I followed the recipe as written for technique and overall quantities/proportions – it all worked well and I will 100% be making this again. I really liked that lemon juice saffron bloom technique. (following my general practice when using pre-made stock I didn’t add as much salt, but I do that for every recipe) I’m new to this website – thanks Minimalist Baker and thanks Commenter Lluís! I will be trying other recipes here!

  8. Samantha says

    Misleading cook time- the cook time should read forty-five minutes, as the cook time is about 25 minutes and then it needs to sit for 20 minutes longer with the heat off!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Samantha, we find it only needs to rest off the heat for a couple minutes. Mind sharing why you find it needs 20 minutes?

  9. Alyssa says

    This is now one of my favorite recipes I have ever made and also probably the best paella I’ve ever had. It comes together so easily and is packed with such beautiful flavors. I think you could also be pretty versatile with what veggies go in it. I think corn would go well in there too. 10/10, would recommend. I will *definitely* be making this again.

  10. Cari says

    The first time I made this was a disaster, for these reasons:

    – I’m not a good cook (this is important to understand the following).

    – My broth was already salty, so adding the salt with the smoked paprika was unnecessary (I should’ve read the comments first). The paella was massively over-salted.

    – For some reason, my measuring cup’s 1 cup is different from my liquid 1 cup measuring cup. I used the latter, and the rice was still too watery after 20 mins, so I left it a lot longer (almost another 20 mins). But wooo was it salty! So I added more water to try to get rid of the saltiness, and cooked it for another 20 minutes… it was…. well, I think I made glue. It’s now in my green recycling bin. Hope the worms like salty glue!

    Tonight’s second attempt was much much better! Salting to taste AFTER the dish is cooked is the way to go.

    In the future I might try this again with actual paella rice, because this rice is a tad sticky (or it could be me just being a bad cook LOL).

    p.s. I hate peas, so I used shelled edamame. Recommend!

  11. Nicole Escudero says

    I have to say, this is my favorite recipe I’ve found online of all time. The saffron is just such a decadent touch, and this meal is something I crave again and again. Love, love, love, love. Even non-vegans would crave this, I’m sure!

  12. Louisa says

    Delishious! Oversalted it the first time because I used store bought broth. It was still good just a bit salty and the family wasn’t excited about eating it. May be helpful to add a note to omit the salt or buy low sodium broth for those who may use store bought and don’t think through the saltiness situation. Second time worked great and it was chowed down by everyone!

  13. Laurie says

    OMG! Best new recipe I’ve introduced in quite some time ❤️. My husband isn’t fond of peas or artichoke so I subbed those out for baby lima beans but did everything else as written. Fantastic & will be making again, & again & again…. Yum( forgot I used a 15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes because I was out of cherry tomatoes & decreased vegetable broth by 1/4 cup to make up difference in liquid from the canned tomatoes

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Laurie! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  14. Laurie says

    OMG! Best new recipe I’ve introduced in quite some time ❤️. My husband isn’t fond of peas or artichoke so I subbed those out for baby lima beans but did everything else as written. Fantastic & will be making again, & again & again…. Yum

  15. Maddie says

    This is far and away the easiest and most delicious vegan paella recipe I’ve ever attempted!! My boyfriend and I each took our first bite and made a knowing eye contact that confirmed we were both on the same page: this was really, really good. Don’t skimp – get the right kind of rice, and get some saffron! It makes a huge difference.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! We LOVE to hear this. Thank you so much for the lovely review, Maddie! We’re so glad you both enjoyed!

  16. Anna says

    I’ve tried about 5 MB recipes now because I always hear how delicious they are. Every recipe looks and sounds so good but I’ve been disappointed with the result every time. I keep trying to give them another chance but I’m probably done trying now. Very disappointed!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Anna, we’re so sorry to hear that has been your experience. We’d love to help troubleshoot, if possible. Could you share what you disliked about it so we can try to figure out what went wrong?

  17. Kendra says

    soooo delicious, and so easy! I didn’t have a paella pan, or a pan with a cover, so I cooked it without the cover and did it risotto-style, ladeling in a cup at a time. It took longer than 20 minutes, and a bit more water, but it was worth it. I used Trader Joe’s Soyrizo, which paired excellently with it.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ooo – delish! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your method, Kendra! xo

  18. Sherri Neil says

    Another husband approved meal. I can’t wait for an excuse to make this again. Absolutely delicious. The only thing I left out was the 3TBs of marinade, as I’m pretty oil free these days. The artichokes them selves had plenty of marinade to add flavor. Thanks Dana

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! So glad you both enjoyed. Thanks as always for the lovely review, Sherri! xo

  19. Nicole says

    So very delicious, and ridiculously easy considering how yummy it is! I did have to cook the rice quite a bit longer than the recipe indicated, but it was worth the wait. Thanks for yet another winning recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Nicole! Thank you for sharing your experience!

  20. Manuela says

    This paella is sooo good! My favorite so far out of multiple recipes I’ve tried. Love the lemony taste and of course the marinated artichoke is a must!! I wanted to ask for suggestions on how I might make the rice a bit “drier?” I remember a paella my aunt who is from a Spain once made for us and the texture of the rice was firmer/drier. I remember she actually put it in the oven on a sheet. When would it be indicated to put in the oven? Thanks in advance for the suggestions! P.S. I love your blog and book! Our family is addicted to the strawberry cheesecake from the book!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Manuela! So happy to hear you and your family enjoy our recipes! We haven’t tried paella in the oven but it’s possible if you make it in an oven safe skillet that you could then stick it in the oven (maybe 350 F?) for 10 minutes or so to achieve the drier results you want. Let us know how it goes if you give it a try! xo

  21. Kira says

    Okay, was not sure what to really expect with this but YUM!!! Super easy to make and it was so so good! The bright colors made me so excited to eat it. Couldn’t get my hands on saffron so substituted with turmeric. Also made with the vegan chorizo but since I’m not vegan, next time I make it (because this will definitely be made numerous more times!) I want to try with seafood.

  22. Nicki Escudero says

    OMG, such a fragrant, flavorful dish. I’m half-Spanish, and this was my first time making paella. 😂 Artichokes, peppers, tomatoes, what more could you ask for? The saffron made for the most enjoyable cooking experience. Such a fantastic dish. Thanks so much for this recipe. Nicki

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! Thanks so much for the lovely review, Nicki. We’re so glad you enjoyed the paella! xo

  23. Emily says

    So good! My husband and I loved it. I made it as written and topped the paella with the vegan chorizo. De.li.cious.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yumm, amazing! Thanks for the lovely review, Emily. We’re so glad you both enjoyed! xo

  24. Linda says

    Substituted turmeric for saffron, other then that followed the recipe as written. Delicious, fast and easy. Will make again.

  25. Jill says

    So delicious, and really a simple dish to make! We paired it with the soy chorizo from Trader Joe’s and it was perfect!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Jill. Thank you for the lovely review! xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Ana. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  26. Molly says

    Hi- I am so excited to make this for a friend for our first dinner together since pre covid!!! I am trying to be better about using the groceries I already have… do you think white Jasmine rice would be okay? I love all your recipes! They never disappoint.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Molly, we think it would be more prone to getting mushy. But let us know if you try it!

  27. Gilly says

    Hi! I don’t *love* artichokes and was wondering if you had any recommendations for something to replace them with.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Gilly, We could see kalamata olives, jackfruit, or summer squash being nice. Let us know if you try it!

  28. Caitlin says

    Soooooo delicious and easy to make! Will be a new go to staple for me. I added beyond sausage instead of chorizo and it worked great!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Caitlin. Thank you for the lovely review! xo

  29. Arizona says

    Hi! I’m a big fan of your recipes, especially the sweet ones :) I wanted to comment on this one, to let you know we have an “official” plant-based take on paella in València, which is called paella de verduras (vegetable paella), and it’s normally made with artichokes (like you used), spring onions, garrofó (butter beans), and some greens (not peppers). Ah! And I think you will get better results (crispier rice) if you don’t cover the pan, and only cover it for the last 5 minutes of the cooking process. I would not add the chorizo here, but I will definetely use it in other recipes, looks delicious!!

  30. Beth Ann Schumacher says

    Is there some other way to make Vegan Chorizo without soy? Thank you for considering my request.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Beth Ann, you could try cooked lentils or pinto beans. We’d suggest pulsing them in the food processor for a smoother texture. Let us know if you try it!

  31. Lola says

    Oh, I will give this one a go! If I want to add vegan protein, e.g. Quorn “chicken” pieces or vegan sausages, at what point would you recommend to add them? Or cook separately and add at the end with saffron? What about premixed paella mix (containing saffron), add it in the beginning? Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Great! We’d suggest cooking separately then adding at the end. Similar to the way the vegan chorizo is used in this recipe. We aren’t familiar with premixed paella mix, so we’re not sure there. Let us know how it goes!

      • Monika Niemasik says

        I am such a fan of your recipes, I browse your site daily. I made this and it was a hit with my family and neighbors! Next time I am going to consider using Cauliflower rice as a lower carb option.

  32. Vicky says

    So happy to see this on here! I grew up around paella but never liked the sea food in it, I’ve even fallen into ( luckily empty) paelleras lol
    I can’t wait to make this! Do you think brown arborio rice is ok to use? I think it could work but asking the experts, thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’ve never experimented with brown arborio rice actually, so we’re not sure. Let us know how it goes!

  33. Ashley Crawford says

    Oh my gosh… So good and honestly, so easy to make. I normally always have to increase my seasonings and I didn’t with this recipe. I did use my own homemade tofu for the “meat”. The flavor was fantastic. Definitely worth making. I’ve never liked paella until now.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Ashley! Thank you for the lovely review! xo

  34. Aimee T. says

    This looks great and I’d love to try it, was curious what could be swapped in instead of peas for the non-peas lovers? :) edamame? Chopped green beans? I don’t want to freestyle and mess up the flavor! Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Aimee, we think either of those ideas would be lovely! Let us know how it goes!

      • Aimee says

        I just made it this past week with diced haricot vert green beans – it all turned out so great! My only weirdness was with how oily the marinated artichokes were but I got over that! Yummmm.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Dee, saffron is a pretty key ingredient for classic paella flavor. But perhaps try subbing a little bit of ground turmeric for color? Let us know how it goes!

  35. Marta Paunero says

    Hey! Haven’t really tried (or fully read) this recipe but please don’t include the vegan chorizo in it! I’m Spanish and I’ve always wondered why overseas Paella recipes always include this ingredient? Which is never used in traditional Spanish Paella. ..just do you know :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Marta, as mentioned in the “what is paella” section, our version is inspired, not traditional. The vegan chorizo is optional, but we like adding it for making the meal feel more complete and nutritionally balanced in the absence of other protein sources. You can certainly leave it out, if preferred.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Caroll, we think it will be more prone to getting mushy, but might be okay! Let us know if you try it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Teresa, we think it will be more prone to getting mushy, but might work. If you try it, keep in mind that it won’t need to cook for as long. Let us know how it goes!