Land & Sea Paella

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land and sea paella

Welcome, hungry people, to the very first READER SUGGESTION RECIPE! Yes, you guessed it right, the reader in question is none other than my amazing mom. She deserves to have her recipe suggestion as the first one, considering she has put up with me for the past 24 years.

But fear not, I have a bunch of other reader suggestions saved up, and I promise to try and make and post them within 2 weeks of choosing each recipe.

By the way, if you haven’t already, please head over to The Starving Chef Facebook page and give it a like. I occasionally hold contests there for recipe suggestions, and I’d love for you to participate and share your ideas!

paella recipe

Now, let’s talk about this fantastic Land & Sea Paella recipe. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever had paella before, at least not that I can recall, until the night I made this dish! It turned out to be a delightful surprise.

What’s great about this recipe is that it’s perfect for using up all those leftovers sitting in your fridge and cupboards.

In fact, most of the ingredients I used were already on hand in my kitchen. Of course, I do try to keep my kitchen well-stocked, but being between paychecks at the moment and still paying back those student loans (donations are always welcome!), I had to work with what I had.

ingredients for paella

Here’s What You Need

  • Shrimp: Adds a seafood element and brings a delicate flavor to the paella.
  • Mussels: Another seafood component that adds richness and a slightly briny taste to the dish.
  • Chicken breasts: Provides a protein element and adds tenderness and flavor to the paella.
  • Chorizo sausage: Adds a rich, smoky, and slightly spicy flavor that complements the other ingredients.
  • Prosciutto: Enhances the overall taste with its savory and salty notes.
  • Arborio rice: The main component that absorbs the flavors of the other ingredients and creates the classic texture of paella.
  • Diced tomato: Adds acidity and a fresh taste to the dish.
  • Red onion: Brings a mild sweetness and depth of flavor to the paella.
  • Red bell pepper: Adds a vibrant color and a sweet, slightly tangy flavor.
  • Yellow bell pepper: Provides a pop of color and adds a mild, slightly sweet taste.
  • Sherry: Used to deglaze the pan and adds a subtle nutty flavor to the sauce.
  • Olive oil: Used for cooking various components and adds richness to the paella.
  • Oregano, thyme, basil: The combination of these herbs adds a flavorful aroma and enhances the overall taste of the dish.
  • Paprika: Adds a warm, smoky flavor and imparts a beautiful red color to the paella.
  • Saffron threads: A prized spice that gives the paella its signature golden color and a unique, earthy flavor.

Let’s Chat About Saffron

Now, let’s talk about saffron. Ah, saffron, the most expensive spice there is. The saffron I happened to have cost me nearly $14 for just a half gram, and I found it at a specialty grocery store in Akron, Ohio. Trust me, I carefully eyeballed my “generous pinch” to avoid wasting this golden spice.

But let me tell you, it’s completely worth every penny to use the real deal if you can get your hands on it. The flavor and aroma it adds to the paella are simply unmatched.

saffron threads in water

Let’s Get Started

Here’s a quick rundown of the cooking process: While your rice is cooking, heat a pan with oil over medium-high heat. Start by adding the chorizo, sliced into 1-inch pieces, and once it’s slightly browned, add in the sliced chicken.

fried chicken and chorizo

Set the cooked chicken and chorizo aside, and then add another tablespoon of oil to the same pan and toss in the peppers and onions.

fried peppers and onions

Now comes the fun part. Deglaze the pan with a splash of cooking sherry, and let the moisture evaporate. By this point, your rice should be pretty close to being done. Remember, the secret to the perfect paella lies in achieving a perfectly caramelized layer of rice that’s still soft but with a slight crunch.

simmering with wine

Once most of the sherry has evaporated, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the tomatoes and herbs.

saffron rice
tomatoes in skillet
saffron rice being fluffed

Give everything a good stir, and then it’s time to add in the rice and meat! Gently mix everything together, ensuring that the flavors are evenly distributed.

mixing together paella

Now, for the grand finale. Use tongs to press in the shrimp and mussels, shell side down. Sprinkle some prosciutto on top for an extra layer of flavor.

Pop the whole pan into the oven and let it cook for about 10 minutes, or until the shrimp is cooked through and the mussels have opened up.

Use tongs to press in the shrimp and mussels, shell side down. Sprinkle the prosciutto on the top then pop into the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the shrimp is cooked and the mussels have opened.

paella with chells and prosciutto

Once it’s done, take a moment to admire your masterpiece, reveling in the deliciousness you are about to consume. Remember, eating with your eyes is an important part of the process!

homemade paella recipe

To complete the meal, I served mine alongside some nice bread and a side of garlic lemon butter. It was truly fabulous, and I couldn’t resist going back for seconds.

Additional Tips & Tricks

  • Use high-quality ingredients: Since this paella relies on the flavors of the ingredients, using fresh and high-quality ingredients will make a noticeable difference in the final dish.
  • Prep ingredients ahead: To ensure a smooth cooking process, prep and measure all the ingredients before starting. This will save you time and help you stay organized.
  • Don’t rush the rice: When cooking the rice, resist the temptation to remove the lid or stir it. Let it cook undisturbed to achieve that perfect caramelized layer and texture.
  • Adjust cooking times: Keep an eye on the oven-baking step to prevent overcooking the shrimp and mussels. Cooking times may vary, so adjust accordingly to ensure they are cooked through but still tender.
  • Customize to your taste: Feel free to add or substitute ingredients based on your preferences or what you have available. Paella is a versatile dish, so get creative and make it your own!
  • Serve immediately: Paella is best enjoyed fresh off the stove or oven. The flavors and textures are at their peak, so aim to serve it promptly for the best culinary experience.
  • Garnish and presentation: Consider adding a sprinkle of fresh herbs, such as parsley or cilantro, on top for a burst of freshness. You can also serve the paella in the paella pan itself for an impressive presentation.
paella pan with rice

Okay, now I’m officially making myself hungry again just by thinking about this Land & Sea Paella. Trust me, it’s that good. I can’t thank my mom enough for suggesting this recipe.

serving of paella

Alright, now I’m just making myself hungry.

paella in a paella pan

Okay, last one! It’s just too good. Thanks for the suggestion, mom!

best paella recipe

It’s been an absolute pleasure sharing it with all of you hungry people out there. Stay tuned for more tasty recipes and keep those suggestions coming!

paella recipes

Land & Sea Paella

The Starving Chef
A flavorful and vibrant one-pan dish featuring a delightful combination of shrimp, mussels, chicken, chorizo, and aromatic rice, cooked to perfection with a touch of saffron and a medley of herbs and spices.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Seafood, Spanish
Servings 8



  • Bring 2 cups of water, 1 cup of rice, and a generous pinch of saffron to a rolling boil. Cover and reduce heat but DO NOT remove the lid for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • While the rice cooks, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large paella pan over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo, chopped into 1-inch thick pieces. Brown on all sides and when almost cooked, add the sliced chicken, cut into 1-inch bits. Cook thoroughly and remove from the pan.
  • Without cleaning the pan, add another tablespoon of oil followed by the onions, peppers, and garlic. Sauté until the onions are beginning to brown, then deglaze the pan with the cooking sherry.
  • Let the sherry boil off until most of the moisture has evaporated. Add the tomatoes, without draining, then add the chopped herbs, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • When most of the tomato juices have thickened, add the cooked rice to the pan and combine. Remove from heat.
  • Press the shrimp into the rice and use tongs to push the mussels, hinge side down, into the paella. Top with prosciutto. Pop it into the oven and bake until the mussels have opened and the shrimp are red, or about 10 minutes.
  • Serve alongside a chunk of crunchy bread and enjoy!
Keyword chicken, chorizo, rice, saffron, seafood
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!