Here’s an easy Slow Cooker Paella recipe. Slow cooking really helps to develop the deep and delicious flavors in this popular Spanish dish.
When I’m having one of those days where I don’t want to think about dinner too much, I reach for my slow cooker. There are too many times when dinner time rolls around, and I’m just tired and don’t feel like making dinner. Does anyone else feel this way? Slow cooking to the rescue! Sometimes it takes a bit of prep time to get the slow cooker meal rolling, but at the end of the day you are glad you did it!
This Slow Cooker Paella isn’t a “dump and go” kind of slow cooker recipe like my taco soup or chicken santa fe. There’s a little stovetop cooking involved, but then everything will cook together for a longer period in the slow cooker. It’s worth the extra work since traditional paella has a much lengthier cooking process.
This Slow Cooker Paella recipe comes from The Everything Green Mediterranean Cookbook by Peter Minaki. Peter is one of the first people I met on the internet back in my early days of blogging (Peter has a Greek food blog: Kalofagas). Having also written The Everything Healthy Mediterranean Cookbook, Peter is an expert in Mediterranean cooking.
The Mediterranean diet focuses on eating fresh veggies and fruits, whole grains, olive oil, seafood, lean meats and nuts. It’s a diet that is recommended by many doctors as a healthy way to reduce inflammation, avoid chronic disease, lower cholesterol and lose weight. In this book, Peter shows you how to make the Mediterranean diet more green by removing most meat and animal products. I chose a recipe to make that actually has shrimp and chicken in it, but most of the recipes in the book are vegetable based.
Here are a few recipes in the book that I have bookmarked to make:
- Baklava Oatmeal
- Multigrain Cornmeal Waffles
- Walnut Stuffed Figs
- Greek Pita
- Watermelon Caesar Salad
- Roasted Beet and Almond Salad
- Vegetarian Gyros
- Chickpea Soup
- Smoked Popcorn
- Greek Style Rigatoni
- Drunken Biscotti
- Pear Croustade
- white rice
- canned diced tomatoes
- chicken broth
- saffron threads (can substitute ground turmeric)
- smoked paprika
- extra virgin olive oil
- andouille sausage
- red onion
- boneless chicken thighs
- frozen peas
- peeled and deveined, cooked shrimp
How to make Slow Cooker Paella:
The full, printable recipe is at the end of this post. You will need a slow cooker to make this recipe.
In a 4 to 5 quart slow cooker, mix together the rice, tomatoes, broth, saffron and paprika.
In a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the oil until hot but not smoking. Add the sausage and onion and cook until the sausage is browned and the onion is softened. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage and onion to the slow cooker and stir well. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the chicken to the same skillet. Cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Note about the shrimp:
Resist the temptation to put the shrimp in at the beginning of the recipe. Shrimp can go from tender to rubbery very quickly. So be sure to add it in at the end to only slow cook for 30 minutes, and your shrimp will cook perfectly!
If you’ve never had paella before, then you’re in for a treat. And if you’ve had traditional paella in a restaurant, then you will be so pleased that you can now make it at home easy in a slow cooker. I love the seasoned rice with sausage, onion, chicken, peas and shrimp. It’s all great together. Enjoy!
The Best Slow Cooker Recipes:
- Slow Cooker Beef Burgundy
- Root Beer Pulled Pork
- Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken
- Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches
- Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
If you happen to be following the Weight Watchers WW plan, you’ll find a link to the WW Points on the recipe card below.
Slow Cooker Paella
- 1½ cups long grain white rice
- One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2¼ cups low sodium chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon crushed saffron threads (or ½ teaspoon ground turmeric)
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ pound andouille sausage, halved and sliced
- 1 medium red onion, peeled and finely diced
- Six 3-ounce boneless chicken thighs (fat trimmed and discarded)
- 1 cup frozen baby peas
- 6 large frozen deveined, peeled and cooked shrimp
- In a 4 to 5 quart slow cooker, mix together the rice, tomatoes, broth, saffron and paprika.
- In a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the oil until hot but not smoking. Add the sausage and onion and cook until the sausage is browned and the onion is softened. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage and onion to the slow cooker and stir well.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and add the chicken to the same skillet. Cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- Place the chicken on top of the rice mixture. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
- Add the peas to the slow cooker; stir. Top with the shrimp, cover and cook an additional 30 minutes, until the shrimp and peas are cooked through.