Want to create an incredibly hearty, protein-packed one-pot feast that’s as flavorful as it is iconic? (You should be nodding your head.) Expert Sarah Jay, who runs one of the best, most authentic online sources for all things paella, shares her pro cooking tips. Here’s how to amplify Spain’s most robust, legendary dish.
1. Use a real paella pan
To develop maximum flavor, the dish needs to cook in a thin layer—that’s why paella pans from Spain are wide and shallow but not too deep. As an alternative, use the largest sauté pan you have.
2. Don’t stir it once the liquid is boiling
As paella cooks, the grains should form a loose connection. If you stir it then, it disrupts this network, changing the texture of the grain—and the final dish. So if the grain’s in and the liquid’s bubbling, hands off!
3. Eat the paella straight out of the pan
Traditionally, the whole paella pan is brought to the table, where everyone claims a spot in front of it and digs right in. Try it, and you’ll find the eating more fun, communal, and delicious.
Check out our top paella recipes—5 savory, satisfying options made with the healthiest whole grains—for some better-for-you twists on the classic.