Healthy Paella Recipe
- Prep time:15 mins
- Cook time:60 mins
We thought it was about time we brought you a healthy paella recipe, so we’ve collaborated with Matt Williamson to develop this delicious seafood dish, suitable non-fasting days and great for the whole family. It’s egg, gluten, dairy and nut free: perfect for whipping up a big batch for a dinner party!
This take on the classic Spanish dish is based around brown rice, rather than white rice, which is what helps to make this a truly healthy paella recipe. As brown rice is a whole grain, it contains all parts of the grain including the nutritious germ and fibrous bran. This is one of the reasons that this recipe contains almost a third of your daily fibre intake in just one portion, as well as the addition of fibrous chickpeas and green and red peppers.
Aside from the rice, the clear star of the show are the prawns. This low-calorie shellfish is a great source of protein (just one portion of this particular healthy paella recipe provides almost half your daily protein intake) and the B group of vitamins, including folate and Vitamin B12, which help keep energy levels high, among other benefits. Prawns also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart health, antioxidants which help protect against inflammation and support brain health, and iodine which is required for thyroid function. That’s a lot of goodness in such a small package!
This healthy paella recipe can be stored in the fridge or freezer to come back to later, so it’s an ideal dish to batch-cook ready for evenings when you might not have time to cook such a nutritious dinner. Just serve either by itself, or with crunchy green salad or low-calorie non-starchy vegetables to complete the ensemble, and enjoy!
- 300g dry brown rice
- pinch saffron threads
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 red pepper, finely diced
- 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
- 4 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tsp ground paprika
- 300g passata
- 300ml vegetable stock
- 300g raw prawns, peeled and deveined
- 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 orange, wedges to serve
- Par boil the rice in a large pan of boiling water with ½ the saffron and the bay leaves for 20 minutes, then leave to drain in a sieve or colander (it won’t be cooked through yet).
- Leave the rice to drain while you heat the olive oil in a large paella pan or a wide, shallow frying pan over medium heat.
- Add the onion, peppers and garlic to the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes until very soft and beginning to stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the paprika and cook for 1 minute, until aromatic.
- Add the tomato passata to the pan and cook for 5 minutes until rich and thick.
- Add the precooked brown rice to the pan and stir through.
- Pour in the stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Add a little salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer uncovered for about 10-15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.
- Carefully nestle the prawns into the rice mixture, making sure they are submerged slightly and scatter over the chickpeas. Cover the pan and cook for about 3-5 minutes until the prawns are cooked through and turn pink.
- Once the prawns are cooked, remove the lid and sprinkle the chopped parsley over the top of the paella.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
- Serve the brown rice paella with the wedges of orange on the side.
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- If making a single serve, choose one coloured pepper/capsicum and use half instead of requiring small quantities of different colours.
- Serve with a crunchy green salad or steamed low calorie non-starchy vegetables if you wish.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat and serve.
- Batch cook and freeze in portions for up to 2 months. Defrost and reheat before serving.
- The drained weights and calories of tinned ingredients will vary (sometimes significantly) from brand to brand. The drained weight of tinned chickpeas in a single serve of this recipe equates to approx. 60g (2oz) and 59 calories.
- If following a gluten free diet, please check the label of the stock to ensure there are no sources of gluten.