Quick Paella with Shrimp and Mussels

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Our quick take on paella is studded with mussels and shrimp. Traditional paella made with short-grain rice takes a while to cook and can be a bit tricky. Instant brown rice is a great shortcut—what it lacks in authenticity it more than makes up for in convenience. Make sure you seek out saffron, which gives the dish its distinctive yellow color and signature flavor. Serve with: Spinach salad.

Quick Paella with Shrimp and Mussels
photographer: Ken Burris
Nutritionist Tested & Approved

Time: 40 minutes

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion

  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

  • 2 cloves garlic , minced

  • 2 cups instant brown rice

  • 1 1/3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 1 large pinch saffron (see Note)

  • 1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp (21-25 per pound)

  • 1 cup frozen green peas , thawed

  • 1 pound mussels , scrubbed well (see Tip)

  • 4 lemon wedges (optional)

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 3 minutes. Add rice, broth, thyme, salt, pepper and saffron and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

  2. Stir in shrimp and peas. Place mussels on top of the rice in an even layer. Cover and continue cooking until the mussels have opened and the rice is tender, about 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat and let rest, covered, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

Note: The dried stigma from Crocus sativus, saffron adds flavor and golden color to a variety of Middle Eastern, African and European foods. Find it in the spice section of supermarkets, gourmet shops or at tienda.com. It will keep in an airtight container for several years.

Tip: To scrub mussels, hold under running water and use a stiff brush to remove any barnacles; pull off any black fibrous “beards.” Discard mussels with broken shells or whose shell remains open after you tap it.

Nutritional Facts

44 g
7 g
Saturated Fat
1 g
30 g
180 mg
Dietary Fiber
5 g
436 mg
638 mg
4 servings
2 1/2 starch
1 vegetable
3 lean meat
Vitamin C
56% daily value
Vitamin A
31% dv
27% dv
21% dv

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