Authentic Spanish Paella Valenciana

Authentic Paella Valenciana

Authentic Spanish Paella Valenciana is the traditional Valencian paella, formerly known as just Valencian rice or just “the paella”. This is the origin of everything, where all the paella types come from.

What is Paella Valenciana?

Paella Valenciana is one of the most acclaimed, popular, and well-known recipes of Spanish gastronomy. It is the flagship dish of an entire region, which has allowed the Spanish kitchen tradition to cross borders.

The Valencia Paella can be for many people, a ritual and a way of life. And not only the dish, but also for the act of gathering for cooking and eating.

Paella Valenciana Recipe in English

Here you are Paella Valenciana Recipe in English. It might sound weir reading this when all the text is in English, my Spanish English 🙂 However, 95% of the Valencian Paella Recipes in English are fake. Even though the ones saying “authentic” or “real”.

The reasons? I don´t know, maybe because it is not the easiest paella recipe. Or perhaps due to pure ignorance. The truth is that this lack of authentic information is a shame, but here you have the original Valencian paella recipe.

Learn paella pronunciation in English

Paella Valenciana Ingredients

The ingredients of the traditional Paella Valenciana or Valencian Paella are few and very specific and seafood or fish are not among them. This authentic dish only allows small variations depending on the season and it has even stipulated the type of firewood to be used for the fire, the one from the orange tree.

What is Paella Valenciana made of?
Paella Valenciana ingredients

🥘 Difficulty: Average
🥘 Servings: 4
🥘 Nutrition: 480 Kcal

What is in authentic Valencian paella?

  • 400g (2 1/4 cups) bomba rice
  • 225g (1/2 pound) runner beans
  • 100g (1/5 pound) grams butter beans
  • 300g (2/3 pound) chopped rabbit
  • 400g (14 oz) chopped chicken (don’t include breast)
  • 200g (1 1/4 cups) grated tomato (but tomato puree is also valid)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • A few strands of saffron
  • Salt
  • Water (around 4 times the volume of rice)

These are the recommendations of the Regulatory Council of the Denomination of Origin Arroz de Valencia. However, depending on the region and the season, other few ingredients can be allowed.

Optional allowed ingredients

  • garlic
  • artichoke
  • duck
  • paprika
  • snails
  • rosemary

Following this indications is a must to cook a real Valencian Paella. Although you are free to adapt this recipe, the closer to the authentic paella valenciana, always the better.

How to make Paella Valenciana?

That is the Real Paella Valenciana, the classic recipe

🥘 Total time: 1h 15′
🥘 Prep time: 15′
🥘 Cooking time: 1h

How to make paella Valenciana, the authentic one, is somehow peculiar. Apart from being strict with the ingredients, you will have to vary the way you usually make paellas: the water is added before the rice to make the stock in the paella (the pan).
I’m sure you won’t be wondering how do you make paella Valenciana after this method.

  • Chop all the ingredients (but the butter beans). The meat, the same way as for a stew (you can ask the butcher to prepare it), the runner beans without strands, chopped by hand into two or three pieces. The artichokes (if added) well cleaned and in around 8 pieces, according to their size.
  • Sauté the vegetables in abundant extra virgin olive oil. Be careful with the heating power, this is not a fast process
  • Add the meat pieces and sauté until browned. Don’t let the ingredients get burned.

Tip: Put the vegetables aside from the pan just before adding the meat pieces, in order to avoid it get burned. Then, put them back once the meat is ready. This complicated the process a little, but you will be sure the vegetables don’t get burned.

  • Add the salt and the sweet paprika. Stir
  • Add the tomato and sauté for a while.
  • Add the water, it’s time now to make the stock. It is better to add too few than too much, as we could always add some more water if we see if there is no stock left and the rice isn’t cooked yet. We need three times the volume of water than rice. Although it is the experience that will make you adjust and perfect these quantities.
  • Let the ingredients cook. Around 20 minutes

  • Add the saffron. We must be tasting the stock in order to know if it has enough salt or we need to add more. Let it boil for 10 more minutes.
  • Add the rice and distribute the rice evenly through the paella.
  • Let it cook for 25-30 minutes. The heat must be varied so that the rice does not remain raw. First leave it on high heat for about 8-10 minutes, lower it on medium heat for the same duration and finally 4-5 minutes on low fires.
  • Socarrat time. If you want to get the soccarat, you will have to put it on high heat at the end for 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Add some sprigs of rosemary, which should be removed before serving. That is optional, but I strongly recommend it.
  • Turn off the heat and let the paella rest. Let it repose for a few minutes covered with a large cotton piece of fabric. 5-8 minutes out of the fire will be enough.
  • Serve it. And enjoy it! You already know how to cook paella Valenciana 😉

To end up on this Valencia paella recipe, a tip: in order to slightly ease the process, you can prepare the stock in advance. It won’t be 100% authentic but I would recommend it for beginners.

Learn more about paella

7 thoughts on “Authentic Spanish Paella Valenciana”

  1. I felt in love with this dish when I first visited Valencia many years ago and I tried your recipe. Gorgeous!!
    However, I failed with the “socarrat”, it wasn´t too crispy. Anyway, thanks!

  2. when do you add the tomatoes? I see 2 instances of adding meat, one is “sauté the meat and veg” the other is “add the meat pieces”, what kind of meat in the first and second instances? Otherwise thanks for this great recipe 🙂

    • Hi Hovannes, you are totally right, my bad. I just amended the process description. I made some changes to clarify things and I screwed it up.
      You add all the meat just before the vegetables are sauteed.
      Thanks to you for trying it 😉 Any other question, do not hesitate to ask.


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