Vegetarian Spanish Paella

5/5 - (24 votes)
vegetarian paella jamie oliver
vegetarian paella Jamie Oliver – Improved!

The vegetarian Spanish paella, which is also a vegan paella, is a variant of the traditional Paella Valenciana without adding any type of meat or seafood.

In Spain, it is called paella with vegetables and it does not have chicken or rabbit (as in Valencian paella) or seafood (as in seafood paella), just vegetables, as fresh as possible. However, this is not a vegetarian-intended dish, as even meat lovers will find it delicious.

Here you will learn how to prepare this healthier alternative that is also suitable for vegans with a part of the essence of the popular paella Valenciana and the rest of Spanish rice dishes, but with just rice and vegetables.

Vegan Spanish Paella
Vegan Spanish Paella

Don’t hesitate if you are not vegetarian of vegan, this Spanish paella vegan was created before these terms were invented. It’s so tasty and you won’t miss the meat

Vegetarian paella recipe Jamie Oliver -Improved!

Vegetarian paella Jamie Oliver
Easy vegan paella recipe

This vegetarian paella is way better that Jamie Oliver’s, as it keeps the essence an tradition from Spain.

The way we make paellas in Spain vs paellas for people who have never enjoyed a proper paella

The easy vegetarian paella recipe admits more vegetables than a conventional paella would, but I recommend not to oversaturate the paella with ingredients, always bearing in mind that it is a rice dish.

Another consideration is the importance of the “sofrito” (saute), here even more than in the meat or seafood versions.

Furthermore, in rice dishes with vegetables, legumes, or mushrooms we can increase a little the amount of extra virgin olive oil as when they are sauteed beforehand, they tend to absorb more.

We will cook this paella rice vegan in a similar but different way than the Valencian paella. For instance, when sealing the meat the oil remains in the paella and takes much less fat. It is therefore advisable to have a little more oil in reserve, just in case.

Besides this, you can even use flavored oils in the vegan paella, so we can be able to add at different flavors without using the ingredients, just a little touch on a complete Spanish vegan paella recipe.


The ingredient list of this “Chickpeas Vegan Paella” is not exhaustive, then, the lack of any of them (but the rice water and oil) shouldn’t stop you to try this recipe.

🥘 Difficulty: Easy
🥘 Servings: 4
🥘 Nutrition: 360 Kcal

  • 400g (30 tbs) paella rice
  • 100g (about 1/4 pound) artichokes
  • 150g (5.2 ounces) potatoes (my mother’s touch)
  • 150g runner beans
  • 150g butter beans
  • 200g (about 1 cup) grated tomato
  • 1 red pepper (cut into strips)
  • 200g (7 ounces) chickpeas (my father’s touch)
  • Salt
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • A bunch of fresh rosemary
  • Pinch of saffron (optional but preferable)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
  • Optionally: cauliflower, drained diced tomato, green peas…

For the broth

  • 2 onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 potato
  • 1 leek
  • 1 green pepper
  • Parsley
  • 800g of water (double than rice)
  • Salt

Use as much fresh ingredients as you can, but frozen or pre-boiled/canned ones could also be valid.

Add saffron an you will get a tasty vegan paella with saffron. For me it is a must

How to make veg paella?

If you wonder how to make vegan paella you are in the right place. The recipe might look time-consuming at first glance, but please don’t feel intimidated. The ingredients are basic, the method is surprisingly simple and the result would make Jamie Oliver blush.

 🥘 Prep time: 25′
 🥘 Cooking time: 25′
🥘 Total time: 50′

  • Prepare the broth. Chop all the ingredients and let them boil for around 40 min
  • Chop all the vegetables in small pieces. Or as you prefer (but I recommend small/fine pieces)
  • Pour olive oil into the paella pan. Heat over medium heat. Then lower the heat a bit.
  • Add the pepper, onion and the garlic. Stir while softening
  • Add the rest of the vegetables. Sauté them in the hot oil patiently until they get browned. Low fire brings a better taste.
Vegetarian recipe - vegetables sauteing
  • Sprinkle the paprika and saffron. Let it sauté for about 5 minutes to infuse
  • Add the finely chopped onion. Sauté until tender
  • Add the tomato. Let it cook and slightly evaporate until it becomes a dark red paste.
  • Pour the hot broth. Increase the heat to boil
  • Add the rice and stir for the last time. Make sure the rice is completely covered by the stock
Vegetarian paella improving Jamie Oliver's
  • Cook until the rice begins to dry completely. Around 15 min
  • Lower the heat to minimum power and cover the pan. Let it cook for 15 more min
  • Turn off the heat. Let it rest for 5 min
  • Once it has rested it can be served. Enjoy it!
vegetarian paella recipe jamie oliver

10 thoughts on “Vegetarian Spanish Paella”

    • Hi Kevin, you are right. The recipe I usually follow does not have it, but in this case, it was my father who made it and he tried with this ingredient. He says it was really good.

  1. Hey, I found your page on Instagram. Really like the idea of adding chickpeas and the rosemary. Can’t wait to cook this recipe next weekend! Thanks for sharing

  2. Two questions:
    1. I’m going to assume these are canned beans (or at least precooked dry ones)? Doesn’t say.
    2. I’m assuming these are “artichoke hearts” and not whole artichokes??

  3. is there a way you could make this dish w/out tomatoes? Im making for someone who is allergic to tomatoes, its looks great for my vegan person


Leave a Comment