Smoked paprika paella served up next to the pan

Smoked paprika paella

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With some clever tweaks you can create this traditional, flavourful Spanish dish at home, using staple nutrient rich ingredients from your pantry and freezer.

Paella is a traditional Spanish dish, full of flavour and often has bold flavours like seafood, chorizo and saffron. 

We have made some adjustments to this classic to increase the nutrient content, lower the fat level and make it a little more budget friendly using kitchen staples

Chicken thigh fillets are often cheaper than other cuts of meat and are well suited to stews, soups and dishes that are cooked over a low slow heat, creating tender pieces.

Canned tomatoes, frozen peas, stock and rice are quite common and form a large bulk of the meal. While they can sometimes get a bad rap, canned food and frozen foods shouldn’t be overlooked as the nutritional content is often quite comparable. 

Also, don’t forget the power spices and dried herbs have, the smoked paprika and chilli add heat and flavour but keep the kilojoule content of the dish down.

Serves – 4
Prep time – 10 minutes
Cook time – 30 minutes
Gluten free
Dairy free
Nut free


  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 lemon, 1 half zested and juiced, 1 half cut into 4 wedges
  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground chilli
  • 500g chicken thigh fillets, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
  • 1 & ½ cups Arborio rice
  • 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups salt-reduced vegetable stock
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to season

How to make

1. In a medium bowl, combine garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, paprika and chilli. Mix to form a paste and add chicken pieces. Coat well and set aside for 15 minutes to marinate.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and capsicum and cook for 3 minutes or until softened.

3. Add rice to pan and stir to coat. Add canned tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Return chicken to the pan, season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Stir in peas, parsley and cook for a further 2 minutes.

4. To serve, divide paella mixture amongst four bowls and top with a lemon wedge.

Leftover paella can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two days.

If you do not have Arborio rice, short-grain rice can be used as a replacement.

Nutritional information

Kilojoules 2030 kJ Protein 30.2 g
Carbohydrates, total
- sugars, total
63.6 g
4.5 g
Fat, total
- saturated fat
10.9 g
2.7 g
Sodium 420 mg
Recipe by Rachel Scoular, an avid foodie, APD Dietitian and founder of @healthyhappyhabits