Try this delicious and easy vegetarian paella recipe for dinner tonight and you’ll be pleasantly surprised about how simple it is to put together. A great veggie meal that anyone can make. It’s suitable for vegans and jam-packed full of delicious, healthy veggies.
If you’re looking for more vegetable ideas for kids you might find this collection of 35 deliciously tempting vegetable recipes for kids useful.
How to make a brilliant vegetable paella
The key to making a vegetable paella that your kids will love is to fill it full of things they already like. For us that includes red peppers, peas and black olives.
With R we don’t have much in the way to go on in terms of vegetables that he likes but he did eat all the olives!
I’ve also added in fennel and butterbeans because:
a. they are both delicious
b. both work really well in paella, and
c. it’s a great chance to serve up something new for the kids to get used to.
My paella recipe is easily adaptable
You can adjust this recipe to suit you. For example, you could swap the butter beans for a meat substitute like Quorn if you prefer.
However, I do think the butter beans work really well in this dish so give them a go if you can.
If you can’t find (or don’t like) fennel feel free to substitute another onion, more peppers, or another vegetable that you like.
Broad beans and green beans also work well if you’re making this in summer.
Paella brings back holiday memories
R has been asking me to make paella for him at least once a week since we went to Valencia last year.
We stayed in a tiny beach resort that only had one cafe. Every lunch time we queued up with the Spanish holidaymakers to choose our lunch from the counter. R absolutely loved the traditional paella that he had there. (I ate gazpacho, tortilla and chips on rotation as these were the only veggie options.)
I’m not sure that my version will ever be as good as the Valencian paella made in the biggest pan you’ve ever seen, with fresh local ingredients, and enjoyed after a busy morning playing on the beach, but it’s a pretty great meal nonetheless.
Vegetable paella is a great way to eat lots of veggies
This easy vegetarian paella recipe is also a fantastic way to up your vegetable intake if you’re trying to get close to eating ten a day.
And you can always add even more veggies to your paella if you want to.
Is this paella suitable for vegans?
Yes, my vegetable paella is 100% vegan friendly. In fact it’s a brilliant meal for vegans as it contains lots of healthy vegetables and a portion of protein in the form of butterbeans.
How to make my colourful vegetarian paella:
Easy and colourful vegetable paella
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion finely sliced
- 2 peppers red, yellow or orange, thinly sliced
- 1 small fennel bulb cut into thin strips, optional
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp saffron optional
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder to taste optional
- 300 g paella rice paella rice can be found in most big supermarkets
- 900 ml hot vegetable stock
- 400 g tin of butter beans drained and rinsed
- 100 g peas frozen are fine
- 1 small jar of black olives drained and rinsed
- A small handful of parsley finely chopped
- Lemon wedges to serve
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add 1 sliced onion and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes until soft and golden. Stir often.
Add the 2 sliced peppers and sliced fennel, stir well, and continue to stir and cook for a further ten minutes until soft.
Add two cloves of crushed garlic and the spices (1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp saffron and 1/2 tsp chilli powder if using). Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add 300g paella rice and stir so that it is coated in the vegetable mixture.
Pour in 900ml vegetable stock, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and leave to bubble away for 20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked. You don’t need to stir.
A couple of minutes before the rice is due to be cooked add the rinsed butterbeans, 100g peas and the jar of olives and stir in.
Cover with a lid or foil and leave for 10 minutes.
Add the chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot with lemon wedges.