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Monday, November 13, 2023

Plant Based Paella

plant based paella

Isn't this beautiful? I made it for dinner the other night!!

Paella is to Spain what spaghetti is to Italy! 
While visiting Barcelona this past May, we marveled at the different varieties of paella offered throughout the city. Of course, the only paella I tasted was the plant-based paella that we found in just a few restaurants. It was delicious, and I wanted to make it now that I'm home. This is an update of my previous recipe. 

Barcelona, tourist

Paella feeds a crowd. Since I was having a dinner party for nine adults Friday night, I decided to make it! The plant-based version contains a variety of delicious vegetables, short grain rice, and something I rarely use anymore--- plant-based meat alternatives (because of the ridiculously high fat content). 

However, since none of my guests were vegetarian and most were accustomed to meat or chicken, I felt I needed to add something a little heartier to my recipe than just vegetables ( vegan sausage was the suggestion of my friend Helaine).

The Beyond Meat plant-based hot sausage did not disappoint. In fact, it took this recipe to the next level as far as taste. 

I had purchased a large wide deep skillet that was similar to a paella pan (at half the price), and it worked perfectly, looked fabulous, and acted as my serving dish as well! 

When I was a young bride, I was gifted a cookbook that contained a recipe titled,  poor man's soup. It was basically a bean soup. Since my paella recipe is minus the seafood, I thought I would call this recipe Poor Man's Paella, but then I realized that in today's market vegetables such as artichokes and red peppers, spices, and plant based food alternatives such as the Beyond Meat Sausage are not cheap either! 

Beyond Meat Sausage

Author: Judee Algazi
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes + 10 minutes for the sausage
Serves: 10


2 cups of chopped onion 
2 cups of chopped tomato
4 cloves of garlic chopped or pressed
1/4 teaspoon paprika 
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric (or saffron if you have some)
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1 pint of mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 cup of a mixture of black and green olives, sliced
3 cups of short grain rice such as Arborio Rice
1 cup water
5-6 cups vegetable broth
1 red pepper, seeded and sliced in strips
1 can of artichoke quarters in water, drained
12 green beans, washed and stems removed (or use frozen) 
1 package of Beyond Meat Plant-based Hot Italian Sausage (4 links)
Salt and cracked pepper to taste
Optional: fresh lime wedges to decorate

In a small skillet, cook the sausage on a low flame until soft and heated. When done, set aside. 
Add onions, tomato, garlic, paprika, turmeric and marinara sauce to a large deep wide skillet. Begin to sauté the vegetables, stirring and adding 1/4 cup of vegetable broth if needed to prevent burning. Sauté for 5 minutes until onion is soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms, olives, rice, vegetable broth, and water in that order. (make sure the rice is covered or add more liquid) Arrange the red pepper strips and green beans on the top in a circular direction, cover and cook on a low heat for about 25 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is swollen and soft. When done cooking, arrange the artichoke quarters over the rice cover and slice the sausages into bite-size rounds and place over the top of the rice. Serve while hot. 

My Notes: 

1. The vegetables (mushrooms, peppers, green beans, onions, and tomatoes) can be washed and cut up the night before so you can just assemble the day of cooking to make it much less time consuming. 

2. A paella pan can easily cost between $40 - $80 or more. A large wide deep skillet was available at Home Goods for $20, and it worked well. 

Stop reading here if you do not want to read about my support for Israel, and my concern for the extreme display of anti-semitism worldwide including United States.

1. Misinformation about the State of Israel 
For those who think that Israel has no right to exist; and that they are not the indigenous people of the land.

 2.  Misinformation 2- Israel is an apartheid state- watch this 1 minute video to see how the 2 million Israeli Arabs live great lives in Israel and why they prosper in Israel and are not protesting against Israel because they know that they have a better life than in Arab lands!! They actually live in a democracy!!

The war against Israel is based on pure lies, hatred, and anti-semitism. 

 I pray that this hatred stops and peace prevails in Israel and the world.! ⛿


  1. Sounds like a wonderful meal for vegetarian fans!

  2. That does sound delicious. I'm sure your guests were happy.

  3. This sounds excellent, perfect dish for entertaining. Thanks.

  4. It sounds delicious....I'm glad you enjoyed it!......Abrazotes, Marcela

  5. Beautiful dish, Judee! I too pray for peace, no one should have to live in war or make war hoping for peace.

  6. Oh my! Doesn't this sound wonderful! I've only had paella once but I loved it. This looks magnificent.

  7. Hey Judee, This looks terrific. I never thought of trying paella all vegetarian. This is healthy comfort food at its best.

  8. We haven’t tried the meatless products yet. This recipe looks good.

  9. Your recipe makes me wish I had a crowd to cook for!

  10. We had a lot of plant based alternatives in The Netherlands including chicken and mince as well as sausages as Eva is pescatarian. She's just moved on from being vegan. I stand with you and Israel.
    from Tandy I Lavender and Lime https://tandysinclair.com

  11. Your paella is beautiful! I love that you were able to adapt this dish from your trip to fit your everyday life. Also, the pic of you in Barcelona is so cool! 🌏

  12. I love Paella!
    And yours look amazing 😋

    Hugs and blessings

  13. It is indeed a beautiful platter to present at dinner.

  14. I have had paella and it is delicious. I don't eat artichokes and love meat, so mine would be slightly different, but yours looks truly amazing. How clever you are! Yes, Jesus Christ the Son of God is certainly indigenous enough for me, and we stand with Israel one hundred percent, eight days a week. It's horrible how many lies about Israel are circulating. God help us xoxo

  15. I totally agree with about Israel I am actually shocked at what is going on here in the States. Thank you so much for visiting and commenting-this one is a rough go-working at positivity our healthcare is failing us now sad to see happen

  16. Judee, your paella looks and sounds wonderful. I love Spain. I hope you loved your journey there too. Paella in Spain is a family dish often made with left overs from the week. I think a vegetarian version is a great way to go with this dish too.


  17. Your paella looks delicious. We had it for the first time in Barcelona a couple of years ago and I have been thinking about it since. I'm so glad to have a recipe now! Thanks!

  18. You know, I've always wanted to try paella, but never have. Yours looks delicious. I didn't realize paella is that popular in Spain. I am part Spanish on my mother's side, so that made me smile. I must try it sometime. ; )


  19. Paella is one of my favorite party foods -- I love the conviviality of sharing this dish at the table, and it always seems to inspire great conversation. Your vegetarian option looks delicious, and so pretty, too. Not sure why, but around here, any paella is always followed up with a Reine de Saba for dessert.

  20. My mom would make Julia Child's paella recipe for special occasions, so I grew up loving it. You've given me a huge craving with your photos!!! P.S. I was at Fresh Market a few weeks ago and they had paella pans on sale for $5 each! I already have a couple, but I couldn't resist. I may give it away one day filled with paella or another dinner recipe.

  21. Sounds and looks like a great vegetarian meal. Although I consume meat, this plant-based protein version is delicious too. Loving the addition of artichokes here!

  22. Oh gosh! I remember having paella in Spain and absolutely loving it. It's been a long, long time since I've had it again. Sigh...

  23. Uh oh... I just posted a comment and something went wrong.
    I mentioned that we enjoyed Paella when we were in Spain but unfortunately haven't been able to have it again soon. I shall have to make an effort to trying it... perhaps in Illinois when we go back there again.


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