Paella Mixta (Paella With Chicken, Chorizo and Seafood)

Paella is a classic, flavorful rice dish from Spain. Originating in the rice-growing area of Valencia, it started out as a dish cooked in the fields by workers over an open fire. Now, you will find this dish prepared in restaurants and homes all over Spain. This is a great one dish main course to prepare when you are entertaining. It is often prepared at festivals and private parties in paellera pans that can be as large as 15 feet across for hundreds of people. If you need a recipe for 140 people, visit my friend Chica Andaluza. I’m going to share a recipe for a small dinner party of 4 to 6 people.

Paella Mixta (Paella With Chicken, Chorizo and Seafood)

Is there a time-honored recipe that everyone follows…no. I think that there are as many ways of preparing this recipe as there are for preparing your favorite pasta dish. It is all about what is fresh and available. The one constant is the rice…Spanish short grain rice that absorbs about three times its’ volume in liquid without becoming mushy.

Another constant is a flavorful stock to cook the rice. It can be chicken based, seafood based, or vegetable based but usually has a pinch of saffron for flavor and color. If you live in an area where saffron isn’t available or you don’t want to pay the price, you can use a pinch of turmeric or a Spanish product such as Sazon Goya con Azafran.

Cleaning the seafood, browning the meat, making a stock, and preparing the sofrito  can be done early in the day. An hour or so before your guests arrive you can assemble the dish and then finish it in the oven or on an outdoor grill while you and your guests enjoy a glass of sangria. Served family style right out of the pan makes for easy entertaining.

Paella Mixta (Paella With Chicken, Chorizo and Seafood)

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 whole chicken, cut up or your favorite parts
  • 1 lb. jumbo shrimp (prawns), peeled, deveined and shells retained
  • 12 dozen small clams, scrubbed and purged
  • 2 links Spanish chorizo (approx. 8 oz.)
  • 4 c. water
  • 2 c. clam juice
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme or 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 14.5 oz. can of diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. white wine
  • 2 c. Spanish short grained rice
  • 1 c. frozen baby peas

Stock: Bring the 4 cups of water, the clam juice and the reserved shrimp shells to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes, skimming if necessary. Remove the shrimp shells and add the saffron, paprika, salt, pepper and thyme. Add the cleaned shrimp and poach for 1 minute. Remove the shrimp and set aside. Keep stock warm.

Heat the olive oil in a large stainless steel (do not use nonstick) ovenproof skillet or paella pan. Add chicken and brown lightly 10 to 15 minutes. Remove chicken, set aside. Add sausage, sauté for about 2 minutes. Remove and when cool enjoy to handle cut into 1 inch pieces and set aside.

Make the sofrito by adding the chopped onion to the pan and sauté until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until soft. Add the wine and deglaze the pan. Add the tomatoes and let cook until the mixture thickens about 10 minutes. Add the peppers and simmer for five minutes.

The recipe can be made ahead of time up to this point and refrigerated. If not, continue with the paella.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. This dish can also be cooked on a grill outdoors with one zone on medium low and one zone on medium high. Start on the low side and finish on the high side. A few wood chips added to a smoke box will give the paella that authentic taste of cooking over an open wood fire.

Add the rice to the sofrito mixture and stir until all the rice is coated. Stir in the stock, and heat to boiling. Add the chicken and the sausage, and place the pan in the oven on the bottom rack. Bake loosely covered with foil for 20 minutes. Push the shrimp into the rice and add the clams hinged side down. Do not stir the rice. Sprinkle with peas, and bake partially covered until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender (approx. 5 to 10 minutes). Let stand uncovered 5 to 10 minutes before serving.


I think that you could call paella a one dish wonder. Flavorful, colorful and easily adaptable to your particular tastes and pocketbook. Make this for friends and I think your guests will be very happy.


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150 thoughts on “Paella Mixta (Paella With Chicken, Chorizo and Seafood)

  1. Such a beautiful and delicious dish! I’ve enjoyed it at restaurants but have not done it at home. You have inspired me.


    1. Hi Bonnie, Thank you for stopping by to visit and your nice compliment. I’m happy to hear that I have inspired you to prepare this dish at home. Enjoy!

    1. Hi Natalia, Yes…I did use a spicy smoked chorizo from a sausage maker here in Maine. It really gave the rice a fantastic flavor. Of course it can be made with a mild sausage but given the choice…I go with spicy every time.

    1. Hi Mary, I’m glad that you are like me and love paella. It is a pretty meal to make and oh so flavorful. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Lea Ann, Paella is a great dish for a dinner party as there is usually something for the pickiest of eaters. It is impressive when served in a paella pan but you can have everything prepared and then divide it into a couple of large casserole dishes to finish in the oven. Sometimes we have to adapted to what we have available.

    1. Hi Joanne, Thank you for your compliment. I have to agree with you about paella being a comforting meal. I think it is because it is prepared in one dish and served family style.

  2. I L-O-V-E paella! But I don’t (can’t) cook. Although this post actually gets me wondering “hmmmm… maybe I can maybe I can maybe I can! 😉 Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi FCG, Thank you for stopping by and your nice compliment. I hope you will give it a try but I can give you a suggestion for preparing your first paella. Start off with a rotisserie chicken instead of cooking parts. If you don’t have all the seasonings, use a boxed yellow rice. It won’t be the same but will give you the confidence to make it from scratch the next time. I really think that you could make most of my recipes as they are not complicated. I’ll be happy to help with any questions. Good luck.

  3. I’d say Paella is my signature dish even though I depart from the traditional method (as you did not) …. Yours really looks great and I just wish I could see the whole thing. BTW .. if you are going to put together a terrific looking dish like that you really must treat yourself to a nice Paellera or two … my wife bought me three of different sizes.

    I think I am actuallly going to try the traditional method that you describe (cooking the rice in the Paellera) instead of precooking in a separate pot and adding it with the ingredients for a final cooking… I gather that a good crust on the bottom is supposed to be a goal….

    Anyway, a Paella was one of my very early posts. If you’d like to have a look it’s at:

    1. Hi John, I bought my very first paellera pan in Spain and carted it all over the country before arriving home. It was just a smidgen too large for my oven and to use it I had to duct tape my oven door to keep it closed. LOL. Many homes later, my pan now fits my oven. Yes, the little crust (socarrat) is what a lot of people think is the best part. I think we all enjoy the crispy, caramelized bits of most foods.

  4. Your paella looks amazing. I went to a party a few years ago that served paella. It was a catered event and they cooked it outside on the most massive saucepan/dish I’ve ever seen and it fed 300 people. I stood there watching it from start to finish – was mesmerised xx

    1. Hi Charlie, Thank you for your nice compliment. We used to live in Florida. When we were visiting our daughter there last year, she gave a surprise birthday party for our son-in-law. It was catered and they had a 6 foot pan of paella cooking. Needless to say, my husband and I sat at the closest table so that we had a ringside seat for the preparation. Such fun!

  5. Hi Karen, I was so glad to see this recipe. A few days ago a good paella pan found a place to call home in my kitchen, and I’ve been planning to make one. Your paella looks so wonderfully delicious. I can smell all the aroma through the screen…:)

    1. Hi Marina, Hi happy that I posted this recipe at a opportune time for you. Placing your paella pan full of rice and meats in front of a group of your friends will be fun. The juices from the various meats adds so much flavor to this dish…it really is delicious.

  6. Karen, not only does this look fabulous, you’ve made it sound fairly easy to make! I’ve always wanted to try a paella recipe, and I think this one is definitely going to be it! Thank you!

    1. Hi Tami, Thank you for your nice compliment. This dish is very easy to make, especially if you do part of the work ahead. I have been making this recipe for years and it is very versatile because you can change the ingredients as you like. I hope you will enjoy the recipe if you give it a try.

    1. Thank you Rosemary, for your nice compliment. This is my favorite paella as well. I like the combination of flavors the rice picks up from the different meats and seafood.

  7. This is such a fantastic dish! Whether it’s served at home, a friend’s home, or a restaurant, the “Oohs” and “Aahs” when it is brought to table are universal. You’ve written a great post, Karen. You’ve broken it down into easy to follow steps and you’re right, it can be as easily modified to take into account one’s personal taste and wallet.

    1. Thank you John, for your very nice compliment. This really is an dish that gets oohs and aahs when placed on the table. It can definitely be modified. I have made this dish with scallops, mussels,lobster, different sausages, etc. I think we both tend to write easy to follow recipes…at least I hope so.

  8. What a great idea to make part of this ahead Karen! I never thought to do that. I’ve enjoyed making the paella in front of my guests and we all pitched in, but it becomes a hassle, so I’m loving this idea! They can still enjoy the final steps…without too much of a mess!!

    1. Hi Linda, When I’m at the lake and we have friends come up for a weekend, I like to have at least one of my meals prepared as much in advance as possible. If I can get the messy sautéing, the stock and sofrito done in advance, putting it together and cooking it takes no time at all.

    1. Thank you Norma, I appreciate your compliment…as an expert on a dish such as this. I agree that a nice chorizo is very important to the flavor of the rice.

    1. Hi Claire, The clams that I got for this recipe were tender and sweet. They were nice and clean and when I had purged them and they didn’t have any sand inside. Chica’s experience was so much fun.

    1. Hi Polka Dot, Clams look so nice in this dish and the juice adds a lot of flavor. Sometimes I’ll add chopped clams as well if I know that my guests really like them.

  9. Paella, a gorgeous dish but I don’t touch it … was food poison in Seville. Can’t for my life make me to eat it again. Your recipe are spot on. That’s what a traditional paella is.

    1. Hi Viveka, Paella really is a gorgeous dish whether prepared at home or served at a restaurant. Sorry to hear that you got food poisoning in Seville…not a good food memory for sure.

      1. I’m sure it was terrible. Fish should never smell like anything but the sea. If I walk into a seafood market and there is a strong smell, I walk out. There is no sense taking a chance on buying any product that is not fresh and healthy.

      2. Seafood that is fresh most of the time smell as old dock .. *smile – Restuarants are the worst when it’s about handling seafood.

      3. Tsk, tsk, that sounds like a bad attitude…I know you like fresh salmon and it doesn’t smell like an old dock to me. There are certain days I wouldn’t eat seafood in a restaurant. I think if you buy seafood or order it in a restaurant on Friday through the weekend it should be very fresh. You have to know the reputations of your markets and restaurants.

      4. There is no country that has more food poison on restaurants than France. They are so bad on food handling and some seafood restaurants have their product on display outside the restaurant in the sun on some ice – in Sweden you should never eat seafood on Monday, because there is no fresh fish or seafood available – first catches comes in on Monday evening and Tuesday Morning. So all fish mongers are closed on Monday over here.

    1. Hi Kay, This is one of my “go to meals” when we are having company for dinner. Everyone seems to enjoy it. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  10. I love how you made making this dish so assessable and easy. I’ve always wanted to make paella…even have a dish for it that belonged to my mom, and now I think I must bookmark this to make for our next dinner guests…with the sangria of course. Great post, Karen and thanks!

    1. Hi Betsy, Thank you for your nice compliment. If you have your mother’s paella pan then you are all set to make this dish. It really is easy to prepare. All you need is the short grained Spanish rice and whatever meats and seafoods you like.

    1. Hi Boleyn, I’m glad you you like the paella. I know you have been working on using all your pantry items…now you have another use for the Sazon con azafran. I know what you mean…there are so many recipes that everyone posts that look and sound so good. Thank you for your nice compliment.

      1. Similar dishes to paella are found in various cultures … biryani from India and jambalaya from Lousiana in the US come to mind.

        And my pantry keeps expanding as I keep coming home with new spices and condiments to try. I brought light and dark soy sauce today as one of the recipes from Sissi or was it Nami requires both these two non-Kikkoman type soy sauces (plus black vinegar). And caraway seeds too cause I WILL make Hungarian goulash this year. 🙂 I also have a recipe for a home made Mexican chorizo sausage though I can buy a smoked Spanish style chorizo at the market. Oh woe is me!

      2. For this recipe, I would definitely use the smoked Spanish style chorizo since you have it available at your market. That is what gives the rice in this dish such an outstanding flavor.

  11. Indeed a wonderful entertaining dish. I usually cook the chicken on the grill in advance and add it during the last 10-15 minutes so it reheats. The seafood cooks very quickly in the boiling rice. One year, I cooked the entire dish on the BBQ in my Paella pan, it was too hot to turn on the oven inside. I’m looking forward to having this dish in Barcelona when we go in the fall.

    1. Hi Eva, I agree with you about cooking on the grill during the summer. That is how I finished this dish as we were having dinner on the deck with our friends that we spending the weekend with us at the lake. I know you are looking forward to your trip to Europe. We will be leaving on our trip shortly after you…fall is such a great to to visit.

    1. Hi Fringe Girl, I’m so happy that I could provide you with a paella recipe. I think you will find it is easy to prepare and full of flavor.

  12. I never get tired of paella and find it’s not as hard to prepare as most people think it is. This time of year when the corn is so good, wonder what it would be like to add it on the cob cut into small pieces.

    1. Hi Lulu, Paella is one of my favorite recipes when I’m entertaining…everyone seems to love it. With summer corn so favorful and tender, how could small pieces of corn on the cob be bad.

    1. Hi Jessica, Yes…to all of your comments. This dish is flavorful, fun, delicious and comforting. Thank you for your enthusiastic comment.

    1. Hi Chunklet, I know that you will enjoy making paella…the nice thing is that you can make it to your own tastes with different ingredients.

  13. Absolutely wonderful with great photos, This is one of Baby Lady’s and my favorite dishes. I have been meaning to buy her a large paella pan so we can do a paella dinner party this fall when it cools off. Seeing this post reminded me I need to put it at the top of the list when we get back from Maine.

    1. Hi Richard, I hope you are having a great time in Maine…the weather is really nice right now. When your weather cools down from the 100’s this will be a nice dish to cook for your friends. Once prepped, I cook this dish on my grill in the summer so as not to heat up my kitchen. Of course in cooler (or should I say cold) weather, the heat from the oven it nice. Thank you for your nice compliment.

      1. Portland is great place to find the hard to find items…I love shopping there. I’m sure you will be doing a post on your paella creation. I’m looking forward to what you prepare.

    1. Hi Laura, I think that paella is probably one of the all time favorite one dish rice dishes no matter where you live. Thank you for your nice comment.

    1. Hi Suzanne, I’m sure that a vegetarian paella is good. But when you have the juices from chicken, chorizo and seafood dripping down on the rice, I don’t think that there would be any comparison.

  14. Looks delicious! How in the world do you stay fit and trim with all this goodness you fix ALL. THE. TIME?

    1. Hi Vintage French Chic or is that you Bliss in disguise? Fit and trim…great question. I walk as fast as I can on my little short legs (under 5 feet you know) for a little over a mile and a half each day and it includes hills. I don’t loose any weight and we all know why by reading what I cook and eat but I hope I am fit. I do try to eat healthy food and in reasonable portions. I would rather have a tiny bit of something delicious than a lot of something average.

  15. Stunning recipe and photos Karen, now I just need to find myself a huge paella pan to feed my hungry teenagers (feeding them is like feeding a an entire football team)

    1. Hi Bam, You made me chuckle…I can relate to feeding a young football team. You can definitely prepare this dish in a large skillet in batches and then use a couple of casserole dishes for finishing the recipe in the oven. Thank you for your nice compliment as always.

    1. Hi Norma, Lobster is wonderful in this dish. I haven’t used Maine lobster but when I lived in Florida I used split Florida lobster tails. Thank you for your nice comment.

    1. Hi Amy, I think you would enjoy paella. What is nice is that you can adjust the recipe to your tastes. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  16. Paella is just oh so wonderful anywhere you eat it. I have had it numerous times in Spain, in Mexico prepared by a Spanish woman and recently in Atlanta, Georgia at “La Fonda” restaurant. Each time different and delicious. Your recipe I will add to my file for later cooking. Thanks.

    1. Hi Teresa, I think each chef has his own version of paella, no matter where you eat it. I hope you will enjoy this recipe. Thanks for your nice comment.

  17. I love how you paint the picture to cook and serve this dish. I love the idea of cooking it over the grill while guests enjoy their wine. I also love the addition of seafood to this version. Delicious!

    1. Hi Kristy, If you are entertaining guests with an outdoor meal, this is the perfect dish for the occasion. I’m glad you like my version…thanks.

  18. Your friends recipe for 140 might feed my entire family (aunts, uncles, cousins etc. – I’m 1 of 40 grandchildren on my mom’s side!), however I like the amount your meal serves! LOL!!! I also happen to LOVE this dish and I’ve never made it. Now I’m inspired to make it, I know my husband would love it if I substitute the clams for mussels! Yum! Thanks for sharing your delicious recipe!

    1. Hi Mary, Thank you for your nice comment. Mussels go great in this dish and really make it look pretty. My recipe is definitely a manageable size. Chica’s version requires large equipment and a whole village it eat it. LOL.

    1. Hi Victoria, Thank you for your nice compliment. I think you should make paella again. This is an easy dish to put together. I know all the nice dishes you prepare…this should be a walk in the park for you.

  19. Have just printed out your recipe to compare any differences with the ones I have: looks really yummy – one of the wonderful original dishes to place before an appreciative crowd! Thanks for pointing out to what stage certain parts can be pre-prepared! And perchance now I dare ‘go over’ to ‘Chica Andaluza’ and take a look at her necessarily epic proportions!!

    1. Hi Eha, Happy that you liked that I noted that you can prepare part of this recipe in advance. It does make entertaining easier. Let me know what you think of the “epic proportion” size when you need to feed a village.

  20. Back from ‘CA’ – well, yes, wonderful – we’ll leave THAT one to those used to doing 🙂 ! think I have seen a similar show on both Jamie Oliver and Rick Stein etc: such huge fun, but not exactly something for the home cook 😀 !

    1. Yes Eha, I think the giant sized version is best left to the professionals. I’ve been to a party that was catered and they have made one for 50 and it was fun.

    1. Hi Rita, One nice thing about paella is that you can use so many different ingredients. You could always make this dish with just chicken and sausage and it wouldn’t cost as much to prepare. This is an easy dish to prepare and I know you won’t ruin it…you are a good cook.

  21. I love this paella!! It’s something I have always wanted to make and this looks like the perfect recipe for my part of the country. I have a hard time getting a lot seafood but shrimp I can get and sometimes clams. Thanks!!!

    1. Hi MJ, Thank you for your nice compliment. I know that some fresh seafood is hard to get or very expensive in some places. The nice thing about paella is that you can adapt the recipe to what is available. If fresh clams aren’t available, you will find this recipe is good even without them because of using the clam juice or broth when making the stock. I hope you will enjoy making this dish.

      1. As I replied to someone else’s comment re: seafood. I go to a great local Chinese grocery store and in their freezer section they always have some version of a seafood mixture. The one I last bought and used in my seafood chowder had chunks of octopus, squid, whole shrimp and mussels in it. Just defrost in your fridge and you’re all set. 🙂 Of course, it’s not as impressive as having mussels with the shells but it’s a heck of a lot more convenient. A bit of chorizo sausage from the market and a cut up rotisserie chicken and you can make it any time of year.

    2. Do you have a good Chinese grocery store in your area? Usually I can find a great mixture of pre-cut seafood in the freezer section with shrimp, octopus, squid and mussels in it. One of those tossed into a pot of paella would be amazing. 🙂 I use the same mixture when I make a seafood chowder. 🙂

    1. Hi Jed, When I am making paella for a group, I like to have a mixture so that there is something in the dish that everyone will like and who doesn’t like chicken.

  22. Gosh, I haven’t had paella in ages. And it’s been at least twice that amount of time since I actually made it. This is a really nice, classical rendition – nice mix of poultry, sausage, and seafood. Good stuff – thank you.

    1. Hi John, I’m glad you like my rendition of paella. This is one of my favorite dishes to make when I’m having a dinner party for 6 to 8 people. Guests loves the dish and it is so pretty when presented at the table. A salad, some crusty bread and a simple dessert makes everyone happy.

  23. One dish wonder indeed! And a rich one, too! This would bring out the “oohs” and “ahhs” at any table, but I’m thinking of how spectacular it would be with friends at that table! I have never made paella in any form, but it would be so worth the effort! 🙂 Debra

    1. Hi Debra, Thank you for your kind compliment. You should try making paella…it really doesn’t take anymore effort to make than most dinners.

    1. Hi Jenny, If you enjoy having paella when dining at a restaurant, I really think you would enjoy making it at home. It is a wonderful dish when having friends over. Thank you for your comment…I’m glad you like the recipe.

  24. I have yet to attempt a Paella. This looks so tasty that I’m inspired to give it a shot, although I may wait for the weekend when I have time to do the recipe justice. 🙂

    1. Hi Kristi, I agree about making this dish over the weekend when you have time to prep this dish. Invite some friends over and enjoy spending time with them while this dish finishes cooking. I think you and guests will have a nice meal.

  25. Oh Karen, you have here such a beautiful and flavorful dish…I have not had paella for a while and now that I’ve seen yours, I feel that I must have it…and soon. Looks gorgeous!
    Thanks for the recipe and hope you are having a wonderful week 🙂

    1. Thank you Juliana, for your lovely compliment. You are so right about this being a flavorful dish. It has been very popular with all of our friends that we have shared this dish with.

  26. I like everything in paella except rice and saffron, neither of which I care for — I have eaten it, but I would probably re-invent it as a fish-chicken-chorizo stew with fennel, or as a pizza topping.

  27. I’m going to Valencia later this year and can experience the real deal ! I’m sure I will be bringing back spices and ingredients so that I can make it back home again, Can’t wait!

    1. Hi Carolyn, I will be looking forward to hearing about your visit to Valencia. A paella with fresh spices from Spain will be delicious.

    1. Thank you Mary, for your nice compliment. I think you would really enjoy this one dish meal…it is very flavorful. Have a lovely weekend as well.

  28. I always see these great copper paella pans in kitchen stores and just drool over them. Now I’m drooling at this wonderful dish. Great recipe and i would love to have a dinner party and serve this up.

    1. Hi Susan, Paella is fun to do for a dinner party. You really don’t need a fancy paella pan…most are inexpensive steel. It can also be started in a large skillet and finished in a couple of large casseroles.

    1. Hi Chris, I have to agree with you…4 to 6 is my kind of a dinner party. I’m glad you like the recipe and that it brought back memories of your travels to Spain. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Sawson, You could definitely prepare paella with only chicken. Many original recipes were made with rabbit or snails, and included a variety of vegetables such as artichokes or green beans.

  29. This looks wonderful but I’m especially intrigued by your suggestion of a smoke box. I’m going to have to look into that because I think it would be so good with a lot of other meals, especially say salmon.

    1. Hi Giovanna, I’m happy to hear that you like this version of paella. I hope you will enjoy the recipe if you get a chance to prepare it.

    1. Hi Susan, Thank you for your nice compliment. If you like paella, I think you will enjoy this version. It is a favorite of all our guests when I serve it.

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