vegetarian paella

Vegetarian Paella

I know what you're thinking: Paella?! I am not a chef! How can I make paella?! I felt the same way when I tackled this recipe the first time, and I can reassure you that even the most amateur of chefs can master this delicious dish.

Not only is it super flavorful and full of (well-cooked) veggies, another reason I like this dish as a Crohn's patient is that it contains turmeric which has been linked to reducing inflammation. 

And, should you feel the need to add even more protein (although the chickpeas do a great job adding to your daily intake) you can always add a protein of your choice, such as chicken or shrimp. You can also swap out some veggies for others that you may tolerate better, or maybe just have on hand that you want to use.

This dish allows you to get creative and still make a tasty dish regardless of your dietary needs and preferences.

Serves 8

Ingredients for vegetarian paella

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. saffron threads*
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine**
  • 1 1/2 cups dry short-grain white rice
  • 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-oz.) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup sliced green olives, optional

*If you choose to cook without wine, simply substitute for an additional 1/2 cup of broth.
**If you wish to not use saffron, simply substitute for 1/4 tsp. of turmeric and 1/2 tsp. of paprika, combined.

Vegetarian paella directions

  1. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large high-sided skillet with a fitted lid over medium-high. Add onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms; cook 7 to 8 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, paprika, saffron (or paprika/turmeric substitute), salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  2. Add wine (or broth) and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until mostly reduced. Stir in rice; cook 2 to 3 minutes, until rice begins to turn translucent. Stir in chickpeas, tomatoes, broth, and green peas. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat, cover, and cook for 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine parsley, lemon zest and juice, and the remaining 2 tbsp. oil in a small bowl. Once the rice is cooked, remove the lid and cook for 5 more minutes. Scatter parsley oil overtop, and garnish with olives, if desired.

Crohn's and ulcerative colitis recipes

When it comes to cooking with IBD, we're all working from a different set of ingredients. Food sensitivities and dietary restrictions vary greatly from person to person, and there is no one diet recommended for Crohn's or ulcerative colitis. Check out our full list of recipes for more ideas – all from people who cook, eat, and live with IBD!

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Nutrition facts

Per Serving

  • calories: 259
  • carbohydrates: 37g
  • cholesterol: 0mg
  • dietary fiber: 2.6g
  • protein: 6.2g
  • saturated fat: 1.1g
  • sodium: 687mg
  • sugars: 4.5g
  • total fat: 7.2g

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