Spain on a Fork > All Recipes > Main Dishes > The most AMAZING 20 MINUTE Seafood Paella
All Recipes, Main Dishes / November 23, 2019

The most AMAZING 20 MINUTE Seafood Paella

In this post, I will show you how to make the most amazing 20 minute seafood paella. This paella is loaded with Spanish flavors, super easy to make and done in exactly 20 minutes! Enjoy this paella any day of the week and impress your family & friends with Spain´s most treasured dish.

I know for some people making a paella may seem like a daunting dask, but with this recipe all doubt is eliminated. Folk´s, it does not get any easier than this. We´re talking minimal ingredients, effortless to put together and no tricky or technical steps.

To make this paella I used a stainless steel paella pan, thank´s to its design I can cook this paella in 20 minutes. You can use a standard frying pan instead, but it will take between 22 to 24 minutes to make. I also used some high-quality saffron threads, this is what gives this paella that magical Spanish flavor.

TIPS & TRICKS to make this recipe: Try to use a paella pan to make this paella. Not only because it makes it quicker, but it cooks the rice properly. Speaking of the rice, remember to use round rice, very similar to medium grain rice. When you add the broth into the pan with the rice, mix it just one time to evenly distribute the rice. Don´t mix the rice again, as it distrups the way it cooks.

Key Ingredients & Cookware I used in this Recipe:

Watch the Video Below on How to Make the most AMAZING 20 MINUTE Seafood Paella

The most AMAZING 20 MINUTE Seafood Paella

Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 2
Author Albert Bevia @ Spain on a Fork


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 cup round rice
  • 2 1/2 cups fish broth
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • 12 raw jumbo shrimp peeled & deveined
  • 10 fresh mussels
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • handful freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 lemon


  1. Heat a sauce pan with a high heat, add in 2 1/2 cups of fish broth and pinch in 1/2 tsp of saffron threads

  2. While the broth is heating up, heat a paella pan with a medium-high heat and add in a 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, while the olive oil is heating finely mince 4 cloves garlic, then immediately add the garlics into the pan and mix with the oil, 20 to 30 seconds later add in 1/2 cup of canned tomato sauce, 1/2 tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika and season with sea salt & black pepper, mix it all together, 1 minute later add in 1 cup of round rice and mix with the tomato sauce, 1 minute later add in the hot saffron infused seafood broth, season with a little sea salt and give it a gentle mix so the rice is evenly divided, after this don´t mix the rice anymore, as it disrupts the way the rice cooks, but you can give the pan a quick shake once in a while

  3. While the paella is cooking, grab 12 raw peeled & deveined shrimp and pat them down with paper towels, then season with sea salt & black pepper, also grab 8 to 10 fresh mussels and clean them under cold running water, remove the beards from each one and scrub off any of the barnacles

  4. About 8 minutes after adding the broth into the pan, add the shrimps seasoned side down and the fresh mussels, 2 minutes later lower the fire to a low-medium heat and simmer for 3 minutes, then heat it back to a medium-high heat for 60 to 90 seconds to achieve the famous socarrat, the layer of burnt rice underneath, then remove the pan from the heat and completely cover with a dish cloth, 3 minutes later uncover the paella, garnish with lemon wedges and sprinkle with some freshly chopped parsley, enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Get the Saffron Threads that I used to make this seafood paella

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  1. Deborah

    I need to make this recipe for 12 people…..large family. The recipe as listed says it makes 2 servings. Is this correct? If so how can I convert the recipe to feed 12. This is our first time making paella so im very excited. Can’t wait to taste the results. Thanks for your help.

    28 . Jun . 2023
    • Spain on a Fork

      Here is what I would recommend for 12 servings:

      1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
      8 cloves garlic
      1 cup canned tomato sauce
      4 tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika
      6 cups round rice
      15 to 16 cups fish broth
      2 tsp saffron threads
      48 raw jumbo shrimp peeled & deveined
      48 fresh mussels
      sea salt
      black pepper
      handful freshly chopped parsley
      4 lemons

      28 . Jun . 2023
  2. Ricardo Burmeister

    5 stars
    This is the best paella recipe by far, it’s vibrant and fresh, with lots and lots of taste, every forkful gives those summer evening vibes!! Great with wine. Absolutely love this!! 😍

    05 . Apr . 2022
    • Spain on a Fork

      So happy to hear that! Thanks for the comment 🙂 Much love

      06 . Apr . 2022
  3. Tom

    5 stars
    I made this for our Christmas Eve dinner, I’ve never made paella before, but it was delicious! We wanted leftovers, so I doubled the recipe, but only slightly increased the olive oil. It made enough for about 6 servings. I also don’t have a paella pan, so I don’t think the rice was the way it’s supposed to be but everything tasted great!

    26 . Dec . 2021
    • Spain on a Fork

      Yes a paella pan cooks the rice differently, but glad you all enjoyed the dish! Much love 🙂

      27 . Dec . 2021
  4. Ardis Albany

    If you’re making this for 6, what are the ingredients proportions?

    26 . Mar . 2021
    • Spain on a Fork

      This recipes feeds 2 people, just triple the ingredients for 6 people, except for the olive oil, just add a bit more 🙂 much love

      27 . Mar . 2021
  5. Bonnie Mac Rae

    5 stars
    Albert, I had never made Paella before and even though I am a skilled cook and have made many international dishes before I always looked at Paella as a daunting dish. When I found this recipe I decided that I should finally attempt this dish. Was I ever pleased. Easy yes and very very tasty I am now making it once a month and inviting over my friends to enjoy this very tasty dish. Thank you for this amazing recipe. Salud!

    11 . Oct . 2020
    • Spain on a Fork

      I am so happy to hear that Bonnie! Thanks for the comment 🙂 much love

      11 . Oct . 2020
  6. lisa

    Hello, if I also want to add clams and lobster tails when would I add them to the rice so that they don’t over or under cook?

    19 . Jul . 2020
    • Spain on a Fork

      Depending on the size of your lobster tails, but it usually takes 8 to 12 minutes to cook, So I would add them a couple minutes after adding the rice, as for the clams, at the same time as the shrimp 🙂 much love

      19 . Jul . 2020
  7. Shane

    5 stars
    I have made this at least 3 times during quarantine! Thank you for this recipe!!!!!

    19 . Jun . 2020
    • Spain on a Fork

      That is so great to hear!!! thanks for the comment 🙂 much love

      19 . Jun . 2020
  8. Kevin Young

    4 stars
    The first time I made Paella, it was with a recipe from a Weber Grill cookbook. It was a seafood paella. I have prepared it many times and it is always delicious. Recently my wife and I went to Spain and while there had Paella at least three times. I was very curious how my paella compared to authentic Spanish Paella. Well, I came home feeling like mine was better than any I had in Spain!…So, I tried this recipe and felt my paella was still better. This was good, but I think mine is better.

    16 . Jan . 2020
    • Spain on a Fork

      That is awesome, that means you are a true paellero!! much love

      17 . Jan . 2020

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