Vegan Paella

Well, hello vegetables. I’ve missed you! After a few days of sweets, I was craving a healthy dinner. My foodie friend Brian and I teamed up to make a vegan paella recipe from Tal Ronnen’s The Conscious Cook. And when I say “teamed up”, I really mean that Brian did most of the work whilst I drank diet coke and maybe washed some parsley…but I digress.

This was a fun recipe, but the prep work was rather involved – save this for a day when you have some extra time!

Paella with vegan sausage, oyster mushrooms, and wine-braised artichokes


For the rice:

  • sea salt
  • 4 Tbs Evoo
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1.5 cups medium grain rice
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (we recommend Pacific Brand)
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

For the toppings:

  • sea salt
  • 3 Tbs Evoo
  • 3 Field Roast Italian-style seitan sausages, cut into 1/4″ thick slices
  • 2 lbs oyster mushrooms
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • Lemon wedges


  • Place a large saute pan over medium heat, sprinkle bottom with a pinch of salt, and heat for 1 minute. Add 2 Tbs oil and heat for 30 seconds – this will create a nonstick effect on the pan.
  • Add the onion, garlic, and parsley and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes and a splash of water and cook until liquid is evaporated, and mixture is thick like jam, about 10 minutes. Transfer sofrito to a bowl and wipe the pan clean.
  • Return pan to medium heat, add remaining 2 Tbs of oil, and saute peppers for 5 minutes.
  • Return the sofrito to the pan, along with the rice. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add the stock, saffron, tsp salt, and pepper. Stir well, bring to a boil and cook, uncovered for 10 minutes without stirring. Lower the heat to summer and continue cooking, uncovered and without stirring for 15 more minutes.
  • Place a medium saute pan over medium heat, sprinkle bottom with salt, and heat for 1 minute. Add 1 Tbs oil and heat for 30 seconds. Add sausage and cook for about 5 minutes – until crisp on both sides. Remove to a plate and wipe the pan clean.
  • Return pan to medium heat, add 1 Tbs oil and mushrooms, and saute, seasoning with salt and pepper (to taste), until they have released their liquid and are browned nicely. Remove from the pan, set aside, and wipe the pan clean.
  • Return the pan to medium heat, add remaining Tbs oil, add artichoke hearts and saute until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it has almost completely evaporated, 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  • Increase the heat under the rice mixture to hight and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until you smell the rice toasting on the bottom. Remove from heat.
  • Sprinkle the peas on top, cover the pan with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Remove the foil and scatter the sausage, mushrooms, and artichokes over the top. Serve with lemon wedges.

Yum! Usually I shy away from labor-intense recipes, but this was definitely worth it. The flavor of the dish was very complex – I loved the addition of oyster mushrooms! You could easily mistake them for actual seafood.

This meal left me well fueled for a team workout in Central Park. I warmed up for 2.75 miles and then tackled the workout. The assignment was: 1 mile @ 5k pace, 1/2 mile recovery, 1.5 miles @ 10k pace, 1/2 mile recovery, 1 mile @ 5k pace. It was a tough workout, but I felt strong throughout. I was mighty thirsty though. On our cool-down we stopped at a water fountain and I must have gulped a 1/2 gallon of H2O! I’m not sure what my running plans for the weekend hold (romantic beach get-away with my college roommates, woo), so I made Thursday a high-mileage day. Hello 5+ mile cool-down…

Activity Reps Distance Duration Pace
Warm Up 1 x 2.75 mi 00:22:00 8:00 min/mi
Intervals 1 x 1.00 mi 00:06:20 6:20 min/mi
Intervals 1 x 1.50 mi 00:10:01 6:40 min/mi
Intervals 1 x 1.00 mi 00:06:18 6:18 min/mi
Recovery Run 1 x 1.50 mi 00:14:00 9:20 min/mi
Cool Down 1 x 5.25 mi 00:46:00 8:45 min/mi

Question: Have you ever made or eaten paella? What’s the most labor intensive dish you’ve ever cooked?

  • I love paella. I usually like the traditional ones (with chorizo, chicken and seafood) but that vegan version looks yummy!

  • I need to get your arrangement figured out on my side– someone else does the labor and I look good drinking a soda 🙂

    I think the most labor intensive thing I have ever made are the French pastry Madeleines. They are little flaky butter spongy-things. So amazing and good, but definitely require a lot of care in the baking process and very exacting measurements!

  • that looks amazing! I have to admit though, prep, etc. looks pretty intimidating. I usually make Thanksgiving dinner for my sister and I (ok she does a lot of the work…) in my teeny tiny kitchen – even thought it’s only for the two of us, it can be quite labor intensive (but always delicious). 🙂

  • nice kitchen work! i completely support your photo-taking and diet coke-sipping whilst the man did the work. a little societal-role-switching is always good.

    happy weekend, miss megan!

  • Nice! That’s a really beautiful looking dish! I love having everything nicely prepped.

  • I had paella in spain and it was dreamy. The saffron makes all the difference.

  • While I’ve never actually had Paella, whenever I hear that word I immediately think of the Seinfield episode where George’s mother makes it for Seinfield’s parents and feels snubbed when they don’t show up to dinner. She kept shrieking, “What am I going to do with all of this paella?!”

    It’s so nice to catch up on your blog, Megan! The vegan paella looks better than the real deal!

  • WOW! What a beautiful dinner. So jealous. I ate paella last summer in Spain…it was amazing!

  • I love paella! Fell in love with it last year when I was in Spain, but have never tried vegetarian … hmmm … might have to try that now. Thanks.

  • Paella! Me encanta! My friend’s family makes it in a big pan on a grill and it is incredible. Looks like B of BBB did an excellent job. I am super-anti-intensive labor, in regards to meals – especially when they are for others, actually. What happens if something goes awry and my beautiful meal falls apart? I have made some vegan vegetable layered thing with tofu-pinenut cream, and that actually went well, but it drove me nuts.

  • The most labor-intensive dish I’ve cooked was last night and it was a fail! Will be blogging about it later this week…sigh.
    LOVE paella though – only ever had it in Spain and it just makes me think of beaches and…well, spain!

    Hope you had fun with the ladies!

  • Wow, the vegan paella looks wonderful. I’ve never made paella, but would like to try this. The most labor intensive dish was probably a raw lasagna.

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  • vegdad

    Almost as labor intensive as a gumbo from the sounds of it…. Gonna have to give it a try….

  • dimsummama

    I have made this many times from Tal Ronnen’s book, and it’s a winner. I did notice you omitted the toasted nori seaweed (which I turn almost to powder in a coffee mill). It adds a hint of seafood flavor to the dish, which makes it more paella-like. Stir it into the rice along with the mushrooms. Yum!

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