Golden Saffron-Flavored Paella

Topics: Recipes

saffron paellaPreparation Time:  5 minutes
Cooking Time:  25 minutes
Servings  4
Serving Size:


2 teaspoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups quick cooking brown rice, preferably Uncle Ben’s brand
2 cups reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (thawed if frozen) medium or large uncooked shelled and deveined shrimp
1 pound fresh farm raised mussels, scrubbed*
1 1/2 cups diced drained canned tomatoes
1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley or mint leaves


Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add oil, then garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add rice, broth, saffron, hot pepper sauce and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 8 minutes. Stir in shrimp and mussels. Keep covered, simmering 8 to 10 minutes or until shrimp are opaque and mussels open. Stir in tomatoes and peas; heat thoroughly. Transfer to four warmed serving plates; top with parsley or mint.


*Unlike wild mussels, farm raised mussels are free of sand and are usually free of “beards” as well. I’ve also made this with just mussels, and no other seafood—it works wonderfully. Use the mussel shells as scoops for the rice, peas and tomatoes.


If fresh littleneck clams are in season, you may substitute them for the mussels, or, use 8 ounces of each for a dramatic appearance — and extra flavor. Mix in 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper to replace the hot pepper sauce. You may substitute 1 teaspoon turmeric for the saffron. The color will be vibrant, but the flavor will not be as intense. Look for small vials of saffron in the spice section of your supermarket or in gourmet food stores. If the saffron you find is ground into a powder, use 1/4 teaspoon.

Nutrition Facts:

Fat Calories: 52.60 g
Total Fat:  5.80 g
Sat. Fat:  1.10 g
Cholesterol:  240.40 mg
Total Carbohydrate:  33.40 g
Fiber:  3.20 g
Sugars:  3.30 g
Protein:  40.40 g