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Instant Pot Paella Recipe: Simple & Flavorful Instant Pot Paella Recipe: Simple & Flavorful


Instant Pot Paella Recipe: Simple & Flavorful

Written by: Emily Smith

This Instant Pot Paella is my go-to for a quick, flavorful dinner. It's packed with chicken, shrimp, and saffron-infused rice. It's like a Spanish vacation right in my kitchen!

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Let me tell you about this vibrant, flavor-packed instant pot paella. It's a dish that transports you straight to the heart of Spain without leaving your kitchen. This recipe fills your plate with tender chicken, succulent shrimp, and hearty rice, all infused with smoky paprika and exotic saffron. I promise, as you take your first bite, you'll be swept away by a wave of flavors. It's high time you treat yourself and try this recipe!

Ingredients for Instant Pot Paella

  • Olive oil: Adds richness and flavor to the dish, essential for sautéing and enhancing the overall taste of the paella.
  • Onion: Provides a savory base flavor, adding depth and sweetness to the dish, complementing the other ingredients well.
  • Garlic: Infuses a robust aroma and flavor, enhancing the overall taste profile of the paella with its pungent notes.
  • Red bell pepper: Adds a pop of color and sweetness, balancing the savory flavors and providing a vibrant visual appeal.
  • Arborio rice: Absorbs flavors well, creating a creamy texture and serving as the base for the paella dish.
  • Smoked paprika: Imparts a smoky and earthy flavor, adding depth and complexity to the dish with its unique taste.
  • Saffron threads: Infuses a rich golden color and distinctive floral flavor, elevating the authenticity and essence of paella.
  • Chicken broth: Provides a savory base and depth of flavor, enhancing the overall taste profile of the paella dish.
  • Diced tomatoes: Adds a touch of acidity and sweetness, balancing the flavors and contributing a hint of freshness to the dish.
  • Chicken thighs: Offer tender and juicy meat, infusing the paella with rich flavor and adding protein to the dish.
  • Shrimp: Brings a delicate sweetness and seafood flavor, adding a luxurious touch and texture to the paella dish.
  • Fresh parsley: Adds a fresh and herbaceous flavor, providing a vibrant garnish and finishing touch to the paella dish.

Essential Tools for Making This Paella Recipe

  • Instant Pot: Essential for pressure cooking the paella quickly and efficiently.
  • Sauté Mode: Used to sauté the ingredients at the beginning of the recipe for added flavor.
  • Chef's Knife: Needed for chopping the onion, garlic, and red bell pepper to the desired size.
  • Cutting Board: Provides a stable surface for chopping the vegetables and chicken thighs.
  • Measuring Cup: Ensures accurate measurement of rice, chicken broth, and other liquid ingredients.
  • Wooden Spoon: Ideal for stirring the ingredients in the Instant Pot without damaging the surface.
  • Ladle: Useful for adding the chicken broth and diced tomatoes to the paella mixture.
  • Tongs: Helps in placing the chicken thighs on top of the rice mixture in the Instant Pot.
  • Instant Pot Lid: Secures the Instant Pot for pressure cooking the paella and locking in flavors.
  • Plates: Used for serving the hot and delicious Instant Pot paella to enjoy.

Instant Pot Paella Recipe: Simple & Flavorful

This Instant Pot Paella is a simple and flavorful dish that brings the taste of Spain to your kitchen. Perfect for a quick and delicious meal.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 4 people
Calories 480 kcal


  • Instant Pot


Main Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 0.5 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 0.5 pound chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 0.5 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)


  • Set the Instant Pot to sauté mode and heat the olive oil.
  • Add the onion, garlic, and red bell pepper. Cook until softened.
  • Stir in the rice, smoked paprika, and saffron threads.
  • Pour in the chicken broth and diced tomatoes. Mix well.
  • Add the chicken thighs on top of the rice mixture.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid and set to high pressure for 8 minutes.
  • Once done, quick release the pressure and carefully open the lid.
  • Stir in the shrimp and season with salt and pepper.
  • Close the lid and let the residual heat cook the shrimp for 5 minutes.
  • Serve the paella hot, garnished with fresh parsley.


Feel free to add other seafood like mussels or clams for a more traditional paella.


Calories: 480kcalCarbohydrates: 58gProtein: 28gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 780mgPotassium: 520mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 800IUVitamin C: 45mgCalcium: 80mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Instant Pot, Paella, Spanish Cuisine
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Can You Make Instant Pot Paella Ahead of Time?

Make Ahead Instructions

  • Cook the paella as directed in the recipe.
  • Let it cool completely.
  • Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Freezing Instructions

  • Cook the paella as directed in the recipe.
  • Allow it to cool to room temperature.
  • Place in a freezer-safe container or bag, removing as much air as possible.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.

Saffron, a key ingredient in this paella recipe, is derived from the stigma of the saffron crocus flower and is one of the most expensive spices in the world by weight.

Common Questions About This Paella Recipe

Can I use a different type of rice for this paella recipe?
Arborio rice works best for this recipe as it absorbs the flavors well and gives the dish its characteristic creamy texture.
Can I substitute the chicken thighs with another type of meat?
Yes, you can use chicken breasts, chorizo, or even a mix of different meats like pork and seafood for a unique twist.
How can I adjust the cooking time if I want to make a larger batch?
You can increase the cooking time slightly for a larger batch to ensure all the ingredients are cooked through.
Can I make this paella recipe without shrimp?
Absolutely! You can omit the shrimp or substitute it with other seafood like mussels or clams, or add more chicken for a different flavor profile.
Is it necessary to use saffron in this paella recipe?
Saffron adds a distinct flavor and color to the dish, but if you don't have it, you can still make a delicious paella without it.

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