The Best Rice for Paella: How to Make the Perfect Dish

The Best Rice for Paella: How to Make the Perfect Dish


Paella, a rice dish that hails from Spain, was initially prepared with seafood. Nevertheless, it has now evolved to appeal both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.

If you’re looking to make the best paella dish possible, then you need to use the best rice for paella. Many different types of rice can be used for this Spanish dish, but some work better than others. This blog post will discuss the different types of rice and which is best for making paella. We’ll also give you a recipe for the perfect paella dish!

The Different Types Of Rice That Can Be Used For Paella

There are many different types of rice that people use for paella. If you look at the section in your grocery store that contains rice, you’ll see that some varieties are suitable for paella while others aren’t. You want to ensure that you’re using Calasparra or bomba rice varieties.

1. Calasparra

The best variety of rice for making paella is called Calasparra. This type of rice is short-grained and considered one of the finest. It’s also highest in starch content and imparts a rich flavor to your paella dish when appropriately cooked.

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2. Bomba Rice

Another type of rice that you can use for paella is bomba rice. This one is grown in Valencia and has a good amount of starch, making it more sticky than Calasparra. This type of rice is produced in large terraces and can be found at specialty stores.

3. Sierra Rice

Lastly, Sierra Rice is another viable option for making paella. Sierra rice comes from the mountains of Huelva, and working the fields in this region requires precision machinery because they’re located at high altitudes on steep slopes with lots of rocks below. This makes it the perfect environment to grow the best quality and largest quantity of Sierra Rice you’ll find anywhere in Spain.

4. Brown Rice

If you’re vegetarian or don’t like using seafood, brown rice is another option for making paella. However, this type of rice isn’t as sticky as the other varieties above. If you try using brown rice as your main ingredient for a paella dish, you may want to consider adding vegetables such as peppers and onions to give that extra flavor and texture.

How To Cook The Perfect Batch Of Rice

When cooking rice, you want to ensure that you do it correctly so that your paella is as flavorful and delicious as possible. Follow these simple steps to cook the perfect batch of rice:

1. Use The Right Ratio Of Rice-To-Water

When cooking rice, you’ll want to cook it in 2 parts water for every 1 part of rice. Be sure that the pot you’re using is big enough to handle all this water so that your rice will be covered completely when it’s simmering on the stove.

2. Add The Correct Amount Of Rice

If you’re using a rice-to-water ratio, the ratio should be 1 to 2. For example, if you have 3 cups of water and 1 cup of rice, you’ll need to use 2 cups of water for cooking. If you’re making a small batch, such as for one person, you can use 3/4 cup of water per serving.

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3. Add Oil For Best Results

Rice should be cooked in unsalted lard or vegetable oil because it will give your dish the proper texture and taste that paella is known for.

4. Cook At The Correct Temperature

You want to cook rice at a low temperature, between 185 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the rice until it’s soft and doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

5. Use A Tight-Fitting Lid While Cooking

You’ll want to use a pot with a tight-fitting lid when cooking rice over a stove. This will save your rice from getting waterlogged, which can cause it to be mushy or have soggy spots in your paella dish.

Tips For Flavoring The Rice And Adding Ingredients To The Dish

1. Add Paprika For Extra Flavor

If you want to add extra flavor to your rice, you can use paprika when making it. You can also add turmeric for an orange hue and saffron for a yellow hue. Both of these ingredients are traditional and give your paella dish extra flair.

2. When Adding Ingredients To Your Paella Dish, Don’t Season Each One Separately

You’ll want to ensure that you’re adding the proper seasoning for each ingredient in your paella dish. You can do this by putting everything in a bowl and stirring it together so that each ingredient is well-seasoned with pepper, garlic, saffron, and other spices.

3. Add Ingredients To The Dish All At Once

You’ll want to add all your ingredients to the rice at once. This is important because if you put each ingredient in separately, they may absorb too much water.

4. Don’t Use Vegetable Oil For Cooking The Rice

Instead, you’ll want to use lard or vegetable oil when cooking rice, so it cooks properly and doesn’t become mushy. If you try using olive oil when making paella, you may end up with soggy rice or a mess on your hands due to absorbing extra water from the oil used for cooking it.

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5. Add Broth To The Dish

If you’ve never made paella before, you may want to add some broth to it while cooking. This will help ensure that your rice isn’t soggy or too mushy and will give it extra flavor.

6. Add Spices, Tomatoes, And Bell Peppers For Extra Flavor

If you want to add spicy ingredients to your paella dish, go ahead.

Paella Variations That Will Impress Your Guests

1. Paella Mixta

Paella is traditionally made with just rice, short-grain chicken, pork belly, and rabbit. If you want to make a paella mixta dish, you can add seafood and vegetables to the dish. The seafood used in this particular paella variation can include clams and prawns. You can also add mushrooms, peas, or artichokes when making this dish variation. When adding vegetables to the dish, you can use eggplant or a mix of carrots and celery. The flavor in your paella will be enhanced by adding onions as well.

2. Paella Mariscos

The paella mariscos variation will add flavor to your paella dish with the use of seafood such as mussels, squid, and clams. Your dish will be even more flavorful when you add mushrooms and tomatoes.

3. Paella Vegetariana

The paella vegetarian variation is for those who don’t want to eat meat or seafood in their dish. This variation can be made using eggplants, artichokes, onions, peppers, and peas. You can season this dish with garlic and roast it to give it the traditional crispy texture that paellas are known for having.

Leftover Paella Ideas For A Quick And Easy Meal

If you’re looking for a quick and easy meal following your paella recipe, try the following ideas:

1. Turn It Into A Sandwich

If leftover rice is the only thing you have leftover, you can make it into a sandwich. Put some salami, ham, and cheese on top of the rice and grill it to give it that crispy texture that paella dishes are known for.

2. Avoid Leftovers By Making More Paella Recipes

Instead of wasting your leftovers from making this dish just once, you can use them to make additional recipes. For example, if you had leftover seafood in your paella dish recipe, you could use it for fish stew or paella shellfish.

3. Create A Paella Casserole

You can turn leftover paella into a casserole by using it as the base and topping it with your favorite ingredients. If you have leftover rice, just add other ingredients to the dish and bake it.


You should now have a better understanding of what a paella recipe is, how to make it, and how to know if it’s ready when it’s finished. You should also be able to make paella at home and enjoy your dish for yourself or for guests. If you have any questions about making paella at home, let me know in the comment section below. I hope that this article was helpful to you!

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