Vegetarian Paella

Having recently come back from a holiday in Seville, I had a hankering for paella. Unfortunately, my girlfriend is vegetarian, so I came up with this alternative vegetarian version. So far, I've cooked it 5 times for friends and family and everyone has loved it! The quantities here make enough for 4 people. Don't forget the french bread (or flat garlic bread), wine and side salad.


You'll also need a big pan with a flat base (or a wok at a push).


  1. Put the saffron and hot water in a small bowl and set aside. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan or a paella pan. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes more.
  2. Add the rice and stir for about 1 minute, until the grains are coated in oil. Add the stock, tomatoes, saffron and soaking water to the pan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer, shaking the pan frequently and stirring the mixture occasionally, for 15 minutes.
  3. Stir the mushrooms, French beans and pinto beans with their can juices. Cook for 5 minutes. Cut the lemon into 4 pieces and place on the top of the paella to cook slightly. Cook for 5 minutes and serve the lemon with the paella.

Swap added: "It was good, but next time, I think I'll strain the bean juices first. I think the juice obscured a bit saffron's starring role."

Please try it and let me know what you think ;)