Vegetarian Paella

This Vegetarian Paella dish is a vegetarian take on a classic Spanish dish known for the beautiful color and delicate flavor imparted by saffron. Although saffron is pricey, it stays fresh in it’s sealed container for quite some time and really adds a unique flavor and color to many dishes.

I use kidney beans and white beans here for a protein replacement in this Vegetarian Paella but feel free to sub veggie sausage or soy crumbles or chicken/seafood per your preference. Although it does take some patience for the rice to cook and soak up all the flavors, the whole meal still comes together in less than an hour and is worth the wait!

Vegetarian Paella

Vegetarian Paella

Vegetarian Paella is a meatless take on a classic Spanish dish known for the beautiful color and delicate flavor imparted by saffron.
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Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 8


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 3 stalks celery , chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup carrots , chopped or baby
  • 1 red bell pepper , seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 zucchini , chopped
  • 2/3 cup fresh or frozen green beans
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 1/2-3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 generous pinch of saffron (about 1/8 teaspoon)
  • 1 can kidney beans , rinsed and drained
  • 1 can white beans , rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 package vegan sausage , optional
  • 1 1/4 cup brown rice (I used combination of brown rice and barley)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 lemon, juiced


  • Heat oil in large pot or wok over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic and celery for 5 minutes.
  • Add remaining veggies, 2 1/2 cups of broth, tomatoes, spices, beans, veggie sausage and rice. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until majority of liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked, 25-35 minutes. Add additional broth if needed.
  • If liquid is not evaporating well, remove lid for last 5-10 minutes of cooking.
  • Stir in parsley and lemon juice prior to serving.
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