Dinner in 30 Minutes: Cheater’s Paella

I used to teach a cooking class called “Good Food Fast,” and it sold out every time.

Seems like everyone is looking for a way to introduce new flavors that can be ready for your family in a snap.

Purists will shudder, but this is, without question, the easiest way to make paella part of your midweek dinner rotation. Sure, it’s not the same as making it the old fashioned way, but on the other hand, it’s done—start to finish—in 30 minutes. Serve it with a crisp Spanish white and an arugula salad tossed with marinated artichoke hearts, grated Manchego cheese and a sherry vinaigrette. Buen provecho!


Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled, quartered, and thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and cut in thin strips
  • 1 package Amy’s Chicken Andouille or Chorizo Sausage
  • 1 – 8 ounce packages Vigo Saffron Yellow Rice (or substitute Nueva Cocina’s Paella Rice Mix)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup frozen petite peas
  • 12 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In large, deep skillet (with lid), heat olive oil over medium flame. Add onion and pepper and sauté until softened. Slice sausages 1/2” thick on the diagonal and add to pan. Sauté to brown. Add rice, sauté for 30 seconds to coat rice, then add water and bring to a quick boil, stirring. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, then lift lid and throw in peas and shrimp. Cook 4 minutes more. Remove from heat and serve, garnished with chopped cilantro.