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SEASONAL RECIPES

Recipe: An easy oven paella with shrimp and artichokes makes a weeknight feast

Weeknight Shrimp and Artichoke Paella.
Weeknight Shrimp and Artichoke Paella.Sally Pasley Vargas

Serves 6

Paella doesn't have to be for special occasions only if you know the quicker oven version. We make a few accommodations that buck tradition, but you can be creative here. This weeknight paella comes together in less than 40 minutes; half that time it's in the oven. The dish is made with shrimp, frozen or canned artichoke hearts, smoked paprika, and saffron. Use short-grain Spanish bomba rice or Italian Arborio, which will absorb liquid well and hold its shape during cooking, or use a medium-grain white rice. To replicate a paella pan, use a large, wide skillet (two smaller ones will work if you divide everything between them). Rather than trying to straddle a large pan over two burners, you'll have to transfer it to the oven to cook the rice evenly. One delicious characteristic of paella is socarrat, a caramelized crust of rice that sticks to the bottom of the pan. Just a few minutes on top of the stove at the end of cooking will get you one. This paella turns any day of the week into a memorable feast.

pounds extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails intact)
3cloves garlic, finely chopped
½teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
Salt and black pepper, to taste
4tablespoons olive oil
¼teaspoon saffron threads
2tablespoons boiling water
1small onion, thinly sliced
½ red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
cups Spanish bomba rice, Arborio rice, or medium-grain white rice
6ounces frozen artichoke hearts or 1 can or jar (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained
1cup canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes with their juices
cups chicken stock
¾cup frozen peas, rinsed with cold water to defrost
2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)
1 lemon, cut into wedges (for serving)

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Have on hand a large (12- or 13-inch) skillet with an ovenproof handle.

2. In a bowl, toss the shrimp with 2 cloves of the garlic, paprika, salt, black pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Let the shrimp marinate for 10 minutes.

3. In a small bowl, crumble the saffron threads between your fingers. Pour in the boiling water. Set aside to soak until it's time to use it.

4. In the skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Add the shrimp in one layer and cook for 30 seconds; turn and cook 30 seconds more. Transfer to a plate.

5. Turn the heat to medium. Add the onion, bell pepper, and remaining garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until softened.

6. Add the rice to the skillet and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until the rice is coated with oil and is translucent. Stir in the artichokes, tomatoes, stock, saffron with its liquid, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil.

7. Cover the pan loosely with foil, and transfer to the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender but has some bite and most of the liquid is absorbed.

8. Return the skillet to a burner and set over medium heat. Keep the skillet handle covered with an oven mitt (away from the element) to remind you that it's hot. Arrange the shrimp and peas on the rice. Cover the pan loosely with foil and cook, without disturbing, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the rice forms a crust on the bottom of the pan and the shrimp and peas are heated through. Any excess liquid in the rice will bubble as it evaporates. When you hear a crackling sound, use a thin spatula to peek under the rice to see if it's lightly browned on the bottom.

9. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Sally Pasley Vargas

Serves 6

Paella doesn't have to be for special occasions only if you know the quicker oven version. We make a few accommodations that buck tradition, but you can be creative here. This weeknight paella comes together in less than 40 minutes; half that time it's in the oven. The dish is made with shrimp, frozen or canned artichoke hearts, smoked paprika, and saffron. Use short-grain Spanish bomba rice or Italian Arborio, which will absorb liquid well and hold its shape during cooking, or use a medium-grain white rice. To replicate a paella pan, use a large, wide skillet (two smaller ones will work if you divide everything between them). Rather than trying to straddle a large pan over two burners, you'll have to transfer it to the oven to cook the rice evenly. One delicious characteristic of paella is socarrat, a caramelized crust of rice that sticks to the bottom of the pan. Just a few minutes on top of the stove at the end of cooking will get you one. This paella turns any day of the week into a memorable feast.

pounds extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails intact)
3cloves garlic, finely chopped
½teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
Salt and black pepper, to taste
4tablespoons olive oil
¼teaspoon saffron threads
2tablespoons boiling water
1small onion, thinly sliced
½ red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
cups Spanish bomba rice, Arborio rice, or medium-grain white rice
6ounces frozen artichoke hearts or 1 can or jar (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained
1cup canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes with their juices
cups chicken stock
¾cup frozen peas, rinsed with cold water to defrost
2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)
1 lemon, cut into wedges (for serving)

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Have on hand a large (12- or 13-inch) skillet with an ovenproof handle.

2. In a bowl, toss the shrimp with 2 cloves of the garlic, paprika, salt, black pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Let the shrimp marinate for 10 minutes.

3. In a small bowl, crumble the saffron threads between your fingers. Pour in the boiling water. Set aside to soak until it's time to use it.

4. In the skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Add the shrimp in one layer and cook for 30 seconds; turn and cook 30 seconds more. Transfer to a plate.

5. Turn the heat to medium. Add the onion, bell pepper, and remaining garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until softened.

6. Add the rice to the skillet and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until the rice is coated with oil and is translucent. Stir in the artichokes, tomatoes, stock, saffron with its liquid, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil.

7. Cover the pan loosely with foil, and transfer to the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender but has some bite and most of the liquid is absorbed.

8. Return the skillet to a burner and set over medium heat. Keep the skillet handle covered with an oven mitt (away from the element) to remind you that it's hot. Arrange the shrimp and peas on the rice. Cover the pan loosely with foil and cook, without disturbing, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the rice forms a crust on the bottom of the pan and the shrimp and peas are heated through. Any excess liquid in the rice will bubble as it evaporates. When you hear a crackling sound, use a thin spatula to peek under the rice to see if it's lightly browned on the bottom.

9. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.Sally Pasley Vargas