Paella is often served with a parsley or cilantro pesto that includes toasted almonds or pine nuts. For a shortcut you can garnish with toasted almonds instead. The crunchy nutty flavor really compliments the spicy flavors in this dish.
- 1 diced sweet onion
- ½ cup green pepper diced
- ½ cup red pepper diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- olive oil
- salt & black pepper to taste
- 1  oz pkg spicy saffron rice
- 2 cups roasted chicken roughly chopped
- 1 [13 oz] fully cooked smoked turkey sausage sliced
- 1 [15 oz] can tomatoes seasoned for chili
- 1 can cream of celery soup
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup pimento stuffed green olives
- 2 cups shredded monterey jack or manchego cheese divided
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro [reserve 1 Tbsp for the top]
- ½ cup frozen petite peas
- 10-12 medium/large raw shrimp peeled deveined, tails removed [optional]
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a medium size pot, cook the diced pepper and onion in a couple of drizzles of olive oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften and brown. Add the minced garlic and saute for another minute. Season with salt and black pepper to your taste.
- Add the dry saffron rice and the amount of water called for on the package to the cooked veggies.
- Prepare the rice per the instructions on the package being careful not to overcook. Remove from the heat and cool.
- In a large mixing bowl stir together the cooked rice, chopped chicken, sausage, shrimp [if using] tomatoes, soup, sour cream, olives, cilantro and 1 cup cheese.Mix well.
- Next, add the frozen peas and 1 cup of shredded cheese. Mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust the salt and black pepper to your taste.
- Pour into the baking dish, and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 cup shredded cheese.
- Return to the oven and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes longer until bubbly and the cheese has melted.
- Garnish with pesto if desired.