Paella Casserole Recipe
Paella is a traditional Spanish rice dish prepared in a large pan outside over an open fire. The ingredients usually include chicken, spicy sausage, vegetables, and seafood. Or, any combination of those ingredients. The flavors are as intense and vibrant as the colors. Through travel, I was fortunate to taste authentic paella, and fell in love with this sassy dish. To make it family friendly, I needed to "remake" it a bit to turn it into a doable week night meal.
Chicken and Sausage Paella
Dishes like chicken and wild rice casserole are always a welcome sight on the dinner table. Authentic paella would usually include seafood, and I include shrimp in mine. However, this is optional and up to you. I'm taking some liberty with this dish because I'm preparing it in the oven as a casserole. However, if you enjoy Spanish inspired cuisine, it's a great way to enjoy those flavors with little fuss. My friend, who is originally from Spain, gave my version her stamp of approval.
Helpful Tips for Making Paella Casserole
- This dish can be assembled one day in advance, covered and chilled until baking.
- When assembling in advance, give it 15 minutes on the counter to come to room temperature before baking.
- 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.
- If you'd like to whip-up pesto, I highly recommend trying my homemade Cilantro Pesto as a topping.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
- 1 diced sweet onion
- ½ cup green pepper diced
- ½ cup red pepper diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 5 oz package saffron rice
- 2 cups roasted chicken roughly chopped
- 1 13 oz smoked turkey sausage sliced
- 1 15 oz can tomatoes seasoned for chili
- 1 10 ¾ oz 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 tablespoon 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, 1 cup cheese and peas. Mix well. 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.
This is a very yummy and pretty easy version of paella!! My husband and z loved it and I look forward to making it again soon!!
Thanks so much!
The ingredients list mentions 2 cups of cheese but the instructions list 3 cups of cheese added in preparing this dish. I got all of the ingredients and excited to try it!! Thanks for your reply.
Hi Barb, sorry that was confusing. I changed the wording a bit to make it more clear. One cup in the dish and one cup on top. That said, you're more than welcome to add an extra cup to the casserole!
Am I missing where to add the frozen peas? I’m thinking it’s added with the reserved cheese. Wanted to check to be sure.
Hi Nancy, that wasn't very clear sorry about that. I've updated the instructions. I hope you enjoy this fabulous casserole!