Jump to Recipe Print Recipe

This vegan paella is made with tender saffron-infused rice, veggies, and mix of savory mushrooms.

Paella is pronounced “pie-ay-ah.” I just learned that recently. In fact, I’d been going around thinking it was pronounced pay-ella and that “pie-ay-ah” was a completely different thing. No really, like, I’d see these pictures or paella on Pinterest and think, “Oh look at that lovely rice dish. I should make a vegan version of that.” And then people would talk to me about how much they loved “pie-ay-ah,” and I’d think it was some pie thing. I knew it was spanish and involved seafood, but not much else. I think I tuned out after the seafood part.

Anyway, my brother was telling me about the awesome mushroom “pie-ay-ah” at a vegetarian restaurant he visited, and I was all, “Oh, do tell! A big Spanish mushroom pie thingy? Vegan? That sounds awesome!”

Okay, so did you follow all that? They’re really just one dish and it’s Spanish and involves rice and, traditionally, seafood. No pie. That’s okay! Pie has it’s place, but it’s not everything. There’s room for rice in my heart too.

So I eventually visited the vegetarian place and had a taste of their vegan paella and decided to copy them.

Mushrooms are the perfect stand-in for seafood here. (1) They have the ideal texture. (2) They add savory flavor, which, while different from what you might get from traditional seafood, is no less delicious. And (3) you can add a bunch of different types of mushrooms for extra flavor and fun.

Traditional paella is made with bomba rice. I live in an area where ingredients are pretty accessible, but no bomba rice was to be found. So I figured it might be tough for you guys too. So I went with the next best thing, which is arborio rice — the stuff you’d normally use for risotto.

I also cooked my paella in a cast iron skillet instead of a traditional paella pan. If you have a paella pan, go for it, but my kitchen space is running low these days, and the skillet worked just fine.

So I guess the cat’s out of the bag that this paella is totally inauthentic. But it’s delicious, and it keeps with the spirit of traditional paella, if you ask me. It’s also delicious and feels really special. Perfect vegan Valentine’s Day food.

5 from 2 votes Print

Vegan Mushroom Paella

This vegan paella is made with tender saffron-infused rice, veggies, and mix of savory mushrooms.

CourseEntree CuisineAmerican, Spanish Prep Time 25 minutes Cook Time 55 minutes Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes Servings 6 Calories 428 kcal Author Alissa Saenz


  • 4tablespoonsolive oil,divided
  • 16ouncesassorted fresh mushrooms, coarsely chopped(I used a mix of cremini, button, shiitake and oyster)
  • 1large onion,diced
  • 4garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14 ounce) candiced tomatoes
  • 1cupdry white wine
  • 1teaspoonpaprika
  • Generous pinchsaffron
  • 4cupsvegetable broth
  • 2cupsarborio rice
  • 1cupfresh or frozen (and thawed) peas
  • Fresh parsley and lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Coat the bottom of a large skillet (at least 12-inch, see note) with 3 tablespoons of oil and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and cook 10 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until lightly browned on both sides. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet and transfer them to a plate.

  2. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet. When the oil is hot, add the onion. Sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute more, until very fragrant.

  3. Stir in the tomatoes, wine, paprika and saffron. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer until almost all of the liquid cooks off, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Return the mushrooms to the skillet and stir in the broth, rice, and peas. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Allow to cook, uncovered, repositioning the skillet every so often to ensure even cooking. After 10 minutes, give the mixture a very brief stir to redistribute the rice, smooth out the top, then allow to simmer for another 10-15 minutes, until the rice is tender.

  5. Remove the skillet from the heat and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Recipe Notes

This recipe just fits into a 12-inch cast iron skillet. If you don’t have one that large you’ll need to scale back on the recipe size, or split it up.

Nutrition FactsVegan Mushroom PaellaAmount Per ServingCalories 428Calories from Fat 100% Daily Value*Fat 11.1g17%Saturated Fat 1.7g9%Sodium 525mg22%Potassium 733mg21%Carbohydrates 63.8g21%Fiber 5.2g21%Sugar 6.3g7%Protein 12.2g24%Calcium 30mg3%Iron 4.3mg24%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.« Vegan Pink Velvet CupcakesChipotle Sweet Potato Vegan Posole »

Sharing is caring!

I am so thrilled that Kristin Emily Kerr referred those of us in her 21 Day Healthy Vegan Challenge to your site! I’m having the Mushroom Strogonoff again tonight, but was just looking over some of your other recipes and I don’t think I could go wrong with ANY of them! Your recipes are not complicated with hard to find items (I usually have most items in my pantry and spice cabinet).Thank you for a world of deliciousness for new and current vegans!


  • Late night I did it. Delicious! But I first made the rice and when almost done I added the remaining ingredients in order not to overcook the mushrooms. Very good indeed. Thanks.


    • Hi, I’m Alissa! I’m a former attorney turned professional food blogger. I love creating vegan recipes with bold flavors!

      More about me →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *