Vegan Paella Recipe

Vegan Paella

To make this vegan paella, I’ve thought about how I can replace the array of seafood, chicken and smoky bacon/chorizo/pork you’d find in a meaty version with something plant based. So, we’ve got smoked tofu and paprika, salty capers, earthy porcini and an array of delicious veg. It’s a winner, just don’t serve it to your Spanish mates!

Reading up on what makes an authentic Paella is enough to make anyone not from Spain fearful of even trying. There are so many rules and traditions, which the purists would have you stick to if you are going to even call your dish ‘Paella’. So, spoiler alert, this is definitely not an authentic Spanish Paella. For starters, it’s vegan, which is a no no right off the bat. In a startlingly brazen move, I’ve also added Porcini mushrooms which is probably enough to make any Spanish person stop reading right now. I’m sorry. If you are still reading though, make this, it’s seriously delicious and 100% vegan.


400g paella rice

1 litre vegetable stock

2 tsps capers

1 block smoked tofu

2 peppers

2 courgettes

1 onion

1 chili

2 cloves garlic

30g dried mushrooms (eg porcini)

Smoked paprika




1 lemon

Coriander (optional)


  1. Boil the kettle and pour hot water over the dried mushrooms to rehydrate.
  2. Get your vegetable stock ready by dissolving one stock cube in 1 litre of water.
  3. Finely chop the onion, garlic and chili.
  4. Roughly chop the peppers and courgettes.
  5. In a large pan (ideally a Paella one if you’ve got it but if not a normal large saucepan will do) heat a splash of oil and fry all the veg on a medium heat for 8-10 minutes until softened.
  6. Roughly chop the smoked tofu into cubes and add to the pan.
  7. Add the garlic, chili and 2tsps of smoked paprika, stir and continue frying for another minute.
  8. Take your mushrooms out of their water (retaining the lovely mushroomy stock) and roughly chop before adding to the pan.
  9. Add the capers.
  10. Add the rice, stir well then add the stock and the leftover mushroom water.
  11. Add a pinch of saffron.
  12. Leave to simmer until the rice is cooked according to the packet instructions (10-15 minutes)
  13. Season with salt and pepper, squeeze over the juice of a lemon and garnish with chopped coriander. Enjoy!
Veggie LAD


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