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Spicy Paella with Chile, Lime, and Cilantro

I consider paella to be the ultimate party food. The entire process from making to eating begs for people to be involved in the process, while drinking some good Spanish wine, of course! This paella recipe has some heat. And, it’s just as good vegetarian as it is as with meat.IMG_0681


2 dried New Mexican or Anaheim chile
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled
4 (16-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth


1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced


1 teaspoon olive oil
24 unpeeled large shrimp (about 2 pounds) *leave out for vegetarian version
2 (3.5-ounce) andouille sausages or chicken sausages with habanero chiles and tequila (such as Gerhard’s), cut into 1/2-inch pieces -OR FOR VEGETARIAN VERSION – 4 Field Roast Mexican Chipotle Sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 1/2 cups finely chopped red bell pepper
2 jalapenos, diced
2 cups finely chopped onion
2 cups sliced zucchini
1 can, diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon hot paprika or reg paprika mixed chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups uncooked Arborio rice or other short-grain rice
4 ears fresh corn, cut from cob (or frozen)
8 lime wedges

IMG_0683To prepare the broth, remove stem and seeds from chile. Combine the chile, cumin, cinnamon, and 2 garlic cloves in a food processor; process until minced. Combine chile mixture and broth in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

To prepare herb blend, combine cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and 2 garlic cloves; set aside.

To prepare paella, heat 1 teaspoon oil in large paella pan or large skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and onion, and sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini; sauté 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, paprika, salt, and 3 garlic cloves; cook 5 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add sausages and rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, herb blend, sausages, and corn; cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Arrange shrimp, heads down, in rice mixture; cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover with a towel, and let stand 10 minutes. Serve with lime wedges.IMG_0154

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About Author


Just a girl who loves to cook, eat, travel, drink delicious wine and craft cocktails.


2 Responses

  • Kathie

    Were did you find the Mexican Chipotle sausage?

    • April 23, 2022, 16:15:23
    • Reply
    • Michelle

      I make two different versions of this. One is vegetarian and uses Mexican Chipotle Sausage made by Field Roast. The other uses Falls Brand Basque chorizo. I get both from Winco. What I think is exceptional is if you prepare the chorizo in advance with this recipe ( and use some in the paella and save some for snacking with crusty bread while cooking! The bread dipped in the wine sauce is amazing!

      • April 23, 2022, 17:32:34
      • Reply

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