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Easy Slow-Cooker Paella (gluten free!)

Posted Oct 07 2013 10:05am



Easy Slow-Cooker Paella (gluten free!)



Paella… pronounced pai-aayyyyy-ya! Yep, you gotta add that extra little “ayyy” in the middle – just for that flair, is a traditional Spanish rice dish!

It’s been around for ages, and everyone puts their own twist on it! My twist, is to healthify it a bit, and simplify it – by doing the whole ‘set it, and forget it’ kind of thing!

I hadn’t had paella in a long time – the last I remember was a couple summers ago at this neat little restaurant in downtown Edmonton called Tzin. As soon as I saw it on the menu, I knew what I was ordering!

You just don’t see this dish on menus very often, and there’s something about it that’s so comforting to me – it’s totally my kind of comfort food…. carb-filled, warming, each-little-bite-is-a-tiny-bit-different-from-the-last-depending-on-what-you-get-in-it, and the flavors, oh the spices! 

I wanted to come up with something warming and delicious for my delivery clients, and one day as I was out grabbing groceries, I spotted this little bag of mixed seafood and PAEEEELLA popped into my head!

Instead of slaving over the stove-top, I figured this is kind of a one-pot meal that could definitely be done in the slow cooker!

I decided to do some perusing around the blogosphere and came across this crock-pot paella from Wanna Bite !

Yes, it could be done! I decided to change up the recipe by using the seafood medley and lean organic (nitrate-free!!) chicken sausage, as well as use my favorite Tru Roots Quinoa and Sprouted Rice blend to add some extra texture and protein. Quinoa, for a grain, is very high in protein, and super nutritious!

I loved how easy the whole recipe came together – I just popped it all in the slow-cooker, went off and did some work for a few hours, came back, thawed the peas and seafood, stirred them into the mix, and waited another 30 minutes.

Done! A delicious, healthy paella, and in the mean-time, I also got a bunch of work done  - that’s a WIN WIN if you ask me!

I made sure to set a small serving aside for lunch the next day and managed to fit it nicely into my macros! Healthy carbs, lean proteins, veggies, fiber, yum, yum, yum!

I’ll admit, this paella isn’t the prettiest dish on the blog, but don’t let that fool you, it packs a bunch of flavor, texture, aroma, and deliciousness!

Slow-cooker meals are great for busy people. Just make it on a Sunday, and have it a few times throughout the week, or throw a batch of servings in the freezer for meals on those nights when you just don’t want to cook, or need something quick!

Calorie wise, one serving of about a cup is 340 calories… 340 very filling calories at that! The complex carbs, fiber, and proteins in this dish will fill you up and keep you feeling full for at least a few hours after!

So, when’s the last time you had Paeeeeeellla?!

Go on, pull out that slow-cooker, and bring a little Spanish flair into the kitch this week!

Easy Slow-Cooker Paella (gluten free!)
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Serves: 6

  • 13 oz extra lean nitrate-free chicken sausage (preferably local/organic!)
  • 340 g frozen seafood medley (I used Sea Quest brand – if you don’t want a mix you can just use a single type of seafood such as shrimp, scallops, mussels, calamari, etc.)
  • 1½ cups (dry) long grain brown rice (or a rice blend, I used Tru Roots Quinoa/Sprouted Rice Blend)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 1½ cups diced canned tomatoes
  • 1½ cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons garlic salt
  • lemon wedge and green onion to garnish

  1. In a pan, brown the chicken sausages for 5 minutes, then chop into small chunks.
  2. Add the chicken, rice, onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, broth, salt and spices to the slow-cooker, and mix to combine.
  3. Cook on high for 3 hours.
  4. After the paella has been cooking for 3 hours, give it a good stir.
  5. Under cold running water in a colander, thaw the seafood medley and peas.
  6. Mix the seafood and the peas in with the paella, and cook on high for another 30 minutes.
  7. Divide paella into 6 servings and garnish with green onion and a lime wedge!
  8. Enjoy!

In the original recipe from Wanna Bite, which inspired this recipe – the author mentions to only use long grain brown rice – I used a blend and it did not turn out mushy, however if you use a different type of rice other than long grain brown, or a blend, you may have a mushy paella – so I would recommend to use one of the two suggested! :)

Nutritional Information
Serving size: about 1 cup Calories: 341kcal Fat: 5g Carbohydrates: 47g Sugar: 11g Fiber: 5g Protein: 28g


* Recipe Inspired by Wanna Bite 


Nutritionist in the Kitch

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