Rainbow Paella

Although there are a few components to this recipe that you wouldn’t find in a traditional paella, we have experimented loads in the kitchen and found this colourful version, with some added spice and juicy tomatoes. We’ve jam packed in loads of veggies, which makes this dish super colourful (hence the name!) and so this dish is absolutely full of the veggie goodness. It’s bursting with nutrients, including vitamins A, C, D and high in protein and iron with the beans in there too.

Options and leave outs

The spice can be adjusted to your taste and of course you can even leave it out all together. If you are making this for kids too, you might want to leave out the harissa spice and add it at the end once you’ve served up the kids portions!

The sausages – we used Tesco’s “wicked chorizo vegan sausages” which work really well. I love these sausages, they have a great flavour and equally important great texture. You can try using another brand, just follow the instructions on the packet. With some brands you wont need to cook them separately first, just slice and add straight in.

With the veggies, if you have everything in the fridge minus one component, no stress, it’ll still be delicious as there is lots going on here.


I used a paella pan on the hob when I made this, which is a little tricky with a small flame, but not impossible. If you have one and want to give it a go (because it’s great for the presentation!) you will just need to rotate the pan on the flame to make sure every corner of rice gets an even coverage of heat. If you don’t have a paella pan, you can just use your biggest wide based pan, don’t underestimate how big… this one needs a lot of room!

RESIST STIRRING IT! It’s hard not to but this is a key to making a great paella. You want the bottom to catch a bit, the crispy bits at the bottom are my favourite bit! There is even a name for this – The Socarrat. Unlike a risotto it doesn’t need the constant stir, it’s more chilled than that and much easier on the arms.

Rainbow Paella

A colourful vegan paella, with beans, mushrooms and many a veggie.

Course Dinner
Cuisine Spanish
Keyword Paella
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Resting time 10 minutes
Servings 6 people


  • 500 g butternut squash
  • 200 g mushrooms
  • 6 vegan chorizo sausages Wicked brand from Tesco are excellent
  • 1 large white onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 bell peppers red and orange work well for colour
  • 1 courgette
  • 4 pieces artichoke from a jar
  • 6 sprigs Purple sprouting broccolli or asparagus (or both!)
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 300 g Paella Rice
  • 1 litre veg stock plus extra water if needed
  • 150 ml vegan white wine
  • 1 tin butter beans
  • 1 tin pinto beans or adzuki
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1-2 Tbsp Harissa paste (depending on your preferred spice level) or you can use a pinch of chilli flakes.
  • 2 lemons
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Switch the oven on to 180°c. Peel the squash and cut into bite size cubes, then quarter the mushrooms and place both on a baking tray with a sprinkling of smoked paprika and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 25-30 mins, until soft but watching they don't burn.

  2. Put the vegan chorizo sausages in a pan and cook according to packet instructions for about 14 mins. Then turn off the heat and set to one side.

  3. Meanwhile prep the veg - Peel and dice the onion, finely slice the garlic, slice the peppers, slice the courgette into circles, then in half again to make half-moons, then take the artichokes and slice them in half.

  4. In a pestle and mortar, grind the saffron with a large pinch of salt then mix in a Tbsp smoked paprika. Heat the oil in a large wide based pan (or paella pan if you have one), then add the onions and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften. Then add the garlic and all the other veggies apart from the broccoli/asparagus (leave this for the top to decorate). Cook the veg down for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, then add the turmeric and paella rice and stir everything together.

  5. Add the white wine to pan and cook this off for a few minutes. Meanwhile, boil the kettle to make up a jug of veg stock. Slice the chorizo sausages into circles and add them to the pan along with the tinned tomatoes, artichoke, harissa paste, mushrooms and squash from the oven. Drain the beans them add them into the pan. Season with a good amount of salt and pepper, a little more salt than you would usually season a dish with as the rice will suck up all the flavours. Add in the stock and stir everything together.

  6. Once everything is mixed together nicely, add the purple sprouting broccoli and/or asparagus onto the dish to decorate the top in a circular pattern. Leave to cook for 20 mins, rotating the pan if need be to make sure the rice cooks evenly. If it starts to look really dry add a splash of water, but resist stirring, this is key to a great paella and in fact the best bits are the burnt bottom! Check to see if the rice is soft and cooked through after 20 mins, if not, leave it a few minutes and check again, take it off the heat to rest for 10 mins then add a squeeze of lemon over the top. Serve with extra lemon slices and perhaps a hot sauce for those who like a bit of spice.