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 or sherry
  • 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 drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of smoked paprika. Bake for 25-30 mins until soft.

  2. Heat a tsp of oil in a pan and cook the vegan chorizo sausages according to packet instructions (usually 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, thinly slice the peppers and slice the courgette into half moons. Slice the artichokes in half.

  4. In a pestle and mortar, grind the saffron with a large pinch of salt then mix in a Tbsp smoked paprika. Set to one side.

  5. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive 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, courgettes and peppers and sauté on a medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

  6. Next add 1 tsp turmeric and the paella rice, then stir everything together.

  7. Add the white wine to pan and cook this off for a few minutes. Meanwhile, boil the kettle to make 1 litre of veg stock, add the saffron salt mixture into the stock and stir. 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 too. 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. Pour in the saffron stock and give it one last stir until fully combined. Turn the heat down to a medium-low.

  8. Next, add the purple sprouting broccoli onto the top of the rice, in a circular pattern to decorate. Leave to cook for 20 mins, rotating the pan if need be to make sure the rice cooks evenly. DON'T STIR IT! This is key to a great paella and in fact the best bits are the burnt bottom. Increase the heat for the last few minutes then check to see if the rice is soft and cooked through, if not, leave it a few minutes and check again. Take it off the heat, cover with foil and leave to rest for 10 mins. Finish with a squeeze of lemon over the top. Serve with extra lemon slices.