As I mentioned in my last post, I’m having fun exploring the new Trader Joe’s in New Orleans. I asked everyone on Instagram to share their favorite products with me so I could sample the best the store had to offer and one item that was suggested multiple times was their frozen seafood paella. While the paella wasn’t bad, I was a little underwhelmed, and after glancing at the ingredient list I knew I could make something similar at home. And that’s how this super easy Seafood Rice Skillet was born.
Inspired by Paella, but NOT Paella.
Why is mine a “skillet” and not a paella? Well, for multiple reasons, but the main reasons being that
A) I did not use saffron ($$$)
B) I used long grain rice, and
C) I made it in a skillet and not a paella pan. I like to change recipes to work for me and these changes were made to fit my budget, ingredient availability, and cooking style. But guess what? This Seafood Rice Skillet is still amaze-balls. Not a term I normally use, but totally fitting here.
What Kind of Seafood Can be Use for This Seafood Rice Skillet?
I used the frozen seafood mix from Trader Joe’s (shrimp, scallops, and calamari), but if you can’t find something similar near you, you can totally use just shrimp alone. If you can find a seafood broth, or maybe a little clam juice, you can sub some of that in for part of the chicken broth and have this be even more seafood-y.
What Kind of Rice Should I Use?
This recipe was written using long grain white rice, but using short grain is more in line with paella. If you happen to have short grain rice, you can use that in place of the long grain, but make sure to adjust the broth to rice ratio to match the directions on the package.
Alright, ready to see this super easy and impressive skillet meal??
Seafood Rice Skillet
- 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.22)
- 1 onion ($0.25)
- 2 cloves garlic ( $0.16)
- 1 red bell pepper ($1.00)
- 1/2 Tbsp turmeric ($0.15)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika ($0.10)
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)
- 2 cups uncooked long grain white rice ($1.12)
- 3 cups chicken broth* ($0.41)
- 1 cup frozen peas ($0.48)
- 1/2 lb frozen seafood mix ($4.00)
- 1 fresh lemon ($0.59)
- Handful fresh parsley, chopped ($0.20)
- Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the olive oil, onion, and garlic to a large deep skillet. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and transparent (about 5 minutes). Meanwhile, dice the red bell pepper. Add the diced bell pepper to the skillet and sauté for 1-2 minutes more.
- Add the uncooked rice, turmeric, smoked paprika, and cayenne to the skillet. Stir to combine. Pour in the chicken broth, stir briefly, then place a lid on the skillet.
- Turn the heat up to high and bring the broth to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let simmer for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, add the frozen seafood and frozen peas. Fold the seafood and peas into the skillet, then replace the lid. Let the seafood and peas cook over low heat until the shrimp turn pink (about 5-10 minutes). Stir once half way through to check the seafood buried in the rice for doneness.
- Once the seafood has finished cooking, top the skillet with chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges. Squeeze the lemon juice over top of the seafood rice just before eating.
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
Step by Step Photos
Begin by dicing one onion and mincing two cloves of garlic. Add the onion and garlic to a large deep skillet along with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté the onion and garlic until the onion are soft and transparent.
While the onion and garlic are sautéing, dice a red bell pepper. Add the bell pepper to the skillet and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes more.
Add 2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice, 1/2 Tbsp turmeric, 1 tsp smoked paprika, and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper.
Stir until everything is well coated in spices.
Add 3 cups of chicken broth to the skillet, place a lid on top, and turn the heat up to high. Let the skillet come to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let simmer on low for 15 minutes.
This is the seafood blend that I used. It’s a mix of shrimp, scallops, and calamari. I used half of this bag, or 1/2 lb. If you can’t find something similar to this, you can use just shrimp.
After simmering on low for 15 minutes, most of the broth should be absorbed by the rice. Add 1/2 lb. of the frozen seafood mix and 1 cup frozen peas. Seafood cooks very quickly, even from frozen, so you don’t want to add it before the rice is cooked. Over cooking seafood makes it very tough.
Fold the seafood and peas into the cooked rice, place the lid back on top of the skillet, and let it cook over low heat for another 5-10 minutes, or until the shrimp have turned pink and opaque. You may need to stir once halfway through to check the doneness of the shrimp buried in the rice.
Once the seafood is cooked through, top the Seafood Rice Skillet with chopped parsley and lemon wedges.
Squeezing fresh lemon over the top of your bowl really gives this dish a nice fresh POP, so don’t skip it! :)