Green Paella

  • prep time30 min
  • total time 55 min
  • serves 6
Chuck Hughes
Chuck Hughes

This is my take on paella. Instead of using saffron, I use a cilantro paste similar to pesto. Not only does it make the dish an incredible green but it tastes light, bright, and delicious.

Courtesy of Chef Chuck Hughes for Cook for the Cure 2013.

23 Ratings
Directions for: Green Paella


Cilantro Paste

2 poblano chilies, roasted, peeled and seeded

½ cup (125 mL) cilantro leaves and stems

½ cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped saltwort

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

zest and juice of 1 lime

¼ cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp (15 mL) sugar

½ tsp (2 mL) coriander seeds, crushed

pinch cayenne pepper

kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper


¼ cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped

4 clove garlic, chopped

½ lb(s) (225 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs

¼ lb(s) (112 g) cured chorizo, sliced

3 cup (750 mL) Bomba rice or other short-grain rice such as arborio

6 cup (1.5 L) hot chicken or veal stock

1 lb(s) (450 g) clams

1 lb(s) (450 g) mussels, scrubbed

1 lb(s) (450 g) baby kale leaves, blanched and drained

salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 large scallops

8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 green onions, finely chopped


Cilantro Paste

1. In a food processor, combine the poblano chilies, cilantro, saltwort, garlic, shallot, lime zest and juice, olive oil, sugar, coriander, and cayenne. Pulse until a coarse purée forms. Season with salt and pepper.


1. Heat half of the oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft. Increase heat to medium-high, add the chicken, and sauté until chicken is golden brown. Add the chorizo; sauté for 1 minute. Add the rice and stir to coat.

2. Add the cilantro paste and stock. Stir, then add the clams and mussels. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the clams and mussels start to open. Discard any clams or mussels that do not open. Stir in the kale and season with salt and pepper.

3. Meanwhile, season the scallops and shrimp with salt and pepper. In a medium skillet, heat the remaining oil over high heat. Sear the scallops until golden brown on each side. Remove from pan. Sauté the shrimp for 2 minutes.

4. Add the scallops and shrimp to the paella. Garnish with green onions.

See more: Seafood, Chicken, European, Rice/Grain, Vegetables, Dinner, Herbs

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