Chicken Chorizo Paella Recipe

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Tender chicken & punchy chorizo on a tomatoey bed of rice, flavoured with warming paprika and saffron. Could you ask for anything better? This chicken & chorizo paella makes a perfect indulgent dinner and, if you aren’t able to visit the Mediterranean this summer for real, it will almost make you feel like you are sat outside a Spanish restaurant with the sun streaming down.


This paella includes skin-on chicken thighs, Spanish chorizo sausage and (of course) paella rice which is cooked in stock. Red bell pepper, frozen peas and chopped tomatoes add some extra nutrition, colour and texture. The dish gets its beautiful flavour from garlic, lemon juice, saffron and smoked paprika.

I also like to garnish this with some scattered chopped herbs, such as parsley.

How do you make it?

This is a pretty easy dish to make. You can’t rush it too much as you need to give the rice time to soak up all the lovely stock, but it only requires one pan. Perfect for reducing washing up! 

To prepare, simply brown the chicken on all sides and then remove from the pan. Add the chorizo and cook for a few minutes, until softened, before adding the pepper and garlic and cooking for a further two minutes. Add the paella rice to the pan for a couple of minutes, so it is coated in all the lovely juices before adding the tomatoes, paprika, saffron and stock and placing the chicken back in.

Simmer for around 15 minutes before adding in the peas and then cook for a further 15 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Serve with sliced lemon for drizzling over to taste and a scattering of parsley. Yum!

Is it healthy?

I make this with skin on, bone-in, chicken thighs. While not the healthiest,  thigh meat is so tender and the skin helps to keep the meat super juicy. Chicken thighs don’t have the best ‘rep. They have DOUBLE the fat content of chicken breast (whaaat!). But, you will be relieved to know that they don’t have that much more saturated fat than breast meat. So it’s not actually as bad as you may believe. I say once in a while it’s ok to treat yourself. You could make this with chicken breast if you are trying to watch calorie and fat intake, but it would be a lot drier. Although let’s face it, if you are making a dish with a healthy serving of chorizo, it’s probably not the chicken that you should be worrying about.

This recipe has 750 calories, so while it’s not sin-free, it’s also not as bad as a greasy take away either!

Chicken Chorizo Paella spooned onto a plate

Can you freeze it?

You can make a few portions of this and keep in the fridge for a couple of days to reheat – which is what I tend to do. You can also freeze portions, so it is a good dish to make in bulk. If you do freeze it then just make sure that you get it in the freezer as soon as possible after cooling. (I wouldn’t recommend keeping it in the fridge for a couple of days then freezing).

When reheating, make sure that it is piping hot all the way through. You can reheat in a microwave or in a pan over the hob. Just a warning that rice is actually one of the most common foods for food poisoning, so be careful you have reheated it well and frozen it quickly. 


I use dry-cured chorizo for this recipe, but you can definitely use semi-cured (soft) as t. Just make sure you buy a Spanish variety rather than a Mexican chorizo which is different in taste and also how you cook it.

This recipe works best with smoked paprika, but you can use hot or sweet paprika instead – the taste profile will change (and you may want to reduce the amount if you use hot paprika) but it will still work great.

Looking for more great Mediterranean inspired recipes? Check out this Spanish Chorizo Pasta or these fantastic Mediterranean Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers.

Products that work well for this recipe:

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Chicken Chorizo Paella Recipe

Chicken & Chorizo Paella

  • Author: caroline
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 1x


A rich and indulgent chicken chorizo paella. Flavoured with saffron and warm smoked paprika. A huge hit for any paella, chorizo or rice love. 

The default recipe serves one.


  • small pinch of saffron
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 bone-in, skin-on chicken thigh (around 90g / 3oz)
  • 50g (1.7oz) dry-cured spanish chorizo, skin peeled off and thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, diced
  • 150g (5 oz) spanish paella rice
  • 200ml (3/4 cup) chicken stock
  • 100g (3.5oz) tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 lemon, juiced and then sliced into wedges
  • 50g (1/4 cup) frozen peas
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • few sprigs of parsley, finely chopped (optional)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan or skillet over a medium-high heat. Meanwhile add the saffron into a small cup with 1 tsp of warm water.
  2. Add the chicken thigh, skin side down, and cook for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for 3 minutes on the other side. Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate.
  3. Add the chorizo to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and pepper to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add the rice to the pan with the paprika and stir to coat in the juices. Cook for a further couple of minutes and then add the stock. Tip in the tomatoes, saffron (including the water) and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and add the chicken back into the pan. Season well. 
  5. Cook for around 15 minutes and then add the peas. Cook for a further 15 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. 
  6. Serve with the lemon slices as a garnish and scatter some finely chopped herbs over (optional)


  1. This recipe works with both dry-cured or soft-cured chorizo – just make sure you buy a Spanish variety. 
  2. You can substitute smoked paprika with hot or sweet although it will change the taste profile a little. If using hot you may want to reduce the amount a little. 
  3. Leftovers can be kept for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Hob
  • Cuisine: Spanish


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 750
  • Fat: 35g
  • Carbohydrates: 75g
  • Protein: 35g

Keywords: chicken, chorizo, paella, dinner, spanish, rice, paprika, saffron

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