Instant Pot Shrimp Paella – a fragrant & vibrant Spanish yellow rice dish that’s packed with Chorizo Sausage, jumbo shrimps, saffron, bell pepper and green peas. You’ll love this Shrimp Paella Instant Pot that’s ridiculously easy to make & gets ready in 30 mins.
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Chorizo and Shrimp Paella Instant Pot
We spent a good amount of our lives living in Paris, toured almost whole Europe and tasted some awesome good food in the best European local joints.
Today’s Spanish Paella recipe is totally inspired from our Spain tour (Valencia region) several years back.
It is a simplified version of a traditional Spanish Paella.
The traditional version involves a long list of ingredients, cooked with round short grain rice like Bomba, Bahfa, Senia and made over an open fire in a large frying pan (Valencian meaning of “Paella”).
I tailored the authentic Paella recipe to an Instant Pot version which is ridiculously easy to make:)
The browned chorizo, the jumbo raw shrimps, the saffron, a little bit of smoked paprika all beautifully combine together to give extraordinary flavors to this Chorizo and Shrimp Paella recipe.
The gorgeous vibrant yellow color of the Paella is due to saffron, I love to use quite a bit, however, you can use turmeric for an economic alternative.
But, I will highly recommend using saffron because it’s undeniably the heart and soul of a Spanish Paella.
What is Paella?
Paella is a Spanish rice dish originally from Valencia.
A traditional Paella is made with Spanish short grain rice like Bomba, Bahfa, that’s slow cooked with proteins (chicken, shrimp, sausage, clams, squids, mussels), beans, paprika, aromatics, lots of saffron and veggies like bell pepper.
Everything is cooked in a large pan (known as paella in Valencian) over an open fire for a long time.
The flavors of an authentic Spanish Paella depends a lot on the cooking technique and the ingredients used.
Find the Ingredients with actual measurements way below the post on the “Recipe Card“. The list below is just a reference.
- Rice: I used Long Grain Rice (NOT the Instant variety) and that’s what I’ll recommend using. Never use Arborio Rice because they turn creamy quickly which is perfect for making Risottos but a disaster for a Spanish Paella 😀
- Shrimps: I used Jumbo frozen Shrimps with shells on. Than, removed the shells and used them for making a fabulous flavorful shrimp stock in the Instant Pot in a jiffy. You can use fresh shrimps or frozen colossal or tiger shrimps as well. However, do not use the cooked pink shrimps and avoid using smaller shrimps. They taste awful in Paella because they do not contribute a lasting flavor.
- Liquid: You can use chicken broth, vegetable broth or plain water. But, for best flavors make yourself a quick Shrimp Stock using the discarded shrimp shells, saffron and olive oil. It’ll take you only 5 mins in the Instant Pot but will reward you with the best ever chorizo and shrimp paella ever.
- Sausage: Use either Chorizo Sausage which is a spicy Spanish sausage or use spicy Andouille Sausage. Do not use brats or kielbasa.
- Aromatic: Yellow Onion and fresh garlic. Totally no to red onion.
- Exotic Spice: Saffron. We love it. I will highly recommend using it for the best flavors. The subtle sweet floral fragrance of saffron and the vibrant gorgeous yellow color is truly unbeatable. This one ingredient will take your Paella several levels up.
- Smoked Paprika: Adds a smoky flavor and helps mimics the slow cooked flavor of gradual cooking.
- Veggies: Red Bell Pepper and green peas adds a pop of color and a little bit of sweetness to the dish. It beautifully brings together the flavors and mellows down the taste of the finished dish. Add them at the end to avoid over cooking. They taste meh when mushy. Yikes!
Tips & Tricks
- Use Long Grain Rice: This rice is super handy. You might already have it in your pantry and it makes the best Instant Pot Paella, trust me 🙂 You can use Jasmine rice as well. Read Notes to find out more details.
- Quick homemade shrimp stock: Use the shrimp shells and heads if you happen to buy some fresh shrimps with head intact and use them to make the most fragrant shrimp stock at home. This will make a kickass Paella. Oh yes! I highly recommend it and this extra step will just take only 5 mins of your time.
- Don’t miss the Saffron: It’s expensive I know but it makes a huge difference in flavor. This one ingredient helps develop deep complex flavor, a subtle floral sweet sublime taste that’s so addictive. This is the start ingredient of todays’ recipe.
- Rinse the Long Grain Rice: You need to rinse the rice until clear water runs through. This helps discard the surface starch from the rice, as a result the rice doesn’t become gooey or gummy. Paella rice never happens to be sticky or creamy like risotto.
- Brown the Chorizo sausage: The browned sausage boosts the flavor of the dish manifold. Don’t skip browning the sausage ever. As we are cooking Paella in a pressure cooker we don’t want to miss any layer of flavor.
- Choose Jumbo, colossal or Tiger shrimps: Whether frozen or raw choose these shrimps and avoid cooked pink ones and the smaller varieties. The meaty raw shrimp is all that you want.
- Add the bell pepper & green peas at the end: Add them after pressure cooking the dish and turning off your Instant Pot. The residual heat will beautifully wilt the bell peppers and the peas. They’ll have some crunch left and won’t be awfully mushy!
- Allow the cooked Paella to rest for 5 mins: This will help infuse the flavors from each and every ingredient.
Find the detailed step by step recipe along with measurements way below the post on the “Recipe Card“.
Step #1 Make a quick Shrimp Stock
Now, this step is not mandatory but believe me this extra 5 mins will reward you with amazing flavors.
I will totally recommend making this quick shrimp stock with discarded shrimp shells, olive oil and saffron strands.
Use this as the liquid in your Paella recipe.
Saute the shrimp shells with saffron in olive oil on SAUTE set at NORMAL until they turn pink.
Add water, de-glaze pot well. Pressure cook on HIGH for just 5 mins followed by a quick release.
Fish out the shells and use the shrimp stock to make a fabulous pot of Paella.
Step #2 Brown the Sausage
Whether you use chorizo or andouille sausage dice them into rings and brown them very well in the Instant Pot.
Keep the settings at SAUTE set at NORMAL heat.
The browned sausages will add tons of good flavors to the Paella.
Step #3 Saute Aromatics
Saute the aromatics like the onion and the garlic for 1 min.
They will gently begin to release a lovely aroma.
Step #4 De-glaze Pot & add Rice
CANCEL the SAUTE function.
Add the shrimp stock and de-glaze the pot with the help of your spatula very well so that there are absolutely no bits and crumbs stuck at the base of the pot.
De-glazing the pot will help prevent the BURN error.
Once you are done de-glazing the pot add the rinsed rice into the pot and mix well.
Try to spread the rice in an even layer by gently pressing down with the spatula.
Step #5 Layer Shrimps
Layer the de-shelled, de-veined shrimps in a single layer on the top of the rice.
DO NOT mix or stir.
Step #6 Pressure Cook Shrimp Paella
Cover the lid and SEAL the Valve of the Instant Pot.
PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 4 mins followed by 10 mins NATURAL PRESSURE RELEASE.
Than release the rest of the pressure manually and open the pot.
Step #7 Add Veggies & rest
Turn off the Instant Pot.
Remove the shrimps quickly. This step is totally optional.
Removing the shrimps now and adding them back to the pot at the end will help you achieve 2 things:
- Prevent the Shrimps from getting over cooked.
- Help you dish out Paella in the traditional Spanish way which calls for a layer of shrimps on the top.
Add the veggies like bell pepper and frozen thawed green peas.
DO NOT mix or stir.
Just cover the Instant Pot with a lid and allow the Chorizo shrimp Paella to rest for 2-3 mins.
The residual heat will help wilt the veggies and prevent them from getting over-cooked or mushy.
Step #8 Fluff and Serve
Remove the lid and fluff the shrimp paella gently with the help of a fork in order to mix in the veggies.
Add the shrimps back to the pot and garnish with chopped flat leaf parsley.
You can serve the following with Shrimp Paella:
- Spanish Cheeses like Iberico, Cabrales, Manchego, Mahon along with a Olive Platter.
- Spanish Tapas.
- Roasted Red Bell Pepper with drizzled olive oil.
- Caesar Salad or any green salad.
- Roasted Almonds.
- Bacon wrapped dates.
- Spanish wines.
Paella will keep for 4 days in the fridge when stored in a moisture free air tight container.
Yes, Paella can be frozen for upto 3 months. Freeze the Instant Pot Shrimp Paella in individual freezer safe bags.
Note: Thaw them over night in the fridge and than re-heat either in the microwave oven or on the stove top. The peas and bell pepper will slight become soft and change in texture.
More Instant Pot Rice Dishes:
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- 1 cup long grain rice rinsed very well (use any store brand)
- 20 Jumbo or Colossal or Tiger Shrimps with shells on (use fresh or frozen, Read NOTES below for more details)
- 1.5 cups diced Spanish Chorizo or Spicy Andouille Sausage (dice them into rings)
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper made into thin slices
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas thawed
- 1/2 medium onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves Minced Garlic
- 1/4 tsp good quality saffron strands
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp olive oil (equally divided)
- salt to taste
- finely chopped flat leaf parsley (garnish)
For the Shrimp Stock (read NOTES below)
- the discarded shells of the shrimps (also shrimp heads if using fresh shrimps)
- 3 pinches good quality saffron
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 cups water (makes 1 cup + 2 tablespoon shrimp stock which will be used in the recipe)
How to make the Shrimp Stock in Instant Pot?
- Remove the shells from the fresh shrimps or frozen shrimps that are thawed. If you choose to use fresh shrimps with heads intact remove the heads too along with the shells. Keep the shrimps aside and use the shells and the heads. I used frozen thawed shrimps so had only the shells.
- Set the Instant Pot on SAUTE and keep it on NORMAL.
- Add oil and when the oil becomes moderately hot add the shrimp shells and a pinch of saffron and saute until the shells turn pink.
- Now add exactly 1.5 cups water and de-glaze the pot very well with the help of your spatula so that there are absolutely no bits and crumbs stuck at the bottom of the pot. CANCEL the SAUTE function.
- Pressure cook on HIGH for 5 mins.
- When the Pressure cooking cycle is over the Instant Pot will begin to beep immediately do a QUICK PRESSURE RELEASE (QPR) by moving the valve manually from the SEALING to the VENTING position. Open the lid carefully.
- Fish out the shrimp shells with the help of a tong. Do not STRAIN the shrimp stock because we want to use the saffron strands in the stock. You'll have approximately a little more than a cup of shrimp stock. Measure the stock and use only 1 cup and 2 tablespoons in the recipe. Do not rinse the steel pot, we'll use the same pot to make the rest of the recipe.
How to make Shrimp Paella in Instant Pot?
- Set the Instant Pot on SAUTE and set it on NORMAL. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- When the oil becomes moderately hot add the diced sausages and saute until nicely browned. Do not strain the sausage fat.
- Now, add the chopped onion and garlic and saute for just 1 min. They will slowly release a lovely aroma.
- Add the shrimp stock and de-glaze the pot very well with the help of your spatula so that there are absolutely no bits and crumbs stuck at the bottom of the steel pot. This step is very important to prevent the BURN error. Do not tush this step.
- Rinse the rice very well under running tap water several times until clear water runs through. This is very important.
- Add the rinsed rice to the pot and give a good mix gently with the help of your spatula. Layer the rice in one single layer evenly by gently pressing down with the back of a ladle or spatula. Sprinkle 2-3 pinches saffron.
- Now, layer the shrimps in a single layer on top of the rice. DO NOT mix or stir. CANCEL the SAUTE function.
- Now, PRESSURE COOK on HIGH PRESSURE for 4 mins.
- When the pressure cooking cycle is over the Instant Pot will begin to beep. Wait for NATURAL PRESSURE RELEASE (NPR) for 10 mins and than release the rest of the pressure manually by moving the valve from the SEALING to the VENTING position. Open the lid carefully. Turn off the Instant Pot.
- Remove the shrimps and add the green peas and red bell pepper. DO NOT mix. Cover the Instant Pot with a glass lid and rest the Paella for 2-3 mins. The residual heat will beautifully wilt the veggies without overcooking them. The resting time will also help marry the flavors of the dish in extraordinary way.
- Open the lid and gently fluff the paella with the help of a fork in order to mix in the veggies.
- Add back the shrimps and garnish the Paella with finely chopped flat leaf parsley.
- Measuring Units used, 1 cup = 240 ml & 1 teaspoon = 5 ml.
- Best Saffron alternative: Use turmeric. It’ll lend the gorgeous yellow color to the dish. Turmeric is not expensive. However, you’ll not get the same flavor and certainly miss on the taste big time. So, use saffron if you can or else resolve with turmeric without having great expectations regarding the dish.
- Best Paella Rice in the USA: Use any store brand Long Grain Rice or Jasmine Rice. I used Kroger brands Long Grain Rice.
- Do you need to buy special Paella Rice? No.
- Can you use Arborio Rice? No.
- Do not use any other rice for today’s recipe except Long Grain Rice or Jasmine Rice.
- Jasmine Rice to Liquid Ratio: For every 1 cup Jasmine use 1 cup + 2 tbsp liquid.
- Fresh Shrimps with heads intact: Use the shells and the heads to make the shrimp stock in the instant pot.
- Frozen Shrimps: Thaw them and remove the shells and use the shells to make the stock.
- Do not Want to make Shrimp Stock? Use eactly 1 cup + 2 tablespoon chicken broth or vegetable stock for every 1 cup of Long Grain Rice.
- Best Sausages for Paella: Spanish Chorizo or Spicy Andouille.
- Best Shrimps: Jumbo, Colossal or Tiger Shrimps.
- Why remove the shrimps and than add the veggies? This is totally a apersonal preference. You do not need to do this if you don’t want to. I love serving Paella the traditional Spanish way with shrimps layered on the top of the rice. Hence, I removed the shrimps added the veggies, fluffed the rice and than added back the shrimps. I also served the Paella in an iron Lodge ekillet to give that Spanish feel 😀
- Best Alternatives Summary: Long Grain Rice – Jasmine Rice ; Saffron – Turmeric; Homemade Shrimp Stock – Chicken broth or vege stock; Spanish Chorizo – Spicy Andaouille ; Flat Leaf Parsley – Cilantro.