A quick and easy recipe Instant Pot Paella recipe with chicken and shrimp that's on the table in just 30 minutes.
This paella is one of my favorite Instant Pot Recipes. It's certainly not the trickiest dish to cook on the stovetop, but it is one you have to tend to while the rice is cooking. The Instant Pot simply takes care of the rice cooking process for you. There's some preparation to do first followed by 4 minutes of pressure cooking before you get a delicious paella that is brimming with bold earthy flavors.
I can't promise that this will be the most authentic paella you will eat. You'll need to cook it the traditional way to get the crispy browned bits on the bottom of the paella pan, but I can assure you that it will be brimming with an irresistible smoky and savory deliciousness and that the rice will be cooked to perfection.
The post contains additional information and helpful tips to ensure the recipe turns out great the first time. Please use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end if you are in a hurry!
5 reasons why you'll love this recipe:
- A super tasty Spanish rice dish. Flavorful saffron rice with tender pieces of chicken, succulent shrimp, and smoky chorizo.
- A super easy instant pot recipe using a handful of everyday ingredients. Perfect for an easy dinner on busy weeknights.
- Just 4 minutes of pressure cooking time.
- Versatile whether you're craving chicken, seafood or a mixed paella.
- One pot meal with minimal washing up/
🛒 Key ingredients & substitutions
Note that the recipe has not been tested with all the substitutions and variations below, so the results cannot be guaranteed.
- Protein - this recipe includes boneless chicken thighs, chorizo sausage, and shrimp. You can omit one of these if you want to and increase the volume of the other two.
- Rice - it's best to make paella with Spanish paella rice. Arborio rice (risotto rice) is the next best option.
- White wine - adding wine to the dish during the cooking process is optional but highly recommended because it enhances the delicious flavors in the paella. You may also want to enjoy a glass of white wine with your paella. A dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc will go nicely.
- Smoked paprika - adds smoky and umami flavor to the dish.
- Balsamic vinegar - brings a slightly tangy richness.
- Saffron - adds a complex earthy taste. You could swap this for a pinch of turmeric. I have not tried this, but it would also bring an earthy flavor and add yellow color to the dish.
- Smoked salt - chicken stock is the main provider of saltiness but I have always found that a little more is needed. It's best to taste the paella after it has cooked in the Instant Pot and add a little more salt if needed. I always choose smoked salt because it adds to the smoky flavors that the chorizo and paprika bring to the dish, but you can also use sea salt too.
- Lemon - this is added to the cooked paella to bring tanginess and freshness to the dish. You may also want to serve the paella with some additional lemon wedges.
- Seafood paella: omit the chicken and add a frozen seafood mix or fresh mussels, clams, and squid.
- Vegetarian: Switch the chicken and meat for veggies like red peppers, green beans, and green peas.
- Using brown rice instead of white.
🧑🍳 Recipe Steps
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions! *
Step 1: Use the sauté function to gently fry the onion in olive oil until translucent. Add the chicken and chorizo and cook them for a few more minutes until the chicken has browned. Then add the garlic and cook for one more minute until fragrant.
Step 2: Add the rice to the Instant Pot and continue to saute for 1-2 minutes until the rice is hot. Then pour in the wine and let it reduce for a couple of minutes.
Step 3: Add the paprika, balsamic and saffron to the Instant Pot, pour in the chicken stock and stir. Set the Instant Pot to cook for 4 minutes at high pressure.
Step 4: Do a quick release when the cooking time is up and put the Instant Pot back on sauté mode. Add smoked or sea salt to taste. Stir in the shrimp and let them cook in the paella for 2-3 minutes until they are opaque. Turn the instant pot off, stir in the lemon juice and serve immediately.
👍 Top tips
- Reduce the wine - make sure you cook off the wine before you add the seasoning and set the instant pot to cook on high pressure. This ensures the wine will bring out the other flavors in the dish without adding an unpleasant flavor of alcohol.
- Add shrimp after pressure cooking - they only take a couple of minutes to cook. If you add them before you pressure cook they will be overdone.
- Season the cooked paella with lemon juice and salt - I always find the cooked paella benefits from a little bit of extra salt. Taste it and see after it has pressure cooked. I like to add smoked salt but you can also use sea or kosher salt. You must also add lemon juice because adds a zingy citrusy taste that will bring the paella to the next level.
Traditional paella is served as a standalone meal. If you want something on the side, a simple green salad, garlic bread, and a glass of dry white wine will go nicely.
🙋 Recipe FAQs
I don't recommend saving this paella because it contains shellfish. If you have leftovers, place them into an airtight container and make refrigerate as soon as they are cool, and eat them within 24 hours. Make sure you reheat the paella thoroughly on the stove or in the microwave. The paella will last a little longer without the shrimp. If you are intending to eat it over two days I recommend sautéing the shrimp separately and adding them to the portion that you are going to eat. You can then cook up some fresh shrimp when you come to eat the leftovers. The paella is not suitable for freezing.
You certainly can, but you'll get the best results if you brown the meat first. This will lock in the flavors and make it much tastier.
It's best to use paella rice such as Spanish bomba rice, Arroz Redonda, or Calasparra. These types of short-grain rice are able to absorb water and retain their firmness when cooked. You can substitute paella rice for Alborio risotto rice if you need to because it's also good at absorbing liquid, although, it is creamier.
This recipe has been tested with an instant pot pressure cooker, but should turn out well using another brand of electric pressure cooker.
More tasty rice recipes
Instant Pot Paella
- Instant Pot (Note 1)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 4 chicken thighs fat trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 chorizo sausages (optional) cut into bite-sized pieces approx. 50g or 2oz each
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1.5 cups (280 g) paella rice (Note 2)
- ½ cup (120 ml) white wine or ¼ cup or 2fl oz (optional)
- Pinch saffron threads (Note 3)
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 ½ cups (590 ml) chicken broth (stock)
- smoked salt or sea salt to taste
- 8 oz (225 g) raw shrimp (prawns) peeled and deveined
- 1 lemon (juice) + extra to serve
- Put your Instant Pot on the sauté setting or add some oil to a frying pan if you prefer to saute on the stove top, add oil and fry the onion for a few minutes until it is translucent.
- Add the chorizo (if using) and chicken and sauté for a few more minutes until the chicken has browned.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add the rice and sauté for a couple of minutes until the grains are hot to touch.
- Pour in the white wine if using and let it reduce for a few minutes. (note 1)
- Add the paprika, saffron threads, and balsamic vinegar, pour on the chicken stock and stir.
- Set the Instant Pot to high pressure for 4 mins and do a quick release when the cooking time is up.
- Add smoked or sea salt to taste.
- Turn the Instant Pot to sauté mode and stir in the shrimp and cook for a couple of minutes until they are opaque. (Note 4)
- Stir in the lemon juice and serve immediately.
- Instant Pot - this recipe has been tested with a 6 quart instant pot. If you are using an 8 quart instant pot you will need to double or triple to quantity to ensure there is enough liquid.
- Rice: It's best to make paella with Spanish paella rice. Arborio rice (risotto rice) is the next best option.
- Saffron: You can substitute with a turmeric.
- Cooking the shrimp: There should be a little stock left to sauté the shrimp, but feel free to add a little more if necessary.