Whole-Food Plant-Based Paella (Instant Pot)

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword paella, rice, spanish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people


  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 red onion sliced in wedges
  • 1 red bell pepper whole
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 ½ C long grain brown Jasmine rice dry, rinsed
  • 1 14 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 C low-sodium vegetable broth
  • heaping 1/4 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 C whole black olives drained & pitted
  • 1 tbsp capers whole, drained (optional)
  • red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
  • 1 cup canned quartered artichoke hearts drained
  • fresh chopped parsley and lemon wedges for serving


  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, saute the yellow onion until it starts to soften adding a small amount of water as needed. Add the garlic and saute 30 seconds longer, then take off heat.


  1. Add rice, broth, liquid from fire-roasted tomatoes (but not the tomatoes yet), saffron threads, smoked paprika, salt, and half of the onion & garlic mixture to the Instant Pot.

  2. Close the lid on the Instant Pot and set the vent to "seal". Set the Instant Pot to high pressure, manual setting for 25 minutes. Once the pressurized 25 minutes are up, wait 10 more minutes and then carefully adjust the vent to "venting" to allow the remaining pressure to be released.

    While the rice is cooking, prepare the vegetables.


  1. If possible, roast the whole red bell pepper and red onion wedges on a grill, otherwise they can be cooked to a slight char in the broiler or on a skillet. Once the red bell pepper is nicely charred, slice it into 2-inch pieces.


  1. Once the rice is finished and the red bell pepper and red onions are slightly charred, it's time to mix everything together.

    In a dutch oven or in the Instant Pot, add the cooked rice mix, red bell peppers, red onions, carrots, fire-roasted tomatoes, the remaining sauteed onion & garlic mixture, chickpeas, capers, and a pinch of red pepper flakes if you're using them. Mix gently. Add black olives and artichoke hearts at the end.

    Serve with chopped fresh parsley on top and lemon wedges.