Whole-Food Plant-Based Paella (Instant Pot)

This recipe was inspired by Vegetable Paella with Chickpeas at Cook Nourish Bliss. There were a few adjustments I already had in mind from a veggie paella dish from the local food co-op (roasted red onions, capers), and a couple other changes along the way as well. The recipe below uses an Instant Pot pressure cooker, and if you’re looking for a traditional stove-top method definitely check out the posting by Cook Nourish Bliss.

Whole-Food Plant-Based Paella (Instant Pot)


  • 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



  • 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.





One response to “Whole-Food Plant-Based Paella (Instant Pot)”

  1. Ali Avatar

    The raw carrots are added at the finish?

  2. Merbs Avatar

    I’d put the carrots in the instant pot, chopped to bite size. They’ll sweeten the dish. You could roast them, though, if you like them that way.

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