Shrimp and Chorizo Skillet Paella with Quinoa

Slightly spicy with a hint of smoke, this one-pot meal is deliciously simple and is packed full of healthy, whole ingredients.  Quinoa replaces the traditional rice in this recipe to boost protein and fiber.

Shrimp and Chorizo Paella with Quinoa | The Suburban Soapbox #skillet #dinner

I’ve been making a version of this recipe for years.  When I was teaching myself to cook and got a little adventurous I whipped up a recipe I found in Cooking Light.  It was easy and quick and a definite home run with my family.  I would make it ahead of time and it was always better the next day, leftovers for lunch were always the envy of my co-workers.  It was one of the first recipes I started blasting out to my friends via email for easy weeknight meals.  Simple, healthy and satisfying.

Shrimp and Chorizo Skillet Paella with Quinoa | The Suburban Soapbox #skillet #dinner

Then, my family took a trip to the Domincan Republic one summer and every single day the staff made a lunch over an open flame on the beach.  One day it was barbecue, another was a seafood feast….but the one lunch that stood out the most was the paella.  It was pretty remarkable to watch the whole process.  The paella pan itself was the size of one of those small inflatable swimming pools.  It was ginormous. For a paella pan.  And they were using something similar to a broom handle to stir it, it was quite the scene….but what I LOVED about it was the smoky flavor.  I had never tried a paella with that satisfying hit of smoke behind the spicy.  It was absolutely perfect.  I had to make some changes at home if I was going to successfully duplicate the recipe.

Shrimp and Chorizo Skillet Paella with Quinoa | The Suburban Soapbox #skillet #dinner

I still wanted the quick and easy paella but with more POW in the flavor.  More smoke, a little more spice and some flavor built in by searing the shrimp and sausage.  I also wanted to add a little extra protein and fiber…..just because. (You can certainly stick to rice if you are one of those people that doesn’t like quinoa, it’s cool.)  I kept the peas because peas are awesome and the color just looks fantastic.  Don’t you think?  And I added some liquid smoke, just a tiny bit….just to take me back to the beach.

Shrimp and Chorizo Skillet Paella with Quinoa | The Suburban Soapbox #skillet #dinner

This is one of those meals where we actually eat ALL the leftovers. That never happens.  I’m always freezing something or tossing a few bites in the trash….but this is devoured every single time.  Every single bite.

Shrimp and Chorizo Skillet Paella with Quinoa

A one pot dinner that the whole family will love, Shrimp and Chorizo Skillet Paella is quick, easy and fantastic for weeknights.
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine spanish
Servings 6 servings
Calories 439 kcal


  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced Spanish chorizo sausage
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced vidalia onion
  • 1 medium orange bell pepper diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes (I used Muir Glen Organic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke


  • In a small bowl, add the saffron to the water and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat until brown and transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook until opaque, approximately 2-3 minutes each side. Transfer the shrimp to the bowl with the sausage. Add the olive oil and onion to the pan. Cook the onion until softened and starts to brown. Add the diced pepper and cook until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the paprika, turmeric, red pepper and saffron water to the pan, stirring to combine.
  • Add the sausage and shrimp back to the pan. Stir in the quinoa, peas, tomatoes and liquid smoke. Continue to cook over low heat until everything is heated through, approximately 5 minutes. Serve immediately.


Serving: 0gCalories: 439kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 38gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 319mgSodium: 1361mgPotassium: 532mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 915IUVitamin C: 41.3mgCalcium: 196mgIron: 5mg
Keyword chicken skillet, one pot, paella
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!



18 comments on “Shrimp and Chorizo Skillet Paella with Quinoa”

  1. The perfect combo! I love paella I make it on the grill a lot because my paella pan is so large.

  2. Terrific recipe with so much smoky, spicy goodness! I just love one pot meals!

  3. I really like the healthier twist of quinoa in this.

  4. I wish I wasn’t allergic to shrimp 🙁

  5. Paella with quinoa?! That so innovative and the colors look spectacular too.

  6. I love anything with liquid smoke!! This sounds delish!

  7. What a great idea to sue quinoa instead of rice in this dish, love it!

  8. I’m such a traditionalist with paella, but this recipe tempts me to leave my standard recipe behind! Yum! Love Spanish chorizo & paprika!!!

  9. Wow – what a great combination of flavors going on here!! Love this!

  10. mmm I love Paella, I don’t make it as much as I’d like too but oo how I love it! Can’t wait to try it with Quinoa

  11. I’m a huge fan of paella! Serving it with quinoa is a great idea!

  12. This looks absolutely scrumptious! I have got to try this. I may have to leave the peas out since the hub isn’t crazy about them. Thanks for sharing

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