This fusion dish combines the best of the worlds of paella and risotto into one seriously delicious and comforting meal. It has a creamy texture like risotto and the savory flavors of paella without the dairy or seafood. What's the secret? Smoked paprika. This dinner entrée is so flavorful, packed with vegetables, and not to mention, easier than traditional risotto.

Vegetable Paella Risotto [Vegan]

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 packet saffron seasoning or a generous pinch saffron
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 carrots, cut into strips
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 6-8 asparagus spears
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Lemon and parsley, for garnish

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Roast carrots, red bell pepper, and asparagus for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.
  3. Place your vegetable broth and water into a small pot and heat until it just begins to simmer. Remove from heat and keep close to the pan you will use for the rice.
  4. In a larger pot/pan, sweat onion and garlic together with olive oil until onion begins to turn translucent. Add tomato paste, saffron packet, and smoked paprika. Stir around and then add rice. Stir rice to soak up oil and seasonings.
  5. Begin to add broth/water mixture 1 cup at a time. After each addition, stir the rice until most of the liquid is soaked up. Then, add 1 more cup. Continue to do this until all water is used or rice is cooked.
  6. Top risotto with vegetables, lemon, and parsley and serve warm.

Notes

Arborio rice is the key to achieving a rich consistency. It holds a lot of starch that helps the texture get really creamy.

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