That Paella inspired one-pot rice

This started as my attempt at Paella but I was running short on a number of ingredients, I did not have the chorizos, no clams, very little prawns and no spanish rice 😦 So even though I wanted to cook Paella I knew I could not make an authentic one. So I decided to read through a numerous recipes for Paella, understand its cooking process and understand the ingredients and make a Paella Inspired one pot rice with the ingredients I had at home.

paella 1

I even looked into a lot of recipes for homemade chorizo I had lean minced turkey at home and I don’t know how to make sausages 😛 So the next step was using the spice mix similar to that used in a chorizo and making turkey meatballs from it to use in my rice!! 🙂 This entire process was real fun…i was reading a number of authentic traditional recipes and converting them into a completely new dish. So this recipe is not for the traditionalists

I love making my one-pot rice with a more vegetables and meats compared to the rice. Even here, I used just one cup of rice for one cup of prawns, 3 tilapia fillets, turkey meatballs, mushrooms, peppers and spinach. The end result….the rice soaked in the flavours of every ingredient beautifully!! This way I also increased the protein content of the this makes a perfect high-protein dinner option.

I have recently started working weight training, which gives me muscle soreness and leaves me craving for protein. By making such high protein meals, I get to ensure my body is getting the necessary nutrients without using any supplements. 🙂

Another plus is, this rice take maximum around 45 minutes to be ready, so even if the end result looks like you invested hours in this wonderful recipe, it is under an hour, tasty and healthy!! Do try this at home and let me know your take on it…heres how to make my Paella inspired one-pot rice

paella 2


  • 150 gms minced lean turkey
  • 100 gms medium sized shrimps
  • 3 medium tilapia fillets cubed
  • 1 cup mushrooms quartered
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 small onions diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes diced
  • 1 cup bell peppers of choice
  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 2 tsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp Vinegar
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 cloves chopped garlic



  • For the Chorizo style meatballs – mix together two teaspoons chili powder, vinegar, minced garlic and salt with the minced turkey meat mixture. Let it sit for around 10 minutes, roll them into balls and cook them in a pan greased with cooking spray for around 3 minutes per side.
  • For the rice – Heat oil in a deep pan/ skillet and garlic in it, stir fry them a bit before adding in the onions. Once the onions are tender, add in the tomatoes, cover and cook till the mixture tenderizes.
  • At this point, add in the 2 teaspoons for chili powder and stir the mixture together to allow the chili to blend. Gradually add in all the vegetables one at a time, apart from spinach. Since spinach wilts quickly I add it in the end.
  • Once the veggies are cooking with the spice mix, add in the cubed tilapia fillets, a dash of water to prevent everything from sticking cover and cook for 3-5 minutes on a medium flame.
  • Once the tilapia looks nearly done, add in the prawns and spinach, let this cook for another 3-5 minutes before adding in your soaked rice.
  • Keep on stirring the mixture well to let the rice start absorbing all the flavors of the mixture. Gradually add warm water to the rice till the rice is almost covered. Cover the pan and let it cook on medium heat for around 10 mins.
  • After 10 minutes, check the rice and top it with those turkey meatballs prepared earlier, cover again and cook for another 10 minutes on low heat, turn of the heat and let it stay covered till ready to serve!!

This rice stays well refrigerated for a couple of days so you can prepare it in advance or make it fresh. It is also a yummy one pot meal for dinner parties.
Another alternative would be to make it with just fish and exclude the meat, you can then add more prawns and maybe some clams or crab meat! Basically you can get as creative as you want with this and enjoy your time cooking it!! 🙂

meat filled deliciousness!

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