How to Make a Low-calorie Vegetarian Paella

Vegetarian paella can be served either as an appetizer or as a light dinner. It is both a balanced and delicious meal. Learn a recipe for both vegetarian and vegan paella in this article!
How to Make a Low-calorie Vegetarian Paella

Last update: 16 June, 2019

Vegetarian paella is a great alternative to traditional paella. If you want a dish that’s low in calories, nutritious and tasty, the following recipe is perfect for you. The best part is,that if you follow the indicated steps, it won’t take you more than 40 minutes to make it!

Paella is a salty dish that comes from the Valencian region of Spain that, over time, has become an international name when talking about Spanish gastronomy. That is why it is considered one of the most traditional dishes from Spain. 

Although it is most popular with seafood, there are several variations for all different tastes, such as vegetarian paella.

Low calorie vegetarian paella

vegetarian paella

Ingredients (for 4 to 5 people)

  • 1 onion
  • Olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Vegetable broth
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 3 articholes
  • 1 pot of peas (125 g)
  • 2 cups of brown rice (400 g)
  • 1 tray of mushrooms (200 g)
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 red and 1 green pepper
  • 1 cup of green beans (200 g)
  • Condiments: salt, pepper, saffron or turmeric, sweet paprika


  1. Chop all of the vegetables into small pieces, except for the green beans that can be cut into medium size pieces.
  2. Then, boil the green beans in a pot of water, without salt or oil.
  3. Chop the tomato into slices and use a hand mixer to grind it up.
  4. Once the green beans are ready, turn off the heat. Drain them and put them off to the side until the paella is ready.
  5. Next, peel and chop the garlic into small pieces.
  6. Grease a pan and saute the peppers and carrots first, since they take longer to cook.
  7. Once they have browned, add the onion, garlic and mushrooms. It’s necessary to stir it constantly so that it doesn’t burn. 
  8. When the vegetables are ready, add the broccoli, artichoke and the peas.
  9. Finally, add the rice to a pot with water and cook.
  10. When it’s ready, add the broth and tomato. 
  11. Stir all of the ingredients using circular movements to mix all of the flavors and to prevent them from burning.
  12. Salt to taste and then add a bit of sweet paprika to the top.
  13. Once the broth has completely absorbed, the paella is ready. This can take about 20 minutes with the paella over the heat.
  14. Turn off the flame, cover the paella with a cloth and let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Vegan paella recipe


Ingredients (for 3 or 4 people)

  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 head of fresh garlic
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth (1 liter)
  • 2 or 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup green beans (50 g)
  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric (10 g)
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika (5 g)
  • 1/2 can green peas (62.5 g)
  • 1 cup of brown rice (200 g)
  • 1/2 red pepper and 1/2 green pepper
  • 1/2 cup of artichoke hearts (100 g)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (30 ml)
  • Condiments: salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Optional: saffron can be used instead of turmeric


  1. First, cook the rice in a pot according to the package (usually it will say 2 cups of water for every cup of rice). Don’t let it cook too much, so that it’s ‘al dente.’
  2. Peel and cut the garlic and onion into small cubes.
  3. Then, wash and cut the peppers julienne style.
  4. Cut the tomato into thin slices and save.
  5. Grease a pan with olive oil and, once it’s hot, saute the onion and garlic.
  6. When the onion starts to get golden, add the peppers. Let everything cook over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly. You want all of the ingredients to have a golden color. 
  7. When you have finished that, add the tomato, cover the pan and cook everything for about 8-10 minutes so that everything is well mixed.
  8. Then, heat the vegetable broth in the microwave. 
  9. Add the artichoke hearts, beans and the green peas. Cook everything over high heat fo r5 more minutes. Then add the rice, the hot vegetable broth, the turmeric and the rest of the condiments.
  10. Let the pan cool, covered, for ten more minutes at room temperature before serving.

Both types of paella are very tasty and have excellent nutritional values. That’s why it’s worthwhile to try them out and add them to your recipes of lighter meals, since they’re great for lunch or dinner.

Go ahead and make them; you won’t regret it!

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