Mushroom, Artichoke and Red Bell Pepper Paella


This is a vegan makeover of a traditional Spanish favorite. While paella is usually served with mussels, sausage and shrimp, this one includes several varieties of mushrooms, artichokes and red bell pepper. You can be creative with this recipe, adding different vegetables such as peas, carrots, or green beans. 

This is a great dish for everyone who wants to eat vegan while still avoiding soy. This is because while most vegan recipes substitute tofu in place of meat, this recipe uses mushrooms as the main ingredient. So go ahead! Get cooking, you soy-free vegans!

Couple of cooking tips:

Sometimes all the liquid in the recipe will not fit in the pan initially. Simply gradually add the liquid as it is absorbed. Also, be sure that you test your boundaries of fear and allow the bottom of the pan to burn just a bit. The char is the signature mark of good paella.


Mushroom, Artichoke and Red Bell Pepper Paella

Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yield:6 servings


1 1/2 pounds button, cremini, baby Portobello, or a mix of mushrooms, stemmed and quartered (depending on size)

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted and drained

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced

1 medium red onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

15-ounce can diced tomatoes,undrained

1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

15-ounce can artichoke hearts packed in water, drained and quartered

2 cups Arborio rice

4 cups vegetable stock

1 cup filtered water

1 teaspoon saffron threads

2 lemons, halved


  1. Heat a large well-seasoned cast iron skillet over high heat. Once the pan is hot, add only the fresh mushrooms, reduce heat to medium-high, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, nudging the mushrooms around as needed to prevent burning. Continue cooking until there is the tiniest amount of mushroom liquid remaining in the pan and the mushrooms have a deep golden-brown glisten to them.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add reconstituted porcini mushrooms, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and parsley. Cook for another 2 minutes, or until parsley wilts, stirring frequently. Remove from pan and reserve.
  3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in the pan over medium heat and add red bell pepper. Cook until pepper just starts to become tender, stirring occasionally. Add onion and cook until barely softened. Then, add garlic and paprika and cook for another minute. Stir in diced tomatoes and cook for another 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt.
  4. Next, add artichokes and cook for 2 minutes to soften slightly. Then add Arborio rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, or until just beginning to turn translucent.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and add vegetable broth and saffron threads. Carefully stir to distribute the broth, and let the rice simmer, uncovered and untouched for 10 minutes, or until it just begins to absorb the broth.
  6. Then add cooked mushrooms and gently stir to distribute throughout the rice. Level out the rice and continue to cook for another 10 to 12 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is fluffy and tender. Add additional water as needed to complete cooking.
  7. At the very end of cooking, when rice is tender, increase heat to high for 60 seconds, or until you begin to smell the rice toasting and slightly burning.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat, loosely cover with foil, and rest for 10 minutes.

Serve It Up!

To serve the paella, dig into the pan and get some of the cooked rice along with the crunchy bottom. Season to taste with more sea salt and parsley. Serve with lemon halves.

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