Poor Man’s Paella

This recipe for a Poor Man’s Paella is the second recipe in my Latin Dinner Party Series, a fitting entree to compliment my Salmon Ceviche appetizer.  What make’s it fit for a poor man?  I substitute the more expensive seafood and saffron with less expensive alternatives including hearts of palm, artichoke hearts and turmeric.

Poor Man's Paella

Poor Man’s Paella

Of course, if you’d prefer to use scallops, monkfish, mussels, clams…go bonkers!  But, if you’re into feeding a crowd without breaking the bank, I think you’ll really dig this recipe.

Poor Man's Paella

You’ll see that I use a Le Creuset tagine in this recipe.  It is definitely a bold statement piece and does a fantastic job of crisping up the rice along its edges while keeping everything else from getting dried out and trapping in the flavors.  But, if you don’t have one, any kind of large pot with a lid that can be safely used inside the oven as well as on the range will work perfectly.

Seafood Paella


Meanwhile, stay tuned for the dessert that caps off this dinner party series!

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Poor Man's Paella

Poor Man’s Paella

  • Author: Joanie Simon
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Yield: 10 - 12 1x


An easy affordable version of seafood paella


  • 2 lb shrimp
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 large tomato
  • 2 Tbs oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10oz olives (kalamata or green)
  • 14oz artichoke hearts quartered
  • 14 oz hearts of palm sliced
  • 1 Tbs oil
  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup frozen peas defrosted
  • chopped parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Place the shrimp with 2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp garlic salt, and 1/4 tsp turmeric into a large plastic bag, toss to coat the shrimp with spices and allow to marinate at least 30 mins.
  3. Place 2 cored red bell peppers and 2 large tomatoes in the bottom of a cast iron pot or other cooking vessel that has a lid that can cook on the stove top and in the oven. Char the peppers and tomatoes then place them in a blender along with 2 Tbs oil, 4 garlic cloves, 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1/2 tsp salt and blend until smooth.
  4. Place 2 cups long grain rice with 1 Tbs oil in the bottom of the pot that you charred the tomatoes and peppers in and heat over medium low to slightly toast the rice until fragrant.
  5. Add in the blended pepper and tomato sauce, 1 cup of water, 10 oz olives, 14 oz quartered artichoke hearts and 14 oz sliced hearts of palm. Stir and cover with the pot’s lid and bake in the oven at 375F for 25 mins.
  6. After 25 mins, remove the lid of the pot and mix in the marinated shrimp, then re-cover and bake another 7 minutes to cook the shrimp.
  7. After that’s done, garnish with defrosted frozen peas and chopped parsley and serve family style.
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Spanish

*Original recipe by Joanie Simon (JoanieSimon.com)

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