Kalamata Olive & Chickpea Paella

Bringing a taste of Spain to your plate with this delicious plant-based Paella recipe. From vibrant veggies to hearty grains, this dish is a celebration of plant-based goodness

Kalamata Olive & Chickpea Paella


  • 4-6 strands saffron threads
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 250g mushrooms, sliced
  • 450ml vegetable stock
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 200ml cup water
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • Small bunch of parsley, chopped (leave a pinch to the side for serving)
  • 100g frozen green peas
  • 100g Real Olive Co. Kalamata olives
  • 400g chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 200g paella rice


  1. In a large cast iron pan, first toast the saffron threads.
  2. Do this by placing the saffron in between two small sheets of aluminium foil and folding over the edges to make a little packet. Place the foil in the pan for about 1 minute. Then remove the foil from the pan and open the packet.
  3. In the same pan, brown the mushrooms and onion in olive oil for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add vegetable stock, lemon juice and water and bring to the boil.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients (including toasted saffron threads) to the pan and stir well. Bring to the boil again and then lower the heat and simmer for around 30-35 minutes – do not stir!
  6. Cook until rice is desired tenderness and liquid has evaporated. Ideally, you want the bottom of the pan to get slightly burnt as this brings out the flavour of all of the ingredients.
  7. Remove from heat and cover for about 10 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle with a remaining parsley and serve with a wedge of lemon and a side salad.