Easy Slow-Cooker Paella // GF

Easy Slowcooker Paella // GF & DF via Nutrition in the Kitch This recipe was originally posted in October 2013 and has since been rephotographed and revamped for relevancy and quality! 

Paella, a traditional Spanish rice dish has been around for ages and everyone seems to put their own spin on it. My spin, is to healthify it a bit, and simplify it, by doing the whole ‘set it, and forget it’ thing. Because you know, easy is my jam. 

It had been a long time since I had paella, the last time being a few summers ago at a neat little restaurant in downtown Edmonton called Tzin. As soon as I saw it on the menu I knew that’s what I’d be ordering as I’m a sucker for seafood and love the flavours in this delicious dish. We are headed to Seattle next week and you better believe I’ll be getting my fill of fresh seafood!

Easy Slowcooker Paella // GF & DF via Nutrition in the Kitch

Unfortunately paella isn’t something you see on restaurant menus very often but there’s something about it that’s so comforting, making it the perfect Fall dish. It’s warming and full of different flavours, textures, and hearty goodness!

Since enjoying this delicious dish a while back and posting it on the blog, I realized looking through my web analytics that it’s another past NITK recipe that still gets a lot of traffic. The recipe was shared on a couple highly visited websites and it looks like people are still in the mood for Paella often! So I decided this delicious, healthier, warming Paella could use a little revamp and this past week I pulled out my slow-cooker and made it happen.

Easy Slowcooker Paella // GF & DF via Nutrition in the Kitch

The paella contains a mixture of brown rice, chicken sausage, peppers, peas, and tomatoes, the perfect mix of spices, and of course seafood galore including prawns, scallops, and mussels. It’s also incredibly fool proof and brings a delicious smell to the whole house. The combination of ingredients makes a well-balanced meal rich in fibre, complex carbohydrates, protein, and vitamins and minerals.


Also, another benefit, slow-cooker meals are great for busy people, and really, who isn’t busy these days?! Make this Paella on a Sunday and you can enjoy it a few times throughout the week. Or, you can simply throw a batch of servings in the freezer for meals on those nights when you just don’t want to cook or need something quick.

Easy Slowcooker Paella // GF & DF via Nutrition in the Kitch

When’s the last time you had Paella?! Go on, pull out that slow-cooker, and bring a little Spanish flair into your kitch!

Also, be sure to follow along on Instagram as I share our Seattle vacation and all the places I’m indulging in seafood next week! 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Easy Slow-Cooker Paella // GF
Easy Slow-Cooker Paella (gluten free!) Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 4 hours Total time: 4 hours 10 mins Serves: 6-8
  • 3 links organic chicken or pork sausage
  • 340 g frozen seafood medley (easiest option) OR a mix of prawns, scallops, and mussels (1 cup each)
  • 1½ cups (dry) long grain brown rice
  • 1½ cups organic chicken broth
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ cup fennel, chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups diced canned tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons garlic salt
  • lemon wedge and fennel sprigs to garnish
  1. In a pan, brown the sausage links for 5-7 minutes, then cut into slices.
  2. Add the chicken, rice, onion, fennel, bell pepper, tomatoes, broth, salt and spices to the slow-cooker, and mix to combine.
  3. Cook on high for 3½ hours.
  4. After the paella has been cooking for 3½ hours, give it a good stir.
  5. Option 1: Under cold running water, thaw the seafood and peas, then mix the seafood and the peas in with the paella, and cook on high for another 30 minutes.
  6. Option 2: Add the peas to the slow cooker and cook for an additional 30 minutes. 20 minutes later, in a large pan, add the raw prawns, scallops, and mussles with ½ cup of white wine and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sauté for 5-7 minutes until fully cooked, then add to paella.*
  7. Divide paella into 6-8 servings and garnish with fennel sprigs and a lemon wedge!
  8. Enjoy!
* Adding a bagged frozen seafood mixture is the easiest option but the seafood doesn't "stand out" as much as if you sauté it separately in a pan then add to the paella mixture after. That's what I did for the photos and you can see the seafood is the star of the dish!

Either option will still taste great 🙂

* Recipe Inspired by Wanna Bite 

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Author: Christal Sczebel

Christal is the creator of Nutrition in the Kitch. She's a Certified Nutritional Consultant, twice published author, gluten and dairy free recipe developer, food photographer, speaker, wife, and mama. Christal loves good food, all things wellness, and loves to travel. Her wellness philosophy is centred around balance and sustainable health, life's way too short for boring diets and restriction!

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    • I would do everything else in the slow cooker and serve it on top of cauliflower rice at the end!

  • Christal I want to thank you for posting this recipe!

    sometimes its hard to find healthy wholesome meals like this one to get you through the work week. I am a foodie at heart and sometimes its hard to stick to brown rice and bake chicken to be good during the week.. This recipe has plenty of flavors and is still a healthy choice to spice the day.

    looking forward to trying out other recipes!

  • I’ve just added mussels and am waiting for my paella to finish, but it smells amazing!
    I used veggie Italian sausage (Tofurky brand) and the recipe is foolproof.
    Thank you for posting!

  • Hi, Christal! This recipe was the final straw: I bought the slow cooker I had been wanting on October 14, and I’ve been eating delicious paella all week long. (That is a good thing!) I used organic chorizo and mussel meats and just brown rice. It came out a little more like risotto than paella rice, but that was cool. I see you have a new chicken curry recipe up – that will be next, I think. Thanks so much for your wonderful web site & blog!!!

  • This looks absolutely delish! Have you ever watched Fawlty Towers – the British comedy TV series with John Cleese? I cannot think of paella without thinking of Fawlty Towers – and it makes me smile every time!

    • Haha it’s funny you mention Fawlty Towers, I have a client who talks about that show all the time, but I have yet to see it – I guess I should look it up!! 🙂