Grilled Paella Mixta - Memorial Day is Grilling Day!

Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning of grilling season, so what better way to honor and remember those who served our nation than with a traditional dish like Grilled Paella Mixta? This classic Spanish rice dish combines shrimp, mussels, Spanish chorizo, and chicken for an all-in-one meal for your backyard barbecue. With the ease of cooking in the same pan, you can enjoy all the flavors without a ton of time at the grill - leaving more time to enjoy your Memorial Day festivities!

Not only is Grilled Paella Mixta a protein-, carbohydrate- and flavor-packed option that will please any palate, but it's just as easy to make as it is delicious. This meal stunner can be prepared in advance, so all you have to do come grill time is fire up the grill and let the flavors do all the talking. Plus, you get to feel extra festive while kitting your patriotic BBQ tablescape out with its traditional colors – red, white, and blue! 

Classic paella is known for its combination of seafood and meats, and Grilled Paella Mixta does not disappoint - you will fall in love with this healthy mix in a single bite! It's sure to be the centerpiece of your Memorial Day celebration. So why wait? Start grilling and honor our heroes with Grilled Paella Mixta because Memorial Day is Grilling Day!

Serves: 6-8

Grilled Paella Mixta Ingredients

  • 2 medium, ripe tomatoes (about 12 ounces)
  • 16 large shrimp (about 12 ounces), peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika (pimentón dulce)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces Spanish chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil, as needed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 cups paella rice (about 1 pound), sometimes labeled bomba or Valencia
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning the shrimp and chicken
  • 4 cups (1 quart) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 16 mussels, manila clams, or a combination - scrubbed
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 medium lemons, cut into eight wedges each, for serving

Grilled Paella Mixta Directions

  1. Core and halve the tomatoes. Grate the flesh side of each half on the large holes of a box grater set over a medium bowl, stopping when you get to the skin. Discard the skins. You should have about 3/4 cup of tomato pulp and juice; set aside.
  2. Place the shrimp in a medium bowl, add 1/4 teaspoon of the paprika and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and refrigerate.
  3. Place the chicken in a medium bowl and season generously with salt and pepper; set aside.
  4. Heat an outdoor grill to high (about 450°F to 550°F). Place a 15-inch paella pan on the grill, cover, and heat until hot, about 2 minutes. Add the chorizo to the pan, close the grill, and cook, occasionally stirring, until the sausage starts to brown and the fat is rendered, about 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the chorizo to a large bowl; set aside.
  5. There should be a thin layer of rendered fat in the pan. If not enough, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the seasoned chicken to the pan in a single layer, close the grill, and sear, stirring, until both sides of the chicken pieces are golden brown, about 6 minutes total. (You will need to rotate the pan periodically on the grill to distribute the heat evenly.) Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to the bowl with the chorizo; set aside.
  6. Add the onion to the pan, season with salt and pepper, close the grill, and cook, occasionally stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed on a gas grill or moving the paella pan to a cooler part of a charcoal grill so that the onions don't burn. Add the garlic, remaining 3/4 teaspoon paprika, and saffron, stir to combine, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  7. Add the reserved tomato pulp and juice and cook until the mixture has slightly darkened in color, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan for about 3 minutes. Add the rice and measured salt and stir to coat in the tomato mixture.
  8. Add the broth and stir to combine. Arrange the rice mixture in an even layer. Distribute the reserved chorizo and chicken over the rice, adding accumulated juices from the bowl. (Do not stir the rice from this point on.)
  9. Close the grill and bring the mixture to a lively simmer. Continue to simmer, occasionally checking, until the rice grains have swelled, most of the liquid has been absorbed, and the rice begins to make a crackling sound, about 12 minutes. (Make sure to rotate the pan occasionally to evenly distribute the heat, and adjust the heat as needed to maintain a lively simmer.)
  10. Arrange the reserved shrimp and the shellfish (hinge-side down) in the rice, slightly nestling. Close the grill and cook until the shellfish have opened, the shrimp are just cooked through, and the rice is tender but still al dente, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  11. Remove the pan from the grill, cover with foil, and let stand for 5 minutes. Before serving the paella, discard any unopened shellfish and sprinkle the dish with parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.

Taken from