Mushroom Paella with Smoky Chickpeas

Mushroom Paella with Smoky Chickpeas

This vegan paella with saffron is given a twist with roasted chickpeas tossed in paprika for a smoky flavour. Some may pop a bit as they roast in the oven.


  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 200g mushrooms
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • 175g paella rice
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 1 paella spice pot
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 15g parsley
  • 20g flaked almonds
  • salt
  • oil for frying

You will also need

  • large frying pan or casserole
  • sieve
  • colander
  • 2 baking trays
  • measuring jug
  1. Preheat your oven to 200˚C/400°F/Gas 6. Peel and dice the onion. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Deseed and thinly slice the peppers. Finely slice the mushrooms. Dice the tomatoes.
  2. Halve the lemon. Sprinkle the cut sides with sugar. Place cut side down in a large, deep frying pan or flameproof casserole and heat until caramelised, then remove from the pan.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the same pan (if the sugar left it a little burnt, give it a quick wash first). Gently fry the onion on a low heat for 10 mins; stir now and then while you continue.
  4. Rinse the rice in a sieve. Drain the chickpeas into a colander, rinse under cold water, pat dry with kitchen paper or a clean tea towel and leave to air dry for 5 mins.
  5. Toss the dried chickpeas on a baking tray in oil to coat. Season with salt. Roast for 30 mins, until crispy on the outside. Toss every 10 mins so they roast evenly. Some may pop a bit!
  6. To the onion, add the garlic, mushrooms and pepper. Stir. Add the rice, tomatoes, paella spice pot, saffron and ½ the smoked paprika. Pour in 600ml of water to start with.
    Season. Bring to a low bubbling boil and cook for 25-30 mins, adding more water as needed (this will depend on your pan and hob heat – we used another 200ml), stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender with a little bite.
  7. Chop the parsley. Put the almonds on a baking tray. Toast them in the oven for approx. 2-4 mins, until golden.
  8. Toss the roasted chickpeas in the remaining smoked paprika. Check the rice for seasoning. Serve the rice sprinkled with chickpeas, almonds and parsley, with the caramelised lemon for squeezing.

Recipe and Images Courtesy of Riverford Organic Farmers