Mixed Shellfish Paella

Mixed Shellfish Paella

Sarah MickeyAll Recipes, Clam Recipes, FAVORITE SUMMER RECIPES, Mussel Recipes, Paella Recipes, Pimenton/Paprika Recipes, Rice Recipes, Saffron Recipes Leave a Comment

Mussel, Clam, Cockle & Shrimp Paella

Makes 6 Servings

This seafood recipe offers a range of shellfish flavors and textures.  Succulent shrimp, sweet mussels & clams & delicate, briny cockles, paired with a rich broth.

Mixed Shellfish Paella
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1/2lb Live Mussels
  • 1/2lb Live Manila Clams or Littleneck Clams
  • 1/2lb Shell-On Gulf Shrimp
  • 1 box Seafood Paella Base
  • ½ tsp Saffron Threads
  • 1 tin Cockles, strained & brine reserved
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra to finish
  • ½ Yellow Onion, small diced
  • 1 stalk Celery, small diced
  • ½ tsp Sweet Pimenton
  • ½ tsp Spicy Pimenton
  • 3 Dried Nora Chilies (Approx. 0.65oz), toasted, destemmed & crumbled (with seeds)
  • 1 1/2 cups Bomba Valencia Rice
  • ½ cup Frozen Peas
  • Salt
  • 12” Paella Pan



Check the mussels & clams for signs of life. The mussels should not be open.  Any open clams should close themselves when pinched closed.  Discard any with broken shells or that are significantly heavier than the others (this will likely not be a problem if you’re using farmed shellfish).


Rinse the shellfish & pull the beards (stringy tendrils on the outside of the shells) off the mussels. If necessary, scrub any attached debris off the shells with a wire brush.


Char the Lemon: Cut a small portion of the ends off the lemon & discard. Thinly (1/4” thick) slice the rest of the lemon.  Lay the slices in a hot oiled frying pan or skillet over high heat.  Cook the slices, flipping as necessary, until well blackened in the center.


Peel the shells off the shrimp, leaving the tails attached to the meat. Devein the shrimp.


Pour the shrimp shells into a hot, unoiled frying pan or skillet & toast them until aromatic.


Move the toasted shrimp shells to a deep pot. Add the paella base & reserved cockle brine.


Bring the base to a very light simmer over medium heat. Infuse the base for 20 minutes.


Strain the shrimp shells out of the paella base, return it to the pan & add the saffron threads.


Pour the ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil into your paella pan. Get it hot over medium-high heat.


Cook the Sofrito: Add the celery and onion to the pan along with a pinch of salt, both pimentons, and the crushed nora chilies. Cook, stirring, for 7 minutes.


Add the bomba rice & stir it into the sofrito (the vegetable mixture) to coat it with the oil & lightly toast it.<


Pour in the infused paella base. Stir the rice to evenly distribute it around the pan.  This is the last time you will stir the paella.


Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.


Simmer the paella until the rice starts to poke out the top of the broth around the edges of the pan (about 10 minutes, though this can vary with your stove).


Push the clams & mussels into the rice, until they’re about half submerged. Be careful not to disturb the bottom layer of the rice.


Sprinkle the peas evenly across the top.


Lay in the shrimp, again submerging them three-quarters of the way up their sides.


Sprinkle the cockles across the surface. Don’t submerge them at all, they’re already cooked.  You just want to warm them through.


Continue to simmer until the mussels and clams pop open. Carefully shove any that are slow to open further down into the rice.  Continue to cook until the liquid is absorbed & the rice is tender.


Lay the scorched lemon slices over the top, then drizzle some additional olive oil over the top. Serve in the pan family-style.

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