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Simon McCabe

Store-cupboard saviour: Easy-peasy paella

With working from home looking like the new norm, we'd like to inspire you to get in your own kitchens and stay creative with this new recipe.

Store-cupboard paellaWhile access to fresh food appears to be a concern for some right now, the supermarkets have assured us that there is no issue with supplies and we shouldn’t panic buy. The quality of canned, frozen and jarred fruit and vegetables is also excellent. Let’s take this as an opportunity to get creative in the kitchen and see what fantastic dishes can be rustled up using a few ingredients from your larder.

While Spanish sunshine may be off the menu for the moment, Claire Barham’s take on a tasty paella, using store cupboard and freezer favourites, doesn’t have to be.

Ingredients (serves 2) 

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 40g or 4-5 slices chorizo, diced
  • 100g paella rice (also works with long grain white rice)
  • ½ tsp turmeric (saffron is traditional but expensive and turmeric gives the same lovely golden hue)
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 large pepper from a jar, sliced
  • 5 artichokes from a jar, halved
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes from a jar, sliced
  • 50g frozen peas
  • 100g frozen raw prawns
  • 325ml vegetable stock
  • ½ lemon, cut into wedges (optional)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the chorizo until it’s coloured and starts to release its oil.
  2. Add the paprika and turmeric and cook for a further minute before stirring in the rice.
  3. Cook the rice while continuing to stir for a few minutes until the rice begins to look a little opaque.
  4. Add the stock and season with salt and pepper, give it a stir before turning down the heat and simmering gently until the rice is half-cooked.
  5. Stir in the pepper, sun-dried tomatoes and peas and nestle in the prawns, artichokes and lemon wedges (if using), making sure you push them gently into the rice.
  6. After five minutes turn the prawns over so they cook on both sides.
  7. Continue to cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the rice is fluffy and the prawns have turned fully pink.
  8. Leave to rest for five minutes covered with a tea towel to allow the rice to steam and settle and then serve. Scatter with some parsley, if you have some.

Handy tips and alternative store-cupboard swaps

  • Frozen seafood mixes are really good and work well in this recipe instead of prawns. You can also add a sliced chicken breast at the beginning with the chorizo.
  • Chorizo is a fantastic ingredient to have in the fridge. It lasts for ages and adds loads of flavour to all sorts of dishes.
  • Peppers from a jar are ready roasted and skinned and are very versatile. They work brilliantly in pasta dishes, frittatas or just in a salad.
  • Jarred artichokes are brilliant to perk up frozen pizzas, in risotto and also pasta dishes.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes give lots of flavour to all sorts of dishes, especially rice dishes and casseroles with pork or chicken.

About The Green Apron

You’ll find The Green Apron cooking school in Coggeshall, Essex. We’re focused on creating simple and seasonal dishes that are as natural as they are delicious, so our cooking classes are fun and hands-on and feature no hard-to-get ingredients or complicated equipment. If you’re interested in more recipes, our cooking courses have all the inspiration you need.