Traditional Paella Recipe Cooked On The BBQ

This traditional paella recipe is cooked on the BBQ and is based on what is thought to be the original paella. Valencian paella containing rabbit, chicken, beans and artichokes… I have however skipped the snails, I couldn’t find any that looked tasty in the garden!

Tall close up image of a traditional paella recipe served in a paella pan

Traditional Paella Recipe Cooked On The BBQ.

My latest recipe is a traditional paella recipe cooked outside on the barbecue. In many ways cooking a paella this way is not all that different to cooking one over a traditional gas flame.

Paella is another of the worlds great rice dishes, like Biriyani from India and Persia or Risotto from Italy. But there are so many, like Jollof from West Africa, Jambalaya from the US or Nasi Goreng from Indonesia, and so many more!

Paella recipes have a long-standing association with seafood and I love seafood. Alas, Hungary having no ‘sea’ means it is rare in these parts!

You may be surprised to know that what is widely acknowledged to be the oldest paella recipe has no seafood. Valencian Paella is a great dish to cook on the BBQ and I use a traditional mix of rabbit and chicken.

Like all of my recipes, I have taken some liberties but this remains largely a traditional paella recipe. Although I did choose to omit the apparently obligatory snails, primarily because I can’t find them here!

A traditional paella recipe in a paella pan cooking on a bbq

What Rice To Use For Paella?

Paella rice is always a short grain rice, I personally use a variety called Bomba. Other varieties like senia and bahfa are available.

You can at a push use a short-grained risotto rice, it will not be perfect and the food police will be shocked. But it will work and be a half-decent approximation.

The most important thing with a paella recipe is to not stir your rice. When you make a risotto like this pumpkin risotto the stirring releases the starches which gives the creamy texture.

That is the very last thing you want when cooking a paella. You want to treat your rice with kid gloves, stir as little as possible. In fact, pour it gently and don’t mess around with it.

In many ways, a paella is an infinitely simpler dish than a risotto. When cooking a risotto you sip your wine whilst stirring. With a traditional paella recipe, you get to sit down and enjoy your wine. It is the law!

Tall image of a traditional paella recipe cooked in a paella pan on a bbq

One Pot Cooking!

A traditional paella recipe is the very epitome of one pot cooking… So much so you can eat it straight from the pan, often the way myself and my wife eat this when we cook on the BBQ.

I am sure I have mentioned this before but we have a rule in our house that the cook never washes up. As a result, my wife loves it when I do a dish like this as that washing up pile is very small.

Regular readers may well understand that this often isn’t the case…

There is a beautiful simplicity about a well-cooked paella recipe. They are not strikingly beautiful and you should never trust a paella that is!

A paella is chucked in a pan and cooked for 25-35 minutes, so the vegetables are not bright and vibrant. But everything just looks as though it is proper and should be just the way it is.

Golden and beautiful!

Close up of a chicken thigh cooking in a traditional paella recipe
Traditional Paella Recipe Cooked On The BBQ

Traditional Paella Recipe Cooked On The BBQ

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

This traditional paella recipe is cooked on the BBQ and is based on what is thought to be the original paella, Valencian paella containing rabbit, chicken, beans and artichokes.


  • 200 g Bomba Paella Rice
  • 250 g Chicken Thighs, Bone in, skin on
  • 450 g Rabbit, Bone in
  • 100 g Green Beans, Traditionally this would have been runner beans
  • 75 g Broad Beans
  • 100 g Artichoke Hearts
  • 100 g Tomato
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 750 ml Chicken Stock
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Sprig Rosemary
  • 1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Pinch Saffron
  • 1 Tsp Salt


  1. Finely slice the garlic.
  2. Cut the artichoke hearts into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Grate the tomato.
  4. Place your pan over your hot coals and when hot add the salt and the oil.
  5. Brown your chicken and rabbit pieces in the oil until nicely coloured on all sides.
  6. Move the meat to the side of the pan and add the green beans, artichoke hearts and broad beans. Again you want these to get some colour
  7. Add the garlic and tomato stir and cook for two minutes.
  8. Sprinkle with the paprika and then add the rice.
  9. Pour over the hot stock, add the saffron and rosemary.
  10. It is vital that you do not stir your paella, so just flatten out the rice and arrange everything in the pan so that it all has some space.
  11. Leave the rice to cook for around 25 minutes before testing, most of the liquid should be gone and the rice almost cooked.
  12. Now cover with foil and allow to sit over indirect heat for a further 5 minutes.
  13. Serve sprinkled with snipped chives.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 749Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 206mgSodium: 1453mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 7gSugar: 11gProtein: 66g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

12 thoughts on this Recipe:

  1. This paella looks and sounds so good! It’s one of those dishes I love but have never cooked! I want to try it but also without snails, even though my garden is full of them!!!

    • lol, I have to confess that whilst I am not abhorred by the idea of eating snails they are certainly not my first choice as an ingredient 😉

  2. While I’ve made biryani many times, I’ve never made paella before so seeing how you made this delicious concoction on the bbq is blowing my mind! fantastic! delicious! And so gorgeous too! BTW – thanks for the suggestion as to which type of rice to use for this.

    • You are welcome… I’m much more familiar with Biriyani too but have been playing around with Paella for about 12 months and love it… The way the rice cooks slightly differently is key, the crispy bits, the soft bits are all part of the canvas of paella.


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