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Seafood Paella Air Fryer Recipe, Ready in 30 Minutes

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Seafood Paella Air Fryer

Making a seafood paella in the air fryer is easy and enjoyable. Simply mix your seafood, rice, and seasonings, then cook at 350°F for about 15 minutes. It’s that simple to bring a Spanish classic to your table.

Cooking paella in an air fryer merges the rich taste of a traditional seafood paella recipe with the ease of modern cooking. Choosing this method means you’re all set for a healthy seafood dinner that fully delivers on flavor.

Why Air Fryer Seafood Paella?

Why choose an air fryer for your seafood paella? Let me break it down for you:

  • Efficiency: Air fryers heat up quickly, reducing cooking time significantly.
  • Healthier cooking: Less oil is needed, which means fewer calories and less fat.
  • Even cooking: The circulating hot air cooks the rice and seafood evenly, ensuring no soggy or burnt spots.
  • Flavor enhancement: Cooking with saffron in an air fryer helps to intensify the flavors, especially when combined with the natural juices of the seafood.
Air Fryer Seafood Paella

Choosing to make an air fryer seafood paella not only streamlines the process but also guarantees a dish that’s as nutritious as it is delicious. The combination of a high-heat environment and rapid air circulation works wonders with the benefits of air frying, making every grain of rice perfectly tender and every piece of seafood succulently cooked.

What You’ll Need

Ingredients List:

For this paella, the right ingredients are key. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup Arborio or Bomba rice​
  • 2 cups stock (seafood or chicken), infused with a pinch of saffron and a teaspoon of paprika​
  • 1 pound seafood mix (shrimp, mussels, squid), cleaned and prepped​
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced

Equipment Required:

The right air fryer makes all the difference. For this recipe, a medium to large air fryer is ideal. Look for one with the following features:

  • Capacity: Enough to hold the ingredients without overcrowding.
  • Temperature control: Essential for cooking the rice evenly and managing the doneness of the seafood.
  • Non-stick basket: Prevents sticking and ensures easy cleanup.

Choosing the appropriate air fryer and pairing it with the best seafood paella ingredients ensures your air fryer seafood recipes turn out perfect every time.

How to Cook Seafood Paella in Air Fryer

Preparing the Ingredients: Start by thoroughly rinsing your seafood mix under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. For the shrimp, peel and devein. Mussels should be scrubbed, and any beards removed. Squid can be cut into rings. This step ensures your air fryer recipes seafood starts off right.

Preparing seafood for air fryer paella recipe

Sofrito Base: Preheat your air fryer to 350°F. In a pan compatible with your air fryer, heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the chopped onions and bell peppers, cooking until softened—about 3 minutes. Stir in the diced tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes until the mixture is fragrant. This sofrito is the flavor foundation.

Cooking sofrito for paella in air fryer

Adding the Rice: To the sofrito, stir in 1 cup of Arborio or Bomba rice, making sure it’s well-coated with the mixture. Cook for 1 minute before adding the stock. The stock should be warm and infused with saffron and paprika, adding both color and flavor to the dish.

Mixing rice with sofrito for paella recipe

Incorporating Seafood: Gently fold in the seafood mix, ensuring an even distribution. This is crucial for how to cook paella in an air fryer so that everything cooks uniformly.

Arranging seafood on paella before air frying

Cooking the Paella: Place the pan in the air fryer. Cook at 350°F for about 12-15 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the seafood is cooked through. Midway, check to make sure everything is cooking evenly.

Cooking seafood paella in an air fryer

Making Socarrat: For that coveted crispy bottom, increase the temperature to 400°F during the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. Keep an eye on it to prevent burning. This step is essential for making socarrat in air fryer.

Completed seafood paella from air fryer

Note: The key to perfect paella in an air fryer is not to stir the rice once you’ve added the stock. Letting it sit ensures the rice cooks evenly and achieves the desired texture.

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Tips for Perfect Air Fryer Paella

Achieving that perfect cooking paella in air fryer experience boils down to a few key pointers:

  • Choosing the Right Rice: For an authentic traditional seafood paella recipe, selecting the right rice is crucial. Arborio or Bomba rice is ideal because they absorb flavors well without becoming mushy.
  • Preheat Your Air Fryer: Ensuring your air fryer is at the right temperature before you start cooking is vital for even cooking.
  • Do Not Stir: Once you’ve added the rice and liquid to the pan, resist the urge to stir. This ensures even cooking and helps develop the socarrat.
  • Layering: When adding the seafood, spread it out evenly. This ensures everything cooks at the same pace, essential in Spanish cuisine.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to cooking paella in an air fryer, here are some pitfalls to steer clear of:

  • Overcrowding the Pan: This can lead to uneven cooking. Make sure there’s enough space for heat to circulate.
  • Stirring the Paella: Stirring after adding the stock can prevent the formation of the socarrat, the crispy bottom layer that’s highly sought after in paella dishes.
  • Ignoring Rice to Liquid Ratio: Too much liquid can make the rice soggy, while too little can leave it undercooked. Follow the recipe closely.

Serving and Pairing Suggestions

When it’s time to serve your seafood paella, presentation and pairings can turn the meal:

  • Lemon Wedges: A squeeze of lemon right before eating can brighten up the flavors.
  • Side Salad: A simple green salad with a vinaigrette dressing complements the richness of the paella.
  • Wine Pairing for Paella: A crisp, dry white wine or a light-bodied red pairs beautifully, enhancing the meal’s flavors without overwhelming them.

Remember, the joy of serving seafood paella is in sharing it. A big pan in the center of the table invites everyone to enjoy the flavors of Spain right from your air fryer.

Variations and Substitutions

Exploring seafood paella variations can make this dish accessible to everyone, regardless of dietary needs or preferences. Here are a few ideas:

  • Vegetarian Paella: Replace seafood with a mix of seasonal vegetables like artichokes, beans, and peas. Use vegetable stock to maintain the richness of the dish, perfectly aligning with dietary substitutions for paella.
  • Chicken or Rabbit: For a more traditional Valencian paella, substitute seafood with chicken or rabbit, adjusting the cooking time as necessary.
  • Gluten-Free Options: This dish is naturally gluten-free, but always check your stock ingredients to be sure.
  • Vegan Paella: Omit the seafood and add more vegetables. Use a vegan stock and swap out any animal-derived ingredients.

Storage and Reheating Guidelines

To ensure your leftover paella remains as delightful as when first cooked, follow these guidelines:

  • Cooling Down: Allow the paella to cool to room temperature before storing. This prevents condensation that can make the rice soggy.
  • Storing Seafood Paella: Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Seafood doesn’t hold up well beyond this.
  • Reheating Air Fryer Paella: To maintain the dish’s texture, reheat in the air fryer at 350°F for a few minutes. If it seems dry, add a splash of stock before reheating.
  • Microwave: If using a microwave, cover the dish loosely with a lid or microwave-safe cover to retain moisture. Heat on high for 1-2 minutes, stir, and check if it’s heated through.

Following these tips for storing seafood paella and reheating air fryer paella ensures that your meal remains as enjoyable the second time around.

FAQs about Seafood Paella in Air Fryer

Final Words

Making an air fryer seafood paella recipe blends convenience with the rich flavors of a healthy traditional seafood paella. This method makes a usually complex dish more accessible and manageable for everyone, proving that an easy paella recipe doesn’t sacrifice taste for simplicity.

Air frying brings out the best in the ingredients, ensuring each bite is infused with flavor. It’s a testament to how modern cooking techniques can streamline traditional dishes without losing their essence.

I’m excited for you to try this recipe. It’s designed for cooks of all levels to achieve a gourmet experience at home. After making it, I hope you’ll share how it went. Did you add a personal twist? How did it turn out?

I’d love to hear about your experience. If you’ve made modifications or have suggestions, feel free to share. Your feedback is valuable and much appreciated.

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Seafood Paella Air Fryer

Seafood Paella Air Fryer

Making a seafood paella in the air fryer is easy and enjoyable. Simply mix your seafood, rice, and seasonings, then cook at 350°F for about 15 minutes. It’s that simple to bring a Spanish classic to your table.

  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup Arborio or Bomba rice​
  • 2 cups stock (seafood or chicken), infused with a pinch of saffron and a teaspoon of paprika​
  • 1 pound seafood mix (shrimp, mussels, squid), cleaned and prepped​
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced

Instructions

1. Prepare the Seafood: Rinse the seafood mix in cold water and pat it dry. For shrimp, make sure they’re peeled and deveined. Clean the mussels and chop the squid into rings. This ensures your seafood is ready to cook perfectly.

Preparing seafood for air fryer paella recipe

2. Make the Sofrito: Heat your air fryer to 350°F. Using a pan that fits, warm up some olive oil, then add chopped onions and bell peppers. Cook until they soften, around 3 minutes, then add tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes. This creates the flavorful base.

Cooking sofrito for paella in air fryer

3. Add the Rice: Stir in Arborio or Bomba rice to coat it in the sofrito, cook for a minute, then pour in the stock that’s been warmed and infused with saffron and paprika. This step begins the transformation of simple ingredients into something special.

Mixing rice with sofrito for paella recipe

4. Mix in the Seafood: Fold the seafood gently into the mix. It’s important for an even cook.

Arranging seafood on paella before air frying

5. Cooking Time: Place the pan in the air fryer and cook at 350°F for 12-15 minutes. Halfway through, take a peek to ensure everything is cooking evenly.

Cooking seafood paella in an air fryer

6. Crisp the Bottom: For the socarrat, that deliciously crispy bottom, turn up the heat to 400°F for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. Watch it closely to avoid burning.

Completed seafood paella from air fryer

Notes

Remember, don’t stir the rice once you’ve added the stock. This is crucial for getting that perfect texture in your paella. There you have it, a seafood paella that’s as delightful to eat as it is straightforward to make.

  • Author: Suborna Tanchangya
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Air Frying
  • Cuisine: Spanish

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving (1/4 of total)
  • Calories: 450 kcal
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 780mg
  • Fat: 10g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 7g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 65g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 25g
  • Cholesterol: 120mg

Keywords: seafood paella air fryer

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