Veggie Paella | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Veggie Paella

Veggie Paella

We are always looking for interesting meatless meals to have at least once a week for Meatless Monday.  Some of our favorites are simply black beans and cilantro lime rice.

Or a simple Caesar salad with homemade dressing.  Or lots of fried goodies like these fried artichoke hearts.

But I wanted to try something a little more complex.  And I was inspired by Giada’s recipe for vegetable paella.   So why not test my hand at this amazing veggie paella while keeping it gluten and dairy-free.

So I’ve made this veggie paella several times but altered some of the vegetables.  I’m not a fan of radishes but love cauliflower seasoned with bright spices.

You could probably use any vegetables you like and it’s a great way to get rid of some of the veg in the fridge or freezer!

I’ve made the artichokes in the recipe optional because they really change the flavor of the dish so if you aren’t a huge fan of artichokes then don’t bother with them.

Veggie Paella Prep

And of course, it could be vegan if you use vegetable broth instead of homemade chicken stock.

I use Arborio rice because it is naturally gluten-free, as is Basmati rice, but Arborio rice really absorbs the flavors well and stands up to the vegetables.

We don’t get the traditional crust on the bottom but it turns out flavorful and delicious!Veggie Paella

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Veggie Paella

A delicious veggie paella made with Spanish saffron, dry white wine and yellow cherry tomatoes

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword veggie paella
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Author Deana Larkin Evans


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 stalk organic celery diced
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 cup yellow cherry tomatoes halved
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 1/4 tsp Spanish saffron threads
  • Pinch of raw cane sugar
  • 3/4 cup Arborio rice
  • 4 oz green beans trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small red bell pepper cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup quartered artichoke hearts rinsed (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley finely chopped


  1. Wash, rinse and dry the tomatoes, cauliflower (if fresh), green beans, red bell pepper and parsley before prepping everything.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a 3.5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté for about 4 minutes.
  3. Turn down the heat to medium and add the garlic, cherry tomatoes and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes so that the tomatoes break down.
  4. Add the cauliflower and cook for a few more minutes. Add the white wine and cook until the volume of liquid has reduced by half.
  5. Use a small mortar and pestle to grind down the saffron threads with the pinch of raw sugar. Add the saffron and chicken stock to the pot. Use about 1/4 cup hot water to rinse the mortar and pestle and recover any residual saffron – add it to the pot.
  6. Increase the heat to medium high to bring it to a simmer. Stir in the Arborio rice and green beans. Let cook untouched for another 5 minutes.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium. Distribute the red peppers and artichoke hearts (if usinover the top of the rice. If you like your peas cooked down a bit, then add them as well. If you prefer them brighter, then wait to add during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  8. Gently press into the rice. Cover and simmer untouched for another 15-20 minutes. Uncover and slightly raise the heat to cook off most of the remaining liquid. I usually poke a hole in the middle to see how much liquid is left.
  9. Transfer to a serving dish then sprinkle with the smoked paprika and the parsley before serving. Enjoy!

Want More Recipes Like Veggie Paella?

Deana Larkin Evans

You get one life - do your best to ENJOY IT! So hi, I'm Deana. This food blog is all about cooking wholesome real food and developing gluten-free recipes for some of our favorite comfort foods. I had to start eating gluten-free in 2010, then cut dairy and casein (except for the occasional Parmesan) in 2014. We learned A2 casein (goat, sheep and buffalo milk) is easier to digest than the predominate A1 form in cow milk. So we brought back goat milk dairy into our recipes in 2016. Thank goodness, right! So I'm kind of a science nerd, too. In the '90s, I earned an undergrad degree in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook 'em! Then followed up with a PhD in biochemistry and a law degree from the University of Houston. I recently earned a certificate in genomics/sequence analysis from Johns Hopkins University, where I also took a very cool food microbiology course. Currently, I'm learning about the microbiome and gut health. And trying to come up with healthy recipes to feed those gut bugs! #feedthegutbugs

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4 Responses

  1. Thanks so much Irene! Good for you! We try! 🙂 I hope you like recipes and let me know how they turn out. You should also check out some of the salads, which can easily be made without meat, too. We try to get as much color in the dish as possible. 🙂

  2. Irene says:

    I absolutely love this blog! I have been transitioning to a better and healthier lifestyle, and came across your blog while searching for rice noodle recipes. (I am very healthy for the most part, but trying to shift to gluten free and mostly meat free.) I am trying out your recipes this week, and I’m very excited that your recipes are simple, healthy, and look super yummy! Can’t wait to taste!

  1. January 18, 2015

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