Can You Make Paella in a Cast Iron Skillet?

Last Updated on December 7, 2022 by Lauren Beck

If you’re looking for an easy way to make paella at home, the answer is yes! A cast iron skillet can be used as a great cooking vessel for paella. This type of pan can distribute heat evenly and can withstand high temperatures, making it perfect for creating a delicious paella dish

When preparing paella in a cast iron skillet, it’s important to use a reliable recipe that can be cooked in one pot. This will help ensure that all the ingredients are cooked evenly and can create a rich flavorful dish.

Cast Iron Paella Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon saffron threads
  • 8 ounces chorizo sausage, sliced into small pieces
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can mixed vegetables
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat
  2. Add the onion, garlic, and red pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes until softened
  3. Add the smoked paprika and saffron threads, stirring to combine
  4. Add in the chorizo sausage and cook until lightly browned
  5. Stir in the Arborio rice, chicken broth, white wine and can of diced tomatoes with their juices
  6. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally
  7. Reduce heat to low and add in can of mixed vegetables. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed
  8. Season with salt and pepper, to taste
  9. Serve hot and enjoy!

Paella tips and tricks

  • Use a can of diced tomatoes for added flavor
  • Don’t stir the paella too much or it can become mushy and lose its texture
  • If desired, you can add in cooked shrimp, mussels, and/or clams to this dish

What Pan Should I Cook Paella In?

The best pan to cook paella in is a cast iron skillet. The heavy bottom of the skillet can distribute heat evenly, while its high sides make it great for simmering and reducing liquid. Cast iron can also withstand high temperatures, making it perfect for creating this classic Spanish dish.

Can You Use Any Pan For Paella?

Any pan can be used for making paella; however, cast iron skillets can provide the best cooking results. Other suitable pans can include enamel-coated cast iron or carbon steel pans. Avoid using a nonstick skillet as this type of pan is not designed to withstand high temperatures.

The Best Way To Make Paella

cooking paella in a cast iron skillet

Making paella can be simple and straightforward. Whether you’re using a cast iron skillet or other suitable pans, following the recipe closely can lead to delicious results. Adding extra ingredients such as chorizo sausage can add flavor and texture – so play around with your favorite ingredients until you find the perfect combination!

Is Stainless Steel Good For Paella Pan?

Stainless steel can be used for making paella [1], however it is not the most ideal pan to use. It can take longer to heat up and can easily burn the bottom of the rice before everything cooks through.

What Is The Difference Between A Paella Pan And A Skillet?

A paella pan is designed specifically for making paella and can come in many different sizes. They can be made from various materials such as aluminum, iron or stainless steel. The shallow shape of the pan allows for even cooking and can help create a crisp bottom layer of rice called “the socarrat”

Why You Need A Dimpled Paella Pan For Perfectly Cooked Rice?

The dimples on the bottom of a paella pan can help create an even heat distribution and can promote more efficient cooking. This can prevent burning, sticking and can help produce perfectly cooked rice.


Making paella can be a delicious and fun experience. Whether you’re using a cast iron skillet or a specialized paella pan, it can help to create an evenly cooked dish that can be enjoyed by all! With some time and patience, you can easily make this classic Spanish dish at home.


Lauren Beck
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