Skip to Content

Savor Spanish Delights: 5 BEST Paella Rice Substitutes

Do you love rice but are tired of the same old boring recipes? If so, then you need to try paella rice.

Paella is a traditional Spanish dish typically made with rice, saffron, chicken, seafood, and vegetables.

While it may sound complicated, paella is quite easy to make at home.

Plus, it’s a great way to use up leftover rice.

And if you don’t have time to make paella from scratch, there are some great substitutes for paella rice that will still give you that delicious flavor.

So what are you waiting for? Get cooking.

What is Paella Rice?

what is paella rice

Paella rice is a short-grain rice that is widely used in Spanish cuisine.

It is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various dishes, from simple rice and beans to more complex paellas.

Paella rice is prized for absorbing flavors and its creamy texture.

It is typically cooked in a broth or stock and mixed with other ingredients such as vegetables, seafood, and spices.

While it is traditionally associated with the Spanish dish paella, paella rice can also be used in many other recipes.

Whether you want to add some flavor to your next meal or simply try something new, Paella rice is a great option.

When cooked properly, it can be a delicious and healthy addition to your diet.

Just make sure to follow the instructions on the package, and be sure to use a good quality broth or stock.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Paella Rice

For those of us who are passionate about making paella, there is nothing worse than not having the right rice on hand.

If you find yourself in this predicament, don’t despair.

There are several excellent substitutes for paella rice that will still make a delicious and authentic dish.

1 – Arborio Rice

arborio rice

Arborio rice is a type of short grain rice that is commonly used in Italian cooking.

It is named after the town of Arborio in Italy’s Piedmont region, where it was first grown.

The rice grains are short and plump, with high starch content.

This makes them ideal for risotto, as they cook up creamy and tender.

However, arborio rice can also be used in other dishes, such as paella.

Paella is a Spanish dish traditionally using a type of long grain rice called Bomba.

However, arborio rice makes an excellent substitute, as it absorbs flavors well and provides a creamy texture.

If you’re looking to add some variety to your paella, give arborio rice a try.

2 – Bomba Rice

bomba rice

Bomba rice is a type of rice that originates from Spain.

It is frequently used in the dish paella, which has a high absorbency rate and produces fluffy, delicate grains.

However, many people are unaware that bomba rice can also be used as a substitute for paella rice.

While the two types of rice are similar in appearance, bomba rice is slightly smaller and more round than paella rice.

Additionally, bomba rice has a higher starch content, which gives it a creamier texture.

As a result, bomba rice is an excellent choice for those looking to add a bit of richness to their dish.

3 – Calasparra Rice

calasparra rice

Calasparra rice is a type of short-grain rice that is commonly used in paella.

It is named for the town of Calasparra in the Murcia region of Spain, where it has been grown for centuries.

The rice is unique for its ability to absorb large amounts of liquid, making it the perfect choice for dishes like paella that are loaded with flavor.

Calasparra rice is also incredibly versatile and can be substituted for any short-grain rice in a recipe.

If you’re looking to add some authentic Spanish flavor to your next meal, reach for a bag of Calasparra rice the next time you’re at the grocery store.

4 – Jasmine Rice

jasmine rice

Jasmine rice is a long grain, aromatic rice that is indigenous to Thailand.

It is often used in Thai cooking, where it is typically paired with curry dishes.

However, Jasmine rice can also be used in other types of cuisines.

For instance, it makes an excellent substitute for Paella rice.

Paella is a Spanish dish traditionally using short-grain rice, such as Arborio or Valencia.

However, Jasmine rice can be used to create a delicious and authentic Paella.

The key is to cook the Jasmine rice properly so it is fluffy and light.

Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be on your way to enjoying a delicious Paella made with Jasmine rice.

5 – Regular Long-grain Rice

regular longgrain rice

Paella is typically made with short-grain rice known as arborio or Bomba, but these can be difficult to find outside of Spain.

On the other hand, long-grain rice is readily available and makes an excellent substitute.

If you’re in the mood for some delicious paella, but don’t have the right kind of rice on hand, don’t worry – regular long-grain rice will do just fine as a substitute.

The key is to cook the rice until it is tender but still slightly firm to the bite – this will ensure that it holds up well in the dish and doesn’t turn mushy.

Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly, as long-grain rice takes longer to cook than short-grain.


In conclusion, a few different types of rice can be used as substitutes for paella rice.

Depending on your preferences, you can choose arborio, Bomba, jasmine, Calasparra, or long-grain rice.

All of these options will provide you with a unique flavor and texture that will complement your paella dish perfectly.

The most important thing is to experiment and find the rice that you think works best for you.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Paella Rice

Searching for alternatives to traditional paella rice? Your quest ends here! We've compiled a list of the top 5 substitutes that will flawlessly harmonize with the vibrant flavors of your paella dish.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Arborio Rice
  • Bomba Rice
  • Calasparra Rice
  • Jasmine Rice
  • Regular Long-grain Rice


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for paella rice
Did you make this recipe?Mention @AmericasRestaurant or tag #americasrestaurant!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating