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Savor Spanish Delights: 5 BEST Paella Rice Substitutes

Finding the perfect paella rice isn’t always a walk in the park.

We’ve all been there, ready to whip up a traditional Spanish dish, only to realize the pantry’s missing that key ingredient.

No sweat, though! There are some fantastic stand-ins out there that might just make your paella pop in ways you didn’t expect.

We’re here to guide you through the top five alternatives that keep your paella on point.

Trust us, these substitutes will have you cooking like a pro in no time.

It’s all about getting creative in the kitchen without losing that authentic vibe.

Our picks come from our own trials and errors, so you’re getting the real deal.

And the best part? You likely have some of these alternatives in your kitchen already.

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.

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!
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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