Instant Pot Paella

Instant Pot Paella takes the classic Spanish shrimp and rice dish and makes it accessible to have at home any night of the week.


What is Paella?

Paella is a Spanish rice dish from Valencia, traditionally cooked and served in a big skillet. It’s often made with starchy, short-grain rices like bomba or arborio. The rice takes on all sorts of scrumptious flavor from garlic, onion, tomatoes, and saffron.

The rest of the ingredients vary widely across Spain and across the world! Chicken, shrimp, veggies, and often here in the States, chorizo.

Instant Pot Paella

Today, we are not making a traditional paella, but instead adjusting it to be made in the instant pot with lots of delicious shrimp and rice. We’ve also made a version in the oven.

I usually don’t have arborio rice or other specialty varieties in my pantry, so I opted to go with a basic white rice in this recipe. The saffron is a classic ingredient, and while I think it adds to the dish, it’s expensive and not everyone can tell the difference if you leave it out. So consider that ingredient optional.

The chorizo in this recipe is not the fresh Mexican sausage you may be used to. What you are looking for is Spanish style chorizo which is a dried, cured sausage that is fully cooked. It has a strong flavor with intense seasonings of smoked paprika and garlic, but it’s not spicy.

For the shrimp, you want peeled and deveined shrimp with no tails. You’ll want to defrost the shrimp ahead of preparing this dish.

Learn how to make paella in the instant pot below:


Instant Pot Paella

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings


Instant Pot Paella takes the classic Spanish shrimp and rice dish and makes it accessible to have at home any night of the week.


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3.5 oz. Chorizo*, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. loosely packed saffron
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups uncooked white rice, rinsed and drained but still damp
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock or water
  • 1 and 1/2 lbs. peeled and deveined, no tail, medium shrimp, thawed
  • 2 cups frozen peas, defrosted


  1. Set the Instant Pot to sauté and add the olive oil. Once warm, add the onion and the chorizo. Cook stirring occasionally until onion is soft, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, saffron, salt, rinsed rice, diced tomatoes, and stock or water.
  3. Set Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 6 minutes, making sure the knob is turned to Sealing.
  4. Once the Instant Pot has come to pressure and cooked for the 6 minutes, turn the knob to Venting to allow the steam to release. Once the pressure button drops down, remove the lid.
  5. Stir in the shrimp and the peas. Put the lid back on. Turn the knob to Sealing but set the Instant Pot to Sauté. Allow to sit like that for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the lid. Stir the rice mixture. If the shrimp are all pink throughout, it is ready. If not, put the lid back on and let it sit for another 2-3 minutes.
  7. Remove the inner pot from the Instant Pot to stop the cooking. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.


*You want dried, fully cooked Spanish chorizo, not the fresh Mexican kind.