Vegetable Paella with Chickpeas

A simple, stovetop recipe for vegetable paella! A vegetarian & vegan take on this classic Spanish dish! On the table in under one hour!

Let’s chat date night food! Date night food that can also totally double as a regular day sort of meal! And whether you make this vegetable paella for date night or a weeknight, I guarantee that you’ll feel all cool and fancy for getting such an awesome dish on the table.

A black skillet filled with Vegetable Paella with a wooden spoon in the pan.

Well, at least I sure I do. Because paella and I? We have quite the history.

Let’s take a walk down memory lane, shall we?

Our relationship started on the good side. You see, the husband and I went on our very first date to a spanish restaurant … where of course we had paella (me for the first time). It was delicious … it was a fun date (despite some snooty service!) … yada yada yada. All was well with paella.

Fast forward a few months and we went back to the same place (bad service and all) and realized that the food wasn’t so hot either anymore. Womp womp. My love for this dish was starting to fade.

So then! We figured we should obviously just try making it at home. Forget about the fact that neither one of us really knew what on earth we were doing in the kitchen. We used a recipe from a friend’s dad that I’m sure was awesome, but was loosey goosey in the instructions.

And for two people who didn’t have a clue? Yeah, disaster. The flavors were so off and on top of that the rice wasn’t fully cooked and was weirdly crunchy and just oh so bad. And did I mention the recipe took hours to make??

That was the low point in our relationship.

A white bowl filled with Vegetarian Paella with wine glasses and a skillet in the background.

I swore it off for the longest time but within the last two years managed to actually have delicious versions at other restaurants. That got me thinking that it was time to try again at home.

Vegetarian Paella Recipe

Which brings us to the present day. After much playing around in the kitchen, I give you my favorite version!! Now, let me just say that I am by no means declaring this the most authentic thing out there … but we love it and I hope you will too! {Paella and I are totally friends again (in case you were wondering).}

And! And! Today’s version??? It’s just under an hour from start to finish. It’s also really hands off once you get everything in the skillet – which I love. Makes it practical for a regular type of day since I can be doing other things while it’s simmering away on the stove.

It’s filled with all different types of veggies, plenty of flavor and that sort of slightly sticky and creamy texture. And with a glass of wine??? Perrrrfect-o.

Two bowls filled with Vegan Paella with a wine glass to the side.

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Additional Chickpea Recipes You Might Enjoy!

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Vegetable Paella with Chickpeas

Vegetable Paella with Chickpeas

Yield: about 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

A simple, stovetop recipe for vegetable paella! A vegetarian & vegan take on this classic Spanish dish! On the table in under one hour!


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked arborio rice
  • 1 (14 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 4 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • heaping ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups halved green beans (trimmed first)
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ¾ cup chopped artichoke hearts (from a can)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • additional salt and red pepper flakes, to taste
  • fresh chopped parsley and lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Add the olive oil to a large, deeper-style nonstick skillet set over medium heat. When hot, add in the onion and cook for about 2 minutes, until it starts to soften. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add in the pepper and carrot and cook for 3 minutes, until softened. Stir in the rice. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes, until toasted. Add the tomatoes (with their juices), the broth, saffron, paprika, salt, green beans, peas, artichokes and chickpeas to the skillet and stir to combine.
  2. Increase the heat and bring the mixture just to a boil. Cover, turn down the heat and simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from the heat and let stand covered for 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt and red pepper flakes to your liking (we like a good amount of red pepper to give it heat! I also typically add about ½ to ¾ teaspoon additional salt). Garnish with the fresh parsley and serve with lemon wedges.


If desired, you could absolutely add any sort of protein you would like to this dish!

Saffron is definitely one of those more expensive ingredients. The cheapest I’ve found is at Trader Joes! <--- Not sponsored! Just where I like to buy it!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 269 Total Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 643mg Carbohydrates: 42g Fiber: 8g Sugar: 8g Protein: 9g
Nutrition data shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator and is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a substitute for a medical professional’s advice.