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Paella de Bogavante (Lobster Paella)

Lobster paella is a seafood variation of the traditional Spanish rice dish. This luxurious and indulgent version is often reserved for truly special occasions. Although it may be classified together with seafood paella, its unusual flavor sets it apart. This is a very much sought after recipe which is cooked often in Huelva, becoming one of the top dishes. Known for its seafood, the province’s culture maintains a particular iteration that the lobster paella not be mixed with any other ingredients, so as to elevate the lobster's natural essence. That’s the original version.

The recipe has evolved, however, as additional ingredients got thrown in each time it was tweaked. And many actually like this newer, more flavorful twist.

Lobster Paella recipe:


  • 2 live lobsters, about 1 1/2 pounds each

  • 4 cups chicken stock

  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced

  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

  • 2 cups Spanish short-grain rice (such as Bomba or Calasparra)

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Begin by preparing the lobsters. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the lobsters and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the pot and set aside to cool.

  2. Once the lobsters have cooled, remove the meat from the shells and set aside. Keep the shells and heads to make a stock.

  3. To make the lobster stock, place the lobster shells and heads in a large pot with 4 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 30 minutes. Strain the stock and discard the shells.

  4. In a small bowl, combine the saffron threads with 1/4 cup of hot water and let steep for 10 minutes.

  5. Heat the olive oil in a large paella pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and red bell pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

  6. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

  7. Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat with the vegetable mixture.

  8. Pour in the white wine and cook until the liquid has been absorbed.

  9. Add the lobster stock, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

  10. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through and the liquid has been absorbed.

  11. Add the lobster meat and frozen peas to the pan and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

  12. Serve the paella hot with lemon wedges on the side.



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