I love Spanish food, especially paella. I make it fairly frequently at home and the whole family loves it. Trader Joe’s has just about everything you need to make it, except maybe authentic paella rice (which you can buy here Paella Rice). Paella is a the national dish of Spain and comes in all types of versions from chicken to sausage to rabbit. But the most well known type is seafood. Making paella from scratch can be expensive and labor intensive and there is a certain trick to getting it just right, especially the soccart which is a crispy crunchy bottom which most people in North America even realize is a thing. I have a dedicated paella pan that helps with this process. I highly suggest you get one too.
But that is here nor there… We are here to talk about Trader Joe’s Seafood Paella. I’ve seen it over the years sitting in the frozen section. Another forgotten item that nobody really cares about in the Trader Joe’s review game. it’s just not that sexy. It isn’t vegan or gluten free or pumpkin spice flavored or any of the trendy things, but it’s been around for a while. Honestly, I just didn’t have very high hopes for this dish. Frozen seafood and rice. Usually the seafood just turns out mushy or tough. It’s really hard to get right.
I was pleasantly surprised with this. It’s pretty easy to make. Just dump the whole bag in a hot non-stick pan. Give it a quick stir and put the lid on and bring the temperature to medium and let it cook for about 3-4 minutes until the shrimp turns completely opaque. Take the lid off and stir it a bit to make sure you get all the shrimp. A couple of mine had frozen together so I needed to break them apart and makes sure everything was cooked all the way through. But that’s pretty much it. In about 5 or so minutes you have a very nice meal for one person.
I really liked the flavors. A touch of heat and the saffron really came through. The rice was the right consistency, although sadly there is no crunchy bottom, but that would over cook everything. There was plenty of mussels and shrimp. Way more than I expected. I really like this dish and will probably stock up on it. It’s not really enough to share. I think the whole bag was about 500 calories. The only downside is the picture on the bag bears little resemblance to the actually product when you cook it, but I’ll give them a pass it was really good!