This plant-based paella is packed with savory vegetables, rice, and banana blossoms as a terrific faux seafood addition that will have you licking your lips. This Vegan Banana Blossom Paella is sure to become a family favorite!
The Best Faux Fish
Oh my goodness… banana blossoms where have you been all my life?! Slightly sweet, flaky, and capable of soaking up LOTS of amazing flavor- in other words, the ideal addition in this Vegan Banana Blossom Paella.
If I were to compare banana blossoms to any other food it would probably be jackfruit. Jackfruit is a wonderful ingredient to use in meatfree cooking because the texture and consistency are a great replacement for meat. BANANA BLOSSOMS, I dare say, are just as adaptable!!!
Fortunately, banana blossoms can be found ready to use in can form so you don’t have to be in Southeast Asia to enjoy this wonderful blossom. We find ours at an Asian market or you can check the international section of your regular grocery store.
Another key ingredient for paella is bomba rice. Traditional Spanish paella always uses this short grain rice. However, if you have trouble tracking down bomba rice, either brown or white short grain rice can be used. We like to purchase our bomba rice on Amazon.
Last but not least for this Vegan Banana Blossom Paella, you need a pinch of saffron and LOTS of vegetables! These are the veggies we used in our version—
- 3 Types of Bell Peppers (We used red, yellow, and orange)
- String Beans
However, feel free to mix up the combination of vegetables to whatever is in season in your area, or frozen can also be used in a pinch.
A Perfect Paella
One recommendation, make sure you get lot of crunchy browned rice at the bottom of the pan. That is the best part! Cleaning the pan afterward is a small price to pay for this delectable texture in your paella!!! Paella pans do exist, but we used our cast iron skillet and it works just great to get those burned bits.
If you can track down banana blossoms, you NEED to try this Vegan Banana Blossom Paella. You won’t believe how incredible rice and vegetables can taste. Enjoy!
Vegan Banana Blossom Paella
- Prep Time: 10 min.
- Cook Time: 45 min.
- Total Time: 55 min.
- Yield: 5 Servings 1x
- Category: Entrée
- Method: Simmer
- Cuisine: Spanish
- Diet: Vegan
A salty and savory plant-based Spanish paella full of fresh vegetables and flaky banana blossoms. An extremely satisfying meal even without the traditional seafood and one that EVERYONE will love!
4 Cups Vegetable Broth
2 cups Bomba Rice
1 17 oz Can Banana Blossoms (Drained and Rinsed)
1 15 oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 Red Bell Pepper (Seeds Removed, Dice ¾ of the pepper and cut the rest into strips)
1 Orange Bell Pepper (Seeds Removed, Dice ¾ of the pepper and cut the rest into strips)
1 Yellow Bell Pepper (Seeds Removed, Dice ¾ of the pepper and cut the rest into strips)
1 Cup Peas
1 Small Handful Green Beans (Ends Trimmed and Cut into 1 inch pieces)
1 tsp Ground Coriander
½ tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 Nori Sheet (Crushed- optional)
2 Tbsp Capers
2 Large Garlic Cloves (Minced)
3 Small Shallots (Sliced)
1 Lemon (Cut into Wedge)
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley (Garnish)
- Wash and prepare all fresh vegetables.
- In a sauce pan over medium/high heat, bring the vegetable stock to a simmer. Turn off the heat and add the saffron and nori, allow to sit until needed.
- In a large deep skillet over medium/high heat, cook the garlic and shallot with 2 Tbsp of oil until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- Add the diced peppers and chopped green beans to the skillet and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Next add the crushed tomatoes and dry spices to the skillet and stir to combine.
- Add the rice to the mixture followed by the banana blossoms, capers, and peas. Stir to combine.
- Pour the warm vegetable stock into the skillet and give it a stir. Allow mixture to come to a simmer and lower the heat to medium.
- At this point, allow the pan to sit. The rice will begin to absorb the stock, forming the paella.
- After about 15-20 minutes, add the pepper strips and lemon wedges to the top of the paella.
- Continue to cook the paella until the rice is very tender. With a wooden spoon check the bottom of the pan to make sure it is cooked throughout.
- There should be a layer of semi-burned rice at the bottom of the pan. This is the best part!
- Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.
- Leftover paella can be refrigerated for up to 5 days and reheated.
Keywords: Vegan Banana Blossom Paella
If you are a fan of banana blossoms, check out some of these other recipes that include this terrific meat replacement!
BANANA BLOSSOM BURRITO BOWL
PARMESAN DILL CRUSTED VEGAN FISH
VEGAN “SEAFOOD” LINGUINE
Vegan Banana Blossom “Fish” Tacos
OR THIS COLLECTION OF THE 10 BEST VEGAN BANANA BLOSSOM RECIPES!
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8 thoughts on “Vegan Banana Blossom Paella”
Thank you for this recipe. I made it today and it was very tasty. It was the first time I’d used banana blossom and I’m not sure I used it as intended. There were two rather large blossoms in the tin and I couldn’t see how I could cut them to make it look like you have here (which look to me like artichoke heart size and shape). How do you cut it into manageable pieces? I ended up chopping it up, but I think that rather defeated the purpose of using it in the first place.
Hi Suzanne. Thank you for your comment and question. We have found that cans of banana blossoms vary greatly. Some have several small pieces while some gave just a few large. When we get large pieces, we cut them vertically into manageable bites. I hope this helps. Thank you again.
Thanks. It’s the first time using them and I was shocked at how big they were. On the plus side, I’m going to try using them to make fried “fish”. Thanks for the recipes.
Thanks for this recipe. Just wanted to share my changes because of availability of items. I used fire roasted tomatoes, asparagus instead of peas, only 1 red and 1 orange pepper, sushi rice instead of the bomba, kelp flakes instead of nori, Also I added a few fine chopped shiitake mushrooms, chickpeas, dried parsley midway through the cooking instead of fresh and a bit extra amount of the spices.
It turned out so good we really enjoyed it. Since paella is traditionally cooked over open flame thought the fire roasted tomatoes would add a bit of the smoky flavor. Love the idea of changing it up based on what is in the fridge. Thanks again.
Thanks so much for the feedback, Cindy. Love the idea of using fire roasted tomatoes! Yum!!!