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vegan paella with tofu served in a large skillet
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5 from 4 votes

Vegan Paella with Tofu

The vegan paella is comforting, flavorful and family-friendly. It’s made with cooked brown rice, spicy tofu, earthy mushrooms, veggies, a hint of fresh lemon juice, and the perfect amount of seasonings. It's so delicious that you won't miss the meat - I promise!   
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Spanish, Vegan
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 228kcal
Author: Anjali Shah


  • 1 cup cooked brown rice about 1/4 cup dry
  • tsp saffron crumbled
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 7 oz spicy marinated tofu finely diced
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms diced
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 3 carrots diced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 14 oz can chopped or diced tomatoes drained
  • 4 cloves garlic minced (4 tsp.)
  • 4 oz vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Salt more to taste
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper you can add a little more if you like it spicy
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas thawed
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 green onions thinly sliced, for garnish


  • Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add tofu when oil is heated through, season with salt. Sauté 10 minutes, or until tofu is browned, stirring occasionally.
  • Add mushrooms, and sauté 4 to 5 minutes, or until mushrooms release liquid and begin to brown.
  • Meanwhile, cook your brown rice. Add in saffron at the same time you add the rice to the boiling water. Stir and cook on low - let sit until all water is absorbed. Back to the tofu/mushroom mixture: Stir in carrots, corn, tomatoes, garlic, and all of your spices (including salt & pepper), and sauté 2-5 minutes more.
  • Stir in rice, and about 4 oz veggie broth. Cover with lid, and simmer 10-15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.
  • Add peas on surface (do not stir yet), cover, and allow peas to steam 1 to 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and stir in lemon juice and green onions. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.




Top Tips For Making Vegan Paella
  • Once you add the rice to the pan, I know it’s tempting to stir it several times. But don’t stir it; because that will give you more of a risotto like consistency. For authentic paella, you want it to absorb the liquid and get a nice crust on the bottom of the pan (called the soccarat!)
  • Chop all your veggies into evenly size bite-size pieces. It’s much easier to eat when everything is uniform, but also it will cook much more evenly as well. 
  • The fresh lemon juice gives the vegan paella a little bit of extra zest, so don’t skip adding it. Always try to use fresh lemon juice, not the bottled stuff. It makes a huge difference when it comes to flavor. 
  • Feel free to change up the veggies with whatever you have on hand! Zucchini, artichokes, olives, roasted red peppers, and yellow squash would all work well in this dish.


Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 854mg | Potassium: 967mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 7g