Seafood and Squid Ink Paella Recipe

IMAGE Aldwin Aspillera

According to research, the color red triggers appetite. Warm colors are often evoked when we think about appetizing food, but of course, there are some exceptions.

Like the paella negra.

Also known as squid ink paella, this paella has origins in Spain. This particular rice dish is best known for its black color (due to the squid ink), hence "negra" which means "black" in Spanish.

Breaking down the paella recipe

Packed with seafood and umami flavor, traditional Spanish paella negra usually features squid or cuttlefish and shrimp, but you can also make it a seafood feast by adding crabs, mussels, and clams. Adding other kinds of seafood might seem complicated, but it actually isn't. The process for this seafood paella recipe is divided into three main parts: preparing the paella, cooking the seafood toppings, and lastly, making the coconut-aligue (crab fat) sauce. 

Preparing the paella is a straightforward process that begins with sautéing the aromatics, tomatoes, and squid before mixing in the rice and stock.  It ends with conveniently letting the oven do the rest of the work.


While your paella is cooking away in the oven, you can cook the other seafood toppings. This can be done in several ways: it can be steamed, blanched, or pan-fried, depending on your preference and skill level. 

Paella negra can also be served with lemon slices, perfect for squeezing over the rice and seafood. The lemon juice adds a new dimension to the dish and gives it a refreshing twist.

Just as you think the paella negra couldn't be more decadent, we've added another layer to make your seafood paella experience even more unforgettable with a coconut-aligue sauce. This sauce elevates the squid ink seafood paella as the luscious coconut cream carries the unique umami flavor of the crab fat or aligue through the paella negra.

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Indulge in a seafood feast and try the recipe below!


Prep Time
40 mins 
Cooking Time
1 hr 
Ready In
1 hr 40 mins 
8 to 10
Cooking Method

Seafood and Squid Ink Paella Ingredients

How to cook Seafood and Squid Ink Paella

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