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Squash-Rice Paella with Mussels & Chorizo

Squash stands in for rice in this remake of the traditional Spanish dish. You can use butternut squash or yellow squash — we recommend spiralizing the veg first, then cutting or pulsing in the food processor to get rice-size pieces. If using yellow squash, cutting it is a safer bet since the veg is so delicate. Check the labels when you are purchasing chorizo as some brands contain sugar.


  • Cauliflower rice 
  • Rutabaga rice 
  • Broccoli or romanesco rice
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
20 min
65 min


  • 12 oz yellow squash (or 18 oz peeled, seeded butternut squash, neck only)

    ¼ cup avocado oil, divided

    1 small yellow onion, diced

    1 small red bell pepper, diced

    ¾ tsp sea salt, divided

    6 cloves garlic, minced

    1 tbsp each paprika and dried oregano

    ½ tsp red pepper flakes

    Pinch saffron threads

    1 14-oz BPA-free can diced tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted)

    1½ lb mussels, scrubbed and debearded

    2–3 links chorizo, sliced

    ¼ tsp ground black pepper

    ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

    lemon wedges, optional


1. Secure squash into a spiral maker and turn crank to create noodles, according to manufacturer’s directions. Working in batches, place on a cutting board and chop into “rice.” Transfer to a large bowl.

2. In a large pot on medium, heat 2 tbsp oil. Add onion and bell pepper, season with ¼ tsp salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, paprika, oregano, pepper flakes and saffron; sauté 1 minute. Pour in tomatoes and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice.

3. Add mussels to pot, cover, increase heat to medium; cook for 5 minutes, shaking pot occasionally. Uncover and transfer any mussels that have opened to a bowl. Cover and continue to cook, shaking occasionally for about 3 minutes longer, checking every 30 seconds for mussels that have opened and transfer to bowl. Discard any mussels that don’t open. Tent mussels with foil. Reduce heat to low setting; cover.

4. In a large skillet on medium-high, heat remaining 2 tbsp oil. Add chorizo; cook, turning once or twice, until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Reduce heat to medium, stir in squash rice and cook, stirring, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. (If using butternut squash rice, cook 7 to 8 minutes, adding 2 tbsp water to prevent sticking.) Season with remaining ½ tsp salt and black pepper.

5. Preheat broiler to high. Using a slotted spoon, transfer tomato mixture from mussels cooking liquid to skillet with rice; fold together to combine. Broil until mixture is golden on top and excess liquid has cooked off, 4 to 5 minutes, watching to prevent burning. Top with mussels and chorizo. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon wedges (if using).

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size ¼ of recipe
  • Calories 477
  • Carbohydrate Content 21 g
  • Cholesterol Content 62 mg
  • Fat Content 33 g
  • Fiber Content 5 g
  • Protein Content 27 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 7 g
  • Sodium Content 991 mg
  • Sugar Content 8 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 19 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 5 g