This easy prawn rice only takes 30 minutes to make and is a gorgeous Spanish style dinner that uses one pot. Plump juicy prawns, ripe tomatoes and sweet peppers all come together to make this simple dish perfect for a weeknight, but fancy enough for a date night.
Frozen prawns can be a true lifesaver to have in the freezer for a busy night. They're amazing in pasta like this Spinach Prawn Pasta or with an Asian twist like this Prawn Curry. They only take about 30 minutes to defrost or you can speed that up by running the bag under cold water. I always buy prawn with the tail on, but you can buy the peeled prawns that have had the tail removed. They will make absolutely no difference to how amazing this recipe is.
30 Minute Prawn Rice
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Why you're going to love this prawn and rice recipe
- It only takes 30 minutes to make.
- Uses just one pot.
- Prawn and rice recipes are healthy and easy to make.
- The rice is cooked in a tomato sauce that infuses so much flavour.
- You can add in some chilli pepper or chilli flakes to make this spicy prawns and rice!
- Frozen or fresh prawns- the difference between prawns and shrimp is usually the most notable when it comes to size. Prawns tend to be larger than shrimp, although not always. In most cases the two are interchangeable and certainly, for this recipe, it will make no difference. The true difference between the two comes down to their anatomy as crustaceans. You can read more here if that's your thing.
- Basmati rice- long-grain white or even brown rice works for this recipe too. I prefer the flavour and aroma of basmati, having almost a nutty taste. You may need to adjust your cooking times, as brown rice typically takes longer to cook.
- Onion and garlic- this helps to form the flavour base of the rice dish. If you haven't picked up on it yet, this recipe is very much like a short cut paella!
- Tomatoes & red pepper- giving us our much-needed vegetables and adding that Mediterranean flavour that marries so perfectly with seafood, especially shellfish.
- Vegetable stock- made with a stock cube to add extra flavour. But you can also use water if you prefer.
- Peas- frozen of fresh. This recipe is very forgiving and is a great way to add extra veggies to your meals.
- Basil & lemon slices- the perfect way to finish this recipe. Fresh basil and lemon and some garlic bread are all you need to serve with this one-pot rice!
Step by step directions
Step 1 & 2
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. (I've used a cast-iron casserole pan) but any high sided skillet will work. You want to use something with a large surface area so that making the tomato sauce is quick and easy.
- Saute the onions and garlic until they are soft and fragrant. This will only take about 5-6 minutes. Add in the chopped fresh tomatoes and the chopped red pepper. The tomatoes will break down in the hot pan and create a sauce and the peppers will soften. If your tomatoes seem a little bit dry, add in 2-3 tablespoons of water to get everything going.
Step 3 & 4
- Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat it in the tomato sauce. Pour in the vegetable stock and add in the prawn and peas. Bring up to a simmer and cover with a lid. Continue to simmer on low heat for about 12-15 minutes until the stock has been absorbed and the rice is tender and cooked.
- Once the rice is cooked the prawns will definitely be cooked. They only take a few minutes and they essentially steam in the rice, meaning that they will be so tender and juicy. Top everything with fresh basil and some lemon slices. The beauty of this rice dish is that you can just pop it in the middle of the table with a spoon and let everyone help themselves.
Defrosting & peeling prawns
The best way to defrost them is to simply place them in the fridge overnight. But let's face it, many (me) are not that organised and sometimes things like that get missed in everyday life. To speed up the process, you can place the bag of frozen prawns under cold running water for about 10 minutes. Most shellfish defrosts very quickly and prawns are no exception, making them perfect for when you forget to plan anything for dinner.
Watch this quick video for the quickest and easiest way to peel prawns.
This prawn rice is perfect for leftovers for about a day or 2 at the most. Normally I'm not a fan of reheating fish, but prawns are the one exception. They don't suffer any loss of quality overnight in the fridge or with being reheated. To reheat, just a minute or two in the microwave is all you need.
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