Autumn Vegetable Paella


I don’t know about you guys, but it magically became fall here in North Carolina last week (finally) and it was PHENOMENAL.

Key word was. Because now we’re in the middle of another mini heat wave and it feels like the middle of summer again. Typical, NC.

But anyway, it was perfect! Crisp mornings, leaves on the ground, temperatures just low enough that I couldn’t wear flip flops anymore (or at least that’s what I tell myself)— ohh it was glorious! I want it to stay like this forever. Well at least until Christmas, because y’all know my feelings on that holiday.

One of my very favorite parts of fall is SQUASH. Spaghetti squash, butternut squash, delicata squash, those adorable little honey nuts squashes— I’ll take them ALL please. Just this week, I’ve already whipped up my favorite spaghetti squash cakes and creamy autumn pasta, and I have plans to throw together this seriously addicting roasted butternut couscous salad, soooo I think it’s safe to say my squash game is ON POINT this October.

Me and every other food blogger out there 😉


Autumn Vegetable Paella {vegan, gluten free} //

Autumn Vegetable Paella {vegan, gluten free} //


But, of course, I had to try some NEW squash dishes this season to add to my list of old favorites. And believe me— this one is going to the very top of the list: Autumn Vegetable Paella!

Who knew these traditional Spanish flavors and fall squash would meld so beautifully together?!

I’ve had paella many a time, but always when I’m out to eat. Before now, I had never actually attempted to make homemade paella before. And I’m totally kicking myself now because a. it is SO easy and b. it makes a HUGE batch that we can eat for weekday lunches throughout the whole week.

Chalk that up to another weekday win!


Autumn Vegetable Paella {vegan, gluten free} //


I made a few tweaks from your traditional paella recipe, both for health and flavor reasons. First, I substituted brown basmati rice and low sodium vegetable stock, which adds to the cooking time a bit, but it’s totally worth it. I also made this version completely vegan (and naturally gluten free) by omitting the meat and adding LOTS of seasonal veggies: cauliflower, delicata squash, button mushrooms, and fresh parsley.

These flavors, combined with warm, comforting spices like saffron and cinnamon, make this dish a total crowd-pleaser! Plus, this recipe makes a HUGE batch, so it’s perfect for a dinner party, holiday, or just a typical Sunday meal prep day (because, like I said, it will literally feed you ALL week!).

Hope you guys enjoy!


Autumn Vegetable Paella {vegan, gluten free} //

Autumn Vegetable Paella {vegan, gluten free} //

Autumn Vegetable Paella

Serves 8-10
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish


  • 2-3 tablespoons butter (vegan or regular), divided
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 Medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups brown basmati rice
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 delicata squash, halved and sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup cauliflower florets
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley, for topping
  • optional: pepitas or roasted butternut squash seeds, for topping


Step 1
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sliced delicate squash in half and remove seeds with a spoon. Then, slice squash into 1/2'' slices. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then spread across a baking sheet. Do with same with the cauliflower florets and spread across the same baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing once.
Step 2
In the meantime, heat 1 tbsp of butter in a large skillet. Add in sliced mushrooms and 2 tbsp of freshly chopped parsley. Sauté until mushrooms are golden, then remove from pan and set aside. In the same pan, add 1-2 more tbsp of butter and sliced yellow onions. Sauté onions until golden brown.
Step 3
Add diced tomatoes into onions and stir to combine. Next, add in 2 cups of brown rice and stir once again to coat. Toast rice for 1-2 minutes, then add in vegetable broth, cinnamon, saffron, and paprika. Stir to evenly disperse liquid and spices. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cover. Cook for 40-45 minutes over medium low heat.
Step 4
After almost all of the liquid is absorbed, stir in frozen peas and cooked mushrooms. Cook for another few minutes until liquid is absorbed and rice develops a bit of a crusty the sides and bottom of the pan. Top with delicata squash around the edges in a circle, and place the roasted cauliflower in the center. Sprinkle with lots of freshly chopped parsley and pumpkin or squash seeds. Dig on in!

Autumn Vegetable Paella {vegan, gluten free} //


Hi, I’m Liz and this is my food blog where I share my love of healthy foods and whole ingredients. You will find mostly vegetarian dishes, plenty of sweets, and lots of love from this little kitchen in Durham, North Carolina!


  1. This is so beautiful! I love the colours and textures in this dish. It looks so tasty! We are also going through a rise in temperatures and honestly I would prefer if it would just stay cooler! All the more reason to enjoy squashes and warm foods 🙂

    • Right?!? Where did those beautiful fall temps go?? Thanks so much Maya!

  2. Ah, I remember that temperamental NC weather. It would sometimes stay warm well into November! Well this dish just looks amazing, no matter the how warm it is outside! Love the combo of flavors and the use of delicata! I bet it’s so yummy!

    • Yeah that is for sure! But I guess I can’t complain because it sure is beautiful! Thanks so much Joscelyn 🙂

    • Awww you’re so sweet Bethany! If you love squash, you will LOVE it!

    • You could definitely just omit them— or maybe add some sliced peppers instead? Thanks so much Jennifer!

  3. Made this last night and WOW! The whole family loved it, including my paella-loving-meat-eating husband. Considering it was simple to make and did not take too much time, the flavors were excellent and it was very close to the real thing. Definitely will make this again. Thank you!

    • I’m SO glad you and your family liked it! Thanks so much for leaving your feedback— it means a lot 🙂

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