Tempeh-Portabella Paella with the Instant Pot

This Tempeh-Portabella Paella is a hearty one-pot wonder!

It all starts with the "sofrito" - a deep, rich flavor base. Chopped vegetables (I used onion, mushroom, garlic, red bell peppers, and fire-roasted tomatoes) are sauteed in the pan until tender and caramelized, which deepens and intensifies their flavor.

The large amount of flavor from the various veggies get picked up by the broth and are then absorbed by the rice - YUM YUM YUM!!!

Note that it's crucial to use the short-grain rice here because it's more absorbent than medium- or long-grain rice. This way you maximize the delicious flavors running deep into each rice kernel and throughout the dish!

The most typical paella recipes in the U.S. feature sausage or seafood, but actually, vegetable paella was a common authentic version throughout the history of this dish.

To make my paella plant-strong, I used tempeh and portabella mushrooms instead. This gives the paella a hearty, meaty texture while simultaneously keeping it low in cholesterol and fat.

Plus, since we dry-saute the veggies, instead of using oil like most paella recipes, this version is much much lower in calories. The bottom line is you don't have to worry about enjoying a big bowl and then feeling stuffed and fatigued after a big serving.

You'll be more than satisfied—and in more ways than one—after chowing down on this scrumptious Tempeh-Portabella Paella!

Instant Pot Tempeh-Portabella Paella

By Chef Katie Mae

Makes 4–6 servings | Ready in 50 minutes | Stores 1 week in fridge



  • 1 cup short-grain brown rice, soaked for 8 hours and strained
  • 2¼ cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water (or do a combination)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 portabella mushroom, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 15 oz fire-roasted tomatoes, no-salt added
  • 8 oz tempeh, diced
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary (or oregano)
  • 1 teaspoon loosely packed saffron leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 15 oz can artichoke hearts, rinsed or soaked to reduce salt (optional)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • lemon wedges for serving



  1. Add the onion and mushrooms to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cover and dry-sauté for a couple of minutes.
  2. Stir in the garlic, bell pepper, and fire-roasted tomatoes. Sauté for a few more minutes before adding the rice and vegetable broth.
  3. Add the rice, broth, tempeh, smoked paprika, rosemary, saffron, and red pepper flakes. Cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce to low heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the excess water is absorbed.
  4. Turn off the heat, and stir in the optional artichoke and green peas. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.



Traditionally white rice is used and since brown rice takes longer to cook, it’s important to soak the rice for 6 to 8 hours beforehand.

To save time, you could cook the brown rice separately in an Instant Pot, or pre-cook the rice earlier when you have more time.

To make this in the Instant Pot, use the sauté mode for step 1. During step 2, turn the setting to manual and 18 minutes. Add the ingredients in step 3 and then put the lid on the pot, making sure the seal is closed. Use the 10-minute natural release and continue with step 4.


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