Arròs Negre (Paella Negra/Squid Ink Paella)

You either love squid ink or you don't. If you're in the first camp this arròs negre, loaded with shrimp and calamari, could just become your go-to recipe. 

Course Main
Cuisine Spanish
Keyword arros negre, paella negra, squid ink paella
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2
Author Jean | Lemons + Anchovies


  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 teaspoons Hot Red Pepper Paste (I used Goya brand; See Note) optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons squid ink (about 20 grams)
  • 2/3 - 3/4 pound combination of shrimp (peeled, deveined) and calamari (sliced)
  • 3/4 cup Bomba (paella) rice
  • 1 cup Bottled clam juice (or other seafood stock)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or water (or you can use clam juice for all the liquid)
  • salt, to taste
  • Fresh Parsley, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Few tablespoons olive oil


  1. Par-cook the shrimp and calamari: using a 10-inch paella pan (or other similarly-sized pan) heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the shrimp and calamari, season with a pinch or two of salt and cook for about two minutes. Just until the shrimp begin to color. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. 

  2. Keep the heat at medium and add another tablespoon or two of olive oil if necessary. Add the onion, garlic and paprika, season with a pinch of salt and cook for about two minutes, careful not to let the garlic burn. When the onion is translucent add the tomato and hot red pepper paste (if using) and cook for another two minutes. You should see some color and caramelization in the paella pan. This is okay. Just watch your heat so nothing burns. Lower your heat if necessary. 

  3. Add the rice and stir around for one or two minutes to toast the grains before adding the squid ink. Stir into the rice and cook for another minute.

  4. Add the liquid (clam juice and stock or water) and about 3/4 of the seafood. Set aside a few pieces to decorate the top of the dish later. Stir everything together to evenly distribute the rice and seafood in the pan. Turn up the heat (about medium high) to bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and cook uncovered for about eight minutes or until the liquid has mostly been absorbed. 

  5. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the rice is done, about seven minutes. Three minutes before turning off the heat (about four minutes after covering the pan) arrange the remaining seafood on top of rice and cover again. 

  6. Turn off the heat, uncover and garnish with chopped parsley and lemon wedges. Enjoy. 

Recipe Notes

Hot Red Pepper Paste: I recommend using either the Goya brand which you can find at most Latin markets or the Sera brand Turkish hot red pepper paste that you can find in most Mediterranean markets.