One of the most memorable dishes I’ve ever eaten is the Kale and Wild Mushroom Paella at Bobby Flay’s Gato in New York City. I literally have dreams about this stuff. The rice is perfectly crispy and the dish has this luscious, buttery flavor to it despite not having any butter in it at all. After about the tenth dream I had about this incredible paella, I decided it was time to make my own.

Obviously there’s no way I can top Bobby Flay, so I wanted to change the flavor profile of this dish a bit. The star proteins include shrimp, chicken, and Applegate’s Peach Jerk Chicken Sausages. These sausages are incredible. They come fully cooked, so they don’t take very long to heat up. Plus, they’re packed with flavor. I’m probably going to have to keep replenishing my stock on a weekly basis. I decided to take somewhat of a Jamaican spin on the traditional paella to match these awesome sausages.

I’m not going to lie, making paella is a total labor of love and a bit bigger of a time commitment than most of my other recipes, but I promise you it’s worth it.

Jamaican Jerk Paella

  • Prep Time:10 minutes
  • Cook Time:1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Total Time:1 hour, 25 minutes
  • Servings:5
  • Medium


  • 2-3 tablespoons jerk seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 2-3 Applegate Natural Peach Jerk Chicken Sausages
  • 8-10 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 teaspoons chicken bouillon
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Photo by Analiese Trimber
  • Step 1

    Add all spices for jerk seasoning to a small bowl.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber
  • Step 2

    Stir until fully combined. Set aside.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber
  • Step 3

    Dice onion, thinly slice bell pepper, and slice cherry tomatoes in half.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber
  • Step 4

    Slice Applegate sausages into half-inch thick slices.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber
  • Step 5

    Dice chicken and place in a small bowl. Add jerk seasoning.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber
  • Step 6

    Use your hands and mix to incorporate seasoning.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber
  • Step 7

    1. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Cast iron is preferred, but not necessary.

  • Step 8

    Add diced chicken and diced onion.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber
  • Step 9

    Cook about two minutes or until chicken is browned and onion is soft.

  • Step 10

    Add rice and stir until fully combined. When accomplished, all rice will be glossy from the olive oil.

  • Step 11

    Add about 3 cups to 3 1/2 cups of water, and all chicken bouillon. Stir until combined.

  • Step 12

    Place shrimp on top of mixture.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber
  • Step 13

    Cook over medium-low heat for about one hour. About halfway through, add your chicken sausage, bell pepper, and sliced tomatoes.

  • Step 14

    Check your paella at the 30-minute mark and the 45-minute mark. Add the extra half cup or 3/4 cup water if your rice is still a little crunchy.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber
  • Step 15

    When you have the proper amount of water, don’t be afraid to let the rice on the bottom of your cast iron caramelize a bit.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber
  • Step 16

    Serve when rice is soft and all water has been absorbed.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber