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Portuguese Seafood Rice

How to make Portuguese Seafood Rice

a bowl of musselsThis seafood rice recipe is called Arroz de Marisco. It is famous in Portugal for being healthy and delicious. This easy meal is perfect for you if you love rice and seafood!

What is Portuguese Seafood Rice?

Portuguese Seafood Rice is an Atlantic Seafood stew with rice. The dish often has cockle, crab, shrimp, clams, mussels, cuttlefish, or squid. It is seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper, and Piri-Piri (Portuguese chili).

What are the differences between Paella and Arroz de Marisco?

First, the rice is different. In Portugal, we often use Carolino rice. They can use Bomba Rice, Valencia rice, or Calasparra Rice in Spain.

Second, Paella always includes these ingredients: chorizo, chicken, and peas. And, we don’t add these ingredients in Arroz de Marisco.

The main difference is that the result, paella, is dry. And Arroz de Marisco remembers Arroz Caldoso (Spanish Soupy Seafood Rice). The rice is cooked for a sticky, moist texture amid a fish stew.

Read more: Best Time to Visit Portugal.

spanish paella recipeHow is Portuguese Seafood Rice served?

Here in Portugal, we usually eat seafood rice dishes like this for lunch Sunday. They are special meals, perfect to be enjoyed with friends and family, with a Sparkling Vinho Verde wine and plenty of cornbread to mop up the sauce!

How to order Seafood Rice in Portugal?


  • Ask the waiter for more details about the quantity! Some restaurants serve one clay pot, which is enough for 2 to 4 people.
  • Serve only one tablespoon, then repeat. The rice will not be well-cooked. It will continue to cook into the clay pot. If you eat this rice the next day, it will be a bit overcooked.

Read more: Best Things to Eat in Portugal?

How is Arroz de Marisco made?

Read here the authentic Portuguese seafood rice recipe:

a woman eating Portuguese Seafood RiceSeafood Stew Ingredients:

  • 2 onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • bunch of parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 1 teaspoon of Piri-Piri
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Olive oil (to taste)
  • 1 1/4 cups rice (250 grams)
  • 1 kg of varied seafood (shrimp, cockle, mussels, clams)
  • 4 cups of water


In a saucepan with water seasoned with salt and a lot of parsley, cook the shrimp and a small onion.

a pile of shrimpsBring to a boil over high heat. When it starts boiling, reduce to low heat and cook for about 5 minutes. When the shrimps are cooked, drain them with a skimmer. We will use the water for cooking the rice.

Place the olive oil, chopped garlic, chopped onion, bay leaf, pepper, tomato paste, and the peeled tomatoes cut into small pieces in a saucepan.

Bring to low heat and cook until the tomato starts to break down.

Then, add the rice, cockle, mussels, and clams. They will cook through and open up. If any happen to remain closed, discard them. Season with salt and a Piri-Piri, stir, and cook for about a minute.

Pour the water (twice the rice volume) and boil over high heat. When it starts boiling, reduce to low heat and simmer for about 12 minutes. Start tasting the rice. Adjust for salt and Piri-Piri now.

Add the shrimps already cooked before.

Turn off the heat sprinkle with chopped coriander and parsley. Serve immediately.

Read more: How can I get to Portugal?

Check out our culinary vacations in Portugal.

A wealth of delicious cuisine, fascinating history, and impeccable scenery awaits this small-group tour to Portugal. From delectable desserts and wine, a history rich in religious monuments and impressive architecture, to the stunning coast and natural landscape, savor every moment you travel through Porto, Braga, Sintra, and Lisbon.

Enjoy Arroz de Marisco and Portuguese wines during your cooking classes at Portugal Food Tours.

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