A large tray of colorful Paella

K-12 Paella

This Spanish rice dish is colorful and full of traditional flavor. Chicken, vegetables and savory spices are baked along with U.S.-grown brown rice until the flavors permeate the rice and create the perfect school meal.

This tasty K-12 school recipe was created for us by our friend Chef Sam Cowens-Gasbarro. Click on the PDF below to download the full recipe with crediting from the USDA Food Buying Guide recipe analysis workbook (RAW).

  • Servings
  • Serving Size
    ¾ cup


  • 6 ¼ pounds brown long grain rice, dry
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric or saffron
  • 4 tablespoons garlic, granulated
  • 4 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons thyme
  • 7 ½ quarts chicken broth, low sodium
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 ¼ pounds chicken, diced, cooked
  • 5 ¼ pound green peas, frozen
  • 6 ½ pounds peppers and onion blend, frozen


  • Divide rice evenly into (2) 2-inch deep full-sized steamtable pans.
  • Combine salt, turmeric, garlic, paprika, thyme. 
  • Divide seasonings evenly into both pans. Stir seasonings into rice.
  • Add 3 ¾ quarts of chicken broth and 1 tablespoon of oil to each pan. Thoroughly combine.
  • Add thawed chicken, peas and peppers and onions to each steamtable pan. 
  • Preheat oven to 375 °F. Cover each steamtable pan and bake for 1 ½ hours, until rice has absorbed all liquid. Remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes.  
  • Remove from oven and let sit 15 minutes. 
    CCP: Hold warm, above 135 °F for service.

Recipe Notes

One portion provides: 2 oz. eq. grain, 2 oz. eq. meat/meat alternate, ½ cup vegetable

May cover and cook in steamer for 60 minutes. Finish by cooking 15 minutes, uncovered in oven.

Samantha Cowens-Gasbarro, Healthy School Recipes

Nutrition Facts

  • Serving ¾ cup
  • Calories 400
  • Total Fat 6g
  • Saturated Fat 1.5g
  • Cholesterol 35mg
  • Sodium 290mg
  • Carbohydrates 62g
  • Dietary Fiber 7g
  • Sugar 5g
  • Protein 24g