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Black Rice Recipe (Arroz Negro)

Gustavo from the restaurant La Pepica Valencia shares his Receta Arroz Negro (black rice paella recipe) which you can easily recreate at home!

Anyone who has visited Spain and has tasted Arroz Negro will tell you how rich and tasty this Spanish main course is.

You have the heartiness of the rice and the savoriness of the seafood mix coming together to form a dish that is packed with authentic Spanish flavors.

What is Arroz Negro?

Arroz in Spanish is rice, while the word negro means black. Put together, and the name is a perfect description of what this classic dish is: its main ingredient is rice, colored black.

What gives a Spanish black rice recipe its distinct color?

No, the rice that is used is not the black rice variety; instead, the recipe calls for squid ink, which gives the dish a black color and adds more seafood flavor to it.

The original Arroz Negro hails from Valencia and Catalan. While many people call the dish Black rice paella or Paella Negra, the terms are traditionally not interchangeable, although you will see similarities in the way they are cooked.

So how do you cook Arroz Negro at home? It is actually simple!

Fry your seafood in oil and spices. Add in your rice and saute everything. Place the broth and squid ink in the pan, let the liquid get absorbed by the rice as it cooks, and in a matter of minutes, you have a black rice paella to enjoy!

What is the difference between Arroz Negro and Paella?

Receta Arroz Negro

As you have read above, the process of cooking Arroz Negro and Paella are almost identical. No wonder the former is often called Black Rice Paella or Paella Negra. 

What sets this dish apart from the traditional Paella?

Arroz Negro generally has more liquid, given that you are adding squid ink to the recipe. Once served, the dish is not as dry as paella, where all liquid must have ideally evaporated before serving.

Do you really need a paella pan?

It is absolutely understandable if you do not have a paella pan at home. When cooking Arroz Negro, you can use a wide frying pan instead.

What is so special about a paella pan, anyway? The pan encourages uniform heating and gives way to a well-loved part of paella known as the socarrat. Furthermore, this pan does not come with a lid because you need all the liquid from the dish to evaporate as the rice gets cooked.

Check out our step-by-step guide below if you plan to cook this lovely Spanish dish in your kitchen.

Arroz Negro Recipe

1. Heat a paella pan or a wide frying pan. Place some olive oil. Over medium heat, fry the fish, the cuttlefish, the shrimp tails, and the squid.

2. Carefully add some paprika to the dish. Make sure to do it slowly not to burn while you are stirring the seafood mix.

3. Add in the tomatoes. Continue sautéing. 

4. Add in the rice. Give all the ingredients a good mix and make sure the rice is well-coated with the seafood, tomatoes, and spices.

5. Add the broth and then, followed by the squid ink. Set your pan over medium-high heat for about 20 minutes. Check now and then if most of the liquid has evaporated and the rice is well-cooked. 

6. Once done, turn off the heat and let it stand for a while. Garnish and serve your Arroz Negro directly from the paella pan.

Yield: 2

Arroz Negro Recipe

Receta Arroz Negro


  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons of crushed or natural tomato
  • 1 soup spoon or 1 sachet of Squid ink
  • Rice: 100 gr. per person (200 gr.)
  • Fish stock: 1/2 liter

For the sauce

  • Squid
  • Cleaned shrimp tail
  • Various pieces of fish (to taste)
  • Cuttlefish pieces


    1. Fry the fish, the cuttlefish, the shrimp tails, and the squid with the oil.
    2. Add the paprika carefully so that it does not burn while stirring, then add the tomato and sauté.
    3. Then add the rice and sauté everything.
    4. Add the broth and then the squid ink.
    5. Fire medium-high for approximately 20 minutes and watch when it starts to dry until the rice is ready.
    6. Let stand a few minutes and ready.
    7. Enjoy

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 587Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 230mgSodium: 940mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 90g

The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate.

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La Pepica Valencia

Since 1898, La Pepica Restaurant has been located on the Paseo Marítimo de Valencia, on the beachfront.

The restaurant is composed of a large main room with a capacity for more than 450 diners, where you can celebrate all kinds of events: weddings, communions, baptisms, business meals, family meals … with direct access to the beach of Valencia and the Mediterranean sea.

The restaurant also has a private room to hold events and all kinds of celebrations in privacy, but the area that their clients like the most is undoubtedly their large terrace on the Malvarrosa beachfront where you can enjoy their paella while watching the Mediterranean Sea.

The traditional Valencian decoration makes La Pepica a safe bet when choosing where to eat well in Valencia. Historical place, illustrious visits, and traditional recipes of rice, paellas, and Valencian cuisine.

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