Asparagus and Manchego Cheese Paella

With its distinctive, sharp flavor, Manchego Cheese is the most popular sheep's milk cheese in Spain. As its name suggests, Manchego hails from La Mancha, the stomping ground of Cervantes' Don Quixote.

Manchego is often savored alone or on a slice of bread. In this dish, the Manchego is grated and enhances the tenderness of the paella's shrimp and chicken. Parmesan can be used as an alternative to Manchego.

  • Serves 6
  • 15 minutes preparation + 45 minutes cooking
  • Difficulty: medium


  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz) olive oil
  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 oz) rice
  • 2 cups (8 oz) broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 1/4 cups (26 fl. oz) chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered saffron
  • 8 oz uncooked shrimp
  • 14 oz canned asparagus tips
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup (2 1/2) grated Manchego cheese


Heat the oil in a paella pan over medium heat. Cook the chicken until browned on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer to a dish.

Add the onion and garlic to the paella pan, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the rice, broccoli, both saffron, shrimp, and cooked chicken.

Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Mix in the asparagus tips and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a further 5 minutes or until the chicken and rice are tender and the broth has been absorbed.

Remove the pan from the heat, sprinkle with the Manchego cheese, and serve.

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