How to scale recipes for larger groups
The paella recipes featured on this site and in the pamphlet that we send with every pan are written for pans in the 14-inch to 16-inch range. But if you're cooking in a larger pan, you will need to scale up the ingredients accordingly. This isn't an exact science, as it depends on how many people you'll be serving - here are some tips to get you started:
What You Should Know
- Figure 1/3 to 1/2 cup uncooked rice per person.
- For every 1 cup of rice, use 2 1/4 cups broth. If you're using bomba rice, you will need at least 3 cups broth for every 1 cup of rice. It's always a good idea to have extra broth on hand in case the liquid evaporates more quickly than expected and you need to add more.
- The oil doesn't scale up to the same proportion as other ingredients. You really only need enough to coat the bottom of the pan for the sauteing.
- A pinch of saffron threads efficiently infuses a hot liquid, even in large amounts. So you don't need to scale up this ingredient as much as you might think. Use less rather than more, at least until you taste the broth.
- The meat, vegetables, and seafood "garnishes" also don't scale up at the same proportion to the rice and broth. Since the pan gets wider without getting much deeper, you'll end up suffocating the rice if you try to scale them up together. So scale back the meat and vegetables, or else consider serving the extra garnishes on a separate platter, alongside the paella or as a tapa.
General Guidelines to Scale a Recipe
To modify La Paella recipes for larger pans, do the following:
- For an 18-inch pan, multiply the recipe amounts by 1 1/2
- For a 22-inch pan, multiply the recipe amounts by 2
- For a 26-inch pan, multiply the recipe amounts by 3
- For a 32-inch pan, multiply the recipe amounts by 5