When you think of Father’s Day, paella isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. That’s why we love it. Just because grilling is a cliché for this holiday to honor dads doesn’t mean you should pass up a perfectly good chance to cook outside and celebrate with friends and family. That’s what paella offers: Something unfussy, festive, communal, and best enjoyed outdoors on the grill. If you can’t grill, we have a stovetop version of the recipe for you.
Paella is a Spanish dish of saffron-spiced rice with a variety of meats and shellfish (usually not beef), plus onions, garlic, tomatoes, and sometimes also peas and artichokes. It’s named after the special two-handled paella pan in which it’s prepared and served. The pan is wide, shallow, and at least 13 inches in diameter. You’ll find some crazy-huge paella pans out there too, for those who love to live large. When you cook it right, you’ll find socarrat, a caramelized crust of rice at the bottom of the pan. That’s the good stuff.
This is great and all, but what goes with paella? Our beverage of choice is sangría, but there are enviable nonalcoholic choices too. As for the drinks, apps, and dessert, make those the night before, and then just toss a salad the day of while you hang out, make a big pan of paella, and chat with your dad in the sun.
Catch those peaches while they’re in season, especially the white peaches, which are especially sugary, for this golden version of sangría. This pitcher cocktail is best after it’s had time to marinate in the refrigerator for at least four hours, if not longer. Get our Peach Sangría recipe.
Here’s your traditional sangría, with brandy, orange liqueur, and all sorts of fruit, such as apples, oranges, and grapes. It all melds together perfectly when you make a batch the night prior to the party. Get our Ruby Sangría recipe.
Here’s a nonalcoholic cocktail that doesn’t feel like a consolation prize. It tastes pretty special even without the buzz. And a no-hangover guarantee is included. Get our Mint and Lime Iced Tea recipe.
Peppadews are usually sitting by olives, and they’ve got that Spanish-Mediterranean flare we love. Filled with creamy goat cheese and dotted with Spanish marcona almonds is not your everyday way to enjoy them. Get our Stuffed Peppadew Peppers with Goat Cheese and Marcona Almonds recipe.
Those bitter watercress leaves (one of the most nutritious of all greens!) are combated by strong Manchego cheese and diced membrillo fruit, also called quince paste. Get our Watercress Salad with Manchego, Membrillo, and Almonds recipe.
You use that paella pan on the grill for this one-pan feast. Shrimp and mussels swim among the saffron-scented rice moistened by tomatoes, and chorizo and chicken really make it savory. Get our Grilled Paella Mixta recipe.
For those of you who don’t have a grill, no worries. This recipe shows you how to cook this Spanish delicacy on top of the stove, and then finish it in the oven. Get our Paella Mixta recipe.
These gorgeous cookies will be quite a surprise if you keep them hidden and whip them out an hour or so after most people have finished their paella. The shortbread is dusted with powdered sugar and filled with dulce de leche cream. Get our Alfajores recipe.
What a combination: roasted, in-season white peaches and the creamy, caramelized milk threaded throughout fluffy blocks of bread. Get our Roasted Peach and Dulce de Leche Bread Pudding recipe.
Check out all of our Father’s Day recipe ideas on Chowhound.com.
Originally reported by Amy Wisniewski May 26, 2011; updated by Amy Sowder June 16, 2016.
Head image: Eazy Peazy Mealz