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Discover the Delicious World of Fideuá: A Traditional Spanish Dish You Must Try!

A well-kept secret by the people of Valencia, fideuá is an amazing dish to enjoy any time of the year. What’s even better about this dish is that the ingredients change depending on the town that you are in. Every town in Valencia takes pride in their own fideuá recipe that they have perfected over the years. If you’re craving seafood fideuá you may have to visit the town over as your town may specialize in chicken fideuá. Here we will explain how this flavorful dish came to be and the many variations that you must try!

Fideuá is a perfect dish for sharing with friends in the seaside
Fideuá is a perfect dish for sharing with friends in the seaside

What is Fideuá? The Ultimate Comfort Food You Didn’t Know You Needed

Fideuá is a traditional pasta recipe with seafaring origins that is a gastronomical staple in the Valencian Community like paella or arroz a banda, rice cooked with fish stock. It is possible that you don’t know this plate if you are not from Spain. It is a kind of paella but instead of rice it has noodles- the ultimate comfort food. Fideuá pasta is typically small pieces of curved, thin tubes. But it is also common to use very fine spaghetti noodles like angel hair.

The most traditional fideuá is made of fish and seafood, but nowadays it is also common to find other variations made with meat such as chicken or rabbit. Unlike paella, fideuá is supposed to be accompanied by an alioli sauce to make it creamier in texture.

As a result, we have a fish or seafood stew paired with pasta that is bursting with flavors that may surprise people due to how easy it is to prepare. As you’ll see, this fideuá recipe seafood will be a pleasant addition to your summer gatherings and delight your guests:

A traditional fideuá with mussels and prawns, healthy and tasty
A traditional fideuá with mussels and prawns, healthy and tasty!

Ingredients for 6 servings of fideuá de marisco or fideuá seafood:

  • 600 g of langostines
  • 250 g of shrimp
  • 600 g of monk fish
  • 600 g of noodles
  • 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
  • 200 g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 grated onion
  • 1 pinch of powdered saffron
  • 150 g Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 liters of fish stock


Place the paella pan, recommend 47 cm in diameter, over the fire with the oil. When it is very hot, place the langostines and the shrimp. Let them fry well. When they are well fried, add the garlic, paprika, and tomato and let them fry as well. Finally, add the monk fish and let it fry, but not completely fried.

Once this is done, add the broth and when it has started to boil, add the noodles and a pinch of saffron, letting them boil over medium heat, so that is acquires a good color.

Fideuá vs Paella. The Origins and History of Fideuá: Spain´s Best-Kept Culinary Secret

In the early 20th century, around the year 1912-1914, the “trawling” boats left the shores of Grau de Gandia in Valencia to fish. They would leave early every morning to fish and come back to the port in the afternoon to sell their fresh catches at the fish market.

The “trawling” boats left the shores

The Santa Isabel was one of these boats that would go out to sea every day and return in the afternoon to sell their fish. It was quite common for every boat to have a cook onboard to prepare lunch for the crew. On this particular boat, the cook was in the process of preparing a fantastic seafood paella with some of the seafood that the crew recently caught. As he prepared the food in the most traditional way, he realized the ship ran out of rice.

The lack of rice was a major setback, so the cook began to think about how to solve the problem and what to do with all the caramelized ingredients.

Noodles instead of rice, a surprising great taste

It occurred to him to use the compact noodles in the cupboards as a substitute. He chopped the long spaghetti noodles into smaller tubes and added them to the paella mixture as if it was rice. He served the new concoction to his companions and they were all pleasantly surprised by the great taste.

These are the small noodles used for cooking fideuá
These are the small noodles used for cooking fideuá

Once the meal was over, the dilemma was to decide what this new dish, born on the high seas from the carelessness and imagination of a cook, could be called. Fittingly, they all agreed to call it Fideuá de Gandia to pay homage to the Grau de Gandia where it all started.

The origin of fideuá is very characteristic of the Mediterranean diet as it can be prepared with traditional and simple ingredients. Especially if you enjoy this dish along the Valencian coast, you know the seafood is fresh and local as many restaurants work with local fisherman to provide the freshest catches the Mediterranean Sea has to offer.

Exploring Fideuá Variations: From Seafood to Vegetarian Options

The traditional fideuá may have used seafood as its main ingredients but nowadays you can find many innovations of the recipe fideuá to accommodate different dietary needs or preferences. Cooking traditional Spanish dishes does not mean you have to be restricted to the same ingredients. It’s all about using your culinary imagination to incorporate ingredients that are easily accessible to you.

Which is why we want to share a fideuá recipe with chicken that could also be prepared as fideuá vegetarian by removing the chicken.

Chicken Fideuá Recipe: A Delicious Twist on a Classic Dish

Here are the ingredients that you will need in order to create this dish:

  • 1 chopped chicken breast (optional)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of fried tomato sauce
  • Half a glass of white wine
  • 8 oz of water
  • 4 oz of noodles
  • Salt
  • Extra Virgin olive oil
  • Parsley
  • Saffron
  • Lemon


Cover the bottom of a paella pan known as paellera with oil. Place the pieces of chicken breast to brown. Once the pieces are browned you want to remove and set aside to reserve. In the same oil you want to fry the garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Once the vegetables have been poached, add the chicken breast pieces, the fried tomato sauce and stir a few times so that everything is well mixed and sprinkle with the white wine.

Let it reduce for a few minutes and pour 8 ladles of water (it should be twice the amount of fideuá noodles). When it boils, add saffron for a little coloring, salt, and pepper. Then incorporate the 4 ladles of fideuá noodles. Let it cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Sprinkle a little parsley and let it rest for about 5 minutes. Finally, sprinkle with lemon juice for extra flavor.

Get a Taste of Spain with Fideuá Negra Recipe

In this recipe we elaborate a spectacular black fideuá. The main ingredient of this fideuá is the cuttlefish or sepia, which uses its own ink to give it the characteristic dark tone.

Here is a scrumptious fideuá negra recipe:

  • 200 g of medium noodles
  • 750 ml of homemade fish stock
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika de la Vera
  • 1 cuttlefish cut into pieces
  • 2 envelopes of squid ink
  • Extra Virgin olive oil


In a paella pan, add the oil and the noodles over medium heat in order to brown the noodles. But be careful not to burn the noodles. Once browned, remove noodles and set aside. Poach the chopped garlic, the onion, and finely chopped green bell pepper. Once poached, add the diced ripe tomato that is peeled and seeded. Let the mixture cook for about 10 minutes.

Add the chopped cuttlefish and the teaspoon of paprika. Continue frying for about 30 seconds so that the paprika is cooked but not bitter. Reincorporate the browned noodles and cover with the homemade fish broth. At this point we add the squid ink to cook and color the noodles. Regarding the salt, it may not be necessary depending on the broth. Let it cook until all the broth evaporates and it is ready.

A black fideuá made with the cuttlefish's ink, a delicious dish with alioli
A black fideuá made with the cuttlefish’s ink, a delicious dish with alioli


It is very typical in the Valencian Community to pair the fideuá with an alioli to add creaminess. You can even make it to your liking by adding more or less garlic depending on how spicy you want it to be.

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 500 g of olive oil
  • Coarse salt

Peel the garlic and remove the germ in the center by cutting it lengthwise and removing it with the tip of the knife. Put the garlic in a mortar with a few grains of coarse salt to prevent the garlic from running off. Crush the garlic until the consistency is that of a paste. Add drops of olive oil while moving the mortar in circles without stopping. The added oil will thicken the sauce.

Alioli gives a burst of flavor to your fideuá
Alioli gives a burst of flavor to your fideuá

From Seafood to Meat: Fideuá Recipe Variations You Can’t Miss

Another variation is the vegetable fideuá. The flavor is obviously less powerful than the fish and seafood, but it does not lose the essence of the traditional dish from Valencia as it is also very tasty. With some good vegetables, quality vegetable broth, and low heat we will have a great dish to enjoy with friends or family.

The vegetable fideuá takes some of the classic ingredients that we would use in a Valencian paella, but adapted to different tastes by taking advantage of vegetables in season or aromatic herbs.

The Perfect Pairing: Wine and Fideuá Pasta

The fideuá with seafood asks to be accompanied by a fresh and very fruity wine made even better if it has a citric touch. A white wine, verdejo or godello, is fine but it is not necessarily the only possible choice. We propose the use of rosé wines which is not particularly risky. As long as it is fruity with a good touch of acidity they will be good companions for fideuá or paella.

A refreshing white wine is a perfect pair for fideuá
A refreshing white wine is a perfect pair for fideuá

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