Paleo Paella

Today I was in the mood for authentic Paella with rich spices and exotic saffron sauce! This cauliflower version is easy, Paleo, grain-free, and extremely low in carbs. Traditional Spanish Paella is usually made with rice, chicken, meat, seafood, and saffron. It makes a fantastic special dinner – see my step by step photos below. I slow-baked it in the oven before serving, or you can also cook it on the stove top. If your pan isn’t oven-proof, just transfer it to a large baking pan.
Many Paella recipes use shrimp. However I prefer fresh wild scallops, since farmed shellfish is often high in toxins. Look for organic chicken and grass-fed-grass-finished meats. This recipe DOES contain nightshades. Paprika, peppers, and tomatoes are all part of the nightshade family. Omit them if you are sensitive to nightshades, and it will still be delicious – something closer to a chicken & rice casserole. The recipe serves 8 – 10 people.

Paleo Paella



  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced or crushed
  • 1 large yellow onion, in thin slices
  • Meat:
  • 3/4 pound chicken (wings and/or legs, cut into pieces)
  • 1/2 pound fresh wild scallops or your favorite seafood
  • 8 - 12 ounces sausage, cut in 1-inch slices (Look for unsweetened, non-gmo meat)
  • 2 slices bacon or prosciutto, in 1/2-inch pieces (optional)
  • Spices:
  • 2 tablespoons oregano, fresh or dried
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, or regular paprika, or mild chili powder
  • Unprocessed salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon saffron strands, crushed
  • Vegetables & Broth:
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 5 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup black olives, optional
  • 1 cup organic chicken broth. Homemade is best. Or buy Imagine Foods Organic Broth in some healthy groceries or online. It’s the only commercial line of tasty broths that I know without sugars or msg. Unfortunately there are no commercial bouillon cubes that I consider safe.
  • Cauliflower Rice:
  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • Add before serving:
  • 1 handful parsley, chopped
  • 1 handful small tomatoes (cherry or grape tomatoes), cut in half
  • Lemon slices


  1. Use a large skillet, wok or a Paella Pan. Put olive oil in the pan. Sauté garlic and yellow onion over medium high heat until they begin to soften.
  2. Add meat and spices to the pan. Brown the meat on all sides, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add vegetables and broth. Cook 5 – 10 minutes minutes until they begin to soften, stirring from time to time.
  4. "Rice" the Cauliflower:
  5. This is easiest in a food processor using the “S” blade. Cut the cauliflower into small florets. Process in the food processor briefly until it is in rice-sized pieces. I did this in 3 parts, as I find it best to fill the processor only 1/3 full, not all the way up to the top. If you don't have a food processor, you can grate the cauliflower by hand.
  6. Simmer and Serve:
  7. Add the riced cauliflower to the pan on the stove, mix it in, and heat to boiling. Preheat the oven to 300º. Cover the pan on the stove and lower heat to a gentle simmer for 10 - 15 minutes.
  8. Place the covered pan in the oven, and bake for 30 to 45 minutes. This is not required, but helps to blend all the flavors. If you pan isn’t oven safe, transfer the Paella to an large baking dish. Or finish by simmering on the stove top on very low heat for another 15 – 20 minutes, taking care not to burn the bottom. If you’re baking it, remove it from the oven. Just before serving add parsley and small tomatoes. Serve immediately in the pan.


Slice the veggies.


Sauté the garlic and onions.


Cut meat into pieces. I used chicken wings, chicken legs, sausage, bacon, and wild bay scallops.


Add the meat and spices to the pan. Brown on all sides


Add vegetables and sauté.


Add chicken broth and heat until the mixture begins to soften.


Add riced cauliflower. Mix it in and heat to boiling.


Turn heat down to a low simmer and allow flavors to blend.


Cover and bake at 300 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes, to allow flavors to blend even more.


Garnish with sliced cherry tomatoes, parsley and lemon. Traditional Paella is served in the pan.

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