This keto paella is is packed with flavour and has only 7.4g net carbs! It's a cauliflower rice paella with both meat and seafood and takes just 20 minutes to prepare. A delicious family-friendly keto recipe.
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We love to go to Spain on holidays and even lived in Ibiza for a year when our kids a smaller. That's how I've had many, many very good authentic paellas over the years.
I've been wanting to make a keto version of paella for a long time and I'm so happy I finally got around to it! It really lives up to the original and makes a terrific midweek lunch or dinner.
Seriously, it's impressive enough to serve at a dinner party.
Carbs in paella
One cup of regular paella contains almost 40g net carbs because of the rice. White rice is highly processed and depleted of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
By replacing the rice with cauliflower, the net carbs reduce to an incredible 7.4g per portion. It also reduces the calories to just 273, making it a very light dish.
Remember that heavy stomach you always have after stodgy, traditional paella? Not gonna happen here.
I'm also pleased to report that I still managed to re-create my favourite bit of paella: the cauliflower rice caramelized and stuck to the bottom of the pan. Yum!
How to make keto paella
Here are our ingredients. I've included saffron strands as you would in a traditional paella recipe. The saffron tastes beautiful and also gives the dish its famous yellow colour.
However, if you don’t have saffron you can add ¼ tsp more paprika.
First, separate the cauliflower into florets and blitz in a food processor until they resemble rice.
Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large non stick frying pan. Add the chicken and onion and cook for 4 minutes on a medium heat.
Then add the garlic and cook for one further minute.
Add the chorizo, tomato, tomato paste, bell pepper, green beans, salt, pepper and spices. Cook for about 4 more minutes.
And now the cauliflower rice pealla is really coming together: Add the riced cauliflower, chicken broth and shrimp and cook for about 7 mins, or until the rice and prawns are cooked to your liking.
Check the seasoning and adjust to taste. I added lemon juice, chopped parsley and stirred through 2 further tbsp olive oil to serve.
The perfect cauliflower rice
First of all, use fresh cauliflower. If it's been in the fridge for a week it starts taking on a stronger flavour. We don't want that!
Split the florets into two to three batches and pulse rather than blitz. This ensures the cauliflower rice isn’t too fine. It’s much better if it’s coarse and not like snow.
If you don't have a food processor, just use a box grater.
You can store uncooked cauliflower rice in the fridge for 2 days or 3 months in the freezer.
Recipe variations for cauliflower paella
Swap and change the meat and seafood to your liking! For example, you can leave out the chicken and chorizo and add mussels and squid to make this a seafood paella.
Or leave out the prawns and add some pork belly for a meat paella.
You can use raw or dried preservative free chorizo sausage. If you use raw chorizo, cook it for 3 - 4 more minutes first before adding the onions. I used dried chorizo.
I like to use smoked paprika in this dish for a lovely subtle smoked flavour. However, regular sweet paprika is also nice.
As an alternative to cauliflower rice you could also use shirataki rice. It's made from the konjac root, which is an Asian root vegetable that is extremely low in carbs.
Store your keto paella in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Alternatively, freeze for up to 3 months.
More keto cauliflower recipes
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Keto Paella with Cauliflower Rice
Note: The servings slider only changes the first amount in each line and not any subsequent amounts. Please make your own calculations where necessary. ***As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
- 500 g / 1.1 lb cauliflower florets circa 5 cups cauliflower rice
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 free-range chicken thighs skinless and boneless, chopped (150g)
- 1 small yellow onion diced, 60g
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2.5 oz quality chorizo sliced, 70g
- 1 whole medium tomato finely chopped (123g)
- 1 tbsp tomato purée 15g
- 1 red pepper 5 oz / 140g
- 2 oz green beans 55g
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp paprika ideally smoked
- Good pinch of saffron strands or ½ tsp ground saffron
- 3 tbsp chicken stock
- 165 g frozen peeled cooked prawns from sustainable sources
- Juice of ½ lemon approx 1 tbsp
- 15 g fresh parsley chopped
- Place the cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse until they resemble rice.
- Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large non stick frying or paella pan. Add the chicken and onion and cook for 4 minutes on a medium heat. Add the garlic for 1 further minute.
- Add the chorizo, tomato, tomato puree, peppers, green beans, salt, pepper and spices. Cook for about 4 more minutes.
- Add the cauliflower rice, stock and prawns and cook for about 7 mins, or until the rice and prawns are cooked to your liking. Check the seasoning and adjust to taste, adding lemon juice, parsley plus stirring through 2 tbsp of olive oil to serve.