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Low-Carb Seafood Cauliflower Paella

4.9 stars, average of 8 ratings

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Inspired by traditional Spanish Paella, this delicious one-pot meal is a must-try for all seafood lovers.

My version is made with four types of seafood plus tomato, saffron and herb-infused cauli-rice. It’s actually much easier to make than the original version, but it’s just as satisfying, and way healthier!

This recipe is adapted from the Seafood Cauli-Paella from my latest cookbook, The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook! The original recipe uses a combination of fish plus seafood while this version only used seafood. I also scaled it up and tweaked the ingredients to adjust for the slightly higher carb nature of some types of seafood.

Apart from being a tasty source of protein, seafood promotes healthy brain function. In fact, studies now show that omega-3s can even protect against sleep deprivation–induced memory impairments!

Recipe Tips

Classic paella can be prepared with any fish, seafood, or a combination of both. Some recipes include chorizo which adds great flavor. If you are not a fan of fish and/or seafood, use sliced chicken breasts instead.

If you're using cooked seafood, simply briefly heat up on a tablespoon or two of olive oil. If you're using raw fish and/or seafood, you will need to cook it for several minutes before adding to the cauliflower rice.

Remember to check is the mussels are still alive or you run the risk of food poisoning! Here are the general rules:

  • First, check if the mussels are alive The should be closed or react to touch.
  • Discard any mussels that are cracked.
  • If you find any mussels that are open, tap sharply on each of them with a spoon. If they don't close, discard them as they may be dead.
  • After cooking, discard any mussels that remained closed.

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Hands-on Overall

Allergy information for Low-Carb Seafood Cauliflower Paella

✔  Gluten free
✔  Dairy free
✔  Egg free
✔  Nut free
✔  Pork free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Coconut free
✔  Fish free
✔  Beef free

Nutritional values (per serving)

Net carbs9.5 grams
Protein24.4 grams
Fat24.5 grams
Calories361 kcal
Calories from carbs 11%, protein 27%, fat 62%
Total carbs13.5 gramsFiber4 gramsSugars4.2 gramsSaturated fat3.8 gramsSodium1,024 mg(45% RDA)Magnesium66 mg(16% RDA)Potassium832 mg(42% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 6 servings)

Flavored "rice":
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
  • 1 large (1 kg/ 2.1 lbs) cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (90 ml/ 3 fl oz)
  • 1 small red onion, sliced (60 g/ 2.1 oz)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste (45 g/ 1.6 oz)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley (g/oz)
  • chile pepper flakes, to taste
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 300 g raw mussels (10.6 oz) - will yield about 30% of meat
  • 150 g cooked squid rings (5.3 oz)
  • 100 g cooked baby octopi or squid (3.5 oz)
  • 300 g raw shrimp (prawns) (10.6 oz)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (15 ml)
  • pinch of sea salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (30 ml)


  1. First, soak the saffron in 1/4 cup (60 ml) of water.
  2. To rice the cauliflower, run the cauliflower florets through a hand grater or food processor with the S or the grating blade. Process until the florets resemble grains of rice. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Low-Carb Seafood Cauliflower Paella
  3. Prepare the seafood. (You can use pre-cooked seafood or raw seafood - I used a combination of both.) If anything is frozen, make sure it's defrosted first. If you're using peeled cooked mussels, you'll need just 90 g (3.2 oz). If you're using whole fresh mussels with shells, you'll need 300 g (10.6 oz). The raw seafood has to be cooked before adding to the cauliflower rice. Low-Carb Seafood Cauliflower Paella
  4. In a saucepan or a deep skillet, cook the mussels (check recipe tips for food safety recommendations). Add the mussels to the greased hot skillet and cover with a lid. Shake a couple of times and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Once cooked, set aside and keep warm.
  5. To cook the shrimp (prawns) and any other raw seafood you may be using, squeeze lemon juice over the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Grease the skillet with half of the olive oil. Add the peeled and deveined shrimp and cook on high for 2 to 3 minutes, turning them half way.
  6. Add any of the cooked seafood (in our case squid and octopus) and mix to heat through for just 30 to 60 seconds. Use a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl and cover with a lid. Set aside and keep warm. Low-Carb Seafood Cauliflower Paella
  7. Grease the same pan in which you cooked the shrimp with 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of extra virgin olive oil. Add the onion and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the cauliflower rice, soaked saffron with its liquid, tomato paste, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the cauliflower is crisp-tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. If needed and the cauliflower is too dry, add a dash of water. Low-Carb Seafood Cauliflower Paella
  8. Return the cooked shrimp, squid, octopus and mussels to the skillet and cook to heat through for a minute or two. Low-Carb Seafood Cauliflower Paella
  9. Remove from the heat and add most of the parsley. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and garnish with more parsley and chile flakes. Serve warm, optionally with lemon wedges, or store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Low-Carb Seafood Cauliflower Paella

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Saffron, dried, spices
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Water, still
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Mussels (mollusks, clams)
0.5 g2.2 g0.1 g13 kcal
Squid, calamari (seafood), raw
0.8 g3.9 g0.3 g23 kcal
Mollusks, octopus, common, cooked, moist heat
0.7 g5 g0.3 g27 kcal
Prawns, shrimp (raw, peeled)
0.3 g9.6 g0.5 g44 kcal
Olive oil, extra virgin
0 g0 g4.5 g40 kcal
Lemon juice, fresh
0.1 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Salt, sea salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Pepper, black, spices
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Cauliflower, fresh
5 g3.2 g0.5 g42 kcal
Olive oil, extra virgin
0 g0 g18 g159 kcal
Onion, red, fresh
0.7 g0.1 g0 g4 kcal
Garlic, fresh
0.6 g0.1 g0 g3 kcal
Tomato purée (paste, unsweetened)
0.5 g0.1 g0 g3 kcal
Paprika, spices
0.1 g0.1 g0 g1 kcal
Pepper, cayenne, spices
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Parsley, fresh (spices)
0.1 g0.1 g0 g1 kcal
Peppers, chile (chili), flaked and dried, spices
0.1 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Salt, sea salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Pepper, black, spices
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Total per serving
9.5 g24.4 g24.5 g361 kcal

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Martina Slajerova
Creator of

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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