West Coast Paella

I usually consider paella to be a fall/winter food but I felt the need for something a little substantial the other day so I decided to try a lightened up, summer-ish, west coast version. I also remembered that I had promised Mindy (my first reader and commenter!) a healthy seafood chowder and I have yet to come up with that so I thought this might be fun to try in the meantime.

West Coast Paella | Simply Fresh Dinners

With wonderful produce from both Barrie Hill and Nichlolyn Farms, I created this dish just packed full of flavour. I have to say (modestly, of course, lol) , this is one of the best dishes I’ve made in a long time and if you’re a fan of seafood, you’re going to love it. I even added bacon to it – lip smacking good!

I was inspired by a recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine I told you about in this post, but I’ve changed it up considerably. Once I saw the idea of asparagus in a paella, my mind started racing. I will admit, I’ve gone a little overboard with the number of ingredients and I think the excitement got the better of me. I’ve got shrimp, salmon and crab in here and if you just want to go with one choice, that’s fine, too.

West Coast Paella | Simply Fresh Dinners

If you look closely, you’ll see beneath all that healthy goodness on top is some scrumptious white rice and mushrooms and it was delicious after making it in the wonderful brown bits leftover from cooking the bacon. You can use brown rice if you prefer – I had some white that needed to be used up.

And after my tour of the farm with Morris, I had some beautiful snow peas that were perfect for this dish. There is a wonderful combination of summer freshness combined with comfort food in this dish and that’s the best of both worlds when it comes to food!

BHF June 28 048b

This dish is also for my dear friends, Dave and Lorian who are on Vancouver Island. I remember making paella one time in my kitchen with Lorian when I was still learning to cook. We’ve had some very funny adventures in that kitchen – especially learning how to make pasta. I had just bought a pasta machine and we were trying to figure out how to use it and we got so confused that the electrician who was working in the house at the time had to show us how to work it! Very embarrassing but worth another glass of wine and many giggles.

West Coast Paella | Simply Fresh Dinners

This will definitely be a regular meal in my household and even though there are a lot of ingredients it comes together quickly and easily – the best kind of dish! Cheers!


West Coast Paella
Author: Robyn
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen skinless salmon fillets, about 1 inch thick
  • 1 pound of medium – large shrimp, cleaned, deveined and shells removed
  • 1/2 pound of cooked crabmeat
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 3 cups sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 21/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 pound of snow peas, washed and trimmed
  • 1 pound fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
  1. In a large deep skillet cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels, reserving half of the drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon and set aside.
  2. Add mushrooms, onion and garlic to the drippings. Cook about 4 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in broth, rice and thyme. (strip each sprig of thyme, letting the individual leaves fall into the pan). Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, rinse salmon and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with pepper.
  4. Pat dry shrimp, sprinkle with pepper.
  5. Place salmon, shrimp, crab, snow peas and asparagus on top of rice mixture. Simmer, covered for 8-10 minutes or until shrimp is pink and asparagus is crisp-tender.
  6. Remove from heat and top with crumbled bacon and tomatoes.

West Coast Seafood Paella | Simply Fresh Dinners


  • Reply
    Bam's Kitchen
    July 12, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    I see you snuck in a few shrimp… LOL Loving those stunning on top photos of this beautiful and fragrant one pot of deliciousness. I know I always seem to have lots of ingredients on my list too, that is just part of the process here with Asian food. The recipes are not difficult just a list of dump and go ingredients. I am so glad you have the Barrie and Nicholas farms to keep you well stocked with goodies. You make so many beautiful dishes with their produce. I can’t wait to give this recipe a try. Sharing, of course!
    Bam’s Kitchen recently posted…Spiced Yam and Vegetable Stir FryMy Profile

    • Reply
      July 13, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      LOL, I couldn’t help myself, Bobbi! This was so darn good that I’m wanting to make it every night, lol. The farms truly have inspired me and I don’t know what I’ll do once the fresh produce is gone!!
      Thanks for sharing, buddy πŸ™‚
      Robyn recently posted…West Coast PaellaMy Profile

  • Reply
    Debbie Harris
    July 12, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    It’s dinner time right now and boy would this be a wonderful dish, yum.
    I do believe I will be trying this, everything in this dish sounds mouth watering tasty. I especially like the idea of a bit of bacon. That will throw my dear husband off with the fish since its not his favorite. πŸ™‚

    I have been so lax in our meals this past month and would love to get back at what is normal in my kitchen.
    I have a list of your recipes that I will be trying just need to get at it. πŸ™‚

    It’s always a pleasure Robyn to visit with you.
    Bless you~ Debbie

    • Reply
      July 13, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      I do hope you try it, Debbie, and you can add chicken along with it shrimp or salmon and reduce the amount of fish and it will be just as tasty. What would I do without you and Stephanie? You guys are always making my recipes – it’s very encouraging! Thank you! xoxo
      Robyn recently posted…West Coast PaellaMy Profile

  • Reply
    July 13, 2015 at 12:48 am

    I LOVE this west-coast paella πŸ™‚ I love the pop of color from the fresh veggies, and the seafood is making me swoon! Plus, your photos are absolutely gorgeous!
    Aida@TheCraftingFoodie recently posted…Skillet Stone Fruit GaletteMy Profile

    • Reply
      July 13, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      Thanks so much, Aida! This is a tasty dish for all ages and I think your little ones would like it πŸ™‚ Thanks for the visit !
      Robyn recently posted…West Coast PaellaMy Profile

  • Reply
    July 13, 2015 at 4:05 am

    Omg! I would love a bit of this paella! Looks so delicious!
    Medeja recently posted…OrkaitΔ—je KeptΕ³ BraΕ‘kiΕ³ SΕ«rio Pyrago Skonio Kokteilis/ Roasted Strawberry Cheesecake SmoothieMy Profile

    • Reply
      July 13, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      LOL, thanks, Medeja! I wish I could send you some πŸ™‚
      Robyn recently posted…West Coast PaellaMy Profile

  • Reply
    Anita Rivera
    July 13, 2015 at 5:48 am

    ROBYN my dear! I am late; I saw this fabulous photo on your Instagram last evening, and immediately had to run back to my kitchen to tend to my sautΓ©ed chicken! But you have created a masterpiece here.

    Ruben and I are big fans of paella…..being Hispanic and all….but the one thing both of us can’t handle in traditional paella are the mussels. We’d rather that it was made with just SHRIMP! But like you, I’ve made my paellas in the past with chicken and shrimp and even catfish! But I love your addition of more vegetables, and the aspargus are a great texture and flavor to add to this masterpiece!

    Do you ever use saffron too? That is a must for me, but I think I’d like your addition of thyme here!

    OK my friend…..what are you up to today? Living on my covered deck these days and loving it! Have a great Monday, Anita

    • Reply
      July 13, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      I thought about saffron, Anita, but I was going for some lighter flavors in this dish and I find it tends to take over. I’m so glad you like this – I figured the salmon would hook you, lol.
      I’m super busy but trying to enjoy the time off when I can!
      On the grill? Hmmm…that would be amazing! Talk soon, I hope πŸ™‚
      Robyn recently posted…West Coast PaellaMy Profile

  • Reply
    Anita Rivera
    July 13, 2015 at 5:49 am

    OH! I forgot to mention that a friend of ours from Spain used to make her paella on the grill during summer!

  • Reply
    July 13, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Hi Robyn, this could easily be one of your best dishes ever. Oh how I love seafood and asparagus!
    cheri recently posted…Banana Oat MuffinsMy Profile

  • Reply
    July 14, 2015 at 6:38 am

    Well, you just made my day, Cheri – thanks so much! I truly did love this dish and I agree – seafood and asparagus are a perfect match! Have a great day πŸ™‚
    Robyn recently posted…West Coast PaellaMy Profile

  • Reply
    July 14, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    I love this version of Paella! It looks and sounds great. I will be putting this on my Wednesday menu which is for just my husband and I. Pinned too!

  • Reply
    mila furman
    July 14, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Robyn, so beautiful!!! This just looks absolutely fantastic! And the fact that you added bacon to it…yum!
    mila furman recently posted…Roasted Potatoes with a Healthy Herb Aioli …And My 21 Day Vegan ChallengeMy Profile

  • Reply
    July 15, 2015 at 5:50 am

    Paella..i have heard so much about it. i have watched it on tv..one in ‘with love in spain’ on fox travellers.
    my boyfriend loves seafood..so i am glad I learnt this simple way.
    I am from India and we love our rice dishes, thank you for this. it looks lovely.
    i just had a question, can dry thyme be used?
    i dont have my own herb garden and thyme is not very popular where i live.

    also, thanks for dropping by my blog.
    hope to stay connected. πŸ™‚
    Roy recently posted…Potato Soup ~ Simple yet tasty!My Profile

  • Reply
    July 16, 2015 at 11:13 am

    Yes, yes, YES PLEASE! I want some of this right now! πŸ™‚ This looks so delicious, my friend, and I appreciate you sharing it with Roses of Inspiration. Much love and big hugs!

  • Reply
    July 19, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Hi Robyn,
    I can’t eat much seafood except I do eat salmon but this salad sure looks tasty and filled with health. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & twitted.
    Marlat recently posted…Real Food Fridays #97 – Healthy, Organic, and Real FoodMy Profile

  • Reply
    Patty from Chili Pepper Madness
    July 20, 2015 at 12:26 am

    Absolutely love Paella. This looks so beautiful with the shrimp and bright fresh summer garden ingredients.
    Patty from Chili Pepper Madness recently posted…Spicy Breakfast Sandwiches with Chorizo and EggMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 5, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    THIS will be fantastic!! I have part of the ingredients and will be purchasing the rest asap. Thank you so much for this West coast version of Paella. I might even serve it in my cast iron skillet because it looks like perfection in yours!
    Mindy recently posted…My JulyMy Profile

  • Reply
    Top 10 Healthy Eats of 2015 - simply fresh dinners
    December 27, 2015 at 11:25 am

    […] #10. Β West Coast Paella […]

  • Reply
    January 14, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    This was absolutely delicious!!!

    • Reply
      January 16, 2016 at 8:17 am

      I’m thrilled that you enjoyed it, Jenny. I think I’m going to have to make it again soon!

  • Reply
    Top 10 Spring Dinners - simply fresh dinners
    March 8, 2016 at 9:58 am

    […] West Coast Paella Β | Β Simply Fresh Dinners […]

  • Reply
    April 12, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Have to comment again and let you know this is one of our very favorite dishes in the history of ever!
    Mindy recently posted…What I learned in March (2016)My Profile

  • Reply
    April 12, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Lol, Mindy, you truly made my day! I really loved the way this dish turned out and I thought maybe I had imagined how good it was! Everything came together so beautifully and the depth of flavors was so satisfying. SO happy you liked it, friend. You truly were the inspiration for this!
    Robyn recently posted…Chicken & Spring Veggies In a PotMy Profile

  • Reply
    Jane G
    January 16, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Robyn, This is simply fabulous and our favorite dish of the year. Lip smacking good and makes you feel even better. Great cure for the January blahs. We like spice, so after chatting with you I added a whole large jalapeno (with seeds) and quadrupled the garlic. I also added a large red bell pepper in the first step and sautΓ©ed with onions, mushrooms and garlic.
    Wow….Great recipe. Definitely going to be in my top 10 go to meals.

    • Reply
      January 16, 2017 at 10:24 pm

      So glad to hear you liked it, Janie! This really is one of my favourite recipes. It’s amazing how you can put so many ingredients together, lots of flavours and it’s satisfying and healthy too. You’ve inspired me to make this again this week. I love that you added more garlic and the jalapeno. The bell pepper would be awesome too! Best thing about this dish is that you can make it your own in so many different ways. You made my day – thank you!! xoxo

  • Reply
    Agness of Run Agness Run
    June 14, 2017 at 10:11 am

    I love paella and this one is an awesome recipe! Keep up the great work!

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