Saffron Risotto Recipe

Saffron Risotto Rice

Looking for a different type of risotto recipe? Then you’ve come to the right place. This Saffron Risotto recipe is so simple to make and tastes delicious! Saffron Risotto is a famous dish in both Italy and the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. One of the things that make it stand out so quickly is the bright yellow rice, created by Saffron spice.

What is saffron risotto?

Saffron risotto is a dish that mainly comprises of risotto rice, parmesan cheese, finely chopped onions and saffron spice. It’s more commonly known as Milanese risotto in Italy. You can use either saffron threads or saffron powder – the saffron adds a very subtle but essential fragrance to the dish. Further ingredients you need to make this dish includes chicken stock, water, white wine, onions, garlic, parmesan cheese and butter. 

ingredients to make saffron risotto
All the ingredients you need to make this saffron risotto recipe

Why I like this dish:

I first learnt about this dish from my friend when I visited her in Italy a few years ago. Her family made this Saffron risotto and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. It’s a tasty dish and very different from your typical risotto/rice dishes available.

Why you should try this dish:

One of the most interesting parts of this dish is seeing the risotto rice go from white to red to yellow. You’d expect the Saffron to add some red to the dish, but as you continue to stir the risotto, it slowly starts turning yellow. For someone who’s never cooked with Saffron spice before, I found that fascinating to watch.

What to serve with this saffron risotto dish?

You can either eat this dish on its own, or you can have it as a side to a vegetable puff pastry pocket or other grilled meats and vegetables.

How hard is it to make this dish?

Making this saffron rice recipe is so simple – the most important part of making this dish is to continually stir the risotto to stop it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. You’ll need to continuously monitor the risotto, and add more water when necessary.

how to make saffron risotto
Add more water when necessary and cook for another 5-10 minutes.

Is Saffron Risotto gluten free?

No, this saffron risotto recipe is not 100% gluten-free, as it uses chicken stock when cooking the risotto rice.

How to store saffron risotto:

You shouldn’t freeze your risotto, as the rice consistency may change. This saffron risotto recipe is best served fresh, however, if you want to store leftover risotto, you can refrigerate it in an airtight container for no more than two to three days.

Hints and Tips:

  • You should continuously stir the risotto to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add more water to the risotto as it cooks.

  • If you want the saffron risotto to be even more cheesy, then you could add cubed parmesan crust to the risotto whilst it cooks. This will add more of a cheesy fragrant to the rice.

Similar Recipes Include:

how to make saffron risotto
Fry up the garlic and onions for a couple minutes.
how to make saffron risotto
Add the white wine, water and risotto to the pot and cook this for 10-15 minutes. Add more water when necessary and continuously stir the risotto.
how to make saffron risotto
When the risotto is almost cooked, add the saffron spice, grated parmesan and butter. The rice should turn yellow.

Saffron Risotto Recipe

Cuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


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An easy and tasty Saffron Spice risotto recipe!


  • 1-2 tsp chicken stock (mixed with 150ml water)

  • ¼ cup white wine

  • 1-2 cups of water

  • 1 cup of risotto rice

  • 1 medium onion

  • 3 garlic gloves

  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese

  • 20 mg saffron

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 tbsp butter


  • Peel and finely chop the garlic.
  • Peel and cube the onion (around 1-2cm thick).
  • Boil 150ml water. Add this to the chicken stock and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a pot. Add the garlic and onions and fry for around 2 minutes or until cooked.
  • Once the garlic and onions are cooked, add the chicken broth, white wine and risotto rice. Stir this thoroughly.
  • Place the lid on the pot to help cook the risotto using the steam.
  • Every few minutes, stir the rice and add more water.
  • Cook the rice for at least 15 minutes and continually add water when necessary.
  • When the rice is almost cooked, add the grated parmesan and saffron powder. Mix this thoroughly.
  • Let the rice simmer for another 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy 🙂

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