Our creamy risotto zafferano has the subtle fragrant spice of saffron, with a delicious buttery taste, that makes it so good. Our friends from Milan first got us hooked on this traditional Milanese dish years ago and we’ve been making it ever since – trust us, it’s good!
Why you’ll love our zafferano risotto recipe
- This amazing buttery, creamy saffron risotto only takes 20 minutes to make with only a few ingredients.
- It’s a one pot dish, so you won’t have endless washing up to do!
- It’s great-tasting comfort food, ideal as a main dinner or as a side dish.
- It’s 100% vegetarian and can easily made into a vegan friendly dish.
Where is saffron risotto from?
Saffron Risotto is also known as Risotto alla Milanese, so you won’t be surprised to learn that it originates from Milan.
The traditional recipe uses beef stock 9or meat broth), lard, and beef bone marrow, but don’t worry our saffron risotto is completely vegetarian and we use vegetable stock or broth and butter instead of lard.
We love risotto but know that some people think that it’s a difficult dish to make. We’re here to show you that making risotto is simple and if you follow our easy recipe then you’ll make a perfect dish every time!
What is saffron?
Although it’s not officially known, it’s believed that saffron originated from Iran.
It’s a deep red, fragrant and subtle spice that can be added into dishes as it is, in saffron threads or it can be used as saffron powder.
Saffron is often referred to as the world’s most expensive spice and there’s a reason for this.
It’s derived from a flower that’s commonly known as the saffron crocus and the three stigmas from the flower are handpicked, they are then placed on trays and dried over fires made from charcoal, so it’s no wonder that it’s costly.
The good thing about saffron is that a little goes a long way, so only use a few saffron threads or a pinch of saffron powder in saffron risotto.
Which is the best risotto rice to use?
It’s important that your saffron risotto has a silky creamy texture to it, so you’ll need to pick risotto rice that is known for its creamy consistency.
We’ve used carnaroli rice as it’s so beautifully creamy and whenever we visit Italy, it’s always the chefs preferred risotto rice.
Vialone nano is another good creamy risotto rice but not always as widely available.
Arborio rice is normally the risotto rice that most people are familiar with as it’s readily available but it’s not as creamy as the others, so it’s good to shop around to see if you can find carnaroli or vialone nano rice.
What cheese should I use?
This is a vegetarian recipe so we’ve used vegetarian parmesan cheese.
You may be tempted to use parmigiano reggiano cheese but don’t because parmigiano reggiano isn’t vegetarian.
If you’re cooking for a vegan, then you’ll need to use vegan cheese.
What consistency should risotto rice be?
Our risotto allo zafferano should be a wonderfully creamy risotto.
You need to make sure that you don’t overcook it.
Keep tasting it, it should be al dente.
Al dente means that it should still be firm to the bite.
If you overcook risotto rice, then the rice grains become mushy.
How do I store it?
You can store risotto allo zafferano in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
While you can freeze saffron risotto, we wouldn’t recommend it as the consistency is a little mushy when reheated.
Recipe notes and tips
- Cooking for a vegan?
Replace the butter for vegan butter and the vegetarian parmesan for vegan cheese.
- Watch your heat
You want to keep your risotto cooking on medium heat, don’t be tempted to turn it to a high heat and add too much vegetable stock in at once or you’ll boil the rice
How to make saffron risotto with step-by-step instructions
Making our risotto allo zafferano or saffron risotto is so easy if you follow our simple instructions.
Add half the butter to a frying pan or skillet over medium heat, then add your shallots and sauté until the shallots have softened approximately 3 minutes.
Now add the risotto rice and the saffron threads and toast for 1 minute, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
Then add your white wine and cook until it has almost evaporated, keep stirring.
Now add a third of your vegetable broth or stock, and keep stirring until the liquid has almost evaporated, and repeat until you have used all the vegetable broth or stock.
Cook until your risotto rice is al dente, and then add in the remaining butter and stir to combine.
Finally, add in vegetarian parmesan cheese, stir until it’s fully combined and season with salt and black pepper.
Serve immediately and garnish with a little finely grated parmesan cheese.
Enjoy your delicious yellow rice!
We hope that you enjoy making our saffron risotto and would love to hear how you got on making it.
Please leave a comment below or feel free to ask any questions you may have.
More easy vegetarian recipes for you to make at home
- Mushroom risotto – bursting full of mushrooms with a parmesan cheese and nutty garnish, this is always a favorite in our household!
- Tomato risotto – a light yet rich tomato flavor, if you love tomatoes then this is the risotto for you and it’s made in just 20 minutes!
- Vegetarian stew – a bowl of comfort food, with sweet potatoes, mushrooms and beans, this is a real crowd pleaser!
- Spaghetti aglio e olio – garlic lovers will be delighted with this easy pasta dish that takes just 15 minutes to make!
- Arrabbiata sauce – this spicy tomato sauce is wonderful with so many dishes, you need this in your life!
RISOTTO ZAFFERANO (SAFFRON RISOTTO)
- 6 tbsp Butter divided in 2
- 2 Shallots diced
- 2.5 cups Risotto rice
- 1 tsp Saffron
- 1 cups White wine
- 7 cups Vegetable stock or broth
- 3 oz Vegetarian Parmesan cheese and extra to garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add half the butter to a frying pan or skillet over medium heat, then add your shallots and sauté until the shallots have softened approximately 3 minutes. Now add the risotto rice and the saffron threads and toast for 1 minute, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon6 tbsp Butter, 2 Shallots, 2.5 cups Risotto rice, 1 tsp Saffron
- Then add your white wine and cook until it has almost evaporated, keep stirring. Now add a third of your vegetable broth or stock, and keep stirring until the liquid has almost evaporated, and repeat until you have used all the vegetable broth or stock1 cups White wine, 7 cups Vegetable stock or broth
- Cook until your risotto rice is al dente, and then add in the remaining butter and stir to combine. Finally, add in vegetarian parmesan cheese, stir until it's fully combined and season with salt and black pepper3 oz Vegetarian Parmesan cheese, Salt and pepper to taste
- Serve immediately and garnish with a little finely grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy your delicious yellow rice!
- Cooking for a vegan?
Replace the butter for vegan butter and the vegetarian parmesan for vegan cheese
- Watch your heat
You want to keep your risotto cooking on medium heat, don’t be tempted to turn it to high heat and add too much vegetable stock in at once or you’ll boil the rice
Please note that nutrient values are estimates only. Variations can occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of origin, preparation, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.
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