Saffron risotto is a famous Italian dish, typical of Lombardy region. Creamy, colourful and very delicious, saffron risotto is a real delicacy.

There are basic techniques and steps that need to be followed to prepare a good risotto. Rice is also important. Different types of superfine rice can be used, but Carnaroli is considered the best rice for risotto. To get an excellent risotto, it is necessary to start with the preparation of hot vegetable broth. The full recipe for homemade vegetable broth is here.

Saffron is a spice known since ancient times, derived from the flower of Crocus sativus (or saffron crocus). It is used as seasoning and colouring agent in various dishes. The spice is also used because of its beneficial properties for human health and in particular because of its antioxidant function. Because of the labor-intensive methods of harvesting by hand, saffron is among the most expensive spices in the world. It is also called red gold.

Saffron risotto
Saffron risotto
Saffron risotto

Saffron risotto

Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Servings 2


  • 160 g carnaroli rice (or other risotto rice)
  • 35-40 g onion
  • 50 g butter
  • 600-700 ml vegetable broth
  • 30 ml white wine
  • 30 g parmesan cheese
  • 1 g saffron (powder)
  • q.s. salt


  • Prepare the vegetable broth. It should be hot.
  • Finely chop the onion.
  • In a large pan put 30 g of the butter, melt it over low heat and add the chopped onion. Cook for a few minutes, adding some broth, until the onion is transparent and soft.
  • Add the rice and toast it for 2-3 minutes, stirring.
  • Deglaze with the white wine and let it evaporate completely.
  • Add a few ladles of broth and salt to taste. Cook for 16-18 minutes, adding the broth a little at a time.
  • Dissolve the saffron in a little broth and add it 5 minutes before the end of cooking.
  • When the rice is cooked ‘al dente’, turn off the heat and add the remaining 20 g of butter and the grated parmesan. Mix it well.
  • Let the risotto rest for 1-2 minutes and serve it on a flat plate.
    Saffron risotto
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Saffron risotto

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