Saffron Risotto

Today I’ll show you my vegetarian Saffron Risotto recipe. Risotto with saffron is a classic of Italian cuisine and known as Risotto alla milanese.

This risotto pleases the senses and is prepared in less than 35 minutes.

Enjoy it and conjure up a great dish for your guests and loved ones.

1. The right Type of Rice for Saffron Risotto

The three well-known risotto rice varieties are called Arborio, Carnaroli and Vialone. Here is a small description:

1.1 Arborio

Arborio is the best known and most widely used rice for risotto. This rice variety is named after a place in Piedmont. The rice is recognizable by thick grains about 7 mm long and quite symmetrical.

Arborio Risotto Rice Cooking time: About 16-18 minutes cooking time is optimal for this rice variety.

Conclusion: Arborio is a safe variant and ideal for the guest kitchen.

1.2 Carnaroli

Carnaroli is called the king of risotto rice varieties. This trip was crossed in 1945 from the varieties Vialone and Lencino. The Carnaroli always produces a wonderfully creamy, pleasantly pithy risotto. The grains are about 7 mm long. Carnaroli does not stick when cooked. On the plate it offers a great, bright, almost completely white appearance and a slightly sweet aftertaste.

Carnaroli Risotto Rice Cooking time: About 16 minutes cooking time is optimal for this rice variety.

Conclusion: Carnaroli is the rice of top cuisine, Gualtiero Marchesi, Italy’s first three-star chef, says: “I only use Carnaroli because it gives the risotto more creaminess and keeps it al dente longer than all the others”.

Saffron risotto with fish or shrimps I show elsewhere, just click on the picture!

1.3 Vialone

The Risotto rice variety Vialone is little known in Germany. Vialone rice grains are larger and rounder than Carnaroli. This rice produces a very typical risotto and has the shortest cooking time of the three varieties.

Vialone Risotto Rice Cooking time: About 14 minutes cooking time is optimal for this rice variety.

Conclusion: Try it out and buy it in special shops or bring it directly from Italy.

2. Saffron Threads or Ground Saffron?

You can prepare your saffron risotto with ground saffron or saffron threads. Experience shows that a mixture is ideal because ground saffron makes the risotto more colourful.

Saffron is an affordable luxury spice and delights the palate.

3. Saffron Risotto Base, with or without Vegetables

As a basis for the saffron risotto I use vegetables like carrot, celeriac, parsley root and shallots or small onions. Cut the vegetables into fine cubes and sauté in some olive oil and butter. This is a good taste basis for your risotto and you will achieve a natural, tasty depth.

Prepare saffron risotto with vegetables, great taste guaranteed!

If you want to make it fast, just leave the vegetables out – prepare risotto only with shallots or onion base.

4. Professional Chef Tip for Dressing and … so you quickly conjure a Saffron Sauce

Here are some tips from the catering trade for your perfect saffron risotto…

4.1 Arrange Saffron Risotto optimally

You can arrange the saffron risotto in the classic way as in the picture. Use a sideboard ring and place it on the warm plate. Fill in the risotto, it should not be too liquid for this variation. Decorate with some cheese – I cut the pecorino or parmesan into fine, wafer-thin slices with a peeler!

4.2 Saffron Risotto with Saffron Sauce or Saffron Foam

Towards the end of the cooking time, keep the risotto more liquid with about 200 ml broth and bring to the boil. Then pass the broth through a sieve into an extra pot. You can add a few grains of rice to bind the saffron sauce. Bring the saffron-rice broth to the boil and mix with a cup of cream.

Saffron foam gives the saffron risotto a kick towards starry cuisine!

Now refine with salt, pepper, nutmeg and saffron and mix with cold butter until foamy. Place the saffron foam on the risotto – it looks great and tastes great!

Red pepper goes well with risotto with saffron, not necessarily classic but optically and tastefully a bitch!

5. Recipe for Saffron Risotto

Safranrisotto explained step by step, I am happy if you cook this dish yourself! If you have any questions, please use the comment function. Good luck!

Print Recipe
5 from 10 votes
5 from 10 votes
Saffron Risotto
Tested recipe for saffron risotto, step by step instructions with many tips from the professional chef Thomas Sixt for a rice dish with saffron.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Courses
Cuisine: Italian Recipes
Keyword: Gluten Free Recipes
Servings: 4 Portions
Calories: 330kcal
Author: Thomas Sixt
Saffron Risotto:
  • 1 pc onion or 2 shallots geschält peeled and finely diced
  • 1 bunch soup vegetables peeled and finely diced
  • 2 tbs oliv oil
  • 1 tsp Butter
  • 300 g risotto rice
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 800 ml vegatable broth
  • 100 g Parmesan or pecorino
  • 2 pinch salt
  • 0,2 g saffron 2 small letters
  • 2 pinch nutmeg grounded
  • 2 pinch Cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 bunch parsley may be substituted
  • 1 tsp red pepper may be substituted
  • Peel and finely dice the onion or shallots, peel the vegetables and finely dice them. Sweat vegetables and onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon butter until translucent.
  • Finely dice onion or shallots and sweat in 1 tablespoon olive oil until translucent.
  • Add the risotto rice and sweat for 3 minutes until colourless.
  • Add the dry white wine, vegetable stock, salt, saffron, nutmeg, cayenne pepper to the risotto. Cook the risotto stirringly until al dente.
  • Prepare the saffron sauce according to your wishes, see the description in the text above. Cut some cheese with the potato peeler very thinly and lay ready, grate the remaining cheese finely and add to the risotto. Vegan: Leave the cheese out!
  • Fine-tune the risotto to a creamy consistency, if necessary also stir with butter and olive oil until creamy. The risotto tastes best if it is not too firm but runs off the spoon. Arrange the saffron risotto on the preheated plates.
  • Add the prepared cheese slices and alternatively add the saffron foam. Finely chopped parsley or some chervil and red pepper are suitable as decoration.

6. Nutritional Values and Calories Saffron Risotto

Nutrition Facts
Saffron Risotto
Amount Per Serving
Calories 330 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 31mg10%
Sodium 1323mg58%
Potassium 186mg5%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 14g28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

7. Other Recipes for Risotto

Saffron Risotto with Shrimps or Variations with Fish
Mushroom Risotto Recipe
Pumpkin Risotto with Spinach vegetarian
Vegetable Risotto with Truffle Foam
Red wine risotto with crispy fried pike-perch fillet and oranges
Asparagus Risotto
Simple Risotto with Ham
Porcini Risotto Recipe
Easy Radicchio Risotto

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Author: Thomas Sixt

Hi, I am a German Chef, Cookbook Author and Food Photographer. The imparting of cooking knowledge is my great passion. Everyone can cook for himself and with this website I would like to contribute to its success. Let yourself be inspired and enjoy good food. If you have any cooking questions, please use the comment function at the end of each article and recipe. I wish Thomas Sixt Good Luck!