Saffron Risotto


Saffron Risotto (better known as Risotto Milanese) is a classic Italian dish born in Milano. The main ingredient is, you guessed it —precious saffron!
This authentic Saffron Risotto incorporates all the ingredients that make this dish great: carnaroli rice, creamy butter, white wine, and of course, the star of the show: saffron. Follow along to make my luscious Saffron Risotto and discover the ease to making this showstopping dish.

Watch the Saffron Risotto video recipe:

How to make SAFFRON RISOTTO Like an Italian

How to make Saffron Risotto

Vincenzo’s Plate Tips

Mix Saffron with Water in Advance

Start the process by mixing saffron into a glass of boiling water and mixing until you’re left with a gold liquid. Here’s a tip: to get the best of the best out of your saffron, do this step 1-2 days before you’re ready to make the risotto. Cover the glass with plastic wrap/seal it, and let it sit. By the time you’re ready to make the dish, the saffron water will have turned a stunning red color!

Stir the Butter, Onions, and Rice Thoroughly

Add butter, onions and then rice to the frying pan and mix them all together very thoroughly to combine the flavors. Be sure to mix the butter and onions well before letting the rice join the party! Oh, and one more thing —if you’d like to stay away from butter, virgin oil is a great alternative…but it doesn’t quite create the same level of “creamy!”

Don’t Like Wine? Water Works, Too!

One of the classic ingredients to the saffron risotto is a standard glass of white wine. But if you’re not keen to add wine or trying to leave out the alcohol, water will do! Still, I always recommend adding the wine if you can, because it will give the dish a delicious balance of taste that water just can’t match.

Add Beef Stock to Keep the Rice from Drying Up

Once you’re cooking the rice with the butter, onions, and wine, it’s time to add the beef stock. It’s important that you don’t let the rice dry up in the pan, so anytime you see the liquid start to  disappear, add a little beef stock and keep on mixing! Be sure to keep the stock hot before combining it with the rest of the ingredients. 

Don’t Forget the Finishing Touches

Once everything is mixed and cooked well, it’s time for the finishing touches. Add some extra flavor and creaminess with salt, pepper, and butter, and be sure to lightly toss the risotto to make sure everything is perfectly combined before serving.
Saffron Risotto recipe

How to Serve Saffron Risotto

To serve this delicious saffron risotto scoop out of the pan with a large spoon and create a beautiful mountain of bright saffron color on your plate. Then, lightly tap the bottom of the plate with your hand to spread the risotto across the entire surface. Add a little touch of saffron on the top, right in the middle.
Now, it’s time to dig in! Enjoy the rich creaminess and delicious mix of flavors with every bite of this classic Italian dish.
How to make Saffron Risotto like an Italian
How to make Saffron Risotto

Saffron Risotto Recipe

There’s nothing quite like a good saffron risotto.  This dish is based on rice and combined with the bright color of saffron, the creamy flavor of butter, and the added flair of a glass of white wine. It’s a simple recipe and process with only a few ingredients, so follow along and create your very own risotto to enjoy tonight! 


  • Standard glass
  • Spoon
  • Plastic wrap
  • Plate
  • pot for heating beef stock
  • Large Frying pan
  • wooden spoon
  • Small bowl for rice for rice
  • Small bowl for butter for butter
  • wooden spoon


  • 200 g Carnaroli Rice 7 oz
  • ½ Brown Onion chopped
  • 80 g Butter 3 oz
  • 3-4 tbsp Pecorino Romano Cheese
  • 1 glass White Wine
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Saffron
  • 500 ml Beef Stock 2 cups


Prepare the Saffron Liquid

  • Add saffron to a half glass of boiling water and mix it until you have a gold color.
  • For the best results, let the mixture sit for 1-2 days (if you don’t have that time, letting it sit for about 10-15 minutes is fine, too!)

Make the Risotto

  • Start boiling water for your pasta in a large pot and add 1 tablespoon of rock salt.
  • Place the first 40 grams of butter in a large frying pan.
  • Add the chopped onions and saute in the butter for 3-5 minutes.
  • Next add rice to the pan and toss for a few minutes before adding a standard glass of white wine.
  • Start cooking the rice. Follow the instructions on your packet to see how long it takes to cook yours. Don’t start tracking time until you’ve followed the previous steps.
  • Keep stirring the rice while it’s cooking. As it starts to dry up, add beef stock.
  • Keep adding bit by bit to prevent drying while you stir.
  • Once the rice begins to dry up again, add the saffron liquid to the mixture.
  • Continue cooking and stirring the rice for 2-3 minutes after adding the saffron. The saffron will give the mixture a beautiful yellow color.
  • Sprinkle in some salt and pepper (as much or little as you’d like!).
  • Add the remaining 40 grams of butter and stir.
  • Remove the pan from the stove and add pecorino romano cheese.
  • Toss the mixture to finish mixing everything together!
  • To serve, put a portion of your finished risotto in the center of a plate.
  • Gently tap the bottom of the plate with the palm of your hand (be careful not to spill it!) to
  • spread the risotto across the entire surface.
  • Finish it off by adding a pinch of saffron to the middle of the dish. Now your saffron risotto is ready to eat!


Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate….Enjoy!

Saffron Risotto Vincenzo's Plate


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