Saffron Risotto Recipe

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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. Recipe Saffron Risotto

Here you find my step by step guide, I am happy if you cook this dish yourself!

If you have any questions, please use the comment function. Good luck!

Saffron Risotto

Cooked, photographed and written down by chef Thomas Sixt.

Servings 4
Calories 330
Total Time 45 Min.
Preparation Time 15 Min.
Cook Time 30 Min.

Simple guide for preparing Risotto Milanese.

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Saffron risotto Recipe Image
Saffron Risotto Recipe Image © 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)


Dice the shallot
Finely dice a shallot.

Prepare onions

Die Zwiebel oder Schalotten schälen und fein würfeln, Gemüse schälen und fein in Würfel schneiden.

soup vegetables
soup vegetables

Prepare vegetables

Sweat vegetables and onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon butter until translucent.

Risotto rice
Risotto rice photographed from above.

Prepare risotto

Add risotto rice and sweat for 3 min. until colorless.

Risotto rice with oil and butter in the pot
Risotto rice with oil and butter in the pot

Cook risotto

Add the dry white wine, vegetable stock, salt, saffron, nutmeg, cayenne pepper to the risotto. Cook the risotto stirring and simmering gently until al dente.

Saffron spice
Saffron spice

Saffron supplement

Prepare the saffron sauce as desired, see the description in the text above.

Cut some cheese with the peeler wafer-thin and put ready, remaining cheese grate finely and add to the risotto.

Vegan: leave out the cheese!

butter olive oil parmesan
Risotto ingredients butter, olive oil and parmesan.

Season risotto to taste

The risotto final creamy tune, possibly additionally with butter and olive oil creamy stir.

The risotto tastes best when it is not too firm but runs off the spoon.

Arrange the saffron risotto on the preheated plates.

Saffron Risotto Recipe Image
Saffron Risotto Recipe Image © Thomas Sixt


Add the prepared cheese slices and alternatively add the saffron foam.

Finely chopped parsley or some chervil and red pepper are suitable as decoration.




2. Nutritional Values

3. 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:

3.1 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.

Tip from Chef Thomas Sixt

3.2 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”.

Tip from Chef Thomas Sixt

3.3 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.

Tip from chef Thomas Sixt
saffron risotto with fish
saffron risotto with fish
Saffron Risotto Recipe Image
Saffron Risotto Recipe Image © Thomas Sixt

4. 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.

Soak the saffron threads
Saffron ready to prepare.
Saffron spice
Saffron spice

5. 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.

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

Prepare saffron risotto with vegetables, great taste guaranteed!

Tip from Chef Thomas Sixt
soup vegetables
soup vegetables
Risotto rice
Risotto rice photographed from above.

6. Chef Tip for Arranging and Quickly Saffron Sauce

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

6.1 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!

6.2 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.

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!

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

Foamy sauces tip from chef Thomas Sixt
Red pepper or red berries.
red pepper gives this dish a decisive taste and visual kick.
Parmesan cheese

7. Other Recipes for Risotto

Comments, Cooking Questions and Answers

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