Saffron Risotto

"My mom made this risotto for us fairly frequently as we loved it so much. I got this recipe from "Italian Cooking" by Capalbo et al. I was forced to find an actual recipe since my mom doesn't have her recipes on paper (you know how it is :)) and this one comes very close. Yes, it's a bit time consuming and requires a lot of stirring, but you will be well-rewarded in the end for your effort! :D In Italy, this risotto is classically served with osso bucco, but it's wonderful even on its own!"
photo by KateL photo by KateL
photo by KateL
Ready In:


  • 5 cups beef stock or 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pinch saffron (1 sachet)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 12 cups arborio rice (if you can find it, carnaroli makes the *best* risotto)
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese (not the stuff from the can!)
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer.
  • Ladle a little stock into a small bowl.
  • Add the saffron threads or powder and leave to infuse.
  • Melt 4 tbsp of the butter in a large saucepan until foaming.
  • Add the onion and cook gently for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened.
  • Add the rice.
  • Stir until grains start to swell and burst, then add a few ladlefuls of the stock, with the saffron liquid, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir over low heat until the stock is absorbed.
  • Add the remaining stock, a few ladlefuls at a time, allowing the rice to absorb all of the liquid before adding more, and stirring constantly.
  • After 20-25 minutes, the rice should be al dente and the risotto golden yellow, moist and creamy.
  • Gently stir in about two-thirds of the parmesan and the rest of the butter.
  • Heat through until the butter has melted, then taste for seasoning.
  • Transfer the risotto to a warmed serving bowl or platter and serve immediately, with the remaining parmesan sprinkled on top.
  • Enjoy!

Questions & Replies

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  1. Have now twice made this a meal by first frying some mushrooms and 2 x chorizo sausage (both ingredients diced rather small). Made the risotto as per instructions, apart from adding about a half a cup of white wine to start and let it boil down before startng to add the stock. Once it was ready, I stirred through the butter, mushrooms, chorizo and parmesan. Very moorish. Great recipe Mel
  2. This was sooo good, hubby said I could make it again and soon please, lol! I added grated carrots with the finely chopped onion, then some blanched spinach at the end. I was cooking steaks, so made it with beef broth. I never add salt to my risotto, the broth always provides plenty saltiness.
  3. This recipe is Fabulous! Simple to make. Yes, a tad time consuming (30 min), But worth it. I made this for a dinner party and they All not only wanted the recipe, but wanted more! (Glad I had made a bunch of it) I made it with arborio rice, saffron, and used the chicken stock. Did not add any salt, but a little pepper. Be sure to Finely chop the onions and cook them properly. You can buy fresh Parmesan cheese in a bag. I found the saffron at a fairly close Indian grocery (much less expensive and More than my local grocery stores). Placer County, CA
  4. Perfect risotto, my step-daughter stole the recipe from me. Used Parmigiano Reggiano and a small grate size. With all prep work done ahead, this took a full hour of attention while our chicken cooked (Recipe #484012).
  5. It came out perfectly! My dinner guests loved it! <br/>Thanks for sharing on


When I'm not nose-deep in a book for school, I love to spend time with friends and family, shop, travel, and surf on 'Zaar of course! I recently began taking ballroom dance lessons and even though I have two left feet most days, I still enjoy it!
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