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Creamy Parmesan Risotto with Saffron in a cute white and orange hand painted Italian pottery.
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5 from 18 votes

Creamy Parmesan Risotto with Saffron

Creamy parmesan risotto with saffron is an easy traditionalItalian comfort food side dish that pairs perfectly with our Pressure Cooker OxtailStew
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time23 mins
Course: Mains, Sides
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6
Calories: 357kcal
Author: HWC Magazine


  • 5 cups chicken broth low sodium
  • 1 pinch saffron threads dried whole
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 large onion peeled and chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup white wine dry
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • ¾ cup parmesan cheese grated and a little extra for garnish


  • Do NOT wash arborio rice. This strips away all the starches that make creamy parmesan risotto.
  • In a medium pot, add your low sodium chicken broth (homemade is best) and heat to a simmer. Then turn down to a low heat just to keep hot.
  • Add a pinch of saffron to the chicken broth. The broth will turn bright yellow in a few minutes.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add onions and cook for about 2 minutes or until slightly translucent.
  • Add the arborio rice, garlic and salt and toast for about 1 minute in the pan with the onions. The purpose or toasting the rice is to add a nutty flavor to the risotto. Do not brown the rice.
  • Deglaze the pan with the dry white wine or wine you happen to be drinking.
  • Then one little ladle at a time, add a little of the saffron chicken broth to the arborio rice. Making sure your heat for the risotto rice is on a low simmer (medium bubble).
  • Do not over stir your risotto. You only want to stir it often enough to prevent it from sticking to the bottom. If you over stir, it can ruin the consistency.
  • Allow the rice to cook down the liquid until you can make a path with your spatula or wooden spoon. If you can make a path with your spatula in the pan, it is time to add another scoop of warmed saffron chicken broth. Repeat this process several more times. After 15 minutes, check taste a little bit of the rice for consistency. If the risotto is still crunchy, add a few more rounds of chicken broth and stirring until it reaches your creamy consistency. The consistency should be slightly loose and creamy.
  • Remove the Italian risotto from the heat source. Add in a dollop of butter and grated parmesan cheese and stir well. Salt and pepper to taste as desired.
  • Garnish with a little extra grated parmesan cheese and enjoy!


Risotto is best enjoyed straight away. However, it can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 3 days, but it will stiffen and thicken up because of all the starches. You can reheat risotto in the microwave or on the stove top, but you will need to add need to add a little heated chicken broth to revive it. Do not freeze risotto as it gets hard and inedible. 
Feel free to use beef broth, vegetable broth or even seafood broth, depending on what you are serving with your Creamy Parmesan Risotto.
Heating up your chicken broth ensures that the arborio rice, chicken broth and pan are all the same temperature. Heating the broth to a simmer is super important. This process ensures that all the grains of rice cooks evenly. No one likes some crunchy grains of rice, some perfect and some mushy. Most generally speaking, you are looking for a creamy risotto consistency with each and every bite.
There is no need to allow extra time for your saffron to bloom in this Creamy Parmesan Risotto with Saffron recipe. Dried saffron has plenty of time to open up when steeping in the simmering chicken broth and during the cooking process.
If you do not have saffron, you can substitute a little dusting of dried ground turmeric spice to achieve that gorgeous yellow hue.


Serving: 6g | Calories: 357kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 955mg | Potassium: 271mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 216IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 171mg | Iron: 3mg