Risotto Creamy Saffron Rice (Risotto Milanese)

Leave it to the Italians to take small grains of starchy rice and turn them into a masterpiece. Risotto is a uniquely Italian way for cooking rice. With broth slowly added, short-grained rice turns into a creamy bowl of perfection. Different additions to risottos reflect the local ingredients unique to a specific region. In Milan, saffron is added to create a fragrant dish that pairs exceptionally well with stews like Milan’s famous Osso Bucco (veal shanks).

Risotto alla Milanese - Creamy Saffron Rice

Risotto alla Milanese – Creamy Saffron Rice

Making risotto is an interesting way to cook rice. The process of alternating adding broth and stirring until it's absorbed and then repeating is not difficult, but requires patience. The end result is well worth it This creamy, rich dish can be eaten stand-alone in place of pasta, or as a welcoming accompaniment to rich dishes like Osso Bucco.
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Course: Appetizer, Brunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian, Northern Italy
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • 2 quart saucepan
  • 4-quart saucepan
  • Wooden spoon


  • 6 cups Chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp Saffron Threads
  • 3 tbsp Unsalted butter
  • 1 medium Onion, minced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice (or other short grained rice)
  • 1 cup Dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup Freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Heat stock and saffron in a 2-qt saucepan over medium heat. Keep warm.
    Heat butter in a 4-qt saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, about 4-5 minutes until soft. Add rice and stir until fully covered and lightly toasted, about 4 minutes. Add wine and cook until it's mostly evaporated, another 2 minutes.
    Add ½ cup stock and stir until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Keep repeating the process until all the broth is gone. It takes about 16 minutes and rice will tender and creamy.
    Remove from heat and stir in olive oil and parmesan, season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.½


  • Risotto can be made a few hours in advance by cooking it halfway, allowing it to dry out on the heat, and then spreading it out on a large cold platter. Thirty minutes before serving, warm remaining broth and melt 1 tbsp butter to a saucepan. Add rice, 1/2 cup broth and complete rest of recipe.
  • Only use short grained rice as its higher starch level gives the risotto its signature creaminess. 


Calories: 472kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 494mg | Potassium: 381mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 256IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 4mg

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