Saffron and Lemon Infused Risotto

Saffron and Lemon Infused Risotto is a delightful and aromatic dish that combines the rich flavors of saffron and the refreshing tang of lemon. This Italian classic is a perfect choice for a special occasion or a cozy night in. The creamy texture and vibrant colors of this dish make it a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds. Let’s dive into the world of saffron and lemon-infused risotto and learn how to create this mouthwatering dish.


  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Prepare the Saffron:

In a small bowl, soak the saffron threads in 2 tablespoons of hot water. Let it steep for about 10 minutes to release its vibrant color and flavor.

2. Sauté the Onion and Garlic:

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until they become translucent and fragrant.

3. Toast the Rice:

Add the Arborio rice to the saucepan and stir it well to coat it with the onion and garlic mixture. Toast the rice for a couple of minutes until it becomes slightly translucent at the edges.

4. Deglaze with Wine:

Pour in the white wine and stir the rice continuously until the liquid is absorbed. This step helps to deglaze the pan and adds a subtle depth of flavor to the risotto.

5. Add the Broth:

Gradually add the vegetable or chicken broth, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Allow each ladle of broth to be absorbed before adding the next. This slow and steady process helps to release the starch from the rice, creating a creamy texture.

6. Infuse with Saffron:

After adding a few ladles of broth, pour in the saffron mixture, including the threads and the water. Stir well to distribute the saffron evenly throughout the risotto. The saffron will infuse the dish with its distinct aroma and vibrant yellow color.

7. Season and Stir:

Continue adding the broth and stirring until the rice is cooked al dente, with a slight bite to it. This process usually takes around 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

8. Add Lemon Zest and Juice:

Once the rice is cooked, add the zest and juice of one lemon to the risotto. The lemon adds a refreshing and tangy note that beautifully complements the saffron.

9. Finish with Parmesan Cheese:

Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese. The cheese will melt into the risotto, adding a creamy and savory element to the dish.

10. Serve and Enjoy:

Spoon the saffron and lemon-infused risotto into bowls or plates. Garnish with a sprinkle of lemon zest and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired. Serve it hot and savor each mouthful of this delectable dish.

Now that you have the recipe for saffron and lemon-infused risotto, it’s time to gather the ingredients and embark on a culinary adventure. Enjoy the process of creating this flavorful dish and delight in the heavenly combination of saffron and lemon. Bon appétit!

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