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The Best Vegan Saffron Risotto Milanese

Best Vegan Saffron risotto

Saffron risotto is an Italian specialty that turns bland white rice into a decadent rich creamy dish. I can still close my eyes and remember eating this dish at my parent’s friend hotel in Italy when I was a little girl. The golden hue from the saffron, the rich creaminess of the rice was so satisfying! The traditional recipe calls for a generous amount of parmesan and butter, but it can easily be veganized and it is just as delicious and filling.

It was only years later that I discovered that the goodness of saffron risotto didn’t really come from the ingredients but it was all from the love and patience of the cook that had to stand by the pot for 15-20 minutes and patiently add liquid and stir until it is done to perfection. No shortcuts for this one but it is totally worth it! Risotto Milanese is an all year round favorite in our house, especially on colder days and it goes great with a salad.

Buon appetito!

The Best Saffron Risotto Milanese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe makes a stunning creamy rich risotto with a beautiful yellow color.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
  • 1½ cups of white rice (can use arborio rice too)
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
  • 5 cups of vegetable broth
  • a few strands of saffron
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Optional: minced fresh parsley as topping
  1. Heat up 4-5 cups of vegetable broth. Once hot, mix the saffron and turn off.
  2. Heat up a thick pot with a little olive oil, add the onions and let them sweat a little.
  3. When they start to become translucent, pour the rice over and mix well.
  4. Pour 1 cup of broth over the rice and mix.
  5. As soon as the liquid is absorbed, pour another cup and mix.
  6. Keep on doing this until the rice is cooked.
  7. You can drizzle a little olive oil, sprinkle some nutritional yeast (as a replacement for parmesan) or chopped parsley.
  8. Serve immediately.
You can use any white rice (except for basmati). It doesn’t have to be arborio rice either, as long as you follow the recipe. You can also make it with brown rice but it will take longer to fully cook it and it will be denser.

Dont have any saffron? No worry, you can replace it with ½-1 tsp of turmeric. You won’t get the delicate flavor of saffron but your rice will have a nice yellow color.






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