Saffron Risotto with Kasseri or Parmesan

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

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Not to long ago at one of our monthly group meetings, food blogger Laura Bashar from Family Spice kindly handed out packets of beautiful saffron. Of course the most common dish I would know is paella, but I have chosen risotto – only because I just love making a big pot of steaming hot Arborio rice with grated cheese -my Mac ‘n Cheese. I also like to plan ahead and make stocks on the weekends to freeze for quick weekday meals. Store-bought stocks work just fine.  You can turn quickly to my Vegetable Stock recipe and whip up a fresh batch by just using what you have on hand; carrots, celery, onion, and parsley.  I chose to add Kasseri because I just love it’s saltiness, but traditionally it’s made with Parmesan. This is a great meal to serve for Meatless Mondays enjoyed with a fresh green salad!


Saffron Risotto
Try adding saffron to this risotto for a savory floral taste for your family table. I added Greek Kasseri cheese, but traditionally Parmesan is used.
Recipe type: Main Dish or Side
Serves: 8
  • 2½ cups stock ( Vegetable, or Chicken )
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1¼ cup Arborio rice, uncooked
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon (up to ¼ cup) grated Greek Kasseri or Parmesan Cheese
  1. Bring the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add the saffron and steep until the stock takes on a deep color.
  2. Strain the stock and keep warm.
  3. Heat the oil in a medium stockpot. Saute the onion until soft.
  4. Add the rice to the onion and saute until the rice is coated with the oil.
  5. Stirring over medium heat,add the stock in three batches, making sure the liquid has absorbed after each addition.
  6. Add the wine with the final addition of stock.
  7. When the rice is ready, the rice should be creamy and firm to the bite.
  8. Remove the rice from the heat and stir in the Kasseri or Parmesan cheese.
  9. Serve immediately.


Tip #1 When preparing for risotto have all your ingredients ready beforehand – once you get cooking you won’t have time to stop and measure or grate.


Tip#2  Try and use a heavy bottom pot so you don’t burn the risotto, or lower the heat and watch it carefully!


Tip #3  Risotto can be made in advance, cook only 3/4 of the way done. Thinly spread the rice on a sheet tray and refrigerate until ready to use.
To finish cooking the risotto, place the rice in a saucepan, add the final addition of stock and wine, and stir in the Parmesan or Kasseri cheese.

Note:  These two Kasseri Cheese brands Stella  and BelGioioso Cheese Co. are commonly found in stores.


More Risotto Recipes

Fresh Tomato Risotto

  Pumpkin Pancetta Risotto







© 2013 – 2015, Mary Papoulias-Platis. All rights reserved.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lizthechef

A beautiful recipe with a terrific overhead shot, the kind I struggle to take.

2 Mary Papoulias-Platis

Thanks Liz, Some day I’ll get as good as you!

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