Easy Saffron Vegetable Risotto

This is about the fastest risotto you can make, and still achieve the creamy, saucy, flavorful dish of Northern Italy. The key is the gradual addition of hot liquid while stirring, which extracts natural starches in the short-grain rice, thickening the sauce. The dish is even better if you use freshly sautéed veggies, but frozen are a suitable convenience.

Serves: 6Hands-on: 35 minutesTotal: 35 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 6


  • 3 pinches saffron
  • 10 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 lb. Arborio rice
  • 1⁄2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1⁄2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb. frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes


  • Combine the saffron with 1 cup of the stock and let steep for 10 minutes; heat the remaining stock separately until hot but not boiling.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat; add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and mix with a wooden spoon until rice is well coated and begins to change color, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the white wine; cook until all wine is absorbed. Add the saffron mixture; cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Begin adding the hot stock in 1-cup increments, stirring each time until all the liquid is absorbed before adding the next cup, until rice is soft and creamy, and you have only 1 cup of liquid left.
  • Fold in the cheese, peas, salt, pepper, and butter. Stir until well combined; remove from heat. Adjust consistency with remaining stock. Fold in tomato halves. Rice should have a saucy consistency and be soft, but still have a little bite.