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Jul 20, 2020

Instant Pot Saffron Risotto

This Saffron Risotto, made in the Instant Pot, takes most of the work out of making risotto. You still end up with a creamy pot of delicious risotto, the perfect accompaniment to hearty braised meats.

Cheesy Instant Pot Saffron Risotto with scallions and Parmesan

This is the easiest risotto you will ever make. Rather than stirring in portions of broth or water and stirring until it's absorbed before adding more and stirring, stirring, and stirring again, this risotto is mostly hands off.

In fact, it's unbelievably easy! You end up with a creamy, cheesy, and decadent side dish that will elevate your dinner to restaurant-worthy.

Cheesy Instant Pot Saffron Risotto with scallions

Instant Pot? It's a programmable countertop multi-cooker that can do a number of things, including sauté, slow cook, and, most importantly, pressure cook. There are also rice cooker and yogurt making functions to name a few. In fact, I know that some of the newer models are adding even more functionality. I'm just trying to look away so I don't buy another one!

While I've always been a fan of slow cookers, I've kind of become converted to pressure cooking. A lot of the meals that you are used to making in the slow cooker can be prepared in just a few minutes in the pressure cooker.

P.S. You can also buy multi-cookers from other brands, such as Ninja, and even Crock Pot.

Cheesy Instant Pot Saffron Risotto in bowls

I'm fully convinced that the Instant Pot is a fabulous method for making risotto after making this dish, although I love the saffron risotto I made using the traditional method too.

One of the key ingredients to risotto is arborio rice. It's a starchy and roundish rice that is typically grown in northwest Italy. You don't rinse it because you want all of the starch to create a creaminess in the dish.

Cheesy Saffron Risotto

How to make Instant Pot Risotto:

Step One: 

Using the sauté function, cook the onions and garlic in the the multi cooker.

Step Two:

Sauté the rice in the multi cooker until it begins to lightly brown. 

Step Three:

Add in the saffron and then deglaze the pan with some dry white wine. Add in the warmed broth and stir the ingredients together.

Step Four: 

Pressure cook the risotto for 6 minutes and then manually release the pressure. Stir in the Parmesan and continue stirring until any extra liquid has been absorbed and the risotto is creamy. Season with more salt as needed. 

Cheesy Instant Pot Saffron Risotto

Serve this cheesy risotto with rich meats such as braised brisket, osso buco, or a grilled steak along with a vegetable dish or a salad. The flavor of this risotto is earthy and cheesy, and the rice is perfectly al dente.

More Instant Pot recipes from Karen's Kitchen Stories:

It's another Multi Cooker Monday hosted by Sue of Palatable Pastime. Check out everyone's recipes!

Multicooker Monday July 2020: Recipes using Small Kitchen Appliances

Instant Pot Saffron Risotto

Instant Pot Saffron Risotto

Instant Pot Saffron Risotto
Yield: 6 servings
Author: Karen Kerr
Serve this cheesy risotto with rich meats such as braised brisket, osso buco, or a grilled steak along with a vegetable dish or a salad. The flavor of this risotto is earthy and cheesy, and the rice is perfectly al dente.


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 2/3 cups arborio rice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Pinch of saffron threads, ground in a mortar and pestle
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups chicken stock, warmed 
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Garnish of chopped scallions, chives, or parsley


  1. Using the sauté function on the multi cooker, heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the onion and cook over regular heat for about 5 minutes, until it is tender. Add the garlic and stir. 
  2. Stir in the rice and salt and cook, stirring often, until the rice has slightly browned, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Add the ground saffron to the pot along with the wine. Stir, scraping up any browned bits. Cook, stirring, until the wine has been absorbed, about a minute. 
  4. Stir in the warm chicken stock and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Release the pressure manually. 
  5. Stir in the Parmesan and continue stirring until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the dish is creamy, about 1  minute. 
  6. Add more salt as necessary after tasting and garnish with the herbs of your choice. 
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Risotto, Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker
Side Dish
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Created using The Recipes Generator

Recipe inspired by Dinner in an Instant by Melissa Clark, combined with multiple other recipes on the interwebs.

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Would you like to comment?

  1. That risotto looks absolutely perfect. I can't wait to try risotto in the Instant Pot.

  2. Oh my goodness that is GORGEOUS!! I can't wait to try this!

  3. That's the exact reason why I've never tried to make risotto, the time and steps involved. Just one more reason for me to move an Instant Pot further up my wish list!

  4. Love that saffron hue that the risotto got, must try this!

  5. This sounds delicious! I love risotto!

  6. Saffron is such a lovely ingredient and this risotto looks so good. It adds such a nice color to food and this method looks super simple.

  7. Here’s a review from someone who actually made this dish. It was delicious! And really easy to make.

    1. Thank you!!! I think I saw your review on Pinterest too!


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