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Behind the Seasoning: Saffron & Chanterelle Risotto

Overhead view of Saffron & Chanterelle Risotto with herb and cheese garnish

We’re making home cooking even simpler with our Saffron & Chanterelle Risotto Spice & Easy Meal Starter Spice Mix. It comes with just about everything you need to get dinner on the table quickly.

Risotto is a dish from northern Italy. The traditional preparation calls for the rice to first be sautéed in butter, then broth to be added slowly. The resulting dish is much creamier than other rice preparations.

There are nearly endless options for customizing the flavor and ingredients of this simple & delicious dish, but saffron is traditional and gives Risotto alla Milanese its signature golden hue.

What is Saffron & Chanterelle Risotto?

Our take on the luscious risotto features saffron and chanterelle mushrooms. Saffron, the world’s most expensive spice, lends its romantic flavor and vibrant yellow hue to this luxurious dish. Chanterelle Mushrooms, a difficult-to-find variety of mushroom, are prized for their delicious flavor.

After much testing, we found a method that (unlike the traditional recipe) doesn't require you to stand over a hot stove, stirring constantly. It's a lot more hands-off, making it a much easier option for weeknight dinners (and busy people!)

Buy Risotto on blue with Saffron & Chanterelle Spice & Easy on the right

What spices and seasoning are in Saffron & Chanterelle Risotto?

Saffron and chanterelle mushrooms may be the main ingredients in this Spice & Easy Meal Starter Spice Mix, but it takes more than that to make it a meal. This Spice & Easy includes the rice and powdered chicken stock. So you don't need to buy rice or broth to make this. 

These essential ingredients are complemented by a medley of spices. Onions, black pepper, garlic, and parsley join forces with the saffron and chanterelle mushrooms. The outcome is a decadent pot of creamy risotto loaded with umami, earthy, and slightly floral flavors. 

Is risotto a pasta or a rice?

If you’ve been confused about whether risotto is a pasta or a rice dish, you are not alone. Risotto is made from rice but shares many qualities with small pasta, like orzo. The cooking process make the rice super creamy, with a texture similar to a cooked pasta dish. 

What Does Saffron & Chanterelle Risotto Taste Like?

Your tastebuds will be in heaven after one bite of our Saffron & Chanterelle Risotto. The dish, like classic risotto, is rich and luscious. That is all thanks to the creamy texture. The addition of butter and parmesan cheese does all the work to achieve that classic creamy texture. What results is an earthy dish from the mushrooms, balanced by the aromatic flavors of onions, shallots, and garlic, and slightly salty and creamy from the cheese and butter. 

What does saffron taste like?

Saffron is distinctive when if comes to both color and flavor. This spice is slightly sweet and floral with earthy, warm, and subtle bitter notes. Some variations of saffron are floral and musky. Our store sells two varieties of saffron, Spanish Coupe Saffron and Moroccan Saffron, which are excellent for making risotto and paella. 

Saffron & Sweet Corn Risotto with a wooden spoon stirring

What can be substituted for Saffron & Chanterelle Risotto?

Craving Saffron & Chanterelle Risotto but don’t have this Spice & Easy Meal Starter Spice Mix on hand? There’s no need to worry. Making risotto from scratch is possible, but will take a bit more work. However, there are some great variations that require little or no stirring (check out Ina Garten's "risotto")

To replicate the flavor of this Spice & Easy, you’ll need arborio rice, chicken stock, and a blend of onions, shallots, black pepper, salt, garlic, and parsley, along with the signature ingredients of saffron and chanterelle mushrooms. 

If you think it sounds like way too much work, you can always season your rice to make a simple version of the dish. Cook your rice in the stock of your choice and add a seasoning like turmeric, paprika, cardamom, or curry powder. Our Herbs Duxelles spice blend will also be an ample replacement for the mushroom flavor. 

Where and How to Buy Saffron & Chanterelle Risotto Seasoning Mix 

Any local market will have basically all of the ingredients you need to make Saffron & Chanterelle Risotto from scratch. 

However, why not make it easy on yourself and make dinner simple and easy with our Saffron & Chanterelle Risotto Spice & Easy Spice Mix? The blend is sold right in our store and can even be bought in a 3-pack to save you some money. Our store locator feature on our site will help you find where you can view our products in-store if you’d rather view the Spice & Easy Spice Mix in person. 

Why is saffron so expensive?

If you've ever gone to buy saffron and wondered about the price, you are not alone. Saffron is one of the most expensive spices. However, there is a good reason for its price. Harvesting saffron is an incredibly laborious process. Most saffron flowers only produce about three flowers each harvest and are very delicate to collect. The plant is also only in season about three weeks out of the year, creating a limited window to collect the threads. Because of that, it makes sense that the spice's nickname is "red gold." 

How To Make Saffron & Chanterelle Risotto

Risotto has a reputation for taking all day in the kitchen and needing to be stirred constantly. We decided to change that reputation with our Saffron & Chanterelle Risotto Spice & Easy Spice Mix and make the dish accessible to whip up any night of the week.

However, unlike traditional risotto, our version doesn’t require you to stand in the kitchen constantly stirring the pot.

All you need to do is stir in butter to the Saffron & Chanterelle Risotto mix in a heavy-bottomed pan, let the mixture simmer in hot water, and finish it with parmesan cheese. 

You probably already have butter on hand, so the only ingredient you might need to buy is Parmesan cheese. This makes it a great "keep in the pantry" item for dinner in a hurry.

There is a bit of stirring that happens right before you add in the cheese. But it is nothing like making risotto from scratch. We promise less than 5 minutes of stirring. 

What can you do with leftover risotto?

This Spice 'n Easy serves 6 (more if you are using it as a first course or side dish). That might not be a problem if you're feeding a crowd but what if you end up with leftover risotto?

Risotto will continue to absorb liquid even after you take it off the stove. So leftover risotto can become overly thick and somewhat gluey. While you can add a bit of liquid to thin out leftovers, we have another suggestion. Make Arancini (fried risotto balls) with the leftovers!

Essentially, you form cold risotto into balls, roll in flour, dip in beaten egg, and coat in bread crumbs before frying in 375 degree oil until golden brown. Pair with our Classic Marinara Sauce Spice & Easy for a simple appetizer or snack.

What To Serve With Saffron & Chanterelle Risotto

Saffron & Chanterelle Risotto can be a simple and satisfying entrée by itself. But it also makes a wonderful and stunning side dish. Here are some of our favorite pairings to serve alongside the creamy dish. 

  • Salad: Saffron Scallops and Snow Pea Salad - Saffron plays double duty to season both the risotto and the scallops. 
  • Fish: Herbed Fish and Fennel en Papillote - Balance out the creamy risotto with a main course of steamed fish. Cooking the dish en papillote keeps everything nice and light. 
  • Beef: Roman Pepper Steak - With the rich and creamy risotto, it helps to have a hearty protein on the plate. The Roman pepper steak proves that simple is the way to go. 
  • Pork: Red Wine Grilled Pork & Apples—You shouldn’t think twice about adding apples to this grilled pork. The sweet apples and creamy risotto make for a tasty combination.
  • Chicken: Lemon Chicken Cacciatore - The traditional chicken dish with Italian flavors is the perfect companion to a rich and creamy helping of risotto. 

 Lemon Chicken Cacciatore single serving plate on left and dish on right

Shop all Spice & Easy Meal Starter Spice Mixes. Share your risotto photos and tag us on Instagram (@savoryspiceshop). 

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