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9 Saffron Recipes: Sweet and Savoury Ideas from around the World

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9 Saffron Recipes: Sweet and Savoury Ideas from around the World

Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world and while it should be used with repect, it's worth the investment for the incredible notes it imparts in sweet and savoury saffron recipes.

The intensity of the golden yellow hue that's unique to saffron as well the depth of savoury flavour are difficult to capture with any other spice. It's not hard to see why saffron is loved by many international cuisines.

Discover: 5 Tips for Buying the Best Saffron

When cooking with this special spice you can choose either saffron threads or saffron powder. The advantage of saffron powder being that it can be added directly to a dish without toasting or pre-soaking and it dissolves easily into the food, evenly flavouring the entire dish. However, saffron threads are always a superior choice, and nothing quite beats the aspect they give a dish.

Experiment with both in these saffron recipes which range from Italian street food favourite, arancini, Moroccan tagine and Indian style cauliflower, to the heady heights of risotto topped off with a gold leaf and even a lemony saffron cake.

Sweet and Savoury Saffron Recipes

Squid Ink Risotto with a Saffron Sphere

Try this complex chef creation where saffron is the crowning glory in this squid and rice dish. Find the squid ink risotto recipe here.


Saffron adds depth of flavour and colour to this succulent and hearty meat dish of roasted lamb knuckle. Discover the lamb recipe with saffron potatoes here.


This Indian recipe for cauliflower allows the white vegetable to take on the golden hue of saffron elevating the humble vegetable to exotic heights. Try the cauliflower recipe with saffron here.


A dash of saffron adds unexpected colour and finesse to this simple dish. Try making it with the sinple recipe here.


Saffron adds warmth and depth inside these fried balls of rice that form classic Italian street food fare from Sicily. Here's the perfect arancini recipe.

Rice Patties

Vegetarian rice patties with coriander and scallions, garlic, slightly caramelised and fried. The saffron gives the simple flavours another dimension. Learn how to make rice patties with your leftover rice here.

Saffron Risotto

Saffron is integral to the classic Milanese risotto. The distinctive colour and flavour are famous in Northern Italy. This dish comes topped with a gold leaf courtesy of the Italian legend, Gualtiero Marchesi. Find the best risotto Milanese recipe here.

Chicken Tagine

Saffron is widely used in northern African cookery, and where better than in a slow cooked tender tagine. Find out how here.

Lemon Bars

Saffron adds a irresistable savoury edge to these vibrant sweets which will appeal to adults. Here's how to get baking.

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  • Visco73 said on

    Love the recipes here, but the photo at the top of this article is not saffron, it is safflower. Safflower is often sold as saffron but has no related aroma or taste, it does colour but not as well as real saffron. Anyway, I am away to try those Lemon Bars!!

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