Aromatic Yellow Saffron Rice with Caramelized Onions

on April 24, 2020
last updated on August 17, 2021
5 from 1 vote

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This Yellow Saffron Rice uses vegetable broth and onions to compliment the floral, aromatic saffron for a delicious and versatile side dish.
Yellow Saffron Rice -Featured Image

THIS RICE. The rice that you can taste well before forking it into your mouth because it’s so fragrant.

The rice you can serve with any main course because it’s buttery, fluffy texture is the perfect sidekick.

The rice that I ate for literally every meal while I was pregnant because nothing tops it.

This is Aromatic Yellow Saffron Rice. The rice that earned it’s beloved nickname “THE rice” after week 3 of having it

And I’m so glad you’re going to try it!

Close Up of Plated Rice

I didn’t have many cravings or aversions while I was pregnant (luckily), but for some reason, in my last trimester, I was OBSESSED with saffron rice. I could have eaten it for every meal if my husband didn’t insist on me ingesting some vegetables for the baby’s sake.

So it goes without saying, I got A LOT of practice cooking it.

I started with this easy recipe, of course substituting vegetable broth for chicken broth, but after making it 9,087 times, I started to pair down to see what ingredients made the most impact. My goal was to get it down to 5 ingredients, so I could throw it together quickly and get off my pregnant, swollen feet.

Yellow Saffron Rice Tips and Tricks

Get Your Money’s Worth

Saffron is an expensive little thing (good for you Saffron, you know your worth, girl), but the good news is; it goes a long way! Especially if you grind it into a fine dust. I use my trusty mortar and pestle (affiliate link) to break down my Saffron. It releases those floral aromatics and lets it distill into your broth more easily.

If you don’t have a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, just use a knife to cut or your fingers to break the saffron into smaller pieces.

Keep Your Onions Seperate

As much as I hate to make you use more than one pot, caramelizing the onions separately allows them to get beautifully browned and add some texture to your dish. Boiled onions are a whole different taste and texture.

Add Your Butter Last

To really get that buttery falvor and tecture, add it to your saffron rice once it’s fully cooked. It should be the last thing you do before plating it.

Garnish with Just a Little More

Once you plate your rice with the caramelized onions on top, add just one more tiny pinch of saffron. It’ll make that “aromatic” I promised you earlier come to life. It really drives home that beautiful floral flavor!

Portrait of Saffron Rice

Why You Should Make This Saffron Rice

  • The color. Look at that gorgeous yellow!
  • The smell. I can taste it before I even bite into it!
  • The texture. Perfectly cooked rice with a buttery finish is delicious enough, but throw on those caramelized onions and your taste buds will do a happy dance!
  • It goes with everything! You” be hard-pressed to find a main that this does not accompany well.

This yellow saffron rice is such a great accompaniment to any dish. Try it with this Roasted Garlic Salmon and Lemon Asparagus for a delicious, healthful meal!

Aromatic Yellow Saffron Rice with Caramelized Onions

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Marley Goldin Course: SidesCuisine: Asian


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



This Yellow Saffron Rice uses vegetable broth and onions to compliment the floral, aromatic saffron for a delicious and versatile side dish.


  • 2 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 cup white rice (uncooked)

  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron

  • 1 large onion

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • salt to taste


  • Using a mortar and pestle, grind your saffron until it is fine powder.
  • Add saffron, rice, and veggie broth to a medium-sized pot and bring it to a rolling boil. Then reduce it to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed.
  • In a separate small pan, add 1 tablespoon of butter and sliced onions over medium heat. Stir often until onions are caramelized- golden brown on all sides.
  • Remove the rice from heat, but keep it in the pot. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and stir until it is completely melted. Add salt to taste.
  • Fluff your rice with a fork and transfer into a serving bowl. Pour the onions on top and serve hot.

Pro tips

  • Saffron is expensive, but luckily a little bit goes a long way. You really only need a pinch of it per 1 cup uncooked rice, especially if you grind it up.
  • The consistency of the rice should be light and fluffy. If the liquid is absorbed before 15 minutes, then the stove is too hot. Add a little more veggie broth, and make sure to turn down to a simmer.

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2 thoughts on “Aromatic Yellow Saffron Rice with Caramelized Onions”

  1. I’d give this 10 stars if I could! Just a few ingredients creates such a flavorful elegant dish that tastes like it took hours! My new go to side dish

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