bowl of yellow rice


Fluffy and fragrant, this easy saffron rice is the perfect side to your favorite meals. Basmati rice is cooked in olive oil, butter, onions and chicken broth. This will become one of your staple side dishes. 

This saffron rice is very commonly served at Middle Eastern restaurants. It’s served along dishes like Chicken shawarma, different types of kebabs and much more. 

I am not sure if this is close to authentic flavors, but I can say it tastes just like the rice I have had at many Middle Eastern spots. It’s my take on it and its very beginner friendly and I know you will enjoy it. 


This type of rice has very minimal ingredients, but the flavor impact is amazing. 


Basmati rice is fragrant and fluffy when cooked. I rinse and drain the rice 3-4 times until the water runs clear. This will wash out the starch and will prevent the rice from sticking or turning into mush. I used the Zebra basmati brand. 


You don’t want to skip these two ingredients. We will not brown the onions, that will give you a strong onion flavor. Cook the onions just until translucent. The chicken broth will also give you a delicious subtle flavor. I have not made it with vegetable broth, you can certainly try it. 


Butter is another key ingredient you need for this flavor of rice. It is amazing!


The star of this rice is the deep aromatic flavor and color of Saffron. I would highly recommend you get your hands on Saffron. 



Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 8
Fluffy and fragrant, this easy saffron rice is the prefect side to your favorite dishes. Basmati rice is cooked in olive oil, butter, onions and chicken broth.


  • 2 cups Basmati rice (rinsed and soaked for about 20 minutes)
  • 3 cups Chicken broth
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon Saffron
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust depending on how much salt is in broth)
  • Extra butter for garnish


  • In a medium size bowl, rinse and drain the rice, until water runs clear. Add clean room temperature water and soak the rice for about 20 minutes. Set aside.
  • Add the saffron to mortar pestle, grind into fine powder. Add 3-4 tablespoons of hot water, mix and set it aside.
  • In a medium size nonstick pan. Heat up oil and butter. Add the diced onions and sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Drain the water from the rice and add rice to pot. Add the chicken broth. Mix and give it a taste to see if you need to add salt. Depending on how salty the broth is. I added 1/2 teaspoon of salt here.
  • Keep flame on medium. Cook uncovered until most of the water has evaporated, surface will be bubbly this will take 5-8 minutes. Add the saffron and gently stir to coat all the rice. Turn heat to the lowest setting and cover with a lid that is wrapped in foil or a clean kitchen towel. This will help keep all the steam in. Let the rice steam for about 15 minutes. Turn heat off and gently fluff rice with a fork.
  • When serving garnish hot rice with 3 tablespoons of butter. This will just melt into the rice and adds delicious layer to the flavor.



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