There are different kinds of risotto recipes out there.
However, saffron risotto is hands-down one of the most popular versions.
Thanks to its warm and comforting flavor, it has a special place in many households.
So, are you making some scrumptious saffron risotto for you and your loved ones too? If that’s the case, you may want to know what to serve with saffron risotto.
Below, we’ve mentioned some of the best side dishes that you can serve with this staple Italian dish.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Saffron Risotto?
In Italy, risotto was mostly served as a side dish before the main course.
However, today, it is served worldwide as an entrée in itself.
And why not? It is extremely delectable, creamy, and filling.
Though it is delicious on its own, many people serve risotto alongside some complimentary side dishes.
Serving the right-side dishes with saffron risotto can help enhance its flavor.
Besides, sides can also add a nice crunchy texture to your meal, which is otherwise missing in a creamy risotto.
Depending on what you serve with saffron risotto, you can also add a nice spicy kick or tangy zest to help round out your meal.
What to Serve with Saffron Risotto? 7 BEST Side Dishes
Below, we have mentioned the 7 best side dishes to serve alongside saffron risotto:
1. Arugula Salad
Since your star dish is already bursting with flavors and cheese, a light and fresh salad is all you need sometimes.
Honestly, any kind of salad works with saffron risotto.
One of our favorites is this delicious and quick arugula salad.
You don’t even need a dressing for this recipe.
Chop some fresh arugula and season with salt, olive oil, and a dash of fresh lemon juice.
It’s that easy. If you want to jazz up things, you can add nuts, shallots, and grated Parmesan cheese to your salad.
2. Roasted Shrimps
Shrimp is hands-down one of the best sides to pair with saffron risotto.
You can either roast them in the oven or air fry them.
Since risotto is mainly rice, it begs for some protein, and shrimp fits perfectly in this regard.
Besides, serving roasted shrimp as a side will also make your whole meal look fancy.
Spice up your roasted shrimp by adding tons of seasonings, spices, and herbs if you want to.
This will add a nice kick to your otherwise cheesy and creamy risotto.
3. Roasted Carrots
Roasted carrots are another easy-to-make and quick side dish for saffron risotto.
It is simple, delicious, and an absolute crowd-pleaser.
Trust us; your whole family will love this meal combo, including kids.
Coat your halved carrots with a mixture of heated honey, salt, thyme, rosemary, and pepper.
All there’s left to do is roast the carrots for about 30 minutes, and there you have it.
For added flavors, you can garnish with some chopped parsley.
The sweetness of this side dish will complement the cheesy and creamy flavors of saffron risotto.
4. Lemon Chicken
Here is another protein-rich side option – Lemon Chicken.
The tanginess of this dish will complement the rich and creamy flavor of saffron risotto.
This way, you can enjoy a well-balanced meal without any overpowering flavors.
Besides, chicken and rice are a classic combination.
So, there’s no doubt why chicken wouldn’t work with risotto too.
If you’re not a fan of zest, you can opt for crispy and juicy chicken thighs with saffron risotto.
Season a few chicken thighs with your favorite herbs and spices.
You can either oven-bake or deep-fry them.
Either way, you’ll have a flavorful meal when you pair it with your main attraction.
5. Fried or Poached Eggs
Saffron risotto is comforting. So, when you pair it with another comfort dish, magic is bound to happen.
Serving eggs with risotto is a great way of rounding out your meal without going overboard.
It’ll easily fill you up but won’t leave you overstuffed.
Besides, you don’t have to be a pro in the kitchen to whip up this dish.
You can cook your eggs based on your preferences.
For instance, if you want to make your risotto creamier, you can go for a soft poached egg.
Hard-boiled or fried eggs taste equally delicious with saffron risotto.
6. Ricotta Cheese
You can never have enough cheese.
If you agree, then you’ll love pairing your saffron risotto with some ricotta cheese.
This cheese is not only delicious about also a healthier choice – thanks to its protein content.
The main question here is, do they complement each other as much as they complement each other’s name? They sure do.
Ricotta tends to have a fine, moist, and grainy texture.
So, it’s quite interesting to have this cheese on its own.
However, take it up a notch by serving it with some risotto, and you can enjoy an even more filling and creamier meal.
7. Roasted Vegetables
Here’s another healthy and nutritious option.
Serving saffron risotto with a medley of roasted vegetables is a feast for your palate as well as your eyes.
Choose some delicious and vibrant veggies for this recipe.
We’d recommend red peppers, broccoli, zucchini, cauliflowers, red onions, and sweet potatoes.
Dice your veggies, season with salt, pepper, and chili flakes before putting them in the oven.
To finish off, you can drizzle some olive oil and garnish it with cilantro.
The roasted, crunchy veggies bring a nice texture to your saffron risotto meal.
Long gone are the days when risotto needed hectic preparations in the kitchen.
Today, you can easily whip up this dish in a few minutes.
In fact, you can even call it a hands-off dish – thanks to the invention of automated instant pots and slow cookers.
As delicious as risotto is, sometimes it gets quite confusing when it comes to picking the right accompanying side for this cheesy dish.
But, not anymore. Bookmark our list of the best side dishes for saffron risotto.
And come back here the next time you whip up this buttery rice meal.