Risotto alla Milanese

risotto milanese

Risotto alla Milanese is one of those all-time Northern Italian classics! Personally, I think that rice is just one of those blessings from God in that you can prepare so many, many recipes with rice . . . from salads, to side dishes, to main entree’s and even desserts (think rich rice pudding)!

This month, I was able to decide the theme for the Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club. With many of us trying to reduce the amount of meat in our nutrition (I know that I’m on that journey), I selected “Rice and Beans” as the focus for May. Instantly Risotto Milanese came to my mind to find a ‘lighter’ version. It really wasn’t difficult at all; there are numerous recipes for Risotto with less calories.

I hope you enjoy this golden-colored rice ‘i primi’ (first course/entree in Italy) that gets its color from the addition of precious and rare saffron. The recipe is from Cooking Light and I added the traditional saffron for greater authenticity and of course the beautiful yellow color!

Risotto alla Milanese
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped prosciutto (about 1 ounce)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice or other short-grain rice
  • ⅓ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • a dash of saffron
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Combine saffron and broth in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer (do not boil).
  2. Keep warm over low heat.
  3. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  4. Add shallots, prosciutto, and garlic to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until shallots are tender.
  5. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  6. Stir in wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.
  7. Add broth mixture, ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total).
  8. Remove from heat; stir in cheese, saffron and pepper.
  9. Serve immediately.

Here are the wonderful recipes that the rest of the group prepared for the “Rice and Beans” theme for May:

Val of More Than Burnt Toast prepared Turkey Jasmine Rice Meatballs with Baby Bok Choy.
Jerry of Jerrys Thoughts, Musings and Rants made a Farro Salad with White Beans and Artichokes.
Sandi of The Whistlestop Cafe Cooking brought along a tasty Smoked Gouda Risotto with Spinach and Mushrooms.
Susan of The Spice Garden prepared Barley Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Pine Nuts and Raisins.
Sarah of All Our Fingers in the Pie added a Hearty Sour Rye Bread.

If you love risotto, I know that you’ll really enjoy the other risotto recipes that I’ve shared previously:

Risotto Quatro Formaggi (Risotto with Four Cheeses)

Risotto with Four Cheeses

Authentic Risotto Milanese (non-lightened up)


Risotto with Tomatoes and Basil

risotto with tomatoes and basil

Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms

Harry's Bar Venice Italy Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms
Creamy Risotto with Lemon, Asiago Cheese, and Rosemary


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  1. says

    Rice is indeed a blessing of the gods, Roz. And your risotto alla milanese accented with bright saffron is a divine example =) Thank you for the keeper recipe!

  2. says

    Delicious looking shot Roz. Risotto always looks and sounds so good and I often wish I were a bigger fan of rice so I’d be willing to invest the time to make it. I grew up on potatoes and pasta and we very rarely had rice unless it was in someting liked cabbage rolls.

    Larry recently posted..Seafood Platter in Palm CoastMy Profile

  3. says

    Roz – I will never forget the first time I had this dish, prepared by an aunt in Milan. It is an all-time favorite and whenever I go to Abruzzo, I get my supply of saffron right from the source.
    Ciao Chow Linda recently posted..CalamarataMy Profile

  4. says

    I’m pretty sure I have had the pleasure of enjoying this dish at sometime in the past and just didn’t realize what I was eating. The bright yellow coloring of the rice is a wonderful way to add an element of appeal to the eye and rice is definitely one of those dishes that offers a wide variety of ways to prepare. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe with us.
    Mitzi recently posted..There’s a Whole Lot of Squawking Going OnMy Profile

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