Healthy Saffron Recipes

Find healthy, delicious saffron recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Persian-Style Butternut Squash Soup

Rating: 5 stars 2
Swap out your basic butternut squash soup for this fragrant version that includes sweet potato and a medley of spices like cinnamon, cumin, coriander and saffron. A drizzle of maple syrup and a few drops of orange water brighten the flavors, while a sprinkle of sumac adds a pop of color and a tangy edge. This healthy butternut squash soup would be a wonderful starter for your Thanksgiving meal.

Saffron Chicken Korma

Rating: 4 stars 1
Layers of spices including cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, saffron and more flavor this yogurt- braised chicken, a spin on the Mughlai Indian dish. Serve with basmati rice or naan.
By Bill Millholland

Red Lentil Soup with Saffron

Rating: 4.5 stars 3
This hearty red lentil soup uses spices common in Persian cuisine: turmeric, cumin and saffron. Enjoy it with a warm baguette or steamed rice.
By Bill Millholland

Basmati Rice & Curry Casserole (Chana aur Sarson ka Saag Biryani)

Rating: 4.67 stars 3
Biryanis are rice-based casseroles that combine a saucy meat, vegetable or legume curry with basmati rice, whole spices, nuts and raisins. This particular dish is a nutritional powerhouse, thanks to the mustard greens and chickpeas. Look for the specialty spices--cardamom pods, saffron and garam masala--in the spice section of well-stocked supermarkets or online at penzeys.com.

Slow-Cooker Spanish Chickpea Soup

Rating: 4.5 stars 2
This easy soup recipe is inspired by cocido, the hearty stew of assorted meats, chickpeas and vegetables considered a national dish of Spain. Each region, family and restaurant has its own variation, but this slow-cooker soup has enough meat to satisfy the carnivores and enough vegetables to make it healthy. Ask for a 4-ounce slab of Serrano ham or prosciutto at your deli counter instead of buying slices. If you don't have a 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker, opt for the stovetop variation instead.

Lemon Chicken & Rice

Rating: 3 stars 2
This easy Persian-inspired chicken and rice dish has a beautiful golden color and a wonderful fragrance. If you have saffron in the cupboard, do add that optional pinch; just a little will enhance the flavor and aroma of the dish.

Saffranskaka (Saffron Cake)

Saffranskaka, or saffron cake, is often served for a morning or afternoon break in Sweden.
By Bill Millholland

Seafood Couscous Paella

Rating: 4.83 stars 11
Whole-wheat couscous soaks up this savory saffron-infused broth.

Quick Paella with Shrimp & Mussels

Rating: 4.17 stars 4
Our quick take on paella is studded with mussels and shrimp. Traditional paella made with short-grain rice takes a while to cook and can be a bit tricky. Instant brown rice is a great shortcut--what it lacks in authenticity it more than makes up for in convenience. Make sure you seek out saffron, which gives the dish its distinctive yellow color and signature flavor. Serve with: Spinach salad.

Iberian-Style Sausage & Chicken Ragu

Rating: 4.31 stars 15
This hearty sausage and chicken ragù was inspired by a fabulous stew Bruce Aidells enjoyed when he was traveling in Spain. Serve it over a heartier pasta, such as whole-wheat penne, or gnocchi. Garnish with grated sheep's-milk cheese, such as Manchego.

Carrot Cake with Orange-Saffron Cream

Homemade carrot cake is always a treat. In this recipe, a topping made of whipped mascarpone cream flavored with orange, saffron and white chocolate elevates the super-moist carrot cake. To make the cake healthier, we've used half whole-wheat flour instead of all white flour--you won't notice the difference in this delicious cake.

Afghan Spiced Tea (Kahwah)

Afghans sip this spiced tea throughout the day.
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Inspiration and Ideas

Apple Custard Pie with Saffron & Cardamom
This apple custard pie is flavored with cardamom and saffron, a classic combination in many Indian sweets.
Saffron-Raisin Cheese Ball
Saffron gives this cheese ball a bright yellow hue. Serve with a drizzle of honey and lots of crisp crudités.
Rhubarb, Ginger & Saffron Baked Chicken
Rating: 5 stars
2

This easy baked chicken recipe is perfect for entertaining because you can mix most of the ingredients together ahead of time. While the chicken is baking, you can throw together a salad and make couscous or rice to sop up the delicious sauce from the chicken. Red onion is key here, as it helps the rhubarb retain its pink color even when baked.