Roasted Corn and Saffron Risotto

Roasted Corn and Saffron Risotto ~ if you love fabulous fresh corn you’re going to love this easy vegetarian meal ~ roasting the corn brings out a depth of flavor that makes this easy gluten free risotto irresistible!

Roasted Corn and Saffron Risotto ~ you're going to love this easy vegetarian meal ~ roasted corn makes this gluten free risotto irresistible! #risotto #rice #glutenfree #dinner #recipe #Italian #healthy #vegetable

This has been a good year for corn around here. I can’t remember a year when it’s been this consistently good, so I’m looking for creative ways to showcase it in our meals. This corn risotto is a simple but unexpected way to use some of that golden harvest.

Lightly charring the corn gives the dish a little edge. The saffron gives it a bright yellow color upfront, and an exotic perfume that lingers in the background. Marscapone cheese makes it luscious, and fresh thyme, added at the very last minute, reminds us that it’s mid summer, and to luxuriate a little bit in that moment.

A steaming bowl of roasted corn risotto

This risotto can be vegetarian or not, but I think the chicken stock gives it good flavor. You could add grilled shrimp to round it out as a full meal.

A bowl of roasted corn risotto with spoon

Also try ~

4 from 9 votes

Roasted Corn and Saffron Risotto

Roasted Corn and Saffron Risotto ~ you're going to love this easy vegetarian meal ~ roasted corn makes this gluten free risotto irresistible!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian American
Total Time 40 minutes
Yield 6 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 3 ears of corn kernels removed (reserve one cob)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil divided
  • 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 large shallot minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Regiano cheese
  • 3-4 oz marscapone cheese
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper


  • Set the oven to 450F
  • Put the corn kernels on a baking sheet and toss with 2 Tbsp of olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Roast for 5 to 7 minutes, and then put the pan under the broiler for about 2 minutes, watching carefully, until they get just slightly charred. Set the corn aside. You want about a heaping cup of roasted kernels for the risotto.
  • Heat the stock and 2 cups of water to just under a simmer in a small saucepan. Break the reserved corn cob in two, and add it as well. Add the saffron threads, crushing them between your fingers as you add them to the stock. Season the stock with 1/2 tsp of salt.
  • Heat the final Tbsp of olive oil and the butter in a heavy bottomed stock pot. Add the onion and the shallot and saute until they are softened and translucent.
  • Add the rice and stir to coat, for another minute.
  • Add the wine to the pot and stir while it is absorbed, another minute and a half or so.
  • Start adding the stock to the rice, a ladle at a time, stirring almost constantly, and letting each addition of stock get fully absorbed before the next addition. The pot should be kept at a gentle simmer at all times.
  • After 2 or 3 ladles of stock have been absorbed, add in 1/2 cup of the corn. Keep stirring and adding stock, making sure your pot is simmering and the rice isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan, especially toward the end of the cooking. The whole process is going to take about 30 minutes.
  • After about 25 minutes, taste the rice to see if it is tender. You may not use the whole amount of stock. When the rice is tender, add in the rest of the corn, the cheeses, and the fresh thyme. Season with lots of fresh cracked black pepper. Mix everything in well, and then taste again to check the seasonings. Add a little more stock if the risotto seems dry.
  • Serve immediately with more Parmesan cheese on the side.

Cook's notes

  • I think some chopped asparagus would be wonderful in this risotto.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Lindsay Geller
    May 26, 2020 at 8:25 pm

    5 stars
    This is the BEST thing I have ever cooked. This recipe has inspired me to cook more often 🙂

    • Reply
      May 26, 2020 at 8:29 pm

      LOVE that Lindsay 🙂

  • Reply
    August 22, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    5 stars
    This was a wonderful late summer dinner. I was worried that the corn would make it too sweet for my taste, but I think the onion and shallot and cheese offset that. I would make this again in an instant. Thanks for a great recipe!

  • Reply
    August 21, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    Corn in risotto has never occurred to me before, but I am sitting here now thinking it is the most brilliant thing ever! Pinning!

  • Reply
    August 11, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    5 stars
    Just made this for the second time this summer- great recipe! I made it vegan by substituting olive oil for butter, and vegetable broth instead of the chicken. I let the non-vegans sprinkle their own parmesan on top. So creamy and full of flavor- thanks!

    • Reply
      June 13, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      So glad this worked so well for you Cathy ~ love the vegan version!

  • Reply
    July 31, 2013 at 4:28 am

    mmmm, summer corn! there are so many reasons to NOT like this part of the summer, but the produce really saves the day on July and August, in my opinion. What a lovely way to use it!

    • Reply
      June 13, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      I totally agree ~ let’s hear it for amazing corn!

  • Reply
    July 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    i don’t think i know what saffron tastes like, but i know everything about corn and i love it. this is an elegant dish, sue!

    • Reply
      June 13, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      The saffron flavor really comes out in this dish, I think you’ll love it. The flavor is so unique there’s no way to really describe it…you’ll just have to experience it for yourself 🙂

  • Reply
    July 29, 2013 at 10:07 am

    A definite yes to corn! I have five ears in my fridge right now, just waiting for me to eat them. This risotto sounds great–so full of summer flavor.

  • Reply
    July 29, 2013 at 1:42 am

    That looks delicious! A mouthwatering combination.



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