In Italy, this is known as 'risotto alla Milanese,' 'risotto giallo,' or 'risotto allo zafferano.' Whatever you call it, it is the king of risottos, the simplest yet best known of all. The traditional preparation requires 20 minutes of stirring and cooking, but I managed to learn how to prepare it in the pressure cooker or an Instant Pot®. I swear, you won't notice the difference! I have provided further tips for all your pressure cooker risottos in the notes at the end of the recipe.


Recipe Summary

5 mins
10 mins
10 mins
25 mins
4 servings


Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Soak saffron threads in hot water in a bowl.

  • Melt 2 1/2 tablespoons butter in a pressure cooker over low heat. Cook and stir shallot until soft, about 3 minutes. Add rice; cook and stir for a few minutes until rice has absorbed butter and is toasted, about 3 minutes. Pour in wine and allow alcohol to cook off, about 1 minute. Add boiling stock all at once and stir. Close cooker securely and place pressure regulator over vent according to manufacturer's instructions. Increase heat to high. Heat until steam escapes in a steady flow and makes a whistling sound. Reduce heat to low and cook for 4 minutes.

  • Remove cooker from heat and release pressure carefully using the quick-release method according to manufacturer's instructions, about 5 minutes. Carefully open once pressure is completely released and stir well. Stir in saffron, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoon butter, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.

  • Let risotto rest for 3 minutes in order to expand, soak up the stock, and absorb flavor. Serve in warmed bowls with extra grated Parmesan cheese.

Cook's Notes:

You can cook any kind of risotto in a pressure cooker. Simply cook the other ingredients (such as mushrooms, pancetta, or seafood) separately and add to the rice at the end. If using ingredients that require a longer cooking time (like fresh artichokes) you can start by cooking them in the pressure cooker, then adding the rice and finishing all together. If you have an Instant Pot(R) you can prepare the ingredients in the Instant Pot(R) on Saute mode.

There are 3 rules when cooking risotto in pressure cooker. First, the amount of stock has to be slightly more than two times the rice, about 20% more than double. For a creamier risotto, use more stock. Second, the cooking time is 4 minutes sharp after the first whistling. Not one minute longer, not one minute less. When you open the cooker, the rice will feel still uncooked but it will get soft in the 3 minutes of resting. Third, do not skip the resting time. It is essential for the rice to relax, release starch, and get that creamy texture typical of risotto.

Nutrition Facts

523 calories; protein 11.3g 23% DV; carbohydrates 75.2g 24% DV; fat 15.3g 24% DV; cholesterol 40.8mg 14% DV; sodium 676.6mg 27% DV. Full Nutrition

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