This One’s for you, Bethany.

So I have something else to say about my inspirational friend Bethany- as I have mentioned before, I have ventured into a more thrifty lifestyle because of her (among so many other things she’s inspired me to do), resulting in me desperately wanting to try spicing up my life with some saffron but not being able to bring myself to spend the $14 + on a bottle that would only last me a few creations.

One day she came over to work at home with me and brought me these.

She knew how much I talked about freaking saffron and thought of me when she bought it and graciously donated some to my spice arsenal. Then the other day, my husband, with the most genuinely fearful eyes, approached me and said..

“Baby, be honest with me, are you trying to poison me? I found these while making eggs this morning”

He saw the saffron in the cabinet and had no earthly clue what it could have been and immediately resorted to the worst thing he could come up with. Thanks for thinking I am capable of such a thing, oh husband of mine.

I then had to prove to him I’m not trying to murder him by cooking a dish he and I would both eat.  I am SO GLAD I tried this autumnal recipe and stopped being scared of savory pumpkin dishes. This is everything you want this fall – mellow, comforting, and smooth as anything. If you have never made a savory pumpkin dish, THIS IS THE ONE.  This is one of the first times I didn’t modify a recipe AT ALL, but how I wish I could take credit for such a thing.  I got it from this website- the one recipe with pumpkin and risotto that didn’t require wine because I didn’t have any in the house.  You could totally use wine in place of water, though the saffron is so subtle, it may be overpowered.  Another point is that it is glaringly obvious this isn’t the most nutrient dense of dishes, so I will be eating it as a side with grilled chicken breast this week.  The nutrition facts below, however, are for about 1.5 cups of the risotto which would be considered a serving size as a main dish.

Here are all of the essential ingredients you’ll need, see?  Easy.

Pumpkin Saffron Risotto

Serves about 6 as a main dish


  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red onion red onion, diced
  • 1/2 of a 15 oz  can of pumpkin purée
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary (I used a teaspoon of dried rosemary)
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (have extra handy)
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (I completely forgot this and it was still perfect)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick dutch oven or sauce pan (non-stick will save you lots of cleaning time, especially with a sticky dish like risotto) over medium heat.  When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is wilted and transparent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the pumpkin and season with salt and pepper.  Stir until just warmed.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of the water with the vegetable broth and saffron in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan;  cook over medium heat about 10 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
  4. Add the rice to the pumpkin mixture and sauté for 2 or 3 minutes.  Add one-third of the vegetable broth mixture, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring, until rice absorbs the broth.
  5. Now add 1/2  cup of water, and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed.
  6. Continue to add broth and water alternatively, cooking and stirring, allowing the rice to absorb the liquid between each addition.
  7. When the rice becomes creamy, add the broth and water more sparingly, or the rice will become mushy.
  8. Cook until rice is creamy but still al dente, (about 25 to 30 minutes total).  Stir in the butter and about 1/2-1 cup of Parmesan cheese

Damage: 322 calories/52g carbs/9g fat/8g protein/3g fiber/3g sugar


4 thoughts on “This One’s for you, Bethany.

  1. This looks amazing! How nice of your friend to donate and I think it’s hilarious that your husband thought you were trying to poison him. I’m pretty sure John would assume the same thing if he saw that in our pantry 🙂 I love everything pumpkin flavored so I definitely want to try this.


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