This Saffron Rice Shrimp Pilaf is an easy, yet fancy, delicious, and super flavorful, one-pot meal you can whip up in about 30 minutes. Only one pot to wash and a real crowd pleaser!
Watching the snow falling outside while staying inside the house with a cup of hot chocolate would be my ideal situation every day right now. But a few days ago, we had to be out there when the wind chill was way below zero, probably -15ºF or so, shoveling more than 10 inches of snow off our long driveway because the snow blower decided to quit on us for the moment. Shoveling snow is a lot of work for a non-athletic person like me. As I was shoveling, I couldn’t stop thinking about hot chocolate and what I wanted to eat for dinner. I wanted something cozy, but an easy one-pot recipe to warm this body and soul (seriously!). This was when the idea for this Saffron Rice Shrimp Pilaf came into the picture.
Saffron Rice Shrimp Pilaf Recipe
Saffron is one of my most favorite ingredients to use in cooking. Yes, they cost a lot for just a small pinch of threads, but a little sure goes a long way. Just a few can really flavor up the whole dish and give it that nice, rich yellow color.
Shrimp is also a favorite in our house. It cooks quickly, which is great. This Saffron Rice Shrimp Pilaf took less than 30 minutes to cook and I only spend probably 10 to 15 minutes on prep.
- About 2 tsp of high-quality saffron threads
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil
- 1 lb large shrimp (peeled, deveined, and patted dry)
- 1 small onion (peeled and finely chopped)
- 2 cups Basmati rice
- 2 1/2 cup chicken stock
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup green peas (thawed if frozen)
- Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish, optional
- Rinse the rice with clean water until the water is clear. Drain and set aside.
- Place 1 tsp of saffron thread in a mortar and grind until it turns into powder. Add remaining saffron threads, but leave them whole. Add hot water and rinse the the pestle with the hot water as you are pouring it into the mortar (to get all the powder). If you don't have mortar and pestle, try a spice grinder. Let this sit for 5 minutes and the water will turn orange.
- Preheat a large pot/skillet with some cooking oil. Add in the shrimp (try not to overcrowd the pot/skillet, cook them in batches if necessary). Let them cook until they turn pink and slightly brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In the same pot/skillet, add in chopped onion and cook until they are soft and fragrant.
- Add in Basmati rice and sauté for another minute.
- Add in the saffron along with its soaking water, chicken stock, and a good pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Close with a lid and lower the heat to let it gently simmer. If your skillet doesn't have a lid, you can use aluminum foil to wrap around the skillet (be careful it's hot!). Let it cook for the next 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, uncover and fluff the rice. It should be soft and fluffy at this point. Add in the green peas and cover with lid again and let it cook for another 5 minutes.
- Uncover, add in the shrimp, and stir to mix everything.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves for the final touch.
- Serve immediately.
Home Chef Tips:
This can be made without any shrimp or substituted with other meat of your choice.
If you like the pilaf with some "heat", add some crushed red pepper flakes.
You can also use other herbs like fresh parsley leaves instead of cilantro for garnish.
I completely forgot about the snow shoveling as I was enjoying the Saffron Rice Shrimp Pilaf. They say there is nothing a good food can’t cure, and this dish is proof of that saying!
Definitely keep this recipe in your one-pot/one-skillet recipe arsenal because it’s sure to be a hit!
We hope you love this simple and delicious Saffron Rice Shrimp Pilaf recipe from SoFabFood Contributor, Marvellina from What to Cook Today, as much as we do. If you enjoyed this simple dish, be sure to visit our 30 Minute Meals section for more like it. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter so that you never miss a single recipe. For daily recipe inspiration, like us on Facebook and follow us on Pinterest. Enjoy!