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    Cranberry and saffron rice pilaf

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    Cranberry and saffron rice pilaf

    • Preparation time: 10 minutes
    • Cooking time: 35 minutes
    • Total time: 45 minutes

    Serves: 4 as a side


    250g basmati rice
    30g unsalted butter
    1 onion, finely chopped
    120g fresh cranberries
    1 tbsp light brown soft sugar
    2 fresh bay leaves
    1 small cinnamon stick
    3 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
    1 sprig thyme
    1 pinch saffron strands
    500ml fresh vegetable stock, heated
    ¾ tsp sea salt flakes
    handful coriander, chopped
    3 tbsp toasted flaked almonds


    1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Put the rice in a sieve and rinse under the cold tap until the water runs clear; drain well. Melt 15g butter in a small casserole dish or medium ovenproof saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion with a pinch of salt. Sauté gently for 8 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the cranberries, sugar, bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, thyme and saffron. Continue to cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Add the rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring to coat in the buttery spices.

    2. Add the stock and salt, cover with a tight-fitting lid and bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and stand for 5 minutes. Remove the whole spices (or warn guests to watch out for them). Season and add the coriander, almonds and remaining 15g butter, fluffing the rice up with a fork to mix.

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose & Partners Food, December 2018 issue. Download the Waitrose & Partners Food app for the full issue


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