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Saffron Chicken with Rice (or Quinoa or Amaranth)

By January 1, 2018Recipes
Reading Time: 2 minutes
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Sometimes a single flavoring can transform a simple dish into something really special. That’s how I feel about saffron. Yes, it’s expensive, but you only use a little bit so it goes a long way. And that little bit feels so indulgent — eating saffron-flavored rice makes me feel just like I’m back in Seville.

This saffron chicken dish is great when made with brown or white rice, but you can also get experimental and try making it with quinoa or amaranth. Just remember if your goal is a change in your body composition, you should only consume these starchy carbohydrates in moderation. (Click here for more on what we mean by “moderation.”)

Saffron Chicken with Rice

If you want to make this dish go further or add more texture, you can also experiment with adding your favorite vegetables. Regardless of which version you make, I promise you will enjoy the “luxury” of that pinch of saffron.

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Saffron Chicken with Rice

This saffron chicken dish is great when made with brown or white rice, but you can also get experimental and try making it with quinoa or amaranth.

Category Chicken, Dinner
Compliance Level Kickstart, Lifestyle
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Author Alma Schneider


  • 1/4 cup olive oil divided into 2 Tbsp and the remaining oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads dissolved for 15 minutes in 1 Tbsp water
  • 6 cups cooked white or brown rice
  • 2 large chicken breasts chopped


  1. In a large non-stick skillet over low flame, heat 2 tablespoons of oil.
  2. Add in garlic and chopped onion. Saute until softened, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add in remaining oil and chopped chicken. Saute until cooked, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add in rice, salt, pepper, prepared saffron and liquid. Stir until the whole dish is colored and heated through.
  5. Serve hot with a salad or vegetable dish of your choice on the side.

Alma Schneider
Alma is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, cooking coach, and food blogger. She is the founder of Take Back the Kitchen, a lifestyle program created to help people recognize and overcome common and unique obstacles to planning and preparing healthy meals. Alma provides demonstrations, workshops, and speaking engagements for individuals and non-profits, as well as for corporate wellness workshops, lunch and learns, and company retreats.

Alma has presented at TEDx and is the recipient of The American Red Cross award for Community Service. She has been featured on the Today Show, TV Land, CBS News and is a frequent contributor for CBS, Diabetic Lifestyle, and She has been featured in Family Circle Magazine, Family Fun Magazine, and numerous other websites and publications. Her syndicated recipe column appears in more than twenty print and online newspapers. Alma has been on the Whole Life Challenge for a year and a half and has never felt better.