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Saffron Substitute in Paella

Saffron is a fragrant and delicate spice. It has a flavor that is creamy and slightly sweet. Each year, the flower blooms for only one week and must be gathered by hand in the morning.

Moreover, for most of us, cooking with Saffron is practically a luxury. This spice is delicate, fragrant, and costly. In that case, knowing what spices to substitute can be quite useful.

Spices have a distinct flavor that is difficult to replicate. Saffron is no different. Nonetheless, if you need a saffron substitute in paella, there are other choices.

Read on as you learn more about Saffron in paella, recipes you can enjoy, and excellent alternatives you can consider in a pinch.

Saffron Substitute in Paella

Saffron Nutrition Facts

Saffron Substitute in Paella

What Is Saffron

Saffron is a brilliant crimson spice thought to be one of the world’s most delicate. Notably, it is known that Saffron is derived from the saffron crocus flower.

Saffron is a delicate and aromatic spice with a rich and slightly sweet flavor. The flower only blooms for one week each year, and it must be harvested by hand in the morning. Saffron is difficult and pricey because it takes 1,000 blooms to make one ounce.

In paella, Saffron is one of the key ingredients. Saffron, crumbled into a pot of hot stock, gives your paella an earthy, flowery, and enigmatic flavor. It also gives the rice a beautiful golden hue. Saffron is a pricey spice, but luckily, you only need a few threads to season a whole paella dish.

Saffron Uses in Paella Recipes

Saffron is a subtle and aromatic spice used in paella; see some delectable recipes you can try.

Saffron Substitutes in Paella

Saffron is frequently recognized as a crucial element in paella but can be quite costly and difficult to come by in some areas.

Saffron has a long and illustrious history and knowing how to utilize it is crucial when making paella without it. Moreover, considering Saffron is costly and difficult to come by, these saffron substitutes can be used in various foods and recipes. Check them out:



Tumeric is often regarded as a superfood, and for a good reason: it’s a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. This herb has a vivid yellow-orange hue and is quite delicious. To save money, some shops will sell Turmeric blended with Saffron.

Turmeric can be used in a variety of dishes, including paella. Add the same amount as the recipe calls for, but remember that Turmeric has a more earthy flavor. Other spices may be added to make the meal sweeter and more subtle.

Turmeric gives the rice its trademark golden color without the cost of Saffron. Instead of Saffron, Turmeric can be used in paella and is also less expensive to use in paella than Saffron.

If you are looking for Turmeric, you should know that it comes in two forms: the root form is one, and the powdered form is another.



Annatto is a great saffron substitute that requires more effort to utilize.

It is simple to use the paste; take a small amount and mix it with water. As with any other dry ground spice or herb, the powder can be sprinkled directly onto whatever you’re cooking.

You should use one teaspoon of annatto seeds to steep in a quarter cup of water – or vegetable oil – for 30 minutes. Strain the liquid and use it in recipes like risotto or paella; to account for the annatto liquid, reduce the liquid in the recipe by 14 cups.

With many Latin American cuisines, annatto is a significant taste component, and it will work nicely in paella.



Safflower has a slightly distinct flavor than Saffron, but it will work well in most recipes. It has a blander flavor, which is helpful if you don’t want to change the flavor of your dish too much.

Safflower can be substituted for Saffron in a wide range of meals, from cold salads and sauces to soups and complex stews.

Safflower is more difficult to come by than other saffron substitutes, but if you do, you will be pleased with the results. You can use 5 to 8 parts of the saffron quantity you normally use to get a similar color from your safflower.

The color of safflower in paella is almost identical to that of Saffron, making it an excellent replacement. The flavor is very sweet and reminiscent of the more expensive spice. The flavor of safflower is described as being light but pleasant.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it possible to omit Saffron from a recipe?

Saffron is the greatest alternative if you need Saffron’s color, aromatics, and flavor. The delicate threads may appear pricey, but you may get a lot of usage out of them if you follow this suggestion. The flavor of Saffron takes a long time to develop.

What does Saffron taste like?

Notably, Saffron has a sweet floral taste that is earthy and has a complex, nuanced flavor.

Is there a difference between Turmeric and Saffron?

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a ginger family member, commonly called Indian Saffron. It imparts a golden yellow color to meals but does not have the same flavor as Saffron. Unscrupulous sellers use Turmeric to stretch powdered Saffron.


If you enjoy Moroccan, Mediterranean, or Spanish cuisine, you are well aware of the importance of Saffron.

However, at times, it may appear tough to locate this spice, but should you give up on your favorite paella because of that? Finding an alternative might save you both time and money.

In this article, I’ve provided some valuable alternatives to saffron threads. Remember that the offered options won’t pre