Easy Creamy Saffron Sauce with Pasta

4 from 2 reviews

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Easy 20 minute Creamy Saffron Sauce with pasta is a perfect and quick meal for any weeknight.

The deep, unique, and sweet flavor of saffron fits well in this creamy sauce that coats pasta like a warm and cozy blanket. The natural yellow/orange color makes this dish bright and light as well as comforting and filling.

If you love saffron try these St. Lucia Sweet Saffron Rolls (almond filling).

This creamy pasta recipe meal will have you scooping spoonfuls and wondering how it can taste this good?! With only a few ingredients and 20 minutes you will have a delicious go-to meal for any lunch or dinner.

Simple Ingredients

  • Heavy cream
  • Nutmeg
  • Parmigiano cheese
  • Pasta of choice
  • Saffron
  • Salt
creamy pasta sauce in bowl
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What is SAFFRON?

Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. The vivid crimson stigma and styles, called threads, are collected and dried for use mainly as a seasoning and coloring agent in food. 

What Does Saffron Taste Like?

Saffron has a sweet, floral taste to it. It’s earthy and has a complex nuanced flavor. On the other hand, saffron that tastes bitter, metallic, or plastic like are often cheap imitators of this unique spice and should be avoided. So, make sure that the saffron you buy is REAL- there are lots of pesky imitators.

Where can I buy Saffron?

You can buy them at most grocery stores and some speciality stores. Amazon has a good price for the quality with this link:


creamy pasta sauce

Simple and Easy Saffron Pasta Sauce

This sauce is simple to make and its creamy smooth perfection is perfect for any pasta shape or variety. After a few quick stirs of a wooden spoon (or any other kitchen utensil) your pasta will absorb the sauce and drown in the yummy remains.

creamy pasta sauce in bowl

Why Using REAL Parmigiano Cheese is Better for Sauces

The only safeguard to perfectly melt parmigiano cheese is to use authentic and real or fresh parmigiano cheese. Don’t buy the bags of shredded parmesan for melting purposes. Visit the deli and get fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano, if at all possible. The other varieties typically have added stabilizers that create a gloppy mess when it get hot.

Pre-grated cheese contains preservatives like potato starch and natamycin, meant to keep the shreds from clumping together in the bag. That also means they don’t melt together as well when cooking. Freshly grated cheese lacks those additives so your recipes will turn out less clumpy and much smoother.

How can you Tell if You are Buying Real Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese?

When Parmigiano Reggiano is in its traditional whole form, or cut into slices with its crust, the original product is easily recognisable. The crust, or any part of it, must clearly show the dots that spell out Parmigiano Reggiano. This is in fact a mark of origin that is marked on the form when it is made.

Read this Why you Should Grate your Own Cheese for more details on pre grated cheeses.

I love topping the dish with thick fresh shavings of Parmigiano Cheese. This adds a hearty bite to the creamy dish.

pasta in a bowl

Pasta Shape for Cream Sauce

Wide, flat pastas like Fresh Homemade Pappardelle Pasta Recipe are ideal for sopping up creamy sauces. I also like thin short pasta, such as penne and fusilli. Generally, the wider the noodle, the heavier the sauce.

Long, round pastas like spaghetti are best with olive oil- and tomato-based sauces, which coat each strand evenly. Go thinner for delicate preparations.

Here is another creamy sauce you will love Pappardelle in Creamy Mascarpone Mushroom Sauce. If you prefer a meaty rich red sauce try Beef Short Rib Ragu with Pappardelle Pasta

For a detailed overview of what shapes pair best with different pasta sauces read this- Pasta Quality Matters: Cheap vs. Expensive Pasta

creamy pasta sauce in bowl


This saffron sauce is amazing over perfectly cooked pasta. Here are other ways you can use and serve this tasty sauce:

  • Serve it as a sauce over grilled meats or fish
  • Pour it over steamed vegetables

If you want more of a meal try adding:

  • Grilled shrimp
  • Steamed baby peas
  • Oven baked Salmon

However you choose to enjoy this delicious and flavorful sauce is up to you!

From my Cucina to Your Table. Mangia! Mangia! (Eat!)

Made with Amore, Elena

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Serve this creamy saffron pasta dish as a side, or it is a decadent meal!

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creamy pasta sauce in bowl

Creamy Saffron Sauce with Pasta

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4 from 2 reviews

The deep, unique, and sweet flavor of saffron fits well in this creamy sauce that coats pasta like a warm and cozy blanket. The natural yellow/orange color makes this dish bright and light as well as comforting and filling. 

  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x


Units Scale
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
  • dash of nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Saffron
  • 3/4 lbs of your favorite pasta variety
  • Salt to taste
  • Extra thick shavings of fresh parmigiano for serving


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add plenty of salt to season and start to cook your favorite pasta variety
  2. In a medium sauce pan over low heat pour in: cream, cheese, saffron, and nutmeg (if using). Add salt to taste. Stir constantly and simmer about 5-6 minutes until a creamy slightly bubbly mixture forms. Drain pasta and place in a large serving bowl. Pour cream sauce on top and mix until combined. Enjoy and serve HOT!!
  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 10-15 min
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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    1. Did you use fresh;y grated cheese? I find that makes a big difference. Maybe the cream boiled too long or too hard? I’m so sorry it didn’t turn out for you. I’m happy to help troubleshoot. It is a wonderful recipe.