Celebrate Thanksgiving with Saffron Turkey Stuffing

Thanksgiving is our favorite traditional family holiday. It’s the day that brings family members together, and cooking and spending time with loved ones is at the center of it all. True happiness to put it into a few words. Inviting people to cook and spend time together is at the heart of Zaffrus. It’s the time when we take pride in being apart of your celebration. For that reason, we have developed a delicious turkey dressing recipe with the help of our talented local chef Nadia Hassani, for this thanksgiving.


This dish was inspired by pilaf, the Middle Eastern and Iranian rice dish, which is often prepared with saffron. You can either use it as a stuffing for your Thanksgiving turkey or bake it separately, either way, it will taste great! It can be made one day ahead of time before step 8 and refrigerated.


  • 2 cups Basmati rice 
  • 2½ + ¾ to 1 cup low-sodium chicken or turkey stock, divided 
  • 2/3 teaspoons Zaffrus saffron threads 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 large or 2 medium red onions, thinly sliced 
  • 1 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1 cup unsalted and toasted pistachios, chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary 
  • 1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes (to make about 2 cups diced) 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • low-sodium chicken or turkey stock
Zaffrus Turkey Stuffing Spoon


  1. Soak rice in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain, rinse, and drain again. 
  2. In a large saucepan, heat 2½ cups chicken stock with the saffron. 
  3. Add rice and bring to a boil over medium heat, uncovered. Reduce the heat to very low and cover the pan. Simmer for 15 minutes without opening the pan. 
  4. Turn off the heat and let rest for 10 minutes. Fluff up the rice with a fork. 
  5. While the rice is cooking, heat oil in a frying pan and fry onions until soft and starting to brown, stirring often. Remove from the heat and let cool. 
  6. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into ½-inch dice (do this at the very last minute, as they will brown quickly once peeled). Place in a steamer insert and steam until they can be easily pierced with a knife but not mushy and falling apart. Alternatively, you can also cook the sweet potatoes in a saucepan. Add enough water to just cover them and cook over low to medium heat. Once they are soft, drain them well.  
  7. Place cranberries in a heatproof bowl and cover with hot water. Let soak for a couple of minutes, then drain. 
  8. In a large bowl combine rice, onions, cranberries, pistachios, sweet potatoes, and rosemary. Toss well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  9. Loosely stuff turkey with the mixture, or place all of it in a large greased baking or casserole dish, level the top with a spatula, and drizzle with chicken stock to moisten. 
  10. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cover with a lid or butter a sheet of parchment paper, place it greased side down on the dish, and secure it with a long piece of kitchen twine like a parcel.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes.
Zaffrus Saffron Turkey Stuffing


Makes 8 servings

Tip: If using it to stuff a turkey, you will have leftovers. Bake them as described in the recipe.

You can purchase Zaffrus products on our website or Amazon.

Photo Credit: Ted Rosen