Saffron Rice with Crab & Asparagus

saffron rice with crab & asparagus featured
saffron rice with crab and asparagus

Saffron Rice with Crab & Asparagus

This flavorful recipe combines saffron and basmati rice with fresh crab and garlic-sautéed asparagus for a savory, Middle Eastern dish. I've loved "yellow rice" since I was a kid, but this is leveled up. It's elegant, extremely easy to make, and on the table in less than 30 minutes.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Servings 4


  • 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 pinches saffron threads
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1/2 lb ready to eat crab meat (see recipe notes)


  • In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine vegetable stock, rice, onion, saffron threads, turmeric, coriander, sea salt, and paprika. Mix everything together and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove from heat, leaving lid on, and set aside to steam.
  • In a separate skillet over medium, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook for a minute until fragrant, then add the asparagus and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Check for crispness, season with salt & pepper, and remove from heat.
  • Add asparagus, vegan butter, and crab to the rice and stir to combine, over a medium-low flame, allowing to heat through for a couple of minutes.
  • Finish with squeeze of lemon juice and give it a final mix before serving.
  • Top with a bit of fresh crack black pepper.


I have only made this with fresh crab meat, hand-picked and packaged. This stuff is pre-cooked or steamed and found in the refrigerated bins in front of the fish section at your supermarket. You can eat it right out of the tub, just needs some heating through. “Jumbo lump” is my favorite, but at 1/3 of the price, the claw meat variety is also delicious. *I have not tried this with tinned/canned crab meat.*
Keyword crab, saffron rice, seagan
Tried this recipe?Mention @thesimpleseagan or tag #thesimpleseagan!

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