Instructions for cooking up a creamy risotto in a slow-cooker.

slow cooker asparagus risotto

Who knew you could cook up a fabulous risotto in a slow cooker with almost no stirring? Not me, that’s for sure.

Because of the kitchen remodel, one of my favorite kitchen tools right now is my slow cooker. So when I ran across this recipe in Easy Vegetarian Slow Cooker, a little cookbook Calisto Media sent me, I had to try it. This is a very unassuming paperback cookbook designed for people on the go, meaning the recipes are very straightforward and don’t require a lot of prepping. It provides 77 easy slow-cooker recipes for soups and stews of course like Minestrone Soup, but also for dishes like Vegetable-Stuffed Tomatoes and Swiss Chard Lasagna. Even desserts get equal time with Chocolate-Coconut Bread Pudding, Poached Pears with Caramel, and Chocolate – Strawberry Pudding Cake (I’m trying this one next!)

As a heads up, because it’s ostensibly geared to a busy family, this cookbook calls for canned beans, canned corn and frozen asparagus to minimize prepping. I’m a strong proponent of cooking up beans from a dried form, and have easy access to fresh vegetables, so I substituted freely when making the recipes and everything came out great. Also, if you prefer a crust on any of the dishes, a slow cooker is generally not the best way to go since it’s a very moist cooking method as compared to the oven. All that said, in the end I came away with some great new slow cooker meals I’ll be making for a long time, like this Creamy Asparagus Risotto.

slow cooker asparagus risotto

On the risotto, I admit, I was suspicious. I’ve made many risottos through the years with two abiding rules:

  1. Stir often
  2. Serve immediately

But the slow-cooker method only required stirring four times:

  1. When I combined the ingredients in the slow-cooker
  2. Half-way through the cooking
  3. When I added some fresh asparagus an hour later
  4. When I stirred in the cheese at the end.

It was even a little creamier than other risottos I’ve made, and it was patient. It waited while I threw together a salad without firming up, and reheated beautifully the next day. If you want to serve risotto at your next dinner party, this is totally the way to go!

As a note, the original recipe called for sautéing garlic, onion, and carrots together for the risotto base, but I opted instead to use some Leek Confit I had on hand to 1. save time and because 2. I don’t have a working stove yet.

And for those of you interested in a recent photo of our kitchen project, here’s one from this morning! We’re making great progress!! Microwave in. Stove was installed today.

Kitchen with tile


Slow Cooker Creamy Asparagus Risotto

Prep time: 

Total time: 

Serves: Serves 6

  • 1 cup Leek Confit
  • 1½ cups arborio rice
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bundle fresh asparagus (about 9 ounces when trimmed)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts or pepitas
  1. Stir together the Leek Confit, rice, broth, salt and pepper in the slow cooker, cover it, and cook on low for 4 hours.
  2. Stir once after 2 hours.
  3. Slice the asparagus into 1" pieces and stir into the risotto at the 3 hour mark.
  4. When the risotto is done, stir in the cheeses and serve.
  5. Top with pine nuts or pepitas.
Don't be tempted to substitute a long grain rice like basmati for the Arborio, and don't rinse the rice before cooking to ensure a creamy rice.

And now for the #Giveaway!

Calisto Media is offering to send a copy of Easy Vegetarian Slow Cooker to you,

Easy Vegetarian Slow Cooker cookbook


I’m adding an olive wood risotto spoon to the giveaway package. Risotto spoons have a hole in the middle that allows the rice to flow through during stirring.

Risotto Spoon

This facilitates a creamy risotto, but they’re great for other things too: porridges, puddings, and even for adding proofed yeast to flour as it helps to prevent mixtures from slopping over the tops of mixing bowls. 

Here’s how you enter:

Use the rafflecopter gizmo below – it’s super easy to use. You’ll get one entry each for:

  1. Tweeting about the #giveaway
  2. Liking The Wimpy Vegetarian Facebook page
  3. Following me on Twitter
  4. Following me on Pinterest
  5. Leaving me a comment about anything at all :-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: I was provided a review copy of Easy Vegetarian Slow Cooker. All opinions expressed are my own. This giveaway is not sponsored—I just want to spread the word on a great little book.

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51 Responses to “Slow-Cooker Asparagus Risotto” Subscribe

  1. Jen April 5, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    Found your blog only recently but love your recipes and the way you present them. I like the fact that you can also write about what not to expect from things like in the review above.

  2. MicheleW April 5, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    Love the stove

  3. apuginthekitchen April 5, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

    Slow cooker risotto, never in a million years would I think it could be done but it can and it looks great. Your kitchen is beautiful, love the green tiles!
    apuginthekitchen recently posted..Springtime In BrooklynMy Profile

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 6, 2014 at 7:50 am #

      I would never have guessed it either, Suzanne. I had to try it. We love the green too. I found and old, small kitchen table at a consignment store painted the same color that I use as a “desk”. We liked the color so much we decided to make that our accent color in the kitchen. Such a fun project this has been☺️
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Super Simple Slow-Cooker Asparagus Risotto and a #Giveaway!My Profile

  4. Melissa April 5, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

    Is it just me, or does homemade risotto taste way better than the options offered at any restaurant. Every time I’ve dined out and tried the risotto, it seems overcooked.

  5. Barbara April 6, 2014 at 5:41 am #

    This sounds fantastic. Trying it this week.

  6. Arielle April 6, 2014 at 7:08 am #

    Don’t have an oven/stove either so this recipe is intriguing – can’t wait to try it!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 6, 2014 at 9:07 am #

      Thanks Arielle! I had some leek confit on hand, but you need a stove to make that, and the dish needs something in that family of leeks, onion, garlic to add a little depth to it. I recommend adding a thinly sliced small leek and a minced small shallot to the slow cooker with a little olive oil or butter and cook until it becomes fragrant before adding the rice et al. I hope you like it!!!
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Super Simple Slow-Cooker Asparagus Risotto and a #Giveaway!My Profile

  7. laurasmess April 6, 2014 at 8:24 am #

    Your new kitchen is BEAUTIFUL Susan!! Love that tiled splash back! You must be so excited to be near the completion stage :) As for this risotto, I had no idea that you could make one in a slow cooker. This looks delicious xx
    laurasmess recently posted..Marinated Bell Peppers with Herbs and Goats CheeseMy Profile

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 6, 2014 at 9:10 am #

      Thanks so much Laura!! The house is over 100 years old, so we wanted to do something in fitting with that. We’re delighted. Painters here today. Cabinet makers hopefully next week to finish up their part. Yay!! And on the risotto, yes, really who knew you could do risotto that way. It’s not exactly the same – I like to use a little wine up front – but I’m going to continue to tinker with it since I love making it this way now :-)
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Super Simple Slow-Cooker Asparagus Risotto and a #Giveaway!My Profile

  8. Donna Currie April 6, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    Twice in my life, I’ve had to live without use of a stove. Once was when we were doing a complete kitchen remodel and the second was when our stove died and there were complications getting the new stove installed.

    I’m sure you’ll appreciate that stove even more after you’ve been without it for a while ;-)

  9. cheri April 6, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    Hi Susan, great post as usual, might have to buy myself a slow cooker after reading this, love risotto also, was not aware that the wooden spoon with the hole in it had such a specific use, it’s amazing what we can all learn from each other.
    cheri recently posted..Chopped Salad with Chicken and Pesto VinaigretteMy Profile

  10. Tara April 6, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    I would love to make risotto in a slow cooker!!

  11. Jane, The Heritage Cook April 6, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

    What a wonderful recipe Susan! I love the idea of being able to use the slow cooker for risotto and not baby-sitting it as it cooks. What a time saver!!

  12. Choc Chip Uru April 6, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    Your kitchen looks magnificent my friend as does the beautiful creamy risotto :)

    Choc Chip Uru
    Choc Chip Uru recently posted..CCU Undercover: Izakaya Samurai RestaurantMy Profile

  13. Cathy April 6, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

    Glad the kitchen remodel is coming along and that the slow cooker is coming to your rescue!

  14. Jess M April 6, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

    I love learning how to cook new things in the crock, brilliant!!

  15. Anna April 6, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

    I think I have one or two of those spoons, but I’ll admit I had no idea what to use them for. I may even have gotten rid of them when we moved. So, I need a new one!

    Love that backsplash in your kitchen. I know you are going to be so happy when everything is done – and it will all be worth it. Though that’s hard to imagine while you’re in the middle of it. I had guys in putting tile floors in my kitchen/breakfast area, and some other areas in my house, last week, so I was only out of the kitchen for the better part of a week – and that was long enough. I can’t imagine a complete kitchen re-do! (But if will be worth it!)

    I should get extra credit for leaving such a long comment. :)

  16. Karen April 6, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

    I love my slow cookers! I just made boneless pork ribs with spaghetti sauce and lots of veggies. Serve over pasta.

  17. Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious April 6, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

    Risotto in the slow cooker? Who knew? I am ALL OVER this one!
    Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious recently posted..Roast Beef Horseradish Arugula Grilled Cheese for #SundaySupperMy Profile

  18. Beth April 7, 2014 at 6:51 am #

    Great giveaway! This looks like an awesome recipe
    Beth recently posted..Springtime PastaMy Profile

  19. Stacy April 7, 2014 at 7:46 am #

    I love my slow cooker, but like you, I’d never thought to attempt risotto in it. Must rectify that!

    Your kitchen is going to be so lovely, Susan! I’ll bet you can hardly wait till it’s done. I can’t imagine not having a working stove!
    Stacy recently posted..Passion Fruit Muffins with Passion Fruit Glaze #MuffinMondayMy Profile

  20. Shaina April 7, 2014 at 8:23 am #

    Risotto is my absolute favorite Italian dish…this sounds so so delicious
    Shaina recently posted..BocaLocals Hosts the First March Meatball MadnessMy Profile

  21. Erika April 7, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    Ahhh!!! What a cute kitchen yours is shaping up to be! Can’t wait until you can move in and start cooking in it (although I’m sure you’re even more eager!) I LOVE this shortcut for risotto–it looks so creamy and sounds so delicious!! And learned something new today–my parents definitely had a risotto spoon in their drawer of utensils and I definitely never knew what it was for :)
    Erika recently posted..Chocolate Mudslide Cookies + part II of the Craig Lee interview!My Profile

  22. Amanda E April 7, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

    Fellow SRC member and vegetarian – who could always use another veggie cookbook. Also TiL about Risotto Spoon, I remember seeing on like that at my Grandparent’s house but had no idea what it was for! I’ll have to be on the lookout for one!

  23. Adri April 8, 2014 at 7:01 am #

    Well, first, your kitchen is glorious! Congratulations. And I sure never knew one could make risotto in a slow cooker. How wonderful is that! Thanks for the info.


  24. itzia April 8, 2014 at 7:46 am #

    i think we’re going to try this risotto.

  25. Goodie April 8, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    Love your recipes, good luck with remodel

  26. Annette April 9, 2014 at 12:21 am #

    Gosh this recipe looks so delicious and I just happen to have some fresh asparagus on hand….

    I really do need to use my slow cooker more often; I guess if I had a cookbook for it I would be inspired to do just that.

  27. mjskit April 9, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

    WOW! Your kitchen is really coming along! Love the cabinets and the backsplash!!!! You are going to feel like you’re in heaven when it’s all done. That risotto looks so creamy and delicious! The first ingredient has me hooked!!! I don’t have a slowcooker, but I will definitely make this the old fashion way of stirring and stirring and stirring. :) (Since I don’t have a slowcooker I won’t be entering the giveaway.)
    mjskit recently posted..Strawberry Rhubarb JelloMy Profile

  28. Liz April 12, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

    Oooh, I don’t use my slow cooker nearly enough, but I must try risotto in it now. Yours looks perfect! And your kitchen looks incredible!!!
    Liz recently posted..Quiche Maraîchère #FrenchFridayswithDorieMy Profile

  29. Tracy April 13, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    I’m so pleased to discover your blog! that kitchen is lovely. I’ve been a vegetarian (not wimpy :-) ) for over 25 years, and I use my slow-cooker primarily for beans (no soaking) and steel-cut oats. Look forward to trying some of your recipes!

  30. Julie December 25, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

    Making the slow cooker risotto. Following the recipe exactly but when I added the asparagus at the 3 hour mark, the risotto is very stiff, all liquid is gone .Doesn’t look creamy like the picture and I still have an left of cooking. I feel tempted to add more liquid…we’ll see…

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