Slow-Cooker Asparagus Risotto

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Instructions for cooking up a creamy asparagus 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

3.0 from 1 reviews
Slow Cooker Creamy Asparagus Risotto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Vegetarian Main
Serves: Serves 6
  • 1 cup Leek Confit
  • 1½ cups arborio rice
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 bundle fresh asparagus (about 9 ounces when trimmed)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 2 Tbsp 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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  1. Jen says

    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. Melissa says

    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.

    • says

      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

  3. says

    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 😉

  4. says

    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. 🙂

  5. Karen says

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

  6. says

    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

  7. says

    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!

  8. Annette says

    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.

  9. says

    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

  10. Tracy says

    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!

  11. Julie says

    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…

    • says

      Sorry it’s taken me a couple days to respond, Gleppie! I’ve had a very sick puppy in and out of the hospital all week. I feel comfortable doubling it. If you decide to triple, I would keep an eye on the liquid. I find when I triple recipes, the amounts can suddenly be off a bit. I hope you make it and enjoy it!

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