This slow cooker risotto recipe is a perfect way to make a super-creamy risotto while you go about your own life. And this one is ideal for spring, since it adds asparagus.Jump to Recipe
Want to make this recipe perfectly the first time? I want to help with that. So, check out this Table of Contents to see which sections of this post will help you the most.
I've made risotto every way I can think of, and choose which way I go based on how much time I have. If I'm in a hurry, I use my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker, like this roasted tomato risotto. If I have a reasonable amount of time, I make it in the oven, like this artichoke risotto. And if I need to it cook while I live my life, I use the slow cooker or crockpot.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- It's easy, since it's a mostly hands-off recipe.
- Pure comfort food the whole family will love.
- This is an ideal way to cook risotto when having guests. The moist warmth of the slow cooker keeps the risotto warm without firming up.
🧅 Asparagus Risotto Ingredients + Notes
The secret to faster and easier meals often lies in the ingredients. For example, store-bought items and ingredients you make ahead and store in the refrigerator (or freezer) can turn a 60-minute recipe into a 30-minutes meal or less.
For the all of the ingredients, measurements and directions, go to the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post.
- Asparagus - either thin or fat spear work in this recipe. For the fatter spears, you'll just need to slice them a little smaller so they mix into the risotto better.
- Arborio rice - technically a medium grain rice, it's often called a short grain rice. It's perfect for the creamy texture of risottos, that retain an inner firmness that keep it from being mushy.
- Leeks - for a savory depth to the risotto.
- White wine - use a dry white wine. This adds a contrasting acidity to the dish that risotto needs.
- Vegetable broth - I use Better Than Bouillon - they have several vegetarian varieties. The bouillon adds for some added umami to the dish. But if you prefer, make your own, or purchase canned or boxed pre-made vegetable broth.
- Cheese - I recommend a combination of Gruyere Swiss cheese and Parmesan.
- Pine nuts
- Fresh herbs - my favorites to add to this risotto are fresh dill or thyme.
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👩🍳 Why This Recipe Works
- A slow cooker, or crock pot, are both moist cooking methods. Since risotto is a moist, creamy dish, it's great cooking method to use.
- The acid that white wine adds to risotto is super-important. Therefore, although it adds an extra step, it's best to start the risotto on the stove top with a sauté of the leeks and the arborio rice. The wine needs to be completely absorbed, with the alcohol evaporated, before adding the broth.
- The slow cooking method makes the risotto even creamier than on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot.
📇 Another Winner Slow Cooker Recipe
If you like black bean soup, check out this slow cooker black bean soup recipe. The prep is only around 10 minutes, and then it cooks while you live your life.
Slow Cooker Risotto with Asparagus
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups thinly sliced leeks white and light green parts
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt divided
- 1 ½ cups arborio rice
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup grated Gruyere cheese
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or thyme
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and salt. Sauté until the leeks are softens and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Add the rice, and sauté another few minutes to lightly toast. Pour in the wine and cook until absorbed.
- Pro tip: Don't rinse the rice first. Rinsing removes some of the starches, and the starch promotes a creamy risotto.
- Transfer the leeks and rice to the slow cooker, and add the broth. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. If possible, stir it once after 2 hours.
- Slice the asparagus into 1" pieces and stir into the risotto at the 3 hour mark.
- When the risotto is done, after approximately 4 hours, stir in the cheeses and serve. There is some variability between slow cookers, so be sure to test the rice to make sure it's done before adding the cheeses.
- Top with pine nuts.