Slow Cooker Risotto allows you to enjoy the creamy texture and rich taste of risotto without all the love and attention.
Risotto tastes delicious but can be a bit of a pain to make. Standing over the stove, adding hot stock in batches may have been feasible pre-kids but its not so fun with hungry, tired children at your feet.
This no-fuss version, using the slow cooker, makes it so much easier.
A Few Notes on the Ingredients
- Risotto rice – to make risotto, you need to use risotto rice (Arborio rice), It has a higher level of starch on the surface which thickens the cooking liquid, making the risotto beautifully creamy.
- Stock – The better the broth, the better the flavour. Homemade is always a good choice, especially when cooking for babies (when controlling sodium levels is so important.)
- Vegetables – You can mix and match the veggies to suit taste. Grating allows the veggies to “melt” into the dish and are barely noticeable.
- Pesto – Used for added flavour and can be missed out, if prefered.
- Cheese – Freshly grated parmesan cheese is stirred in at the end and can be miss out. Make sure to use fresh parmesan, don’t use the ambient cheese you can buy in the pasta aisle, it will greatly change the taste.
How to Make Risotto in the Slow Cooker
- Heat the butter and Oil, if your slow cooker has a saute function you can do it in the slow cooker. If not you will need to do this in a pan.
- Saute the onion, celery, carrot and garlic – It’s a great flavour base and sautéing brings out the sweetness and mellows the flavour.
- Add bell pepper capsicum and zucchini and stir for a further min.
- Toast the rice along with the vegetables, before adding the stock. You only need to do this for a minute or two.
- Add Stock, there is no need to gradually add the broth and you don’t need to pre-heat it either. Mix together the rice mixture, the stock and the pesto. Give it a stir, cover and set on high for a couple of hours.
- Stir in peas and cheese and allow to cook for a final 10 mins.
Every slow cooker is different so the first time you make this dish you will have to monitor the rice. My cooker took 2 hours on high but this may differ depending on what temperature your cooker runs at.
The surface area of your slow cooker may also affect the result. The slow cooker I used has a wide base, if you are using a smaller based, deeper cooker you may find you will have to stir the rice a couple of times to make the cooking of the rice more even.
Slow Cooker Risotto for Baby
If using regular stock, pesto and cheese then this risotto may be a little high on sodium levels.
You can use homemade stock or buy low salt/baby stock cubes. I was never keen on the flavour they produced but that being said, when I used them the boys never complained. Another option would be using a reduced-sodium stock and watering it down.
You may wish to skip the cheese to reduce the sodium levels.
Risotto is a great rice for babies, the sticky texture makes it easy for them to grab little bites to feed themselves.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
- Leftover risotto can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to two days.
- Not recommended for freezing as the texture of the rice can become grainy.
- Reheat in a pan over medium heat. The risotto will thicken once cooled so may require a little extra stock. (Usually around 1/4 cup of stock per cup of risotto)
- Transforming leftover risotto into something completely new is a great alternative to reheating. Why not try these baked risotto balls.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can add them raw but the flavour will not be as good. Taking the small amount of time to saute the vegetables first does make a difference.
No, to make risotto, you need to use risotto rice (Arborio rice), It has a higher level of starch on the surface which thickens the cooking liquid, making the risotto beautifully creamy.
No, I have tried cooking this recipe on low and it did not turn out well. It turns very stodgy and gloopy.
Yes, of course.
Yes, I suggest stirring in some cooked meat at the end.
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Slow Cooker Vegetable Risotto
- Slow Cooker
- 14g / 1 tbsp Butter
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Onion (Finely Chopped)
- 1 tsp Garlic (Minced)
- 1 Celery Stalk (Finely Chopped)
- 1 Medium Carrot (Finely chopped or Grated)
- 1 Medium Zucchini (Courgette) (Grated)
- 1 Red Bell Pepper (Capsicum) (Finely Chopped)
- 300g (1.5 cups) Risotto Rice
- 1 litre (4 cups) Chicken or Vegetable Stock
- 3 tbsp Pesto
- 110g (1 cup) Peas
- 15g (1/4 cup) Parmesan Cheese (Freshly grated)
- Heat the oil and butter in a pan (or your slow cooker if you have a saute function), add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic, and fry on a low heat until the onion turns translucent (around 5 mins.)
- Add the zucchini and bell pepper and fry for a further minute. Add the rice, turn up the heat and continually stir for about a minute, until the rice starts to look a little transparent.
- Add the rice mixture to the slow cooker, along with the stock and pesto and stir to combine
- Cook on high heat for 2 hours or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
- Once cooked, stir in peas and Parmesan cheese and cook, uncovered, for around 10 mins (until the peas have cooked through)
- The slow cooker used. Slow cookers run at different temperatures and this will affect the cooking time. Also, if you have a slow cooker with a saute function the cooker will be hotter at the start of the slow cook, reducing the time needed.
- The temperature of the stock/ broth. If adding the stock hot this will reduce the cooking time.