Risotto, when done right, is so comforting and amazingly delicious. When not done right, it’s dry and just not that appealing.
We love using our slow cooker for so many dishes, from Best-Ever Baby Back Ribs to Chicken Chow Mien, but folks, wait until you make this risotto in it! You can’t believe how perfectly creamy the final dish is, and the taste? All we can say is: “Wow! You gotta make this!”
HOW TO MAKE SLOW COOKER ASPARAGUS RISOTTO
Perfectly prepared risotto takes some skill when making it in a skillet.
Our slow cooker version is fool-proof and gives you wonderfully creamy risotto every single time.
PREPARING THE ASPARAGUS
Before we get started in the slow cooker, we need to do a little prep work, but don’t worry…not too much!
This includes cutting your asparagus into beautiful bite-size pieces.
EXPERT TIP: The ends of asparagus can be tough and somewhat chewy to the bite. We recommend cutting about an inch off from the end of each stalk. For an attractive presentation, slice the spears into 1-inch pieces, cutting on at a 45° angle with each slice. (see photo for reference).
Now, onto the rice. We highly recommend using a high-starch, short-grain rice such as Arborio or Carnroli when making risotto. It produces the creamy texture that you want in a perfectly prepared risotto.
If we can’t find arborio at your market, we love to order ours online.
EXPERT TIP: You’ll want to cook down the onions and garlic in a large skillet first. Next, a quick sauté sets the stage for perfect risotto. And then finally a reduction of a white wine infuses incredible taste to the dish.
USING YOUR SLOW COOKER TO MAKE RISOTTO
Now it’s time to let your slow cooker do its magic. Transfer the rice to your 8 to 10-quart slow cooker and then add the broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
No need to sauté the asparagus before adding to your slow cooker. We simply dump it in for the last 30 minutes of cooking and it gets cooked perfectly.
EXPERT TIP: It may seem like you’ve got too much liquid. Don’t worry, the arborio rice slowly absorbs the amazing broth and transforms into a delicious creamy texture. We love going with chicken stock, but to make this dish 100% vegetarian, use vegetable stock or broth. It’s okay to give the mixture a stir every now and then. That’s not 100% necessary, except for when you stir in the asparagus and then at the end of the cooking time.
After 90 minutes, the slow cooker asparagus risotto will still have plenty of liquid, but you’re getting close.
Dump in the cut asparagus and give the whole mixture a good stir.
After another 30 minutes (2 hours total), the risotto will be almost ready. All that’s needed is to stir in the butter and Parmesan cheese.
PERFECT FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS
We absolutely love making and eating this risotto.
It’s a wonderful dish to serve on special occasions like Mother’s Day, or for baby or wedding showers, or for a fabulous brunch.
But it’s so easy to prepare, you can easily serve this on a busy weeknight.
SLOW COOKER ASPARAGUS RISOTTO FAQs
- Can I use regular long-grain rice? You can, but you will not get that incredibly creamy texture that you get from Arborio or Carnaroli. Click the links to have either of these delivered to your doorstep (North America only).
- Would canned asparagus be okay to use? In a pinch, yes. Drain them, cut them into 1-inch pieces, and stir them in during the final 15 minutes of cooking. But fresh is much, much better!
- What are other ingredients could be included in the risotto? We love adding dried mushrooms! Soak them for 20 minutes in warm water, then strain them, roughly chop them, and stir them in when you stir in the butter and cheese. Cooked artichokes are a wonderful addition, too.
- What if there is too much liquid after two hours? You should be good after 2 hours of slow cooking, but if there are still pools of liquid, even after stirring, let the cooking continue for another 30 minutes or until you reached the creamy texture and the rice is tender.
Ready to make truly top-notch restaurant-quality risotto in your slow cooker? Go for it!
And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag #howtofeedaloon and hashtag #howtofeedaloon!
Slow Cooker Asparagus Risotto
- Large skillet/saucepan
- 8 or 10-Qt Slow Cooker
- 3 tbsp olive oil plus more for serving
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups Arborio rice or Carnaroli
- ¾ cup white wine
- 5½ cups chicken stock or vegetable stock, heated
- 1 tbsp lemon zest from 1 large lemon
- 2 tbsp lemon juice from 1 large lemon
- 1½ tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 lb asparagus ends cut off, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 6 tbsp Parmesan cheese grated
- Heat the oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Add the rice and stir to fully coat with the oil. Cook for three minutes.
- Add the wine and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated, about 3 to 5 more minutes.
- Transfer the rice mixture to the slow cooker. Add the heated stock or broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Cover, then turn on HIGH and cook for 90 minutes.
- Remove the lid and stir the rice with the liquid. There will still be plenty of liquid at this point, but the rice should have expanded and starting to become soft. Stir in the asparagus, cover, and continue cooking on HIGH for another 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and stir in the butter and Parmesan cheese. Taste and add more salt, if desired.
- Serve at once, adding a drizzle of quality olive oil, a sliver or two of fresh Parmesan, and a couple of grinds of black pepper, if desired.