Traditional risotto can be a tedious task, requiring strict attention and near-constant stirring. But you can make a simple no-fuss version of this hearty Italian classic with your slow cooker. Fill out your risotto with mixed vegetables and meat like chicken sausage or ground turkey, and use low-sodium chicken broth to cut down on excess salt. Serve this risotto with extra Parmesan cheese so your guests can sprinkle it on top before they dig in.
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Pour 2 cups of broth for every 1 cup of uncooked arborio rice you plan to use into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Each cup of uncooked arborio rice makes about 3 servings of risotto.
Spray your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and set it to high.
Melt 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and either 1 small finely chopped onion or 2 finely chopped shallots to the pan and saute until tender, about 4 minutes.
Pour 1/4 cup of dry white wine into the pan for every 1 cup of uncooked arborio rice you plan to use. Scrape up any browned bits of onion, garlic or shallots stuck to the bottom of the pan. Allow the wine to simmer until it is reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
Add the arborio rice to the pan and cook until all the wine is absorbed, about 3 minutes.
Scoop the rice mixture into the slow cooker and pour the hot broth over the rice. If you wish, add cooked pieces of sausage, chicken or ground meat to turn your risotto into a filling meal.Toss diced vegetables into the slow cooker to give your risotto a healthy kick. Carrots, summer squash, asparagus, peas and broccoli all work well.
Cover the slow cooker and allow the rice to cook until it reaches your desired texture, about 1 hour for al dente and 2 hours for softer risotto. Stir the risotto once halfway through cooking.
Stir in 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese for every 1 cup of uncooked arborio rice used. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.