Kale and Risotto Slow Cooker Style

  • Servings : 6
  • Prep Time : 20m
  • Cook Time : 2:00 h
  • Ready In : 2:20 h

Risotto is Italian comfort food and can be quite affordable.  With a slow cooker, this is a VERY easy recipe to make! Like, two-step easy!

It turns out I’m not actually a fan of risotto but I did not learn this until making it and eating it. So, there you go. I’m using a 5-quart slow cooker in this recipe, so keep that in mind. I’m being extra cognizant of my food dollar choices so I’m including how much I spent on this recipe. I ended up getting a good deal on organic kale, but had cheaper, non-organic kale been available, I would have selected it. You can use any dark leafy green – spinach, kale, chard, collard greens, mustard greens.

This is not a recipe you can leave unattended. Plan on hanging around for the 1.5-2.5 hours needed to cook the rice thoroughly. I originally stirred every 30 minutes, but I would recommend every 15 minutes. I used too much salt, so make sure to taste test before adding (the bouillon adds a salty flavor). You could probably replace the water with vegetable broth, but I just found bouillon cubes more economical.

If you have never had risotto, be forewarned – the rice used is starchy and sticky, so the end result should be creamy and a “stickier” style of rice than, say, a longer grained white or jasmine rice. If you don’t like “creamy” rice, don’t make this recipe!

Cost (note: I purchased these items at a northern California discount supermarket)
* Arborio rice: $0.75 (for 1.5 cups), buy it in bulk if possible otherwise price is much steeper
* Organic kale: $1.47 (for a bunch, they only had organic)
* Garlic: $0.20 cents (for 5 cloves)
* Bouillon cubes: 0.33
Total: $2.75
Cost per serving: $0.46


  • 1.5 cups arborio rice
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cubes vegetable or chicken-flavored (vegan) bouillon
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 bunch kale (or any affordable greens - spinach, collards, mustard would work fine)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Cooking oil


Step 1

Add the rice, olive oil, water, garlic, bouillon to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 1.5-2.5 hours, stirring every 15-20 minutes. Taste-test approximately 1 hour in and determine if you want to add more salt (if you do, do it).

Step 2

About 15 minutes before your rice is done, saute the kale in cooking oil until bright green and slightly wilted. Serve over the rice. Eat.

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Comment (1)

  1. posted by Belinda Christensen on November 10, 2013

    Spinach, Kale and Rainbow Chard are my new best veggie friends. I drop them in scrambled eggs, rice and bean dishes and definitely in my pastas.
    It is super easy to grow all three in a small space and avoid buying them in the grocery store.
    I plant mine in 24″ window flower planters with really rich soil. I am still picking my meals off the same plants I started in the early Spring. Granted, they have migrated into a small greenhouse this week to avoid the winter snows and freezing temperatures but it is worth the trouble for fresh green food. The planters will eventually have to come in the house when temps drop below zero but I’m saying that you can easily have virtually free greens for the family even in the upper Midwest during the winter.


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