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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