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Pumpkin and spinach risotto

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  • Vegetarian
  • No added sugar
  • Seafood free
  • Shellfish free
  • Wheat free
  • Soy free
  • Peanut free
  • Nut free
  • Gluten free
  • Egg free

Searching for a dinnertime game changer? This slow-cooker pumpkin and spinach risotto is a comforting and nutrient-rich dish the family will love.

  • Serves6
  • Cook time2 hour 55 minutes
  • Prep time10 minutes


  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) arborio rice
  • 800g butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 2 large thyme sprigs
  • 4 1/2 cups (1.125L) salt-reduced vegetable stock
  • 60g pkt Coles Australian Baby Spinach
  • 1/4 cup (20g) finely grated parmesan
  • Finely grated parmesan, extra, to serve

Nutritional information

Per Serve: Energy: 1319kJ/316 Cals (15%), Protein: 8g (16%), Fat: 9g (13%), Sat fat: 17g (8%), Carb: 50g (16%), Sugar: 7g (8%), Fibre: 4g (13%), Sodium: 561mg (28%).

Check ingredient labels to make sure they meet your specific dietary requirements and always consult a health professional before changing your diet. View dietary information here.

Percentage Daily Intake information on our recipes is calculated using the nutrition reference values for an average Australian adult.


  1. Step 1

    Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 mins or until the onion softens and is golden brown. Add the garlic and rice and cook, stirring, for 1 min or until the grains appear glassy. Transfer the rice mixture to a slow cooker.
  2. Step 2

    Heat the remaining oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add the pumpkin and cook, without stirring, for 2 mins. Cook, stirring, for a further 2 mins or until lightly browned. Transfer the pumpkin to the slow cooker.
  3. Step 3

    Add thyme and stock to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 2¾ hours on low or until rice is tender and risotto is creamy, stirring 3-4 times in the last 45 mins of cooking.
  4. Step 4

    Remove thyme sprigs and discard. Add the spinach and parmesan and stir to combine. Divide the risotto among serving bowls. Season and top with extra parmesan to serve.

Recipe tip

Clever storage:
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

Pumpkin and spinach risotto recipe

Great debate surrounds the exact origins of risotto, with both Milan and Sicily in Italy making a case as the birthplace of this beloved dish sometime in the 18th century. Today, the creamy, cheesy rice dish is a versatile favourite the world over, from fine-dining restaurants to busy family kitchens. This particular recipe for slow cooker pumpkin risotto is packed with nutrients, and has a more hands-off method than traditional recipes, giving you a little more time back in your day.

How to make risotto

While this pumpkin risotto is packed with veggies, the delectable creamy consistency makes it feel like a comfort food – you might find it hard to believe there’s not even a drop of cream in the recipe. The secret? It all comes down to the butternut pumpkin. It’s a sweeter, creamier texture than regular pumpkin, which makes it a smoother addition and the perfect pair for this pumpkin and spinach risotto.

The secret to creamy pumpkin risotto 

Worried about the constant stirring? This recipe takes you through how to make risotto with a slow cooker, so it’s hands-free once you’ve finished the prep work. The key to the perfect consistency comes down to those last 45 minutes, which will require just a couple of occasional stirs – use your judgement on how the rice has cooked during this time, as each slow cooker can vary.

Love this recipe?

Balance out this indulgent, creamy risotto with a fresh, crisp leafy side like this pear, rocket and parmesan salad and some pan-roasted asparagus. Now you know how to make risotto in the slow cooker, why not see what else the handy appliance can do? Try this tender lamb shank ragu with pappardelle, warm up with chicken and corn soup or why not an old-school favourite, such as apricot chicken? You can even make dessert with our slow cooker mandarin and almond cake recipe.


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