Slow Cooker Pesto Chicken Risotto–creamy no fuss and no stir pesto risotto with tender bites of chicken made in your crockpot.
Get the INSTANT POT version of the recipe here
Slow Cooker Pesto Chicken Risotto
Risotto is so delicious. But when made in the traditional way on the stove it is annoying. Stir stir stir stir stir. Enter into the picture the slow cooker…it transforms the process of making risotto into an easy hands-off process. The rice comes out creamy and perfectly cooked. I loved the addition of pesto to this risotto! Pesto is just so flavorful and it gives this rice a wonderful flavor. I chose to add chicken into my risotto to make it more of a meal…it worked perfectly. I used chicken breasts but you could also use boneless chicken thighs. I chose to cut up my chicken into pieces after it was cooked and then I stirred it all together. But you can also just serve the chicken in whole pieces if you’d like.
More recipes you’ll love
Slow Cooker No Stir Brown Rice Risotto
Slow Cooker Chicken and Brown Rice
Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice
What Slow Cooker Did You Use?
To make Slow Cooker Pesto Chicken Risotto I used my 6 quart oval Kitchenaid slow cooker.* I love this slow cooker (you can see me talking about it in a video here). It cooks low and evenly. I love the medium heat choice because most slow cookers that I’ve seen only have the option of cooking on low or high. If you’re going to buy just one slow cooker, this is the one that I recommend.Print
Slow Cooker Pesto Chicken Risotto
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours on high
- Total Time: 38 minute
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
Creamy no fuss and no stir pesto risotto with tender bites of chicken made in your crockpot.
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup long grained brown rice
- 3 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided
- 1/3 cup pesto
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a microwave safe dish, stir together the onion, butter, garlic, rice and 1/2 cup broth.
- Microwave for 4 minutes, stirring every 90 seconds.
- Transfer to a greased slow cooker.
- Stir in the remaining 3 cups of broth and the pesto. Nestle the chicken into the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for about 3 hours. (mine took exactly 3 hours…yours may take more or less depending on your slow cooker)
- Stir and break up chicken with a spoon. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately (this tastes best served right away, it doesn’t hold up very well on the warm setting)
I used my 6 quart oval Kitchenaid slow cooker.*
- Category: Chicken
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
- Calories: 270
- Sugar: 1 g
- Sodium: 537 mg
- Fat: 12 g
- Carbohydrates: 28 g
- Protein: 21 g
Send Me Free Recipes
Like this recipe for slow cooker Pesto Chicken Risotto? Get all my new recipes delivered to your email inbox by signing up below.
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Hi, can this be made on the stove top like a traditional risotto?
Jessica smeak says
Could you triple this recipe ? I’ve made this numerous times and it’s loved by all but I’m cooking for about 15 people
Yes you could!
Can I do this recipe on low setting in slow cooker? For like 8hrs?
Ended up with a lot of liquid, but nothing like the pictures. Are we sure that only 1 cup of rice is needed and that 3-1/2 cups of stock are needed? Also, suggest the chicken is cut into cubes before being placed in the slow cooker.
The recipe says long grained brown rice!
Kalsey Beach says
This looks amazing – – could you add veggies to it with a bit more liquid? Or would you recommend doing those as a side item? Thank you!
Yes you could add in veggies. No need to add in more liquid. They should be fine. Some veggies are more tender and will get mushy so be careful of that.
Could you use jasmine rice for this recipe, I have some already in hand. Would you need to tweak anything? Excited to try, my neighbor loved this!
You could try it. I bet it would take much less time though, like half for the slow cooker version.
Awesome! I will try it tomorrow and let you know!
You have changed my life. This is so good and so easy.
I have never ever had any luck with slow cooker recipes.
I had some chicken in the fridge that needed to be used but I was so over every other thing I make with it. I needed something super simple and along comes your recipe. Mate, I am so impressed with this. I nearly didn’t put the pesto in but I am so glad that I did.
Thank you SO MUCH. This is one that I will come back to frequently.
So glad you liked it! I love pesto! It’s my favorite.
Thanks for this recipe! I was looking for something easy in the slow cooker to add into the weekly repertoire and must say I was skeptical about this recipe. The brown rice does make it quite different to regular risotto, but that’s not a bad thing.
I made my own pesto, replaced the onion with spring onion green ends and omitted the garlic to make it low FODMAP (there was garlic olive oil in the pesto). My boys aged 5 and 7 loved it too.
I’ll try more recipes from your site. Thanks 😊
You’re welcome Mel! I’m glad you liked it 🙂
Serena Kantara says
Hi Tina, I dont have a microwave, can I still do this recipe. I just found your blog and I am super excited. 🙂
Sure you can just do that first step on the stove over medium high heat.
Can you make pesto chicken risotto on a low setting?
Rice can be tricky in the slow cooker. You could try it for an hour or two longer and see how it goes.
Hi there! Just to clarify, you have the rice being added in step 1 (microwaving it), but also in step 4 (when you add the pesto)… which is correct? Do I indeed microwave the rice before putting it in the crockpot? Thanks so much, this looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it!
Oops! Thanks for pointing that out. You microwave it. I corrected it above.
I was thrilled to find a recipe for risotto for my KitchenAid slowcooker but I was also disappoint to read that wild rice is used instead of Aborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano which are the traditional Italian rices used for risotto.
This is likely a dumb question, but what kind of pesto does this call for?
No dumb questions here. I used basil pesto from Costco.
Hannah Y. says
I just put everything in my 4-quart slow cooker…using Arborio rice with all the measurements you gave…I’ll let you know how it turns out 😁
Hi Hannah Y! How did this recipe turn out using Arborio? Thanks!
I used arborio and it worked a treat! Was worried that it would take longer but if anything was more towards the overdone side after 3 hours. I also added mange tout and 2 carrots and worked well. Good luck!
You don’t say what type of rice you use or when you add it in? Could you please tell me, thank you.
Oops! I corrected the recipe. I’m sorry about that! It’s long grain brown rice.
Hello! Can’t wait to try this recipe! Did you pre-cook the rice before?
This sounds delicious!! I use aborio rice when I make risotto on the stove. Would it work in the crockpot just as well?
Hi Susan, I have honestly never tried arborio rice in the crockpot yet. I think it would work. I am not sure on the cooking time. I am assuming it would be less than brown rice. Good luck!
I used arblrio rice and followed instructions and agree it probably needs a little less time than 3 hours but came out great. Thanks for the recipe- it was the first crock pot recipe I’ve ever done as we just got gifted one!
Christy Parker says
I know this would work with Arborio rice but I think it would need more water and probably more cooking time. Any pointers on that? Have you crock potted with Arborio before?
Hi Christy, I haven’t tried arborio yet. I would love to try it soon.
Lauren Peng says
Can’t get my instant pot to change temperatures so guessing I should cook it for 6 hours as it appears to be on low?
Just so I understand, you’re using the slow cooker function of your instant pot to make this right? I would tap the slow cooker button and then use the adjust button to change it to “more.”
Could I use pasta instead of rice in this recipe? We really like pesto pasta. 🙂
Ok so yes but you’d have to change a few things. Here’s what I would do:
1 yellow onion, diced
2 Tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 oz pasta of your choice
3 cups broth or water
1/3 cup pesto
1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
Salt and pepper, to taste
Saute onion in butter and saute garlic. Add in pasta, cover with water, add in pesto and chicken. Cover 3 minutes high pressure 5 minute npr. Stir and add in more pesto to taste plus salt and pepper.
Let me know how it turns out!
Hi there from Canada, did you cook chichen first or everything went in together
I didn’t cook the chicken first. I just added it in raw.
I needed something quick to make that would be ready to eat in a few hours, and since I had all of the ingredients on hand, I chose this recipe. I’m so glad I did!! It tasted wonderful!! Everyone enjoyed it, and the flavor was amazing. No need to preseason the chicken at all.
Hi Tina, so glad you liked it!!!
This is very good! What a thrill to learn a crockpot risotto that allows me to be out of the kitchen. I do wish I had seasoned the chicken before adding it–I will do that next time. Wonderful!
Glad you liked it Eileen!