November 25, 2013 | Home >Healthy Kids >Crockpot Rainbow Risotto {With Peppers}

Crockpot Rainbow Risotto {With Peppers}

Sometimes your main dish doesn’t have to occupy your slow cooker!  On Saturday night, we took our teenagers to an early matinee (we saw the new Hunger Games).  To see a movie in the late afternoon you most likely will come home starving- we always do.  But, the last thing we want to do is go home and prepare dinner.  It’s much better if our slow cooker is waiting for us bursting with food that tastes even better than it should because we’re so hungry. That is exactly what we did on Saturday.  About 30 minutes before the movie, I chopped a rainbow of peppers to make some cheesy risotto – that you don’t have to stand over the stove for 30 minutes to make!

We love rainbow food! The more colors you get in your diet, the more variety of vitamins and minerals you will get.  We used:

  • Red Peppers
  • Orange Peppers
  • Yellow Peppers
  • Green Peppers
  • and purple cabbage to complete our rainbow.

Crockpot Rainbow Risotto. Super cheesy side dish with a rainbow of veggies!

Bell peppers are becoming more and more a staple in our diet.  I rarely come home from the grocery store anymore without them.  They are a great snack. They are perfect to send in a school lunch.  They are delicious for dinner. They can be served raw or cooked.  You can spread laughing cow cheese on them for a crunchy treat (we do that all the time!).  Plus, the variety of colors they come in mean they have a variety of phytochemicals and antioxidants.

According to my favorite food resource:

Bell pepper is not only an excellent source of carotenoids, but also a source of over 30 different members of the carotenoid nutrient family. A recent study from Spain took a close look vitamin C, vitamin E, and six of these carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin) in all commonly eaten foods and found that only two vegetables contained at least two-thirds of all the listed nutrients. One of these foods was tomato, and the other was sweet bell pepper! Bell pepper alone provided 12% of the total zeaxanthin found in the participants’ diets. (Bell pepper also provided 7% of the participants’ total vitamin C intake.)

I combined 1 cup of rice, with all the veggies in a slow cooker, and added broth.

Crockpot Rainbow Risotto. Colorful veggies make this crockpot rainbow risotto mouth-watering!

I put some chicken in the oven, and set the oven timer to cook it for 1 hour.  We set the slow cooker on high and left for the movies.

When we got home, we added cheese, butter, and milk, and gave it a quick stir.  The chicken was ready. I had some leftover fruit salad from making it for a meal plan.  And the rice was perfect.  I blanched some broccoli and cauliflower to complete our balanced myplate meal.

Crockpot Rainbow Risotto. Crockpot rainbow risotto completes our balanced 'my plate meal'.

Crockpot Rainbow Risotto. The whole family loves this crockpot rainbow risotto!

Crockpot Rainbow Risotto. Super cheesy side dish with a rainbow of veggies!

And did my family like it? No actually, they LOVED IT!! I’m not just saying that. But how can you not love cheesy rice?  It was warm, cheesy, chewy, and full of vegetables! We’ll definitely be making this one more often… maybe even weekly for awhile until we get sick of it.

If you try this recipe, we’d love to know how it turns out for you!

Crockpot Rainbow Risotto {With Peppers}

Crockpot Rainbow Risotto {With Peppers}
Serves: 4


  • 1 cup – long-grain rice
  • 1 medium – bell pepper, red
  • 1 medium – bell pepper, orange
  • 1 medium – bell pepper, yellow
  • 1 medium – bell pepper, green
  • 1/2 cup chopped – cabbage, red
  • 1 3/4 cup – chicken broth, low-sodium
  • 1/2 cup – milk
  • 2 tablespoon – butter, unsalted
  • 1 1/2 cup, shredded – Monterey cheese, low fat


  1. Finely chop all the bell peppers and purple cabbage.
  2. Combine the rice with the vegetables in a slow cooker, and pour 1 3/4 cup chicken broth over it. Set it on high for 2 1/2 hours, or low for about 4 hours. Make sure the rice has absorbed all the liquid.
  3. Unplug the slow cooker, and add milk, butter, and Monterrey cheese.
  4. Stir to combine and let sit for 5 minutes. Season with salt if desired.

Nutrition Facts

  • Nutrition per serving % daily value
  • Calories: 419 21%
  • Fat: 16 g 25%
  • Carb: 47 g 16%
  • Fiber: 2 g 8%
  • Protein: 20 g 40%
  • Sugar: 4 g
written by
Amy Roskelley

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Lori Gilmore says:

This looks pretty simple to make and with all the fun colors in it, my kids will be interested in trying it. Thanks for sharing

This looks easy and like something my kids would actually eat. I’ve never tried risotto before so I’m not sure what to expect but I think it’s worth a shot!

This looks like something fun the kids would enjoy helping in the kitchen with. All the vibrant colors would make it fun and they would feel good and proud of their dish when it is done. Can’t wait to try, thanks for sharing

Dean Prather says:

I’ve never made or had risotto before, what is suggested to be served with it?

Amy says:

Dean- did you see the meal I served it with in the post?

I really try to get more colors in my meal because of the nutrition value a colorful meal provides but sometimes i struggle. This is a great idea that I can’t wait to try out. Thanks for sharing it!

Luis Correa says:

I’m always looking for ways to get my kids to eat more veggies. I think this is something they would really go for.

Terry Packer says:

Could you go ahead and chop up the chicken and just add that to the risotto? I think that would be really good but I’ve been known to be wrong on occasions too.

Gerry Weir says:

I’m with you about not wanting to come home and prepare a meal after being out at a movie or any kind of fun outing. It’s always the last thing any of us want to do. What a great idea to prepare a slow cooker with a meal prior for leaving for the days activities!

maggie says:

Can you use brown rice?

Amy says:

Maggie- I actually haven’t tried making Risotto with brown rice. Have you tried real risotto with brown? If real risotto works, this should too. Let me know if you make it!

????? seo says:

Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked
submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that
over again. Regardless, just wanted to say wonderful

MAGGIE says:

I just tried it tonight. Came out great! I had to cook it for an extra hour on high and put 2 cups of broth instead of 1 3/4 cup. Thanks for the recipe!

Jen says:

Sounds yummy! Just remember to buy organic bell peppers I you can. They are on the dirty dozen list which means they have higher concentrations of pesticides than some other fruits and veggies.

Christina says:

We’re lactose intolerant. Do you think we could substitute milk for almond milk?

Ali says:

Just chopped all my veggies and making for dinner tomorrow along with chicken cutlets, steamed veggies, and fresh mango. The kids will love the colors! I plan to cook with brown rice, so I will heed the advice for 2 cups broth and 5 hours on low. Thanks for sharing!

Amy says:

Christina- It may not be as creamy, but if you try it, let me know!

Sara says:

What size crockpot did you use? Mine is fairly large and this recipe as is doesn’t seem like enough to fill it up to the recommended 2/3 full for best cooking results. I can double it if needed, just was curious what size you were using though.

Amy says:

Mine is big- it’s the 6 quart size. @Sara

Natasha Ayers says:

I’ve Never Heard Of This Dish But It Sounds Yummy! Can I Add Chopped Raw Chicken To The Crockpot Instead Of Cooking Seperately In The Oven?

Kylie says:

Just wondering how much broth and what type you added?

Amy says:

1 3/4 cup chicken broth @kylie

Michelle Moscato says:

risotto is usually made with arborio rice. so i dont know if I would call this a “risotto” did anyone try using the arborio?

Susan says:

I did not try it with arborio, but was wondering about using carnaroli, also traditionally used for risotto. In the Veneto region of Italy they use Vialone Nano, which I do not care for in risotto. Nano is said to produce slightly creamier risotto than carnaroli and give you the “wave” at the end of cooking. How much water might we use for arborio or carnaroli? Also, the amount of cheese is way over Italian style, which would be 1/4-1/2 cup Parmesan plus more for serving.

Susan says:

Wine? It quickly cooks off in traditional risotto but imparts a nice flavor, especially red wine.

Ashley says:

Think I can use Quinoa instead of rice?

Amy says:

Ashley- I bet you could!

Megan says:

How much does this recipe make and what is the serving size? I am making this tonight but want to be sure I am making enough! 🙂

Amy says:

About 6 cups Megan!

Christina says:

Does this work with arborio rice?

DEFINITELY! I love it with Arborio!

Ellie says:

We made this with our dinner tonight and it was fantastic. Every family member loved it, especially my daughter who loved the idea of a rainbow in her food! Without a doubt we will make it again! Thank you!

Yeah!! I love this one too!

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