Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Barley Risotto

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Barley Risotto

This vegetarian slow cooker recipe, adapted from a Good Housekeeping recipe, offers a hearty meatless meal (both economical and a chance toย eat low on the food chain) that also incorporates an alternative whole grain, barley, in an unexpected way. Both nourishing and versatile, this risotto is great on its own or as a side dish to meats.

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Barley Risotto
    Servings
    6 people
    Cook Time
    HIGH 3.5-4 hrs
    Meal Plan
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    This recipe has been added to your Meal Plan
    Servings
    6 people
    Cook Time
    HIGH 3.5-4 hrs
    Meal Plan
    Add to Meal Plan:
    This recipe has been added to your Meal Plan
    Ingredients
    • 2tablespoon butter, divided
    • 1 small onion, minced
    • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 2Cup pearl barley
    • 4cup low sodium vegetable broth
    • 2cup water
    • 1 large (2 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and seeded, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    • 1teaspoon sea salt, divided
    • 1/4teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, found in refrigerated section
    • 2tablespoon fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves, chopped, optional condiment
    Instructions
    1. In a flat skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter on medium-high heat. Add in the onion and cook an additional minute or until golden, stirring often. Add in thyme sprigs; cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the barley and cook another minute or until toasted and golden, stirring often.

    2. Transfer the barley mixture to a large slow cooker. Pour in the broth, water, squash and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Cover and cook on HIGH 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until liquid is absorbed and squash is tender.

    3. Uncover; discard thyme. Stir in the parmesan, remaining tablespoon butter, ยฝ teaspoon salt, and the ground black pepper. Gently stir until butter and Parmesan melt. Garnish with parsley if using.

    Recipe Notes

    The creamy parmesan cheese and butter elevate this dish to a new level and the amount of butter is minimal especially compared to the amount of risotto this recipe makes. Do not leave it out (unless you are vegan or sensitive to dairy) and try to buy the highest quality parmesan cheese and butter you can find.

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