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Slow Cooker Barley Risotto with Fennel

  • Cooking Time:

    2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours on high or low
  • Servings:



2 tsp. fen­nel seeds
1 large or 2 small fen­nel bulbs, cored and fine­ly diced, plus 2 T. chopped fronds
1 c. pearl bar­ley, or short-grain brown rice
1 small car­rot, fine­ly chopped
1 large shal­lot, fine­ly chopped
2 cloves gar­lic, minced
4 c. reduced-sodi­um chick­en broth, or “no-chick­en” broth or veg­etable broth for veg­e­tar­i­ans
1 to 1 1/2 cups water, divid­ed
1/3 c. dry white wine
2 c. frozen French-cut green beans
1/2 c. grat­ed Parme­san cheese
1/3 c. pit­ted oil-cured black olives, coarse­ly chopped
1 T. fresh­ly grat­ed lemon zest
Fresh­ly ground pep­per, to taste


  1. Coat a 4-quart or larg­er slow cook­er with cook­ing spray.
  2. Crush fen­nel seeds with the bot­tom of a saucepan. Com­bine the fen­nel seeds, diced fen­nel, bar­ley (or rice), car­rot, shal­lot and gar­lic in the slow cook­er.
  3. Add broth, 1 cup water and wine, and stir to com­bine.
  4. Cov­er. Cook until the bar­ley (or rice) is ten­der, but pleas­ant­ly chewy, and the risot­to is thick and creamy, 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours on high or 5–6 hours on Low.
  5. Short­ly before serv­ing, cook green beans accord­ing to pack­age instruc­tions and drain. Turn off the slow cook­er. Stir the green beans, Parme­san, olives, lemon zest and pep­per into the risot­to.

NOTE: If it seems dry, heat the remain­ing 1/2 cup water and stir it into the risot­to. Serve sprin­kled with the chopped fen­nel fronds.

Hap­py Crock­ing!

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Jenn Bare is a Mom, Chef & the Crock-Pot® Girl. She hosts a weekly "Mom Monday" segment on ABC-15 in Phoenix. Jenn is the founder of GetCrocked, the #1 resource for slow cooking with over 1.5 million online followers. She innovates recipes daily with her favorite tool in the kitchen, the Crock-Pot® slow cooker.

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Any chance the liq­uid mea­sure­ments are wrong? My risot­to still looks like soup after 31/2 hrs.….maybe it should only be on high the whole time?

Meet Jenn Bare

Jenn is the founder of Get­Crocked, the #1 resource for slow cook­ing with over 1.5 mil­lion online fol­low­ers. She inno­vates recipes dai­ly with her favorite tool in the kitchen, the Crock-Pot® slow cook­er.

She innovates recipes daily…

Jenn Bare is a Mom, Chef & the Crock-Pot® Girl. She hosts a week­ly “Mom Mon­day” seg­ment on ABC-15 in Phoenix.

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