Guess what’s up, you guys?
The very first slow cooker meal for the fall! And it certainly won’t be the last, because, why? As I become busier and busier, there is nothing better than being able to ‘set it and forget it’ and walk in the house at night with the delicious aroma of a home cooked meal (that I barely spent any time on). I realize this is the whole purpose of a slow cooker, and I’m all over it.
I’ve made this meal several times on the stove, and it’s also super fast (we’re talking 30 minutes) and tastes pretty much the same as when it’s prepared in a slow cooker. But either way, you guys, we’re talking a flavor explosion. It was inspired by my absolute favorite soup – Italian Sausage & Tortellini Soup – which I happen to make just about every other week (who’s counting?). I wanted to make it one night, but I didn’t have any tortellinis. Well, I have a pantry full of every kind of rice you can imagine. So I decided to give risotto a try. And boy did it deliver.
We’re talking loads of turkey with notes of fennel, sage and thyme, handfuls of fresh, bright spinach, meaty white beans and tender arborio rice. This time I wanted to use Jennie-O’s ground turkey, so I just added a bit of my own fennel seed and Italian seasoning, which made it taste like sausage (score).
Also, I was initially concerned about making ‘risotto’ in the slow cooker (am I a fraud?!), but the arborio rice soaked up all of the liquid, and was perfectly cooked in 3 hours. And because it’s so starchy, it creates an amazing thickness that is reminiscent of real risotto.
Also, if I can hide spinach in a dish and my husband eats it without making a peep (and spooning seconds), my life goal is met.
So go ahead and give it a try, my friends. I think you’ll be highly satisfied.
Don’t forget to watch the vid!
This recipe was posted in partnership with Jennie-O. Their turkey products ROCK. All views are my own.
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 lb. Jennie-O Ground Turkey
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. fennel seeds
- 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
- Coarse salt and ground black pepper
- 4 cups fresh spinach
- 2 cans cannellini beans
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 2 Tbsp. oregano
- 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
- Shaved parmesan and chopped parsley, for garnish
- Heat oil in large skillet to medium-high heat. Add onion and saute 3-4 minutes, until tender. Add ground turkey and cook, stirring regularly, until browned. Add garlic, fennel, Italian seasoning, and a pinch of salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- Place turkey mixture into the bowl of a slow cooker. Add spinach, beans, rice, oregano, chicken stock and ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Cook on high 3 hours or low 6 hours. Stir. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Serve with parmesan and parsley.