Arancini Balls Anyone?

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Seems like the whole world adores Arancini balls!!! The funny thing is it’s not something I ever think to eat, I must have only ever had a couple as a starter once in 1998 perhaps. But then in Zizzi the other day whilst I was busy complaining about my cold vegan pizza and crying into my soggy vegan cheese, the hubs ordered some totally delicious looking Arancini balls and so there I was immediately noting it down on my phone ‘list-of-things-to-make-one-day’.

And then yesterday, faced with approximately 2 kilos of leftover cooked rice (why I made so much no one knows) I decided the time had come.

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Posted the first batch on facebook/instagram etc as is my way and boy did they go down a storm….a virtual social media storm anyway. They looked gorgeous and crispy and I was giving myself lots of pats on the back for my efforts. Then I got to thinking. There are so many more exciting things you can do with Arancini balls…..spicy balls, herby balls, stuffed balls – yes I was lying in bed last night thinking about balls (!) and woke up this morning with some cooking to do.

Obviously Arancini balls can only be served with a killer homemade tomato sauce, so whilst that was bubbling away I got to work on turning leftover rice into something crispy, cheesy and delicious. Oh and I made the kids tea too so they had their Arancini with some tomato spaghetti….why not right? Rice & pasta too weird? I dunno but they ate it all so I guess not.

Anyway…..the first batch I made plain using just leftover rice, vegan grated cheese, lots of seasoning, some dried herbs, an egg and some chickpea flour to stick it all together. And they were great. Simple, delicious dipped in the tomato sauce and a great idea for kids tea.

But then I went and got a bit adventurous…here is my recipe for two different kinds of Arancini – a green herby one and a yellow spicy one!

Homemade Arancini Balls

  • Servings: 4-5 balls
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: bit fiddly but worth it
  • Print

GF DF V

You will need this:

Herb, Pea & Green Pesto Arancini

IMG_4331150g cooked rice (I happened to have basmati but I think you’re supposed to use risotto)
1 chopped spring onion
2tbsp chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley & basil)
2tbsp chopped spinach
3tbsp cooked peas
1tbsp nutritional yeast (or parmesan if you’re not dairy free)
1/2tsp garlic powder
lots of salt & pepper
1 egg
2tbsp chickpea flour (or any flour really)

Filling:

2tsp green pesto (I use Sacla freefrom)
1tbsp shredded vegan cheese (or mozzarella if not dairy free)
2 small chopped button mushrooms


Turmeric, Chilli & Red Pesto Arancini

IMG_4332150g cooked rice (I happened to have basmati but I think you’re supposed to use risotto)
1tbsp nutritional yeast (or parmesan if you’re not dairy free)
1tsp turmeric
1 chopped red chilli
1/2tsp garlic powder
lots of salt & pepper
1 egg
1tbsp chickpea flour (or any flour really)

Filling:

2tsp red pesto (I use Sacla freefrom)
1tbsp shredded vegan cheese (or mozzarella if not dairy free)
2 small choppedย cherry tomatoes


Plus:

IMG_4336A bowl full of gluten free breadcrumbs whizzed up with dried herbs and dairy free parmesan (or normal), salt & pepper

2 eggs lightly whisked in a bowl

Gluten free flour for coating – I used chickpea flour


You make them like this:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together
  2. Mix the filling ingredients together separately
  3. With wet hands scoop a tbsp of rice mixture into the palm of your hand and squeeze it into a ball
  4. Push your fingertip in the centre to make a well
  5. Fill with 1tsp of filling mixture
  6. Use some more rice to cover over and make into a ball
  7. Gently cover in flour
  8. Then dip in egg
  9. Lastly roll in the breadcrumbs
  10. Bake for 20mins at 180c until golden

I’m quite excited to try some more versions out but now everyone is getting a bit bored of having the same thing for dinner for the past three nights in a row so perhaps I’ll wait a bit to experiment with some new flavours!

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7 thoughts on “Arancini Balls Anyone?

    1. They’re so easy to make I don’t know why I hadn’t tried before! In Italian Arancini means little orange which is what they’re supposed to look like! Yes annoyed at my first try of the vegan pizza but I’ll try again and see if I get a better one next time!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. They’re Italian stuffed rice balls, usually stuffed with mozzarella or a meat ragu and then fried. I baked mine and made them with pesto stuffing instead but they were totally delicious…I recommend making them!

      Like

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