My husband is a sucker for traditional Italian Arancini - rice balls, stuffed with cheese, and deep fried. I’ve never had one (!) so I was totally game for trying a plant-based alternative. Since Arancini aren’t necessarily the healthiest or traditionally vegan of snacks, together we whipped up a tasty twist on this Italian classic - Baked vegan and gluten-free Arancini, using fresh and natural ingredients - yum yum yum!
What does this twist on a classic taste like you ask? They’re:
Tender on the inside
Crispy on the outside
A bit cheesy
+ Surprisingly healthy
Now let’s get to cooking!
Baked Vegan Arancini
Nut free, Gluten free option, Vegan, Soy free
Prep Time: 30 MINS Cook Time: 25 MINS Total Time: 55 MINS
Makes: 10-12 Balls
Cheesy Risotto Rice
1 cup arborio rice (risotto rice) (cooked in 1 cup water + 1 cup vegetable broth)
¼ heaping cup plain tomato sauce
2 tsp herbes de provence
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp sea salt
2 - 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
Bread Crumb Mixture
1 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs (watch out for hidden ingredients like honey or egg in store bought brands!)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp dried or fresh chives, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ tsp ground sea salt
1/2 tsp olive oil to help brown in oven
pinch fresh black pepper
⅛ tsp cayenne powder (optional)
Simmer risotto rice in 1 cup of water + 1 cup of vegetable broth with tomato sauce, herbes de provence, sea salt and paprika.
While the rice is cooking, prepare the bread crumb mixture. Stir together all of the bread crumb ingredients in a medium size bowl. Set aside 3 tbsp of the bread crumb mixture to be mixed in with the cooked rice).
Once the rice is cooked, add in the nutritional yeast and 3 tbsp of the bread crumb mixture to the warm rice. Stir together, cover and leave to cool in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Once rice is cool, pre-heat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick foil. With an ice cream scoop (or spoon), scoop rice mixture onto a lined baking sheet. You should have 10-12 equal sized balls on the baking sheet.
Prepare a small bowl of cold water to dampen your hands slightly before rolling the rice balls. This helps the breadcrumbs to stick to the rice balls and not stick to your hands. Roll the rice mixture into round balls. Dip them generously into the breadcrumbs and place again on the baking sheet. Do this with all the rice balls until they are all evenly round and coated with the breadcrumb mixture.
Bake for 25 minutes until crispy and brown. Broil for the final two minutes to make them extra crispy. While rice balls are baking, prepare 2 cups of marinara sauce in small saucespan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Leave the rice balls to cool for 10 minutes before eating. Dip generously in marinara sauce!
Did you try this recipe? Comment and share below!