Baked Vegetable-Stuffed Arancini (Rice Balls)

rice balls feature kcal


I have a special connection with this food: the first time my daughter said “yummm” was when she bit her earliest teeth into this sublime little thing. At that time, I was constantly devising new techniques to sneak in as many whole grains, proteins, and veggies together in one finger food. And this one was definitely a winner. And still is, of course.

It’s very aromatic, for the brown rice is cooked in the water of soaked porcini mushrooms (very delightfully fragrant), and the herbs, along with the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic powder also add to the “pizza-like” flavor. And unlike traditional arancini, these rice balls are baked, so we avoid all the unhealthy disadvantages of frying.Vegetarian Arancini nflIt’s not really a quick fix, but the good thing about it is that you can make a big quantity (this recipe makes around 25 rice balls), and freeze whatever you won’t consume until later. Kids will really love it, and so will everyone else. And with only 70 calories per rice ball, it makes a much lighter alternative than the fried version!

Ingredients (makes 25 rice balls):

3 eggs

1/3 cup grated parmesan

1 tbsp dried parsley

1 tbsp dried basil

¼ tsp ground pepper

1 tsp salt

2 ½ cups water of porcini mushrooms (soaked for a minimum of 30 minutes)

4-5 (finely chopped) porcini mushrooms (the ones that were soaked in the water)

1 cup brown rice (or white if you prefer)

1 ½ cups breadcrumbs

For the filling:

1 medium onion (finely chopped)

1 green bell pepper (finely chopped)

1 carrot (finely chopped)

1 zucchini (finely chopped)

A handful of sliced olives

A sprinkle of garlic powder

1 tbsp pesto rosso or pasta sauce

2 tbsp grated mozzarella (part-skim, low moisture)



–          Cook the rice in the mushroom broth, until the rice is fluffy enough.

–          Meanwhile, stir-fry the filling ingredients, starting with the onion. When the onion has softened, add all the other ingredients and keep stir-frying for another 2-3 minutes. Add the pasta sauce/pesto rosso, and a pinch of pepper and thyme.

–          Mix together the eggs, cheese, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper.

–          When the rice is completely cooked, add the egg mixture to it, and stir well. Leave the mixture to cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour. If you are using leftover rice, or rice that is already cooled, then there is no need to refrigerate, and proceed to the next step.

–          Pour the breadcrumbs onto a dish or other flat surface.

–          Dampen your hands with water, and start making balls from the rice mixture, filling in the ball with the vegetable filling before closing it.

–          Roll the rice balls in the breadcrumbs until they are completely coated.

–          Bake the rice balls for around 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

–          When served, dip into some pasta sauce if you like.


Roula :)

(1st published on 2/18/2014)

Categories: Kids Love..., Recipes, Vegetarian

6 Comments on “Baked Vegetable-Stuffed Arancini (Rice Balls)”

  1. gthirteen13
    September 17, 2014 at 11:43 am #

    Hi, at which point would you freeze these? Before or after baking? And do you think the recipe would work without the cheese? My partner and I are vegetarian but also dairy free.


    • September 17, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

      Hi gthirteen, I usually freeze them after baking–but that’s if I’m using eggs. However, you can freeze them before baking if you’re not using eggs–you may substitute the eggs with a mixture of chickpea flour and a bit of water. You may also use this “vegan cheese” recipe instead of both the cheese and the eggs:

      I hope this helps! 🙂


  2. Tonya
    November 29, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

    Sorry if I missed it…what temp do you bake them at?


    • December 3, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

      Hi Tonya, I find that the best temperature for baking them is at 180 degrees Celsius (or around 356 Fahrenheit). Let me know if you ever try them! 🙂


  3. Sarah
    January 27, 2015 at 9:14 am #

    Hi there,
    These sound delicious and perfect for my toddler who is too busy to eat with a knife and fork. What could I use instead of porcini mushrooms?


    • January 28, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

      Thanks Sarah! Please let me know how your toddler finds it 🙂


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