Vegan Arancini Balls
Vegan arancini balls are indulgent breaded and baked risotto balls, filled with oozy dairy-free cheese- the perfect use for leftover risotto.
If you haven’t tried them before, arancini are balls of rice which have been stuffed with cheese, crusted with breadcrumbs and deep fried. Often not vegan, and often not the healthiest option! These baked arancini are egg and dairy free, and much healthier than their deep-fried counterpart.
The best use for leftover risotto
Nine out of ten times, I’m making this recipe as leftover risotto arancini. Risotto doesn’t freeze well, as I tend to find the texture isn’t the same, but it is perfect for arancini rice balls.
Sometimes I’ll double up a risotto recipe, to make sure I have leftovers for vegan arancini balls the next day. Does that count as leftovers?
That’s not to say that you can’t make fresh risotto just to make risotto balls. I love to whip up a batch of my easy vegan mushroom risotto, to make the best mushroom arancini.
Once you’ve finished cooking your risotto, the trick is to spread it out on a large baking sheet, which should help it to cool really quickly. The sooner it cools, the sooner you can make your vegan arancini balls!
How to make vegan arancini balls
Making vegan arancini balls is actually so simple. Once your risotto has cooled, give it a mix to break up any clumps. If you are adding a stuffing to your arancini, make sure that you have that to hand.
Mix up the aquafaba and the milk. Prepare a plate of flour- I normally use a plain flour for this, but feel free to use whichever flour you would like. Mix your breadcrumbs with a bit of salt and pepper and also place these on a plate.
Take a small handful of risotto and form it into a flat circle in your hand. Place a small spoonful of your stuffing in the middle, then form the risotto over the top of the filling and roll it into a ball, around 2.5 inches in diameter.
Roll the ball in the flour, then dunk in the milky aquafaba mixture, then roll in the breadcrumbs. Do this for the rest of the risotto mixture, placing each ball on a lined baking tray as you go.
How to cook arancini rice balls
I prefer baked arancini over other methods. Not only are they healthier, but I like the fact that I can just pop them in the oven and don’t have to watch over them as they cook. Just place them on a lined baking tray, give them a little spray with some oil, and cook them in the oven at 220 degrees for 25 minutes. Say hello to crispy risotto ball perfection!
Admittedly, baking arancini will result in them having a flatter bottom, rather than being perfectly round in shape like traditional deep fried arancini. They are still just as delicious so this doesn’t matter to me, but if you would rather deep fry them for a rounder shape then this recipe will work just as well.
What can I stuff risotto balls with?
One of my favourite things about vegan arancini balls, and what sets them apart from risotto, is all of the delicious things you can fill them with. You can certainly just make the balls as they are, but you would definitely be missing a trick!
I love to stuff my arancini with vegan cheese- you can use your favourite store bought variety, but I love to make homemade mozzarella for these. This is my favourite recipe, if you’re looking to give it a go. It’s so straightforward and speedy, you can easily whip a batch up whilst you’re waiting for your risotto to cool.
If you aren’t a fan of vegan cheese substitutes you can put a good blob of your favourite vegan pesto in the middle, or try some finely chopped sun dried tomatoes mixed with your favourite chopped nuts.
Can I prepare arancini in advance?
Vegan arancini balls are best formed, cooked, and eaten straight away. Whilst you can certainly make your risotto a couple of days in advance, these will be their crispiest and most delicious straight out of the oven.
Looking for more meals for 2?
I think you’ll love this creamy mushroom pasta, or how about a big bowl of vegan tomato carbonara? Butternut squash ravioli is also a delicious option for autumn and winter. You can never go wrong with pasta!
Vegan Arancini Balls
- 1 batch cooked risotto* cooled
- 70 g plain flour
- 1 can drained chickpeas aquafaba reserved
- 100 ml dairy-free milk
- 100 g breadcrumbs
- dairy-free cheese** optional
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 220°/fan 200°
- Whisk together the reserved aquafaba and the milk until well combined. Spread out the flour on a plate. Mix the breadcrumbs with a bit of salt and pepper and also place these on a plate.
- Take a small handful of risotto and form it into a flat circle in the cup of your hand. Place a small spoonful or square of cheese in the middle, then form the risotto over the top of the filling and roll it into a ball, around 2.5 inches in diameter.
- Roll the ball in the flour, then dunk in the milky aquafaba mixture, then roll in the breadcrumbs. Do this for the rest of the risotto mixture, placing each ball on a lined baking tray as you go.
- Spray the risotto balls evenly with the oil, then bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden and crunchy.
Made this recipe?
I’d love to know how you got on- let me know how it turned out in the comments below!
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