Baked Pumpkin Arancini Balls

These pumpkin arancini balls (risotto balls) went down a treat at a one-year-old’s birthday party. I didn’t want to crumb and deep fry them so decided to bake them instead. This recipe makes approximately 12 balls.


5 cups of vegetable stock
20g butter or dairy-free margarine
1/4 cup olive oil
1 brown onions, finely chopped
2 cups aborio risotto rice
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup dry white wine (or water)
100g button mushrooms, cut into 1cm pieces
200g butternut pumpkin, cut into small cubes

2 garlic cloves, crushed
3/4 cup finely grated parmesan or vegan cheese

Arancini Balls:
1/2 cup plain flour (I used gluten-free)

3 eggs
1 cup of panko or gluten-free breadcrumbs
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Make the risotto: Heat butter/dairy-free margarine and oil in a heavy-based stockpot or large flameproof casserole dish over medium heat.
2. Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft and translucent but not coloured.
3. Add the pumpkin and cook for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add the rice and thyme. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until the grains appear slightly glassy.

5. Add the wine to the rice mixture and cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed.
6. Add 1/2 cup of stock to the rice and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the liquid is absorbed.
7. Continue adding the stock mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. This will take about 20 minutes and is ready when the rice is tender yet firm to the bite.

8. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.
9. Season with salt and pepper and allow to cool.
10. To make arancini: Preheat the oven to 180ºC (360ºF).
11. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
12. Get out 3 shallow medium-sized bowls – Place the flour in one and the breadcrumbs in another. Lightly whisk the eggs in the third bowl.

13. Use wet hands to shape a handful (about 1/2 cup) of the risotto into a ball.
14. Roll the risotto ball in the flour and shake off excess. Dip in the egg, then roll in breadcrumbs, pressing to coat.
15. Pinch the top slightly to make a pear shape and place on the prepared baking tray.
16. Repeat with the remaining mixture.

17. Drizzle balls with olive oil and bake in oven for 20 minutes or until crisp and golden.
18. Serve hot or cold, topped with your favourite chutney/relish. I served mine with onion jam.

SOURCE: Adapted from recipe on


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    Do you stuff with mozarella? And is there a bread crumb mixture on the outside? Thanks! They look beautiful.

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