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Baked Arancini

Arancini are rice balls filled with delicious flavours, in Italian cuisine they are traditionally fried but in this recipe we skip the oil and bake them to make them healthier, these rice balls are coated in gluten free breadcrumbs and served with a spicy homemade tomato sauce.

Added 11th February 2020
Recipe by Sophie Usher

This recipe is...

  • Low Fat Low Fat
  • Low Sugar Low Sugar
  • Vegetarian Vegetarian


Rice filling
1 leek chopped
2 brown onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
8 chestnut mushrooms, chopped
1 cup of frozen peas
1 chicken stock cube
1 white wine stock cube
1.5ltr boiling water
400g risotto rice
Salt and pepper

Tomato sauce
1/2 tin of chopped tomato
1/2 carton of passata
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tsp tomato puree
1 tbsp Italian herbs.

3 eggs, beaten
120g reduced fat cheese or parmesan
180g gluten free bread, toasted and blitzed into crumbs
  • Preparation Time: 20 Mins
  • Cooking Time: 1 Hour
  • This recipe makes 8 servings (2 balls per serving)

This recipe is free from...

Tree Nuts


1. Spray a large pan with frylight and add the onion and garlic. Let it cook for a few minutes then add the leek and mushrooms.

2. After 2/3 minutes stir in the risotto rice then add the stock cube, stock pot and 1/2 of the boiling water. Stir and season.

3. Let the rice simmer for 5 minutes then top with a bit more water. Stir and add the rest of the water. Let it cook for approximately 25 minutes until the water has all gone. 5 minutes before the end add the peas and let them cool through.

4. Meanwhile, spray a separate pan with frylight and fry off the shallot, garlic and chilli until the aromas are released. Add the chopped tomatoes, passata, tomato puree, herbs and season to taste. Simmer for 10-15 minutes and then set aside.

5. Once the rice is cooked, leave to cool. Stir in the beaten egg and cheese and put in the fridge for at least a hour to harden.

6. Roll the rice into 16 balls (2 balls per serving) and coat with the breadcrumbs. Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and spray with frylight.

7. Place the balls in an oven preheated to 200c/Gas Mark 6 and cook for 25-30 minutes, turning halfway to ensure crispy on each side.

8. Reheat the tomato sauce and serve alongside the arancini balls.

The arancini can be frozen. Once cooked let them cool on a piece of baking paper and pop in the freezer. Once fully frozen store in a bag and use within three months.

To re cook, thaw and reheat in the microwave or in the oven at 180c/Gas Mark 5 for about 10 minutes.

You can change the fillings in this recipe depending on what you fancy; ham and pea, bolognese or even a pesto rice ball, the options are endless.

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