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baked pumpkin arancini risotto balls
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5 from 2 votes

Baked pumpkin arancini (risotto balls)

Make sure you make some extra risotto to make these delicious pumpkin arancini as an appetizer the next day.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Appetizer/Starter
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 12 approx (48 arancini)
Calories: 261kcal
Author: Caroline's Cooking


For pumpkin risotto

  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic or 1 large
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 ½ cups arborio rice
  • ¼ cup white wine 60ml, or vermouth
  • 3 cups light stock 720ml, chicken/veg
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg optional
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree canned or fresh using roasted, pureed pumpkin
  • ½ cup parmesan finely grated

To form arancini

  • 8 oz mozzarella 225g
  • 2 eggs or 3, as needed
  • ½ cup flour approx
  • 1 cup fine breadcrumbs approx


For risotto (ahead of time)

  • Dice the onion fairly small and crush or finely chop the garlic.
  • Put a pan on a medium heat and add the butter to the pan. Soften the onion in the butter for 2-3 mins, add garlic, cook another 2-3 mins until onion starting to brown slightly but stir regularly so it doesn't burn.
  • Add the rice and cook briefly to ensure well coated by the butter. Then add the wine/vermouth and stir as the liquid is absorbed.
  • Add the stock a bit at a time so that you cover the rice as you top it up (around ½ to 1 cup at a time), adding more as the last is absorbed. Season with a little salt and pepper. Stir now and again as the rice cooks - I generally only stir as liquid is absorbed initially but then a little more towards the end when it tends to stick to the bottom more. In all it takes around 20mins.
  • Once all the stock is absorbed, check rice is cooked (if not then add a little more stock) then add the nutmeg, pumpkin puree and parmesan. Remove from heat, ensure the cheese and pumpkin are mixed through and leave to cool (you can speed up in fridge if needed). Up to hear can be done a day ahead and refrigerated overnight.

To form arancini

  • When ready to form arancini, preheat the oven to 375F/190C.
  • Dice the mozzarella into small cubes, around ⅓in/1cm across.
  • Take slightly heaped tablespoonfuls of the rice mixture and flatten it in your hand then place a piece of mozzarella in the middle and fold the rice around the cheese, ensuring there are no gaps. Roll slightly in your hand to help form a smooth joined-up outside. This can be done a few hours ahead as well and refrigerated.
  • Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl, and place the flour and breadcrumbs in two more bowls - it can be easier to do part at a time and top up as you go.
  • Roll each rice ball in the flour, gently shake to remove excess flour, then roll in the egg so that it is coated, allow excess to drip off, then roll in the breadcrumbs. Repeat until all the arancini are coated.
  • Place the arancini on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for approx 8-10min until the breadcrumbs are lightly crisp and just starting to brown.


Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 286mg | Potassium: 171mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2615IU | Vitamin C: 1.5mg | Calcium: 172mg | Iron: 2.3mg