Veggie Arancini

Arancini balls are easily a crowd favourite. Primary due to the reason they are deep fried and crunchy morsels of delicious carbohydrates perfect for passing around at a party.

With the festive season all around us, these make a great starter or nibble at any event and just because these are vegan, don’t think they lack any flavour!

Photo 17-12-2015, 7 36 20 PM

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Makes enough to serve 4-6 for risotto, or 45 golf sized arancini balls.



1 tbsp rice bran oil (or preferred oil)
1 cup pumpkin, diced in 1cm cubes
1 zucchini, diced in 1cm cubes
1 red capcsicum, diced in 1cm cubes

2 tbsp Nuttelex (any vegan butter)
1 brown onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
2 cup aborio rice, dry
1/4 dry white wine (can omit)
1 litre vegetable stock, low sodium
1 litre water
1 cup green peas, frozen
1/2 lemon, juiced

big handful of chopped herbs (I used parsley and thyme)

To make arancini balls

3/4 cup rice flour
1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
1-2 cups panko bread crumbs
2-4 cup rice bran oil/vegetable oil, to shallow/deep fry


  1. Heat 1 tbsp rice bran oil in a large, wide sauté pan/stock pot (I never know what to call these!) over a medium heat. Add the pumpkin and capsicum and sauté for 2 minutes or until they start to soften. Add the zucchini and cook further for another minute or two. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Heat the nuttelex in the same pan, add the onion and garlic and sauté until golden. – try not to burn or blacken as this will effect the colour and taste.
  3. At the same time, bring the stock and half the water to the boil in another large saucepan.
  4. Add the arborio rice to the pan and stir until it is well coated and glassy looking. If using wine, add this now and cook off for a minute or so.
  5. Add 1 ladleful of stock/water mixture and gently stir continuously until the liquid has evaporated. Repeat with remaining liquid, cooking off all the stock in between each addition. It is important to keep stirring the risotto so the rice evenly cooks.
  6. Add the pumpkin, capsicum, zucchini and frozen peas to the risotto. Add any more liquid if necessary and taste. The rice should be al dente *
  7. Stir in the fresh herbs and lemon juice.
  8. Pour into a large, wide bowl and set aside.

To make arancini;

Leave rice to cool for at least 4 hours or until completely chilled. This will make the rolling process easier.

  1. Set up rice flour, almond milk and panko crumbs in three separate wide bowls.
  2. Line a tray or plate with baking paper.
  3. Using a spoon or wet hands, roll rice into desired shape balls (mixture makes about 45 golf sized balls)
  4. Dip each ball into the rice flour, then almond milk, then panko crumbs. Coat evenly and set aside on the lined tray. Repeat with remaining balls until all mixture has gone.
  5. Leave in fridge to cool for 1 hour.
  6. Heat oil in a large heavy based saucepan or deep fryer. Bring to a medium/high heat (careful not to overheat). Test a ball or piece of bread. When the bread crumbs turn golden in about 30 seconds, the oil is ready.
  7. Cook arancini in batches of about 6-8. They need roughly 1-2 minutes on either side. They are done when they turn golden brown and crisp.
  8. Transfer to a tray lined with paper towel to drain oil.
  9. Serve immediately on their own or with vegan mayo or chutney/relish.

Freeze well, careful not to overcrowd the container as they will stick.

Reheat in a slow, moderate oven!

Photo 17-12-2015, 7 05 21 PMPre cooking

Photo 17-12-2015, 7 32 34 PM
Behind the scenes at Lilseats HQ: Crunchy nuggets of goodness.


Yet again, this is a long method. They seem like a lot of effort, but trust me they are quite simple to make and really fun!

The recipe is best started the day before, as it is done in multiple processes.

The amount of liquid you add to the risotto will depends on the size of your pan, how old the rice is, the water content of the vegetables etc. I’ve said 1 litre of water, you may need more you may need less. This is a skill you will need to judge yourself. Add the liquid once ladle at a time and keep tasting rice. It should have a small bite to it once cooked. You don’t want to under/over cook the rice!

Have fun and enjoy!

Photo 16-12-2015, 10 10 58 AM


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