At home I had come across not only 1 but 2 packets of risotto!!! oooo dear don’t worry they were still well in date but I wanted to be use them up! I do find risotto one of them things which can be quite blad unless it’s really flavoured but but but these aracini balls are something you know which would give that extra flavour o yeah! I also wanted to use mushrooms so they risotto would absorb all that yummy mushroom juices.

Did you actually know that arancini actually translates to ‘little oranges’ in Italian, see you learn something new everyday (unless of course you speak Italian). Traditionally the arancini are fried but I didn’t want to fry them I wanted a healthier option so baked them.

This recipe is a bit long winded I think I tend to come across all these long winded dishes but they do tend to be worth it in the end!. I did make the risotto the day before not to save time but when you make the balls the rice needs to be cold to allow it to form, this is important so allow time for that. I think you could make the risotto a few hours ahead and it hopefully would be chilled enough.

In addition to the risotto balls I did make a spicy mariana sauce, (you can always use shop brought) which is the basic recipe I usually use, it can be found on this post. This can also be made the day before or whilst the risotto balls are cooking in the oven, I would recommend making it the day before so the flavours soak up. 

I know most risotto uses stock but I used hot water as I find stock too salty and over powered, that’s why I add extra flavour to compensate, however you can go ahead and use as much stock as you want to!


Baked mushroom risotto balls(arancini)
Yields 24
A yummy baked risotto balls arancini
For the risotto
  1. 6 - yes 6 cloves garlic minced (you could use less if you like it less (garlicky)
  2. 1 - medium cubed onion
  3. gulg - olive oil
  4. 11/4 cup - risotto (actually this was quite a lot maybe use 3/4 or 1 cup)
  5. 11/2 tsp - basil
  6. 11/2 tsp - oregano
  7. 2 tsps - salt
  8. generous freshly ground pepper
  9. 2 - red chillies finely chopped and extra 1/2 chilli powder if you like it hot!
  10. 1 - punnet of mushrooms(any type) chopped into small pieces, I used chestnut and shiitake
  11. 1 - small glass of white wine (optional)
  12. hot water
  13. Fresh cut parsley - optional
For the balls
  1. Grated cheddar cheese
  2. mozzarella - either mini balls or smalls pieces cut up
  3. breadcrumbs - panko or normal
  4. 1-2 - whisked eggs
  5. 3/4 cup - mariana sauce
  1. 1. In a large saucepan with a lid add the olive oil and leave to get hot, once it's reached a high temperature add the risotto rice and leave to cook for 5 mins on a medium heat. Add the onions and let it cook for another 10 mins until the onions are slightly soft.
  2. 2. Add all the seasoning salt, pepper, oregano, basil(or any other herbs), chillies and chilli powder. Start adding the hot water and the add the glass of wine, after 10 mins of cooking add the chopped mushrooms and keep adding the water in stages and stirring. In the last 10 minutes add the minced garlic.
  3. 3. Let it cook for 35-40 minutes, making sure all the water has been absorbed I do like my rice cooked not al dente so if you want it that texture cook it for 20-25 minutes. Garnish the risotto with fresh parsley if using.
  4. 4. Let the rice completely cool and place in the fridge overnight if possible.
  5. To make the balls
  6. 1. Preheat the oven at 190°C and line a baking sheet with grease proof paper.
  7. 2. Have three bowls ready - 1 for the beaten egg, 1 with the breadcrumbs and the last one with mozzarella in.
  8. 3. Take a golf sized amount of rice and flatten it out on your hand then add the mozzarella piece sprinkling of cheddar cheese and 1 tsp of the sauce, cover the rice around it and form it into a ball. Place the ball into the egg, then into the breadcrumnbs and then place on the tray.
  9. 4. Repeat until you have used all the rice. Bake for 20-25 mins
  1. When I made this the risotto balls were a bit too big I would suggest to make them the size of a golf ball.