Air-fryer Pumpkin Arancini (gluten free rice balls)









Ahhh, pumpkin season is officially here! I had some extra pumpkin puree in the fridge from some Pumpkin Risotto I made earlier in the week... so I decided to make un-traditional pumpkin Arancini. 


Arancini are typically fried rice balls that you will find in Sicily. They are filled in the center with anything from cheese to ground meat. They can be really heavy. The first time I made Arancini, I deep-fried them and they were delicious- of course. But, I didn't like cleaning up the oil and wanted to see if it would work in the Air-fryer. 


I'm here to tell you it does!!! The air fryer worked so beautifully, it is my new obsession. All you have to do, is to turn the rice balls halfway through cooking and it will get the whole rice ball equally crispy. 


With some side tomato dipping sauce, this is one of the most addicting and filling party snacks for the fall. 


I added some nutmeg to play with the pumpkin flavor. It was perfect. 


If you are non-dairy, you don't even need to add the parmesan because the pumpkin puree is so creamy in itself. You could possibly try it without eggs too if you are vegan. Just add less breadcrumbs because the mixture will have less moisture. 


Enjoy this super Italian treat made pumpkin-y!


If you make it, please tag me on instagram @chefjoannas


I'd love to see your picture!

_____


Air-Fryer gluten-free Pumpkin Arancini 

(Makes about 15 balls)

.

* 1 ½ cups Arborio (or calrose) rice

*1 ½ cups mashed pumpkin (I used butternut squash)

* 1 cup Parmesan, grated

* 3 eggs

* Dash of garlic powder 

*¼ tsp. nutmeg

*¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

*1 tsp. salt

* 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (can use sticks), cut in small cubes

* 1 cup gluten-free panko or breadcrumbs, divided


Directions:

1. To make arancini, cook 1 ½ cups rice according to package directions. Add a pinch of salt before covering rice. Cook for 12 minutes, then add the pumpkin puree into the rice stirring briefly, then cover with lid. Cook remaining 8 minutes. Then let cool at least 10-30 minutes. 


 


2. When rice is just warm, add Parmesan cheese and mix really well to melt cheese. Then, add in eggs, garlic powder, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, salt and ½ cup breadcrumbs. Mix well.


3. Gather a palm full of rice and flatten in palm of your hand. (Wet your hands if its too sticky or add more breadcrumbs) Add a piece of mozzarella cheese in the middle then gather rice to enclose the cheese. Use pressure to compact the rice well. (Kind of like you’re making a snowball)


4. Once ball is formed, place remaining panko crumbs in a shallow dish and set rice ball on a plate. Continue with remaining rice and cheese. 



5. With air fryer: Lay out balls on single layer. (I fit 9 in at one time without touching and it worked great. "Fry" at 360 F for 12 minutes, then flip arancini balls over. Cook at 400 F for another 8-10 minutes or golden brown and cheese is melted in middle. Without an air fryer: cook in convection oven at 400 F for 20-30 minutes, or golden brown. 


Serve with tomato sauce for dipping. 


Store in a plastic bag or Stasher bag in the freezer for a couple weeks. 






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In today’s lesson, Arancini lesson: we all have a goey center. . These little rice balls can be intimidating to make. The rice is sticky and then you have to stuff them with cheese in the middle. If you make them too sticky, they don’t hold their shape. And, if it’s not sticky enough its just a dense ball and sits heavy once once you eat them. So, you need the right balance to make these arancini. . Like in life, you can’t be too sticky, absorbing everyone’s thoughts about you. Neither can you be too dense and thick-headed. We all have a goey, cheesy center like these Arancini balls. We want to connect. But, usually we put up walls because it’s scary to be vulnerable. . I’m always trying to find that perfect balance. Not absorbing negative thoughts from people around me, but revealing my goey center to the people who love and support me. I’ll be working on it my whole life :) Air-Fryer gluten-free Pumpkin Arancini (Makes about 15 balls) . * 1 ½ cups Arborio (or calrose) rice *1 ½ cups mashed pumpkin * 1 cup Parmesan, grated * 3 eggs * Dash of garlic powder *¼ tsp. nutmeg *¼ tsp. red pepper flakes *1 tsp. salt * 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (can use sticks), cut in small cubes * 1 cup gluten-free panko or breadcrumbs, divided Directions: 1. To make arancini, cook 1 ½ cups rice according to package directions. Add a pinch of salt before covering rice. Cook for 12 minutes, then add the pumpkin puree into the rice stirring briefly, then cover with lid. Cook remaining 8 minutes. Then let cool at least 10-30 minutes. 2. When rice is just warm, add Parmesan cheese and mix really well to melt cheese. Then, add in eggs, garlic powder, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, salt and ½ cup breadcrumbs. Mix well. 3. Gather a palm full of rice and flatten in palm of your hand. (Wet your hands if its too sticky or add more breadcrumbs) Add a piece of mozzarella cheese in the middle then gather rice to enclose the cheese. Use pressure to compact the rice well. (Kind of like you’re making a snowball) 4. Once ball is formed, place remaining panko crumbs in a shallow dish and set rice ball on a plate. Continue with remaining rice and cheese. 5. With air fryer: fry at 400F for 20 min

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