Baked Rosemary and Garlic Arancini

 One of the most enjoyable things about food blogging is its innate ability to furnish one with a wider knowledge of food, via the community. Though no one blog has influenced, or inspired me, in a particularly direct sense, certain ideas, as well as types of food, do tend to rub-off onto my gastronomic sleeve fairly frequently. Of course, that doesn’t mean that none of you are inspirational, you most certainly are, only that my blog has a very distinct drive and direction. This dish marks just one of the many culinary blotches which reside upon my metaphorical garments and I am so glad that it decided to transfer itself so vividly. Indeed, though they take a little time, care and preparation, arancini, which are essentially crispy balls of risotto, are exceptionally delicious, almost to the point of fatal delirium.

As has just been mentioned, arancini are balls of rice covered by breadcrumbs. It seems that such an effect is usually achieved by deep-fat frying. However, preparing food in such a way is not, in my opinion, particularly appealing; especially since baking does a better job. If followed correctly, this recipe will produce the crunchiest balls ever to have graced the mouths of WordPress’ most fervent food bloggers. The risotto, as if by magic, manages to remain remarkably gooey, yet stable; whilst the outer surface of egg and breadcrumbs forms an impressive protective shell. In truth, no recipe was remotely consulted when approaching these spherical delights; the addition of rosemary was as much inspired by Captain Corelli’s Mandolin as it was by personal preference. Of course, one may deep fat fry these if they so wish. However, such action is inadvisable since the world could do without another hardened artery.

Baked Rosemary and Garlic Arancini

Makes 10-12 balls


• 150g arborio rice

• 400-500ml vegetable stock

• 100ml dry white wine

• 1 small onion, finely chopped

• 2 cloves of garlic, mashed

• 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

• A handful of parmesan, roughly 50g

• A small knob of butter

• Plenty of breadcrumbs, enough to cover the balls

• A little flour, plain is good

• 1 egg, beaten

• Seasoning

• Olive oil


1. Begin by frying the onions in a little olive oil. After 5 minutes add the garlic and ¾ of the rosemary, cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook for an extra minute or so. Pour in the wine and cook until it has been absorbed. Then begin to add the stock little by little until it has all been absorbed and the rice has a little bite to it. Take the risotto off the heat and stir in the butter and parmesan. Pop the lid on the pan and set aside for 2-3 minutes. Now, transfer it to a bowl, allow it to cool and leave it in the fridge overnight, or for at least 2 hours.

2. By now the risotto should be easy to shape into balls. Do this, it should make 10-12 balls, and pop them back in the fridge of 10 minutes. Heat the oven to 200C and mix the breadcrumbs with the remaining rosemary and a little seasoning. Roll each ball consecutively in the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs – ensure an even coating. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Eat immediately with a lovely fresh salad.

Cost: The transformation of the risotto into arancini should cost on next to nothing; this makes the prospect particularly enticing. So, overall this meal, not including salad, should set one back £1.80 or so – not bad considering it is enough for 3-4 people. Indeed, they are surprisingly filling.

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149 comments on “Baked Rosemary and Garlic Arancini

  1. Chica Andaluza
    April 21, 2012 at 10:04 am

    What a fantastic idea to make baekd arancini. When I was a child and we used to spend summers in Calabria, it was a treat for us to stop off from the beach on the way home and buy a bag of these to eat!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:40 pm

      I couldn’t bring myself to deep fry them – oil costs too. That sounds incredible 😀

  2. sophie king
    April 21, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    My mouth is watering at the prospect of making these. Absolutely love risotto! 😀

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:39 pm

      Thanks! They were lovely – if you make them I really hope you enjoy them.

  3. Choc Chip Uru
    April 21, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Arancini is a favourite entree of mine 😀
    You have created a decadent delicious recipe for it!

    Choc Chip Uru

  4. danyandy
    April 21, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Yum! A local eatery makes these, they serve them with sauces. I love the ones they serve with a sweet tomato and basil sauce. Delicious! I will have to give these a try. Thanks for sharing!

  5. divaofdelicious
    April 21, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    There is a little Italian family owned place in my neighborhood which introduced me to these with a meat and vegetable mixture inside, but they deep fry them. I’m so so so glad there is a way to enjoy them with out all the fat but with all the crunch. I WILL be trying this one! Thank you!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:38 pm

      That sounds wonderful! I will get around to a meat version for sure. I really hope you try them.

  6. Spoon Feast
    April 21, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    What a great way to use left over risotto (is there such a thing?) and baking them is perfect.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:37 pm

      Thanks! I believe there is, but it’s very difficult to find – you have to be a member of the occult for a start.

      • Spoon Feast
        April 26, 2012 at 12:14 am

        I’ll bet it is run by the same people who say there is ‘leftover wine’.

  7. Just A Smidgen
    April 21, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    oh.. my.. I can’t believe you got past the skillet without several spoonfuls missing?? These look entirely decadent and I’m glad they’re baked, it would be tough to stop at a few!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:37 pm

      Haha, only one, Smidge. It was thought to stop… very tough.

  8. Danielle
    April 21, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    I had never heard of arancini, these sound delicious! I also love your idea of baking instead of frying, as that’s the method i prefer for most things. The pictures are wonderful too, my mouth was watering after seeing the first one!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:36 pm

      Thanks, Danielle! The baking process worked so well.

  9. Shiny Tomato
    April 21, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    You had me at Rosemary….then hooked me in with the Captain Corelli’s Mandolin reference. I’m going to give that book a re-read and this recipe a definite try!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:36 pm

      Haha, you should. It has destroyed me emotionally..

  10. cookinginsens
    April 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    I’m not really a rice person but those look very good, Frugal! I’m influenced and inspired by everyone!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:35 pm

      Thanks, Rosemary! Like I said, I am, but it’s very much indirect.

  11. baconbiscuit212
    April 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    I adore arancini because I love risotto and I love fried, crunchy things. It seems, though, that excellent crunch can also be achieved through baking! What a great idea! And really a lot less messy than frying. I will have to try this soon!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      Oh yes, it can – it’s so much simpler too. I hope you do, Daisy.

  12. SarahJ
    April 21, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    This sounds and looks fantastic! I can’t wait to try it. I feel the same way about baking instead of frying. Why add all that extra fat when the oven does just as good of a job?

  13. Karista
    April 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    I love arancici! And haven’t thought about making these for quite some time. Thank you for this most delicious reminder!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      Haha – arancici, I made that mistake :P. Thanks, Karista.

      • Karista
        April 26, 2012 at 6:13 am

        i knew it was arancini but my iPad spell check insisted otherwise. Haha!

        • frugalfeeding
          May 1, 2012 at 11:23 pm

          Haha! I don’t know why mine did it. Human error I suppose.

  14. thelittleloaf
    April 21, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Great idea to bake instead of fry these. I ate arancini in Sicily last summer on several occasions and the quality varies wildly – they can often be too heavy and fatty so this sounds perfect!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      Thanks, Kate. Yes, I thought that would be the case if I deep fried them.

  15. musingmar
    April 21, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Arancini are wonderful to begin with, and now you’ve made them better by omitting the deep frying! A great idea for leftover risotto too, but it’s tempting just to get straight to it and make these right off the bat, as you suggest.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      Thanks, Marlene! Either way is good – give them a go.

  16. daisy
    April 21, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Frugal, you are definitely an inspiration to me. Reading your blog leaves me with little bits of ideas that I incorporate into my own cooking.


    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:30 pm

      Thanks, Daisy! that’s a great compliment coming from you.

  17. lightlycrunchy
    April 21, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    We had aroncini balls last weekend at a neighbour’s house – loved them! Yours look absolutely amazing and baking instead of frying sounds like a healthier alternative.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:30 pm

      Fantastic – it is. I hope you try them 🙂

  18. Shira
    April 21, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Unreal! These look amazing and I could not agree with you more on the baking vs. frying. Deep frying especially is something I have only attempted once or twice (for Indian). Bravo!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:29 pm

      Thanks so much, Shira! I only ever deep fry for some of my Indian dishes. I should see if alternatives work 😀

      • Shira
        April 26, 2012 at 12:31 am

        Sometimes Indian just HAS to be deep fried and I am the same as you! It’s the only time I do it! I wonder if there are good alternatives? I’ll look forward to seeing that!! 😉

        • frugalfeeding
          May 1, 2012 at 11:26 pm

          I agree! there are certain circumstances, but it has to avoided wherever possible.

  19. Daily Dose of Fresh
    April 21, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Never seen this dish before, this is what you are talking about in your first paragraph. It looks great.

  20. Korena in the Kitchen
    April 21, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Baked arancini do seem way more appealing that feep fried – I’m always afraid they’ll just disintegrate in the oil. Gorgeous. Can’t wait for my next batch of risotto leftovers!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:27 pm

      They really do! I’m generally not a fan of deep fried. Thanks for commenting, Korena.

  21. The Low Fat Chick
    April 21, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    I never thought about eat risotto in this format but ironically I recently had some when I went on vacation to Italy. What a great way to eat risotto! Your recipe looks great.

  22. Addison
    April 21, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Wow, looks delicious! The fact that they’re baked makes it more appealing to me. I used to make panko breaded patties out of leftover risotto, but I’m trying this out next time instead.

  23. egg me on
    April 21, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    These look great. Many commenters have said this, but I love that they’re baked, too. That risotto is pretty awesome as is, I bet.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:26 pm

      Thanks! They have indeed, it was a comment coup for me :D. Yes, I had a spoonful – it was delicious.

  24. promenadeplantings
    April 21, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    we had risotto tonoight and I was hoping for some leftovers – no chance we scoffed the lot! But I’m loving the idea of baking them, I’ve shallow fried them before – or should I say saute?

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:26 pm

      Oh no! you should restrain yourselves! Haha. Saute or fry, both are good, Claire 😀

  25. Time To Be Inspired
    April 22, 2012 at 12:42 am

    Oh yumm. I’m delighted that you’ve presented a baking technique for this recipe. Can’t wait to give it a try!

  26. The Townhouse Homesteaders
    April 22, 2012 at 3:28 am

    I love arancini. My grandfather used to hide a small nugget of mozzarella inside the ball. When you’d cut into it, the cheese would just ooze out. Loved it!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:22 pm

      That’s a great idea – my girlfriend does the same. I’ll likely give them another go, so I’ll probably do tomato and mozzarella arancini next. That sounds so tempting.

  27. Bam's Kitchen
    April 22, 2012 at 3:53 am

    I like that you baked them instead of deep frying them.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:22 pm

      Thanks, BAM. I think they taste much better like this.

  28. The Starving Artist
    April 22, 2012 at 8:19 am

    My family makes these and they are always over the top amazing. Love your rendition and to see that you’re baking them. Looks exquisite. I need to come up with my own variation as well!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 26, 2012 at 12:03 am

      They are! Yes! You must – it’s good to be inventive.

  29. Villy
    April 22, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I’d never think that baking them in the oven would produce such a great looking result. Fantastic!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:20 pm

      Thanks, Villy. I took a gamble and it worked 🙂

  30. Aimee@clevermuffin
    April 22, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Must say Nick, loving the healthier approach to not deep frying! I often see these recipes and think ‘well yes, most things would take good deep friend though’, and it’s much more of a testiment to a recipe if it can be baked and still be fabulous. Now, off to find you on Pinterest…

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:19 pm

      Thanks, Aimee! Oh yes, add me – I shall add you 😀

  31. Kate Olsson
    April 22, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Hi there, just wanted to let you know that I passed on the Versatile Blogger Award to you at

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful recipes!

  32. Laurie
    April 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    The aranci looks wonderful and I enjoy your photography!

  33. shuhan
    April 22, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I love arancini, and I bake it too instead of frying. love the flavours in this!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:18 pm

      Thanks! these are utterly fantastic, I’m glad you like arancini too.

  34. k.m.
    April 22, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I really like arancini but I hate the hassle of frying them, especially since they end up falling apart no matter how careful I am. If baking yields better results with less hassle, then I’m all for it! The rosemary in them sounds lovely too.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:15 pm

      Yes, so much easier to bake and far better in my opinion. Give them a pop.

  35. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    April 22, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    I really need to try these. We always have risotto as a main dish, so leftovers are hard to come by. I know, just make it from scratch….

  36. losangelas
    April 22, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    What a great recipe! Risotto is one of my favorite foods, so I’m gonna try this for for sure, it looks delicious

    • frugalfeeding
      April 26, 2012 at 12:00 am

      Thanks! If you love risotto this is a real must.

  37. Bob Vivant
    April 22, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    I’ve tried making these more times than I care to remember, and they’re always disappointing. But…I’ve never tried baking them. These look lovely! Timing is everything. Spring risotto is on the menu for dinner tonight. I’m going to make a little extra and give your method a try. Thank you!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:14 pm

      Oh no! Give them a go, Bobbi, you’ll love them :D. I hope they work!

  38. Catherine
    April 23, 2012 at 1:14 am

    And of course the other nice thing about arancini is that they are a great way to recycle leftover risotto – so much so that I make it my policy always to make extra risotto if I am making it, the better to have arancini a couple of days later.

    Also, arancini from beetroot risotto has to be seen to be believed.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:13 pm

      Exactly, Catherine! I shall be doing so from now on! I bet it does, but I hate beets haha.

  39. PolaM
    April 23, 2012 at 3:34 am

    I love arancini! Yours look delicious!

  40. Kwokmun
    April 23, 2012 at 3:39 am

    I need to try to bake my arancini next time. I can’t believe I never thought about that.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:59 pm

      You really do – so much nicer than deep fried. Give it a pop.

  41. nicole
    April 23, 2012 at 5:59 am

    I have always wanted to try arancini. This recipe looks like the perfect place to start. Thanks!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:12 pm

      Thanks, Nicole. It was lovely. Give it a go, you must.

  42. alternative eating
    April 23, 2012 at 8:20 am

    The pics looks really good:) Never tried this:) But I will try it, here in the near future:)

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:11 pm

      Thanks! I hope you like them as much as I did.

  43. foodblogandthedog
    April 23, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Rosemary and garlic is my favourite combo and I heart arancini, so delighted that they can be baked with apparent success, I’m with Greg I hardly evr have risotto leftovers but will make a mental note to make too much next time and try not to eat it!! I’m making your flapjacks now too…

    • frugalfeeding
      April 25, 2012 at 11:11 pm

      The success is more than apparent, haha. Please do give it a go! Blimey, thanks for all the support :D. I hope you like them.

  44. veghotpot
    April 23, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Really lovely recipe and I love that you baked them! I have made risotto balls before and also couldn’t bring myself to deep fry them but I did still fry them! Next time I will definitely bake them! Rosemary and Garlic sounds like a wonderful combination 🙂

  45. Jocelyn @ Peace.Love.Nutrition
    April 23, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Nothing better than balls : )

  46. foodiemeetsfitness
    April 23, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    YUMMY! These remind me of my time studying abroad in Italy! I love that you baked them – and I couldn’t agree more that the world could do without another clogged artery 😉