Baked Cauliflower Rice Balls (Arancini) feature cauliflower as a delicious, nutrient-packed, healthy alternative to traditional Italian rice balls. Enjoy this baked version of classic Italian Arancini for lunch, dinner, or as an appetizer.
If you’re lucky enough to enjoy my Nonna’s rice ball recipe, you’ll never forget it. Her traditional version is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, stuffed with mozzarella and ground meat.
My Nonna was sweet enough to make a gluten-free, plant-based version with Jimmy and I (using Miyoko’s mozzarella + Beyond Burger) and it was life-changing. Like, I would eat them every day if possible.
Unfortunately, they’re fried sooo both my stomach and skin said otherwise.
But that’s okay, because we love a good food challenge here. This meant creating a delicious, oil-free alternative, but we didn’t stop there: I cut out the rice and substituted it for cauliflower!
Cauliflower is a great substitute for traditional grains, like my Asian-inspired Cauliflower Gnocchi Dumplings.
Thanks to Fullgreen for sharing their shelf-stable cauliflower with me because I wasn’t able to get any fresh at our grocery store. The veggie packs have been convenient to keep in our pantry.
this recipe is:
- refined sugar-free
recipe tools + ingredients:
- Parchment paper
- Riced cauliflower
- Chia seeds
- Gluten-free breadcrumbs (I also like Trader Joe’s GF Crumbs)
- Paleo flour
- Tomato purée or sauce
- Vegan mozzarella cheese shreds
How to make:
Absolutely, simply use paleo flour and breadcrumbs.
Yes! I recommend storing the arancini in separate container than the finishing tomato sauce. If you heat them in the microwave they’ll be soft, and if you heat them in the oven/toaster oven they’ll be crispier. Pour the warm tomato sauce over right before eating.
Yes, I recommend using a food processor and then squeeze the excess moisture out with a paper towel or cheesecloth.
Sure! They should take about 8-10 minutes in an air fryer.
If you try this Cauliflower Rice Ball recipe, please leave a comment and rate it below. Would love to hear what you think!
Baked Italian Cauliflower Rice Balls Arancini
Rice Ball Base
- 2 bags Fullgreen Riced Cauliflower approximately 4 cups riced cauliflower
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 3 tbsp water for chia egg
- 1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs or rice crumbs
- 3 tbsp Bob's Paleo Flour or 1:1 gluten-free flour
- ¼ cup tomato purée or sauce
- ½ cup vegan mozzarella cheese shreds
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 5 leaves basil minced
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
Rice Ball Coating
- ⅓ cup gluten-free breadcrumbs or rice crumbs
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp dried basil
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- Prep chia egg by combining chia seeds with water, set aside for 5 min to thicken. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine all rice ball base ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Begin forming balls from 2-3 tbsp base.
- Mix the coating ingredients in a small bowl. Evenly coat the rice balls by rolling them in the small bowl.
- Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 400º for 25-30 min until golden.
- Serve with drizzled warm tomato sauce, and top with fresh basil and vegan mozzarella.
- Option to use an air-fryer instead of baking in an oven/toaster oven
- To make this paleo and grain-free, simply use paleo breadcrumbs.
- If you have leftovers, store them in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. You can microwave them to reheat. I recommend heating in the oven at 350º for 5-10 minutes, until fully heated.