Australian-Italian Beetroot Arancini


During our Australia trip we had a chance to taste few unique vegetarian dishes and snacks. One memorable item was a big, red, deep-fried blob. When we ate it for the first time, we inquired more about it, and took note – because it was delicious! After fate took us to this unusual combination of deep-fried risotto and beets, we finally got to do it our version at home.


  • Vegetable oil, for deep frying


  • 2 c panko bread crumbs
  • 1 t Italian seasoning

Arancini Balls:

  • 4 c cooked and cooled beetroot risotto (see below for ingredients)
  • 1 c panko bread crumbs
  • 1 c Parmesan, shredded
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
  • 4 eggs, beaten

Beetroot Risotto:

  • 3 small or 2 medium beetroots, peeled and minced (can be done by pulsing in a food processor to make mincing easier)
  • 4 c veggie broth (2 Knorr bullion cubes dissolved in 4 c of boiling water)
  • 6 T butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1½ c Arborio rice
  • 1/2 c dry white wine
  • 1/2 c Parmesan, shredded
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper


In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep the broth hot.

Make the Beetroot Risotto:  In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 4 T of the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced beetroot and cook, stirring frequently until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. Add the wine and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 c hot broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next. Cook the rice until tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, in total about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining Beetroot Rissoto ingredients.  Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature before moving on to the next step.

Make the Breading:  Combine the Breading ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Make the Arancini Balls:  In a medium bowl, combine the Arancini Balls ingredients. With damp hands, using about 2 T of the risotto mixture, form the mixture into 2-inch diameter balls.  Roll the balls in the breading to coat.

Heat the vegetable oil in deep-fryer. In batches, fry the rice balls, turning occasionally, until golden, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.



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