Squash & Orange Arancini

Crispy on the outside, soft and flavourful on the inside with a gooey and cheesy heart. These squash and orange arancini are a crowd-pleaser and will surprise you with their citrusy notes. This recipe makes around 28 small arancini.

Gluten free
Wheat free
Kids recipe

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Preparation time

20 min

Cook time

40 min

Total time





  • soups-starters
  • lunches
  • vegetable-side-dishes





  • 650g/3¼ cups arborio or carnaroli rice
  • 300g/10.5 oz cooked squash purée (use around 1 small butternut squash – unsalted)
  • 2L/8½ cups (approx.) vegan stock (unsalted)
  • 1 tbsp vegan white wine (optional)
  • 13g (2 tsp approx.) salt + more to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, puréed
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Zest of ½ an orange
  • Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)
  • 100g/1¼ cups vegan cheese, grated
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  • 70g/½ cup plain flour (use gluten-free if needed)
  • 140ml/½ cup water
  • 200g/1¾ cups breadcrumbs (use gluten-free if needed)

Note: if you have time, I would recommend making the risotto a day ahead so it will cool down completely and arancini will be easier to shape


  1. Heat a large pan and add the rice. Dry-fry for a couple of minutes. This step, called ‘tostatura’ in Italian and will prevent the rice from overcooking and allow it to keep the “al dente” texture.
  2. Add the white wine, stir and let it evaporate. At this stage, add the puréed garlic cloves, the salt and a couple of ladles of broth. Stir consistently and once the water is absorbed, add more broth just as if you were to cook risotto.
  3. When the rice is almost cooked, pour the squash purée and season with the orange juice, black pepper, nutritional yeast, nutmeg, thyme and more salt to taste if needed.
  4. Give the rice a final stir by adding the vegan butter and cook until it reaches a thick texture. Spread on a baking tray and set aside to cool for at least 2 hours.
  5. Whilst the rice is cooling you can prepare the batter by mixing water and flour.
  6. Once ready to make arancini, wet your hands and get a handful of the rice. Flatten it slightly, fill it with vegan cheese then seal it and gently roll it to give it a round ball shape.
  7. After all the arancini are done, dip them in the batter then coat them with breadcrumbs. Lay them on a tray and rest in the fridge for 20 minutes. Alternatively, at this stage you can choose to freeze them.
  8. Using a deep saucepan, fill to just under half full with the vegetable oil and heat. When it reaches about 180°C, fry the arancini until they look golden. Dry on kitchen paper then enjoy them whilst still warm and crispy!

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