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Butternut squash risotto arancini (rice balls)

Butternut squash risotto arancini (rice balls)

These butternut squash risotto arancini are filled with Greek feta cheese and Italian pancetta for the ultimate Mediterranean pleasure!
Course Appetizer, finger food, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword arancini, butternut squash, risotto
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes
Servings 16 -20 arancini
Author The Hungry Bites


  • For the rice balls:
  • 4 tablespoons finely cubed pancetta or ham
  • 4 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 cups butternut squash risotto, cold

  • For the slurry:
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cups water
  • Pinch of salt

  • 3/4 cup toasted breadcrumbs


  1. Transfer the feta and the pancetta into a bowl and mix well with a fork.

    Combine the flour and a few tablespoons of the water in a medium bowl until a thick paste is formed. Add the rest of the water gradually, until you get a smooth slurry.

    Place toast crumbs into a large plate.

  2. Wet your hands very lightly and take about 2 tablespoons risotto.

    Form a flat disk and put about half a tablespoon of filling in the center. Wrap the filling with the risotto and form a ball.

    Let the ball rest on a clean surface and continue until all the risotto is gone.

  3. Dip each rice ball in the slurry, let it drain and transfer to the plate with the crumbs. Cover well with the crumbs and transfer onto a plate. Continue with the rest of the arancini.

    When done, place arancini in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up.

  4. Fill a nonstick pan with vegetable oil, about 1.5 inches high, and heat very well.

    Fry arancini in batches, about 4-5 each batch so that the temperature of the oil doesn’t drop down very much. Cook for 2 minutes each side, flipping them gently with a slotted spatula.

    Remove with the spatula when golden brown and transfer to a paper towel to absorb the extra oil.

  5. Serve with lemon wedges and some arugula (rocket).


Recipe Notes

Butternut squash risotto recipe

You may want to add half a cup grated parmesan to your risotto when still warm, since this will help the balls hold their shape better.