So remember my last post... the one where I was being all coy about what was coming up next that you could make from my Golden Risotto? Well, here it is, my Jack o' Lantern Butternut Squash Vegan Arancini!
Halloween wasn't really a thing when I was growing up, which means that like all deprived children, I have wholeheartedly embraced the silly spooky fun in adult life. I love an excuse to dress up & entertain, and I ALWAYS love a chance to show off some creative new vegan foody thing I've come up with. I also love a good vegan arancini ball; that squishy ball of risotto rice encased in crunchy golden crumbs with a gooey, tasty surprise centre.
The best thing about these risotto balls is that not only are they YUMMY, they are also perfect for filling up party guests who are drinking, thus fuelling the party for longer. (YAY!)
So what's in these amazing vegan arancini?
Golden Risotto - the main risotto bit you need for these vegan arancini. Here is the recipe for this. Why not make double and enjoy some as traditional risotto and some as risotto balls?
Miso - this is for the filling and gives a lovely umami taste. Miso is also fermented and great for gut health!
Nutritional yeast - this is deactivated yeast that gives a nutty, cheezy flavour to the filling.
Breadcrumbs - I think panko breadcrumbs work best, and go nice and crispy! They are for coating the vegan arancini.
Ground linseed/flaxseed - this is a great egg replacer, and also full of omega-3s. It will make the breadcrumbs stick to the vegan arancini balls.
Olives - the little eyes, teeth and 'stem' of the Jack o'Lantern are made from olives. Kalamata olives work really well. Make sure they're destoned. Obviously, if you're making these for a non-Halloween themed event, you can leave the decorations off. (Or not, I mean, why not Halloween all year?!)
This recipe is super easy, as is the decoration. Below is step by step to show you how:
- Make the Golden Risotto - you can save some to just have as a risotto meal and make the rest into the vegan arancini!
- Mix together the filling ingredients, which is butternut squash, miso and nutritional yeast. The gooey, cheesy tasting filling is super easy to make by mashing it all up!
3. Next create and coat the vegan arancini. Get the coating ready by mixing the ground linseed/flaxseed with warm water so it forms a gel. This is for rolling your arancini in so the breadcrumbs stick. Linseed/flaxseed is a great egg replacement - learn more about how to replace eggs with our amazing Guide.
4. Put the breadcrumbs on a dish ready for rolling your balls in!
5. Make up the balls by getting a golf-sized ball of risotto in your hand and hollowing it out. Add in a teaspoon of the filling & cover over with some more risotto. Squish to cover the filling and roll a bit to create a ball.
6. Roll the ball into the flax/linseed mixture, then roll it in the breadcrumbs until covered. Repeat with all the mix until you get between 16-20 risotto balls. How many vegan arancini you get depends on if you sneakily ate some risotto when you were making it & how big the balls are!
7. Repeat these steps until all the risotto is in balls. It depends how big you make them as to how many you get, or how much you eat along the way!
8. Decorate them with olives. This is a nifty, easy trick to make 'scary' faces. The kids will also love sticking the faces on, but grown-ups should do the delicate cutting. I find a great vegetable knife is key here. I love the Victorinox brand (from my research they're the best balance between price and quality, and this is the one I personally use).
9. Cut the olives into triangle pieces for the eyes and zig-zag strips for the teeth. Then put a whole olive length-ways up into the top of the vegan arancini.
10. Put the balls on a baking tray and bake at 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6 for 20 minutes or until they're crispy. Be kind, and don't let their friends see you eat them!
You can make these ahead of time, ready in their crumbs and pre-decorated. Leave in the fridge for up to 48 hours, then pop in the oven for 20 minutes, ready to hand around to guests once piping hot.
Yes! If you deep fry the balls, you'd have to do this without the olive 'faces'. But these balls are great for things other than Halloween anyway! Of course deep frying them is not as healthy.
Yes. The only thing with gluten in might be the breadcrumbs that they're rolled in. But you can use gluten-free breadcrumbs. I love Clearspring gluten-free breadcrumbs.
If you like this fun vegan arancini Halloween Recipe, you might also want to check out these fun Pumpkin themed ideas too:
If you loved these vegan arancini as much as we do, please comment below and share with your friends.
Love Louise x
Jack O'Lantern Vegan Butternut Squash Arancini
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
For the risotto part
- 1 recipe Golden Risotto
For the Filling
For the coating
For the Faces
- 25-40 destoned black olives (kalamata olives work best for this)
- Make the risotto & butternut squash up as per the instructions (see the link to Golden Risotto) and leave to cool a bit.
- Mix together the Filling ingredients, adding a little extra miso or nutritional yeast to taste.
To create & coat the risotto balls
- Mix the ground flax and warm water in a shallow dish. This will form a gel.
- Put the breadcrumbs onto a dish ready to roll the balls in.
- In the palm of your hand, get a golf sized ball of risotto and hollow out.
- Add in a teaspoon of the filling & cover over with some more risotto. Squish to cover the filling and roll a bit to create a ball.
- Roll the ball into the flax/linseed mixture, then roll it in the breadcrumbs until covered.
- Repeat with all the mix until you get between 16-20 risotto balls. How many you get depends on if you sneakily ate some risotto when you were making it & how big the balls are!
- Carefully cut the olives into trianglular pieces for the eyes, and some and 'teeth' pieces (see images in the main post).
- Create faces by carefully poking the olives pieces into the risotto balls and topping with a whole olive sticking out the 'head' a bit.
- Once decorated, pop onto a baking tray and either refrigerate until the party or pop into the oven.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6.
- Bake for around 20 mins until the risotto balls are crispy.
- Serve immediately with napkins to catch any dropped bits!