Jack o’ Lantern Butternut Squash Risotto Balls

So remember my last post… , the one that I was being all coy about what was coming up in this Jack o’ Lantern Butternut Squash Risotto Balls recipe…(What? You don’t – go read it, you’ll need to, to make this recipe!) 

Anyway 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 foody thing I’ve come up with.

I also love a good Arancini ball, that squishy ball of risotto rice encased in crunchy golden crumbs with a gooey, tasty surprise centre.

Which brings me to these, I reaaaallly wanted to make a yummy thing to surprise & delight guests at an upcoming event and put my creative head on.

(Shhhhh.. if you happen to be invited to something I’m going to or hosting, just behave like you’re surprised, OK?)

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!)

The gooey, cheesy tasting filling is super easy, just smash up the already roasted butternut squash with some miso & nutritional yeast  (What.. go check my last post- You’ve ALREADY made the squash & the risotto, obviously- here’s the link in case you haven’t. )  

You then scoop the risotto into the palm of your hand, making a hole in it & squishing in some filling, before covering it over with more risotto & breading before decorating and putting into the oven.

The little eyes and ‘stem’ of the Jack o’Lantern are made from olives, I used olives with a stone in for the stem,which made it easier to pop them in the top of the lantern & cut little triangles of black olives out for the face. 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?!)

(Eating note:  Be kind, eat their friends away from 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 mins, ready to hand around to guests once piping hot.

5 from 2 votes
Jack O'Lantern Butternut Squash Risotto Balls
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
1 hr

Delicious vegan arancini risotto balls with cute Halloween Jack O'lantern faces. Perfect for serving up at a Spooktackular Halloween party!

Course: Snack
Servings: 16
Author: Louise-Claire Cayzer
  • 1 recipe golden Risotto See notes below for the link
For the Filling
  • 1 roasted Butternut Squash
  • 3 Tbs Miso
  • 2 Tbs Nutritional Yeast
For the coating
  • 1/2- 1 cup breadcrumbs or more
  • 3 tbs ground linseed (flaxseed)
  • 1/3 cup warm water or more if needed
For the Faces
  • 16-20 Unstoned Kalamata Olives
  • 10- 20 black olives
  1. Make the risotto & butternut squash up as per the instructions (see the link and last post) and leave to cool a bit. 

  2. Mix together the filling ingredients, adding a little extra miso or nutritional yeast to taste. 

To create & coat the risotto balls
  1. Mix the ground flax and water in a shallow dish  to form a gel. 

  2. Put the breadcrumbs onto a dish ready to roll the balls in

  3. In the palm of your hand, get a golf sized ball of risotto and hollow out.

  4. 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. 

  5. Roll the ball into the flax mixture, then roll to cover in breadcrumbs.

  6. 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!

To Decorate
  1. Carefully cut the black olives into trianglular pieces and 'teeth' pieces.

  2. Create faces by carefully poking the olives pieces into the risotto balls and topping with a 'stem' olive.

  3. Once decorated, pop onto an oven proof tray and either refrigerate until the party pop into the oven.

To cook:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/ Gas Mark 6

  2. Bake for around 20 mins until the risotto balls are crispy. 

  3. Serve immediately with napkins to catch any dropped bits!

Recipe Notes

For this recipe you'll need to make one quantity of my Golden Butternut & Crispy Sage Squash Risotto.. Scale up for a big party! 

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