Baked Quinoa Arancini Rice Balls

Baked Quinoa Arancini Recipe — A healthy appetizer made with protein-rich quinoa and melty cheese. Love dipping them in warm marinara!

Baked Quinoa Arancini Recipe -- A healthy appetizer made with protein-rich quinoa and melty cheese. Love dipping them in warm marinara! | @sinfulnutrition

Happy weekend-ing my gorgeous people!

I briefly interrupt your coffee drinking and relaxation to bring you a well overdue recipe to the Sinful Nutrition blogosphere for this month’s Recipe Redux!

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Here’s what this month’s theme entailed:

Small Plates For Sunny Days
Small bites are perfect for trying many different tastes. Take tapas style eating outside for al fresco dining or a simple picnic.

Thankfully Mother Nature is finally warming up to the idea of spring around these parts, and I can take more of my eats and treats to one of my favorite spots in Portland.

FNCE Ocean View

from sinfulnutrition instagram

The Eastern Promenade. AKA The Eastern Prom. AKA The Prom. AKA THE BEST PICNIC SPOT IN THE WORLD.

…if the world was the size of Maine.

Baked Quinoa Arancini Recipe -- A healthy appetizer made with protein-rich quinoa and melty cheese. Love dipping them in warm marinara! | @sinfulnutrition

And along with my everlasting quest to find a way I enjoy eating quinoa, I doubled or nothing-ed this recipe challenge to make them delicious AND utensil-less.

Enter Arancini.

Traditionally made with leftover risotto, breaded, and fried, arancini isn’t exactly you’re light and airy kinda appetizer.

UNTIL NOW.

Baked Quinoa Arancini Recipe -- A healthy appetizer made with protein-rich quinoa and melty cheese. Love dipping them in warm marinara! | @sinfulnutrition

Baked Quinoa Arancini Rice Balls
Author: 
Recipe type: appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 balls
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs*
  • marinara sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray a large cast iron skillet with non-stick spray, or line a baking sheet with foil, and coat with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  3. Add quinoa to a microwave-safe bowl, and cook on high for 2 minutes, or until hot.
  4. Stir in mozzarella and parmesan until melted. Let cool in fridge.
  5. Once quinoa is cool, stir in egg, basil, and pepper.
  6. Add breadcrumbs to a large plate.
  7. Form quinoa into 6 balls, pressing firmly to hold shape.
  8. Roll in breadcrumbs and add to prepared baking sheet or skillet.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
  10. Serve with warm marinara sauce.
Notes
* use certified gluten-free breadcrumbs to make recipe gluten-free.

Baked instead of fried. Quinoa instead of rice (hayy protein!) And turned down the cheese dial. This baked arancini recipe is so light, it’s like practically eating a cloud. A melty, crunchy, flavor-bursting cloud, but a cloud nonetheless. Perfect for those not-a-cloud-in-the-sky kinda picnic-ing because you know…balance.

The key is to make sure you show that quinoa who’s the boss applesauce, and shape what your mama gave ya. Since there’s not as much glutinous cheesed-up rice, they need a little more oomph to keep them together. Or else they’ll just fall apart like a preteen without a smartphone. Just a complete and utter mess.

Hover over image to pin for later!

Baked Quinoa Arancini Recipe -- A healthy appetizer made with protein-rich quinoa and melty cheese. Love dipping them in warm marinara! | @sinfulnutrition

 

Then hop down to check out all the other fabulous apps for your ‘zerts (Parks and Rec reference) below!

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Make it a great day!

 

What’s your favorite appetizer/small bites?

Picnic or grilling? Grilling because ants exist.

 

8 thoughts on “Baked Quinoa Arancini Rice Balls

  1. Pingback: Recipe Wednesday: Game Night Winning Recipes

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