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Quinoa Arancini

We love arancini, but they’re not the healthiest thing going! I wanted to make a version that we could enjoy guilt-free. I substituted quinoa for rice and tried baking instead of frying. Now we can have them any time. —Sabrina Ovadia, New York, New York
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    3 servings


  • 1 package (9 ounces) ready-to-serve quinoa or 1-3/4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten, divided use
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs, divided
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 cubes part-skim mozzarella cheese (3/4 inch each)
  • Cooking spray
  • Warmed pasta sauce, optional


  • Preheat oven to 425°. Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Stir in 1 egg, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, oil, basil and seasonings.
  • Divide into 6 portions. Shape each portion around a cheese cube to cover completely, forming a ball.
  • Place remaining egg and 1/2 cup bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dip quinoa balls in egg, then roll in bread crumbs. Place on a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan; spritz with cooking spray. Bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes. If desired, serve with pasta sauce.

Test Kitchen tips
  • When you substitute quinoa for rice in the classic version of arancini, it adds a slight crunch.
  • Spritzing with cooking spray helps the bread crumbs brown a bit.
  • Nutrition Facts
    2 arancini: 423 calories, 19g fat (6g saturated fat), 142mg cholesterol, 1283mg sodium, 40g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 5g fiber), 21g protein.

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    Click stars to rate
    Average Rating:
    • JMartinelli13
      Oct 23, 2019

      I used panko instead of regular crumbs. Was very happy with how crispy they got on the outside even though they are baked, not fried. Definitely will be making them again!

    • curlylis85
      Aug 5, 2019

      The arancini were a little bit bigger than I was expecting..2 arancini is a pretty substantial portion! I liked that they were baked and the overall flavor is pretty similar to mozzarella sticks, but a lot healthier.

    • pattiejean
      Jul 30, 2019

      These were amazing! My husband said "fabulous," and he felt like he was at a restaurant! I doubled the recipe, and I'm glad I did! Easy to make and I like that they're baked and not fried.

    • shannondobos
      Jul 29, 2019

      These were surprisingly easy, and we loved them! The only thing I’ll do next time is stretch the quinoa to make 8 instead of 6. The ratio of quinoa to cheese was just a bit too much for my liking. Otherwise, perfection!

    • randcbruns
      Jul 18, 2019

      My family loves Arancini and this was a nice twist. I would have given it 5 stars but my clan was not a fan of the quinoa.

    • Katisha
      Jul 2, 2019

      I love that these are baked instead of fried.