(Rice) Balls for Baby-Led Weaners

The other night we had risotto for dinner and as I was handing over the bowl to Shine I had visions of the scene that was about to unfold. She’s doing really well on the eating front but she has just worked out that spoons make wonderful catapults, clever thing. I would hand her a pre-loaded spoonful of risotto and she would fling it over her shoulder with delight. I am still finding grains of rice metres from her highchair.

With this carnage in mind, I looked long and hard at the risotto leftovers this morning and decided to give arancini a go. Fried balls of risotto with oozy cheese centres. What’s not to love? They turned out to be really easy and Sun got involved with the making too. Not sure they were exactly balls though, more like mini pyramids. Somehow during the frying they morphed from sperical to slightly triangular. Still tasted good though and it meant no repeat of the great rice spread of the other night.

So I thought I’d share how to make them in case there are any other BLWers out there in need of damage control recipes.

baby with arancini


Leftover risotto, cold from the fridge (mine was butternut squash risotto)
Mozzarella or cheddar
1 Egg, lightly beaten
Breadcrumbs, lightly seasoned


Wet your hands a little to prevent sticking then take about 1 Tablespoon of the leftover risotto and hold it in your palm, squishing it gently into a pattie. Place a small cube of cheese into the centre. Place a teaspoon more of the risotto over the cheese and mould the pattie into a ball passing it from palm to palm to help shape it into a ball.

If you have time, place the balls in the fridge for half an hour so they firm up.

If you don’t mind slightly strange-shaped arancini because you have hungry children waiting to eat then do as I did and skip the refrigeration. Carefully roll the balls in the beaten egg then roll in the breadcrumbs to coat fully.

Fry gently in a little olive oil, turning carefully, for around 5 minutes or until golden brown all over.

preparing arancini

5 responses to “(Rice) Balls for Baby-Led Weaners

  1. Pingback: 13-02-12 Love Cookery Weekly Showcase·

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