I don’t think I’d be alone in saying that Italian cuisine is one of my all time favourites. Unfortunately, Italian street food often gets forgotten. There are some true gems to be found from the Friggitoria (shops selling fried food) lining the small cobbled streets – like Vegan Mushroom Arancini.
These vegan, nut free & soy free Mushroom Arancini are equal amounts umami, crunchy, crispy and creamy – everything you could want in a snack! Mushroom risotto is cooked until thick and velvety, made into balls, and rolled in sourdough breadcrumbs. The arancini balls are then fried or baked until perfectly crispy and golden on the outside. The result? Each mouthful is a piping hot explosion of flavour and texture.
Add a spoonful of juicy marinara sauce on top of your Arancini. One bite and you’ll be in heaven!
Are Mushroom Arancini Vegan, Gluten Free, Nut Free or Soy Free?
This recipe for Mushroom Arancini is indeed Vegan, Nut Free, and Soy Free. This means that it’s the perfect recipe for anyone with dietary needs or preferences, and ideal for entertaining large groups or parties. It’s actually really easy to make Gluten Free, too!
To make Mushroom Arancini Gluten Free, simply make homemade breadcrumbs from a few slices of your favourite Gluten Free bread, or try these Gluten Free Panko.
Arancini aren’t usually Vegan. Typically either the risotto mixture or the outside coating contains egg. Our risotto is beautifully moist and creamy, so holds its shape even without egg. I also skip the egg or slurry coating – the breadcrumbs actually stick to the arancini without any need for the extra step, making this recipe much simpler.
What are Arancini Balls made from?
Arancini are made from risotto – this can be made fresh or you can use leftovers. This particular recipe uses a delicious & rich mushroom risotto, but many other variations or even plain risotto could be used. Once the risotto is cooked, it has to be cooled and then shaped into little balls. The balls are then rolled in breadcrumbs until completely coated, and then fried.
In these Mushroom Arancini we’ll use:
- Good quality Olive Oil
- Leeks, Onions or Shallots
- Fresh Chestnut Mushrooms
- Good quality risotto rice, either Carnaroli or Arborio.
- Vegetable stock or Water
- Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
- Breadcrumbs – I used homemade Sourdough breadcrumbs, but Panko works well too
What does the Italian word Arancini mean?
“Arancini” translates to “Little Oranges” – how cute is that?! Although arancini don’t contain any actual oranges, they do resemble them once fried. With their round shape and gorgeous golden-orange breadcrumb coating, it’s easy to see where they got the name!
How to make the BEST Mushroom Arancini
- Take your time with the risotto. Good risotto takes time. The water must be added in increments and you must stir it well. Cooking the risotto in this way is what builds up the starch and therefore makes it deliciously creamy. A risotto cooked any other way won’t have the same texture and may not hold together so well.
- Cool your risotto. After cooking the risotto it’s vital that you cool it down thoroughly before forming the arancini. This makes it easy to handle and squeeze into balls, but also helps the arancini balls stick together. To cool the risotto as quickly as possible, spread the risotto into a thin layer on a baking tray and place in the fridge.
- Use the best quality breadcrumbs. I recommend homemade breadcrumbs – simply blitz up your favourite bread and ta-da, you have homemade breadcrumbs! I used sourdough, but ideally should have pulsed the breadcrumbs until they were a finer consistency. If you don’t want to use homemade, then Panko are the best choice.
- Allow enough space when cooking. Whether you deep fry, air fry or bake your arancini, this is important. Getting a good crisp on the arancini is dependant on them having enough space to cook – especially if deep frying or air frying. Always cook in batches!
Can you Bake, Air Fry or Deep Fry Arancini?
Yes, you can.
To Bake Arancini, preheat your oven to 200c / 392f. While the oven is heating, toast your breadcrumbs. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan and once hot add your breadcrumbs. Toast until just golden. This is an optional step, but helps your breadcrumbs get really golden in the oven. Roll your arancini in the toasted breadcrumbs. Arrange on a baking tray covered in parchment paper, spray with a little extra oil, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden and hot.
To Air Fry Arancini, preheat your Air Fryer to 200c / 392f. Spray the basket with oil and arrange your breaded arancini onto the fryer basket, leaving ample space. Cook for around 6 minutes, then spray with oil, turn, and cook for another 6 minutes (or until golden). Repeat with the remaining batches of arancini.
To Deep Fry Arancini, preheat your Deep Fat Fryer or oil to ( ). Once hot, gently lower the arancini into the hot oil. Work in small batches so as to not overcrowd the oil. Fry until golden brown, remove from the oil using a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towel.
This Recipe Is …
- Vegan, Nut Free and Soy Free
- Easily made Gluten Free
- The BEST option for entertaining, party food & pot lucks
- Authentically Italian
- Flavoursome & delicious
- Easy to follow
For the Risotto
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 50g Leek, finely chopped
- 5-6 Garlic Cloves, finely minced
- 200g Chestnut Mushrooms (5 Large), finely chopped
- 230g Risotto Rice
- ~700ml Vegetable Stock OR Water
- 1 tsp Black Pepper, ground
- 1.5 tsp Salt or to taste
For Breading the Arancini
- Make the risotto. Begin by heating olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic and sauté for a few minutes, or until transparent and soft. At this stage, add the chopped mushrooms and sauté once more, until the mushrooms have just softened.
- Add the risotto rice to the pan and toast until the rice is just started to brown and turn golden. Once this happens, add the vegetable stock or water 100ml at a time. Stir the risotto each time you add stock, cook until the stock absorbs, and then add more. Repeat this process until all the stock is absorbed and the risotto rice is fully cooked. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cool the risotto. Spread the risotto flat onto a tray and place in the fridge to cool for about 30 minutes.
- Form the arancini. Once the risotto is cool enough to touch, form around 20 small balls or 10 larger ones. Set aside on a plate.
- Bread the arancini. Take your breadcrumbs and sprinkle them on a flat plate. Take an arancini ball and roll it in the breadcrumbs until fully coated. Repeat with all arancini.
- Cook the arancini:
- To Bake Arancini, preheat your oven to 200c / 392f. While the oven is heating, toast your breadcrumbs. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan and once hot add your breadcrumbs. Toast until just golden. This is an optional step, but helps your breadcrumbs get really golden in the oven. Roll your arancini in the toasted breadcrumbs. Arrange on a baking tray covered in parchment paper, spray with a little extra oil, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden and hot.
- To Air Fry Arancini, preheat your Air Fryer to 200c / 392f. Spray the basket with oil and arrange your breaded arancini onto the fryer basket, leaving ample space. Cook for around 6 minutes, then spray with oil, turn, and cook for another 6 minutes (or until golden). Repeat with the remaining batches of arancini.
- To Deep Fry Arancini, preheat your Deep Fat Fryer or oil to ( ). Once hot, gently lower the arancini into the hot oil. Work in small batches so as to not overcrowd the oil. Fry until golden brown, remove from the oil using a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towel.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 230Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1289mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
What do you serve with Mushroom Arancini?
Serve Vegan Mushroom Arancini on a bed of rocket (arugula) leaves and a sprinkling of parsley on top. Eat with your choice of dips – I love an easy and delicious marinara for the contrast in flavours, but Vegan pesto or Chilli ‘Mayonnaise’ also work well.