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Test Kitchen Approved

Butternut Squash Stuffed Arancini (Rice Balls)

Recipe By Scott Callahan

Recipe By Scott Callahan

Rich, vanilla scented risotto is formed into lightly fried rice balls with a sweet bite of roasted butternut squash tucked in the middle. These delightful bites are surprisingly easy.

Serving Suggestions

Absolutely amazing served warm with the Smoked Serrano Cranberry Chutney for dipping.

Recipe Notes

If you'd rather skip the fried part of this recipe, simply toss the roasted butternut squash into the finished risotto for a lovely side dish or hearty vegetarian main.


For the butternut squash risotto:

1.5 lbs. butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

6 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 medium shallots, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cups white wine

1 cups Arborio rice

5 cups hot vegetable stock, divided

For the fried rice balls:

1 (8 oz.) box panko bread crumbs

Canola oil for frying

Savory Spice ingredients in this recipe

  • Black Tellicherry Peppercorn

    Tellicherry peppercorns are considered by some to be the best of the best. These peppercorns are left on the vine to mature longer, creating a mell...

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  • Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste

    Our Madagascar vanilla bean paste is formulated to match Madagascar vanilla extract in flavor, strength, and usage. The paste holds hundreds of van...

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  • Rubbed Sage

    Sage, like many other herbs, originates from the mint family. It has long, grayish-green leaves that take on a cottony velvet-like texture when rub...

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  • Honey Powder

    Honey powder, like liquid honey, can be used as a sweetener or flavoring. In powder form, the consistency is much easier to maintain, making it per...

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  • Sel Marin de Guerande Grey Sea Salt

    The French are the first known to harvest sea salt; records age back to the 7th century and to this day they still hand harvest it in the same trad...

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For the butternut squash risotto: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss butternut squash with 3 Tbsp. olive oil and the lemon juice and honey powder. Transfer to a baking sheet and cook for 20 min. or until fork tender; let cool on baking sheet. In a wide saute pan over medium heat, cook shallots and garlic in remaining olive oil; before they start to brown, add wine and simmer to reduce by about a third. Add rice and stir to coat. Add 1 cup stock, bring to a simmer and stir constantly. Once stock is absorbed, add 1/2 cup more and stir until absorbed. Repeat until all stock has been used and rice is al dente, 15 to 20 min. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla paste and coconut milk powder; let cool.

For the fried rice balls: Scoop up a ball of rice mixture, nestle a cube of squash in the middle and close to form a stuffed ball. Gently roll rice ball in bread crumbs to cover. Add enough oil to a high-sided skillet to submerge rice balls; heat to 350 degrees. Fry rice balls in small batches until golden brown, maintaining 350-degree temperature. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Combine salt, pepper, and sage in a small bowl; lightly sprinkle over the rice balls.