Image default
Cooking + Entertaining

Vegetable arancini: the vegetarian recipe of classic Sicilian street food

Vegetable arancini: the vegetarian recipe of classic Sicilian street food


Extra virgin olive oil

The vegetable arancini I’m a vegetarian variant of the classic arancini with meat sauce, a typical dish of Sicilian cuisine and one of the most popular street food of tradition. They are prepared with rice which, once boiled and left to cool, is stuffed with cooked vegetables, passed in a rich breading based on flour, eggs and breadcrumbs, then fried in hot seed oil. The result is some greedy croquettes and fragrant, excellent to serve as a first or single course at a summer dinner with friends. You can also enjoy them as a delicious aperitif, perhaps forming smaller balls and offering them together with other regional specialties, such as Palermo cazzilli and panelle.

Suitable for everyone, even for those who follow a vegetarian diet, the vegetable arancini will conquer young and old. For an optimal result, use a round or semi-fine rice: with a small grain and not very resistant to cooking, especially the first one, it is rich in starch, “sticky” and therefore perfect for this kind of preparations. We used zucchini, carrots and aubergines, vegetables of the summer season, for the filling; to taste you can add the vegetables you prefer and, for a sweet tooth racy effectyou can also add a small piece of spun curd cheese, such as provola, scamorza or caciocavallo.

Find out how to prepare them by following the step by step procedure and advice.

How to prepare vegetable arancini

Rinse the rice under cold running water and drain it. In a large pot, put two tablespoons of olive oil 1.

Add the rinsed rice 2 and let it toast.

Heat the vegetable broth: it must always be hot. Pour a ladle of hot vegetable broth 3 and cook the risotto, adding more as it is absorbed.

When the rice is cooked, turn it off and let it cool 4.

Meanwhile, peel the carrots, trim them and cut them into cubes 5.

Do the same thing with the zucchini 6.

Rinse the aubergines, remove the stalk and cut them into chunks of the same size as the other vegetables 7.

Pour three tablespoons of oil into a pan and sauté a clove of unpeeled garlic. Once golden, remove it, add the carrots and cook for five minutes; add the zucchini 8 and continue cooking for a few more minutes, always stirring.

Then add the eggplant 9 and cook until all the vegetables are very soft.

Once cooked, turn off and let cool 10.

Start assembling the arancini. It will help you to have a small bowl full of water in which to dip your hand to have it moist and help you in the making of rice balls 11.

Grab some rice and make a meatball 12.

Create a central cavity and insert the cooked vegetables inside 13.

Close to form a ball 14.

Pass the rice ball first in the flour 15.

Then dip it in a bowl with the eggs, beaten and seasoned with a pinch of salt 16.

Finally pass it in the breadcrumbs, making sure that it adheres perfectly 17.

Pour the seed oil into a high-sided saucepan and bring it to a temperature of 170 ° C. With the help of a slotted spoon, insert the rice and vegetable arancino into the oil 18.

Let it fry, turning it gently on all sides to create an even frying 19. Proceed gradually with the other arancini until all the ingredients are used up.

Once golden brown, drain and let them dry on absorbent kitchen paper 20.

The vegetable arancini are ready to be enjoyed 21.


Let the rice cool in a low, wide container to make the process quicker.

Cut the vegetables into cubes of the same size for even cooking. Add the carrots first as they take longer to cook, then after two minutes add the aubergines and courgettes.

For crispier arancini, pass them in eggs and breadcrumbs, thus obtaining a double breading.

To check that the oil has reached the right temperature, dip a wooden toothpick: if bubbles immediately form around it, it means that it is ready.


To savor the typical fragrance and crunchiness, the vegetable arancini should be consumed freshly fried and very hot. If they were leftover, you can refrigerate them for 1-2 days, in a suitable airtight container. At the time of consumption, heat them in the oven for about ten minutes.

New posts