Quinoa Arancini with Easy Aioli

Quinoa Rice Balls

Think arancini, only with quinoa.

This easy, nutrient-dense dish was inspired by leftovers. Looking at a simple dish of leftover quinoa, I suddenly remembered how easy it was to use leftover rice to make arancini. Lo, a dish was born: Quinoa Arancini. Or should it be Arancinoa? Quinoacini?

Regardless, it works equally well as a side dish, as an appetizer, or as a food to stand in the kitchen eating straight out of the baking dish whilst you ponder which dip is your favorite. (Ask me how I know.)I made it with grain-free flours, and I love the resulting nuttiness of the flavors, but you could easily adapt it to use any flour you like. Oh, and note that I’ve written this with quinoa from scratch just in case you don’t happen to have any ready to go, but if you do, then just use about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of the quinoa.


1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup stock of your choice
1/2 cup pignoli (pine nuts)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
2 sage leaves, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper (or more as desired)
black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375. Spread pignoli out in a large glass baking dish and toast for 10-15 minutes (after the first 5, you’ll want to start checking the pan and giving it a little shake every 2 to 3 minutes), until golden brown.Once they’re done, set the baking dish aside to cool (you’ll be using it to bake the arancini) and give them a rough chop.

While pignoli are toasting, prepare the quinoa if you don’t have leftovers ready to roll: Bring quinoa and stock to a boil in a small saucepan; cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until stock is absorbed and the ring of germ around the edges has popped out. Fluff with a fork, then spread out over a baking sheet to let cool and dry.

Beat the eggs and the oil together with a fork in a small bowl. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the chopped pignoli, the parsley and all the other dry ingredients. Stir in egg and oil mixture, and finally, stir in the quinoa. Roll into golf ball size and place on oiled baking sheet or in glass baking dish. They will be soft and sticky when raw.) Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden on the outside and cooked through on the inside.

Dip in something umami-y or acidy. Lots of things would work well here; my favorite of the dips I’ve tried so far was this easy shortcut version of aioli. (If you prefer to make it completely from scratch, by all means knock yourself out!)


3 garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine or white balsamic vinegar

Stir all ingredients together. Finis.
Other Quinoa Creations:
Sweet Corn and Quinoa with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette from Iowa Girl Eats
Quinoa, Avocado, Tomato and Black Bean Salad from The Perfect Pantry
Fudgy Quinoa Brownies from Poor Girl Eats Well
Moroccan Quinoa Pilaf from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen
Quinoa Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing from two Peas and Their Pod

 — posted by Anne


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