Cauliflower Rice (Arancini) Balls

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These Italian Cauliflower Rice Balls (Arancini) are made with cauliflower in place of rice! Lower in carbs and baked or made in the air fryer!

These Italian Cauliflower Rice Balls (Arancini) are made with cauliflower in place of rice! Lower in carbs and baked or made in the air fryer!
Cauliflower Rice (Arancini) Balls

I love Italian rice balls, which are traditionally filled with rice, sausage and cheese, rolled into balls, breaded and fried. My lighter versions swaps the rice for cauliflower rice and rather than frying, I made them in my air fryer or oven!

These Italian Cauliflower Rice Balls (Arancini) are made with cauliflower in place of rice! Lower in carbs and baked or made in the air fryer!

I’ve had this concept in my head for a few months and wasn’t sure if it would work! How would I get the cauliflower to hold together to form a ball? I played around in my kitchen using frozen riced cauliflower, adding Italian sausage and marinara to add flavor to the cauliflower and shredded mozzarella to hold it all together like glue. It worked like a charm! I tested them out in my air fryer and oven, both came out great, although I think the air fryer ones were a little more golden and certainly a lot quicker. Serve them with marinara for a delicious way to enjoy cauliflower rice a whole new way!

How To Make Cauliflower Rice Balls (Arancini)

These Italian Cauliflower Rice Balls (Arancini) are made with cauliflower in place of rice! Lower in carbs and baked or made in the air fryer!

These Italian Cauliflower Rice Balls (Arancini) are made with cauliflower in place of rice! Lower in carbs and baked or made in the air fryer!These Italian Cauliflower Rice Balls (Arancini) are made with cauliflower in place of rice! Lower in carbs and baked or made in the air fryer!

Cauliflower Rice Ball Tips and Variations:

  • The trick is to add the mozzarella cheese while the cauliflower is still hot so it all melts together. Then let it cool a few minutes before rolling them up into balls.
  • For perfect balls, take 1/4 cup measuring cup, spray it with cooking spray and fill it. Level it, then use a small spoon to scoop it out into your palm, then roll.
  • If you have problems with it sticking to your hands (I did not) you can add a little oil to your hands.
  • To make them meatless, swap out the sausage for 1/3 cup peas and add more salt or Parmesan cheese for flavor.
  • To make them gluten-free, swap the breadcrumbs for gluten-free crumbs.

These Italian Cauliflower Rice Balls (Arancini) are made with cauliflower in place of rice! Lower in carbs and baked or made in the air fryer! These Italian Cauliflower Rice Balls (Arancini) are made with cauliflower in place of rice! Lower in carbs and baked or made in the air fryer! These Italian Cauliflower Rice Balls (Arancini) are made with cauliflower in place of rice! Lower in carbs and baked or made in the air fryer! These Italian Cauliflower Rice Balls (Arancini) are made with cauliflower in place of rice! Lower in carbs and baked or made in the air fryer!

These Italian Cauliflower Rice Balls (Arancini) are made with cauliflower in place of rice! Lower in carbs and baked or made in the air fryer!

More Arancini recipes:

More Cauliflower Rice Recipes

These Italian Cauliflower Rice Balls (Arancini) are made with cauliflower in place of rice! Lower in carbs and baked or made in the air fryer!
Print WW Personal Points
4.72 from 85 votes
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Cauliflower Rice Arancini

257 Cals 21.5 Protein 15.6 Carbs 11.5 Fats
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Yield: 2 servings
COURSE: Appetizer
CUISINE: American, Italian
These Italian Cauliflower Rice Balls (Arancini) are made with cauliflower in place of rice! Lower in carbs and baked or made in the air fryer!

Ingredients

  • 1 Italian chicken sausage link, casing removed (2 3/4 oz)
  • 2 1/4 cups riced cauliflower, frozen works great
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons homemade marinara, plus optional more for serving
  • 1/2 cup part skim shredded mozzarella
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs*, or gluten-free crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon grated Pecorino Romano or parmesan*
  • cooking spray

Instructions

  • Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking the meat up with spoon as it cooks as small as you can, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the cauliflower, salt and marinara and cook 6 minutes on medium heat, stirring until the cauliflower is tender and heated through.
  • Remove from heat and add the mozzarella cheese to the skillet and stir well to mix. Let it cool 3 to 4 minutes, until it’s easy to handle.
  • Spray a 1/4 cup measuring cup with cooking spray and fill with cauliflower mixture, leveling the top. Use a small spoon to scoop out into your palm and roll into a ball. Set aside on a dish.
  • Repeat with the remaining cauliflower, you should have 6 balls.
  • Place the egg in one bowl and the breadcrumbs in another.
  • Add the parmesan to the crumbs and mix.
  • Dip the ball in the egg, then in the crumbs and transfer to a baking sheet. Spray the top with cooking spray.
  • If baking in the oven, bake 425F 25 minutes, until golden. If making in the air fryer, bake 400F for 9 minutes turning halfway until golden.
  • Serve with marinara sauce, for dipping.

Video

Notes

*half of the crumbs get tossed, the n.i. and smart points accounts for that.

Nutrition

Serving: 3balls, Calories: 257kcal, Carbohydrates: 15.6g, Protein: 21.5g, Fat: 11.5g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 95.5mg, Sodium: 644mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2.5g
WW Points Plus: 6
Keywords: air fryer rice balls, baked rice balls, cauliflower arancini, Cauliflower Rice Balls, italian rice balls, low carb arancini, low carb rice balls

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225 comments

  1. Very good. Have wanted to try these for a LONG time. Made as directed. Used a large ice cream scoop 3/4 filled for each ball. Made 6 perfect evenly sized arancini. Held together well. Great texture… surprisingly similar to the real thing. Really enjoyed as a dinner with a side salad. To warm up next day I just popped back into air fryer for a couple minutes. Warmed up great and kept them crisp. Thanks for all the great recipes. 

  2. Made these last night, so good!! I didn’t think the leftovers would be as good for lunch today.. but turns out they were even more flavorful (although not as crispy). Wondering if next time I could put the sausage/cauli/cheese mix in the fridge for a few hours to meld the flavors and then air fry them later. This is the same method I use for meatballs, but not sure if it’d work here….

  3. This was soooooo yummy! Very pleased I made extras, looking forward to having it again for lunch tomorrow 🙂

  4. Made these last night in the air fryer. Very good!! I riced my own cauliflower as I had a head on hand. I think these are fun healthy and easily customizable. For instance, one could change the sausage to ground turkey, which I may do next time.  They were excellent just as the recipe was written, though!  Thank you. I will make these again. 

  5. THIS “RECIPE”!!!! I added green pepper and used plant based sausage….. O…..M…..G!!!!!! They were DELICIOUS!!! Thank you soooo very much for this…!!!

  6. These were amazing! My boyfriend loved them. I doubled the sausage so we would both end up eating a 1 sausage total and it was perfect. Will definitely be making these again!

  7. Oh my, can’t believe it has been this long to make this one. I guess I thought it looked hard to do. I used one 10 ounce bag of frozen riced cauliflower and used Skinny tastes own recipe for turkey Italian sausage–I wasn’t sure how much to use once it was cooked and decided on about 3 ounces of this. Used egg beater eggs and a 2 % blend shredded cheese. They needed some pressure to stay together and a very light hand with rolling in egg and crumbs–but it was worth it. I am going to turn around and make another batch. I was surprised how flavorful they were with no herbs etc added. They were perfectly wonderful. The casserole version looks good too–but I think making in form of balls that it would have more crispy flavor on their side.

  8. Oh. My. Goodness!! These were fun to make and they came out AMAZING! My husband is still talking about them this morning, after I made them last night. I did add a finely diced shallot and a bit extra sauce to the mixture, I used panko instead of breadcrumbs because that is what was in the pantry, and I made smaller balls, to make them more like an appetizer.

    It also seems like this is a great recipe that could be a good “base” for lots of fun modifications. I was thinking about making a not-too-thick casserole and topping it with the breadcrumbs and cheese to make it a bit quicker to make. In any case, I will be making this frequently – thanks, Gina, for yet another healthy hit!