Low carb Stuffed Cauliflower Arancini


I love anything stuffed. Sweet or savory, hot or cold, I love little pockets of stuffed anything. I am not certain where that love came from, and I am not certain that it matters except to say that stuffed anything in my book is joyous beyond words. That being said, Arancini certainly qualifies as a top rated stuffed food.

Arancini, or stuffed rice balls, are a classic Italian dish that dates as far back as the 10th Century and was traditionally eaten on December 13th, for the feast of Santa Lucia when pasta and bread could not be served. 

While not mandatory, Arancini is typically stuffed with either ground beef or cheese. It is one of a long line of great dishes that uses up leftover risotto, cheese and meats and can then be served with a marinara sauce.

Today, Arancini is a staple at practically any Italian restaurant.  Incredibly elegant and special, adapting this to be low carb and diabetic friendly is personally gratifying. I hope you’ll find this recipe just as memorable and tasty as I do.

Nutritionally speaking, classic Arancini is also high in calories at ~200+ per serving. Additionally, a single serving can account for 95% of your daily recommendation of salt intake, 35% of saturated fat and 8% of carbohydrates with little fiber to mange blood sugar absorption.  

Our recipe reduces all of those values and more, including cutting calories per serving by more than 50%, sodium by 60%, saturated fat by 15% and reducing carbohydrates by 75%. If that doesn’t convince you , then once you taste our version, you’ll be hooked.

One last point before we jump into the recipe. These freeze incredibly well and at a few different points in the recipe, so make a double batch and freeze them for up to 90 days. Remove when needed and then amaze your family and friends with far less effort.

Stuffed Cauliflower Arancini

A low carb, diabetic friendly adaptation of classic stuffed Italian rice balls
Servings 4 servings
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins


  • 2 cups Riced Cauliflower baked and cooled*** – see note
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1/2 cup White Onion fine diced
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Clove fresh Garlic minced
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Chicken stock or broth
  • 1/4 cup White wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Mozzarella cheese cut into 1/2 inch cubes

For the crust

  • 2/3 cup Carbalose flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs

For frying

  • 3-4 cups Vegetable oil


Prepare the Cauliflower

  • Preheat oven to 250℉ to dry out the cauliflower.
  • Using a rimmed cookie sheet, prepare the pan with parchment paper or lightly oil with olive or vegetable oil. 
    Spread the riced Cauliflower into the pan in an even layer and bake for 30 minutes.  Check mid-way through the baking process for any browning along the edges.  If there is browning, stir and spread the Cauliflower into another thin layer and continue baking. Once done baking, allow the cauliflower to cool.

Making the Arancini Base

  • Preheat oven to 350℉ for Arancini.
  • Using a medium size pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the diced onion, salt and  pepper to taste. Sauté and stir occasionally for 2 minutes or until the onions starts to turn transparent.
  • Add the garlic and stir until you can smell the garlic, then add the white wine, and cook until all the wine is virtually evaporated.
  • While the wine is reducing, mix together the Xanthan gum and chicken stock until you have no lumps.  Add to onion and wine mixture in the pan.  Cook this over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by two-thirds and thickened.
  • Add the Cauliflower, ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese and Lemon juice. Stir until the cheese is melted.
  • Remove the Cauliflower mixture to a plate or pan and cool in the refrigerator for 10 – 20 minutes.
  • Once cooled, using an ice cream scoop, ¼ cup measuring cup or a large spoon, portion out the cauliflower mixture and roll into balls. Using you hands, gently press a cube of cheese into each of the balls, being certain to reshape the ball around the cube of cheese, fully sealing it inside.
  • When complete, freeze the cauliflower balls for at least one hour. Once partially frozen, they can be crusted using a 3 step method of breading.

Breading the Arancini

  • In a pot, pre-heat the Vegetable oil over medium high heat to 350℉. A candy thermometer will help you manage the temperature of the oil.
  • Place the Carbalose flour, Egg and Panko Crumbs in their own separate plates, bowls or pie pans. The egg will need to be blended with water until light yellow. No egg white should be seen.
  • With the flour, egg mixture and breadcrumbs set in front of you, take one Cauliflower ball and dredge it into the flour, being certain to lightly coat it, making sure there are no clumps of flour. Then dredge that ball in the egg, followed by the breadcrumbs. Continue this process for all the balls. Place breaded balls on a separate plate. 
  • Using a slotted spoon or a kitchen spider, carefully place 1-2 balls into the hot oil for 30 seconds, or just until lightly golden. Remove to a rimmed cookie sheet.  Continue this process for the remaining balls.
  • Once complete bake the arancini for 8-12 minutes depending on their size.  Remove from the oven and serve with a sauce or garnish of your choice.



*** NOTE: Because Cauliflower has a higher water content than cooked risotto, you want to dry out the Cauliflower rice.
Author: Davis Knight
Calories: 109kcal
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Appetizer, Arancini, Cauliflower, Italian, Rice, Risotto, Stuffed

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