Alfie tries oven baked arancini

An ideal way to use leftover risotto and a meal you can prepare ahead of time.

We love risotto and I love it even more when I take the easy option and make it in the oven. With this recipe I make the risotto the night before in the oven and then prepare the arancini (risotto balls) when Alfie is napping. So then, as dinner time approaches, I just throw them in the oven! This is perfect for little ones as they get more and more tired and needy as the day goes on and so it can be difficult to get cooking done at this time of day. 

The risotto recipe is taken from ‘Baby healthy eating planner’ by Amanda Grant. The arancini is inspired from various sources online but I simplified it and made them oven baked rather than fried. 

Ingredients (makes 8, more than enough for 2 adults and baby)

  • 25g butter 
  • Half an onion finely chopped
  • 175g risotto rice 
  • 300ml passata or chopped tomatoes 
  • 475ml of low salt vegetable stock
  • 50g Parmesan 
  • 2 chicken breasts finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 egg beaten 
  • 50g of bread crumbs 

How to make 

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  • Melt butter and fry onion and add rice 


  • Stir for 2-3 mins until rice hisses
  • Add passata or chopped tonatoes and stir 
  • Add stock and bring to simmer
  • Transfer to oven dish and cover
  • Bake for 20 mins 
  • Take out and stir and return to oven uncovered for a further 15 mins 
  • Stir in 25g of cheese whilst warm


  • Store in fridge until needed 
  • Prepare baking tray with foil and drizzle with oil
  • Fry chicken pieces and once cooked stir into risotto
  • Using  your hands roll cold risotto and chicken into golf sized balls and roll in egg and then coat in breadcrumbs. You will have risotto leftover so just serve on the side.


  • Bake for 30 mins (if you remember, turn halfway although I always forget)


  • Wait until cool to serve and chop into smaller pieces 

  Alfie loved this dinner and the two arancini leftover went down really well for lunch the next day too! I reckon without the chicken these would work really well for a picnic cold. 



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