Bacon Butternut Arancini with Pumpkin Seed Pesto Dip.

HELLO. I made you crunchy balls of gooey cheese.

bacon butternut arancini with pumpkin pesto dip I howsweeteats.com

Can we be friends forever?

I hope so.

MY OTHER RECIPES

bacon butternut arancini with pumpkin pesto dip I howsweeteats.com

Guys! How was your weekend? How was your Thanksgiving, if you celebrated?

I hosted Thanksgiving and I barely took one single photo. I can’t believe it. I also didn’t catch my house on fire or burn the stuffing or make lumpy gravy, so that’s a plus.

But! This is one of the first years that I haven’t done a Thanksgiving round up post over on Crumbs, and it’s not that I didn’t want to – but I was SO in the moment. I thoroughly enjoyed it all but I also really wish that I had snapped more so I could relive it all. Especially the insaaaane chocolate peanut butter brownies I made.

bacon butternut arancini with pumpkin pesto dip I howsweeteats.com

Since then, we’ve been decorating fools. We have been telling Max all weekend that we are turning our house into a winter wonderland for him so now he is running around and screaming “wonderwand!”

So adorable. But I know. You probably have to be here. We’re also currently watching the Grinch and I’m hoping he isn’t scarred for life after this.

bacon butternut arancini with pumpkin pesto dip I howsweeteats.com

Annnyhooo.

This is exactly what I did with the butternut bacon risotto I made a few weeks ago. And I’m in LOVE!

Last year around the holidays I made a goat cheese and roasted garlic arancini. To say I’ve been craving it and wanting to make more ever since would be a serious understatement. I remember the exact place I was standing nearly one year ago when I tasted my homemade ones for the first time and it.was.heaven.

Heaven, I tell you!

bacon butternut arancini with pumpkin pesto dip I howsweeteats.com

Yes, I realize that this butternut recipe may have been more appropriate in October or before Thanksgiving, but hey, it’s still November. And we are entering the best time of year for alllllll the delicious appetizers we can eat (oh, hi, treadmill) and making wonderful food to share with friends and family.

If you just HAPPEN to have some leftover risotto (might be crazy, I know)… then I doubt you’ll hate it if you stuff it with cheese, coat it in breadcrumbs and give it a little fry bath.

bacon butternut arancini with pumpkin pesto dip I howsweeteats.com

Can you even take that CHEESE?!

bacon butternut arancini with pumpkin pesto dip I howsweeteats.com

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Bacon Butternut Arancini with Pumpkin Seed Pesto Dip

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooled butternut bacon risotto
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 8 ounces fontina cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • a pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • vegetable oil for frying

pumpkin seed pesto dip

  • 2/3 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin seed pesto
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

Note: to cool the risotto quickly, you can make a batch then spread it out on a baking sheet to cool and slightly dry. I’ve done it both ways (the other being to store it overnight in the fridge) and they both work great.

In a large bowl, stir together the cooled rice, egg, parmesan, salt, pepper and about 1/2 cup of the breadcrumbs. Using your hands, form the mixture into 1-inch round balls. Gently push a cube or two of fontina cheese in the center of each ball, make sure to seal it all around. Roll each ball in the remaining bread crumbs and place it on a baking sheet. Once finished, place the baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes.

While the rice balls are freezing, heat about 1-2 inches of oil in a large pot. You want it to be between 325 and 350 degrees F. Add about 2 to 3 rice balls to the oil at one time, frying until golden on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to remove excess grease. Repeat.

Serve immediately with extra grated parmesan and the pesto dip.

pumpkin seed pesto dip

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth.

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I appreciate you so much!

bacon butternut arancini with pumpkin pesto dip I howsweeteats.com

Tastes like my dreams.