Cheesy Cauliflower Rice Arancini.
I don’t even know how to profess my love for this cauliflower rice arancini.
YES. You read that correctly!
I can’t believe it’s a thing but it’s definitely a thing and certainly a thing that you should try for dinner tonight!
We are full-on obsessed with arancini – and I’m so picky about it too. We get it at a local restaurant and you are probably sick of seeing it on my instagram stories. I love to make it at home but it’s definitely time consuming… and also usually requires a hot pot of oil.
Oh my gosh. How do I even begin about this cauliflower arancini?
It is SO GOOD.
This recipe comes from my friend Gina’s new cookbook, the Skinnytaste Air Fryer Cookbook – and Gina also sent me her Skinnytaste air fryer to try out the recipes. And you know what? Now I want to shout from the rooftops my love for the air fryer.
If you’ve been following along for a while, then you might remember that this isn’t my first foray into the air fryer! I created some recipes for Crate and Barrel a few years ago when the air fryer first came on the scene. And while I liked the concept, I just couldn’t get over another appliance in my kitchen at the time. Especially when it felt like I could get the same results in my oven.
My oh my was I wrong.
Now, I’m crazy over it. If you’re a texture freak like I am, if you love crispy crunchy food but don’t want something deep fried, you will be in LOVE with the air fryer. The food comes out of it with so much of a crispy bite that you’d almost think it was fried.
I don’t store mine in the kitchen (yet?), but it is light enough to grab (sometimes even daily!) when I want to use it. It is so super user friendly.
The Skinnytaste air fryer also has a HUGE basket, and that was the predicament with the first air fryer I used years ago. The basket was small – like way too small for even just Eddie and I to use it. We’d have to cook things in multiple batches, not just one or two.
This basket is HUGE. Depending on what you’re cooking, you might need to do two batches, but it has a very large capacity and that’s the key!
I honestly can’t believe how crispy and crunchy the food gets in the fryer.
Let’s talk about the arancini though.
I always want the insides super cheesy and the outside super crunchy. Gina’s recipe is not like any other arancini I’ve had, but it is to die for. Cauliflower rice, Italian chicken sausage, and lots of cheese make for the most delicious bite here. These come together SO quickly, actually stick together with ease and get super crispy in the fryer.
The chicken sausage helps take the flavor over the top. But I think you could even skip it and do all cauliflower rice and cheese!
The flavor is insane. This is SO much more flavorful than I expected and it checks all the arancini boxes I want, with it being on the lighter side too.
And now that I’ve professed my undying love, I’m just going to let you have at it. Make this!!
Cauliflower Rice Arancini
- 2 italian chicken sausage links, any casing removed
- 4 ½ cups frozen cauliflower rice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups marinara sauce
- 1 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
- olive oil spray for spritzing
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the sausage and cook it, breaking it apart with a spoon until it’s in small crumbles. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in the cauliflower rice, salt, and ½ cup of the marinara sauce. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring often, until the cauliflower is tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes, then stir in the mozzarella cheese. Let the mixture cool slightly until it’s easy to handle.
- Scoop out ¼ cup of the mixture and form it into a ball with your hands. Place the ball on a baking sheet. Repeat this with the remaining cauliflower mixture.
- Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl. In another bowl, stir together the bread crumbs and grated parmesan. Take each ball and lightly dip it in the egg mixture, then roll it through the bread crumbs to coat it completely. Repeat with the remaining balls.
Once all the arncini are made, preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees. Spray the arancini with the cooking spray all over - this really helps to crisp them up! Once the air fryer is heated, add the arancini in the basket (you may need to do 2 batches) and cook for 9 to 10 minutes, gently flipping the arancini half way through.
- Heat the remaining marinara sauce and serve the arancini with it immediately for dipping.
The cheese pulls are everything.