Last week I shared my new favorite risotto recipe where I added pesto to the mix. It's a great recipe if you missed it, but the point here is that you almost always have leftovers after you make risotto. Leftovers that are too delicious to get rid of, and one of my favorite ways to use up my risotto leftovers is to make risotto balls! Being that I could dip most things into marinara sauce (mozzarella sticks, pizza crust, crusty bread...okay so I could did anything carb loaded into marinara sauce), my baked pesto risotto balls are the perfect accompaniment to my love of dipping and marinara.
These little balls of flavor are perfect to serve as an appetizer or as a side dish in my opinion. And since the risotto is the real time consuming part and it's usually already made, you can whip up these risotto balls in a flash! Your guests will be impressed, your kids will love them, and you will look like a kitchen genius.
Traditionally risotto balls are fried, but I like to bake them to cut down on some of the calories and it's way less of a mess to clean up! I am all for anything that makes cleaning up the kitchen easier! Who's with me?
This is a great recipe to get your kids involved and get them rolling balls with you. They will love getting their hands dirty and I think it's always great when kids can be involved in what they are eating! No kids? That's okay get your partner involved!
Lately Canean has been more interested in helping me in the kitchen. Normally he stays far away, and I'll admit that sometimes I get anxiety when he does want to make something because it usually isn't very good. BUT...we have been cooking more together and I am teaching him little by little! It's really kind of romantic and a new way for us to spend some great time together! In return, he has a new appreciation for the work that goes into a great meal! It's a winning combination.
Anyhoo, I don't care who helps you or if you make them yourself and eat the whole pan yourself (because you just might want to), I just want you to make these baked pesto risotto balls, sooner rather than later! Mmmmmkkkaayy?
- Leftover Pesto Risotto, Recipe here (obviously you can do this with any leftover risotto recipe)
- 1/2 Cup of Italian Bread Crumbs, plus 1/8 of a Cup
- 1/2 Cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 Egg
- Non-Stick Olive Oil Spray
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Add your egg, 1/8 cup of your Italian bread crumbs, and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese to your leftover risotto and combine well by mixing with your hands.
- In another bowl combine your 1/2 cup of Italian bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper.
- Roll your risotto mixture into bite size balls and then roll them in the bread crumb mixture.
- Place onto a cooling rack that is sitting on top of a baking sheet to ensure that all sides of the risotto balls get crispy.
- Spray thoroughly with the non-stick spray.
- Bake for about 20-30 minutes until the risotto balls have browned nicely.
- Optionally, you can broil for the last 5 minutes to ensure good color.
- Serve with your favorite marinara sauce and fresh basil.
What's not to love?