These Oven-Baked Spinach and Barley Arancini are kid friendly, healthy, delicious, and super easy to make! Plus, you can freeze them for later. If you're looking for a healthy alternative to frozen chicken nuggets, this is it!
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Oven-Baked Spinach and Barley Arancini (Italian Rice Balls)

These Oven-Baked Spinach and Barley Arancini are kid friendly, healthy, delicious, and super easy to make! Plus, you can freeze them for later. If you're looking for a healthy alternative to frozen chicken nuggets, this is it!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 286kcal
Author: Elizabeth Lindemann

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked barley or risotto, rice, quinoa, or other cooked grain
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 6 oz. baby spinach or frozen, thawed and drained
  • kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • marinara sauce for dipping (optional)

Instructions

  • If you are using fresh spinach, steam it until it is fully wilted, then squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible. If using frozen, thaw it and drain it as thoroughly as possible.
  • Combine all ingredients except for breadcrumbs and olive oil in a medium mixing bowl.
  • In a shallow dish or bowl, combine breadcrumbs with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Roll mixture into balls (like meatballs) and coat in breadcrumbs. Place on a parchment covered baking sheet.
  • At this point, you may store in the fridge until you are ready to cook, or flash freeze them/store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • When you are ready to cook, drizzle arancini with a the two tablespoons olive oil and bake at 375 for 20 minutes on a parchment covered baking sheet.
  • Serve with marinara sauce for dipping, if desired.

Notes

  • I make my own whole wheat breadcrumbs by grinding up toasted whole wheat bread in my food processor and keeping them in my freezer.
  • For a gluten-free option, make sure to use a gluten-free grain such as rice or quinoa in place of the barley, and use gluten-free breadcrumbs as well!
  • The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.

Nutrition

Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 411mg | Potassium: 277mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2896IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 258mg | Iron: 3mg