Best Rice Balls Recipe!
Click above to watch the first episode of Cooking with Flava with Ava! The tastiest bolognese sauce and a dairy-free spinach dip will fool any dairy lover!
Giant Rice Ball Recipe
Let’s start with the foundation of our rice ball, the rice!
Total Time 35 mins
servings: a lot
- 2-4 cups rice, depending on serving size
- salt + pepper
- Italian seasoning
- 1 stick (8 tbsp) butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 bag of dairy-free cheese or regular cheese
- water to boil
- choice of stock (chicken, veggie, etc.)
- 1 1/2- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning (optional)
- Let’s begin! Combine water and stock in a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Add rice and cook with a lid for 10 minutes or until soft.
- Drain water from rice.
- Add salt and pepper, butter, eggs, and Italian seasoning to warm rice and combine softly.
- Be careful not to overwork the rice, or it can get mushy.
- Transfer rice onto a baking sheet and spread out an even layer to cool until it is warm.
- Your rice is ready to become a yummy rice ball!
Once our rice ball is completely stuffed, we will coat it in this breadcrumb mixture before frying!
- One 8-ounce box of panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- For the breadcrumb mixture, mix the breadcrumbs, parmesan, and parsley in a bowl. Set aside until it’s time to coat the rice ball.
The Best Bolognese Sauce
Once you make this bolognese sauce, you’ll never want sauce from a jar again!
Total Time 15 mins
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 2 carrots, diced small
- 2 stalks of celery, diced small
- 1/2 onion, diced small
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine
- 1-quart chicken stock
- 1 bunch of fresh rosemary
- 1 1/2 cups fresh peas
- 1 bunch of fresh basil, chopped
- 1 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 can of fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped tomatoes
- 1 can garlic roasted tomatoes
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
- Add onion and garlic to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add in ground beef and cook until brown. Season with salt + pepper
- Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes, and fresh tomatoes to the pan.
- In a separate pan, sauté carrots and celery until soft for 5 minutes.
- Add fresh chopped parsley and basil.
- Add cooked celery and carrots.
- Fold in peas.
- Add red wine to the pan. Cook for another 10 minutes.
- Reduce to a simmer and cook for around 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
- Heat over medium heat, occasionally stirring, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and finish!
Dairy-Free Spinach Dip
Prepare your tastebuds! These rice balls are filled with a surprisingly delicious dairy-free spinach dip that is my go-to appetizer to make for friends and family! No one will be able to tell it’s dairy-free!
Total Time 20-25 mins
- 2 packs frozen Spinach or 2 packs fresh chopped spinach
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3-4 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1-2 8 oz containers of Dairy-free sour cream
- 1-2 8 oz containers of Dairy-free cream cheese
- Dairy-free mozzarella
- Dairy-free cheddar
- Dairy-free smoked gouda
- Dairy-free parmesan
- Canned or jarred artichokes (I like to use the Private Label brand)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- White wine is optional but recommended for more depth of flavor
- In a large pan, sauté onions, garlic, and butter until soft, around 3 minutes.
- Add frozen spinach and cook until soft. If you are using fresh spinach, add once frozen spinach is cooked down.
- Add dairy-free sour cream, cream cheese, cheeses, garlic, chopped artichokes, salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined.
- Add a splash of white wine (I used Chardonnay)
- Simmer on low for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted.
- Spread the spinach dip mixture into the prepared dish.
- If you want to be extra cheesy, top with the remaining mozzarella cheese, then broil in the oven for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown.
- Set aside to fill rice balls or serve with tortilla chips, bread, crackers, or vegetables!
How to Form and Cook Your Rice Ball
- Scoop a large spoonful of rice into your hand, creating a shallow bowl shape. Once formed, add a good amount of the meat sauce inside your rice bowl. Add cheese and a little more meat sauce. Make a second “bowl” of rice and press it on top, forming with the other until it is one.
- Be careful not to make your rice bowls too thick you want a nice ratio of rice to the filling!
- Patch any holes with the remaining rice to prevent spillage in the fryer. The rice ball should be about the size of a baseball.
- Repeat the same formation technique of the rice ball but this time, fill with spinach dip!
- Heat oil to 325 degrees. Roll the rice balls in the breadcrumb mixture until completely covered.
- Deep-fry until golden brown, 8-10 minutes.
- Spoon the bolognese sauce or spinach dip on the bottom of each plate. Place a rice ball in the center of the dish. Top with more sauce, parmesan and parsley.