Quick and Simple Baked Brown Rice, Quinoa and Panko Balls, Stuffed with Mozzarella Cheese and Dipped in Spicy Harissa, Garnished with Cilantro and Black Pepper


My inspiration for this recipe came from my *hope* of “spicing up” the typical rice meal! It also reminded me of a healthier, makeshift and faster version of  Arancini balls (deep-fried risotto balls stuffed with cheese, sometimes meat and other things) served in restaurants. This version is actually relatively healthy for you, especially since the balls are baked and use great ingredients like brown rice and quinoa. Plus, although it looks like a TON of cheese, the entire mixture only used two cheese sticks cut into small pieces (win!). I paired these balls with harissa (which is spicy!), so if you prefer something not spicy I think these would pair wonderfully with a marinara or other tomato-based sauce! Most versions of Arancini balls come in a tomato-based sauce and the flavors all pair wonderfully together. As a light meal for two, this recipe works great. But, if you’re looking for a larger meal, try pairing these with some protein and a salad or vegetables. Either way, it is definitely way more exciting than plain rice or grains and is an easy recipe to try out if you’re feeling creative and in the mood for something a little different. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

Makes 2 Servings (6 Balls Apiece) as a Light Meal or 12 Balls as an Appetizer

Recipe by © Alysha Melnyk 2018

Kitchen Tools:

Oven, Preheated to 400°F

Sheet Pan

Parchment Paper

Mixing Bowl

Pastry Brush (*For Olive Oil)


2 Cups Rice/Grain Mixture of Choice (I used a microwave pack of brown rice/quinoa from Seeds of Change to cut back on cooking time)

2 Large Eggs

1/2 Cup Panko Bread Seasoning (*Or Bread Seasoning of Choice)

2 Cheese Sticks, Cut into Small 1/4 Inch Pieces (I used Mozzarella)

Olive Oil (*For Pan)

For Serving: Spicy Harissa (I used Mina Harissa Spicy) or a Tomato Sauce, Cilantro and Black Pepper


  1. First, cook rice accordingly and set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Line sheet pan with parchment paper and brush parchment paper with a drizzle of olive oil.
  4. Once rice is cooked, add in eggs and panko seasoning, mixing to combine.
  5. Next, slice cheese sticks into small 1/4 inch pieces and mix throughout the blend.
  6. After that, use your hands to scoop out golf ball-sized portions of the mixture and form into a ball shape.
  7. Place on parchment lined/olive oil greased sheet pan and repeat until all of the mixture is used (I made 12 balls total).
  8. Next, place the tray in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and eat warm with favorite dipping sauce and seasonings of choice.
  10. Enjoy! 🙂

2 Comments Add yours

  1. mistimaan says:

    Nice recipe

    Liked by 1 person

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