vegan cauliflower arancini

vegan cauliflower arancini_hot for food

Today, I’m sharing my recipe for vegan cauliflower arancini! 

Cauliflower is the star of a lot of dishes on the blog. A few examples include my cauliflower tacoscauliflower risotto, and cauliflower buffalo wings. I love this veg because it can take on tons of flavors and textures.

If you’re never heard of arancini, they’re also known as risotto balls. They have a delicate crispy crust that’s irresistible.

The creamy filling is also absolutely to die for! To tie it all together, these crispy dreamboats taste great dipped in marinara or homemade pesto.

Check out how to make these vegan cauliflower arancini in the video and recipe post below.

vegan cauliflower arancini recipe

vegan cauliflower arancini_hot for food
5 from 1 vote
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vegan cauliflower arancini

These vegan cauliflower arancini are creamy and full of flavour with a delicate crispy crust. Dip them in your favourite marinara or homemade pesto!

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Keyword cauliflower, cauliflower arancini, deep fried, raw cashews, vegan cheese sauce
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Refrigerate 10 minutes
Servings 20 balls
Author Lauren Toyota


cheese sauce

  • 1/2 C raw whole cashews, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
  • 3/4 C nondairy milk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp tapioca starch
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

cauliflower rice

  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 5 C cauliflower florets (approximately 1/2 a head of cauliflower, depending on size)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 C panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable oil (for deep frying)


  1. Whisk together ground flax with water and set aside to thicken for about 10 minutes.

  2. Pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor with garlic cloves until it becomes the texture of rice. Add the cauliflower rice to a large mixing bowl.

  3. In another mixing bowl, combine panko breadcrumbs with oregano, basil, sea salt, and ground black pepper.

  4. Drain raw cashews from the soaking water and rinse under fresh water. Drain and add to a high-powered blender with the remaining cheese sauce ingredients and blend until very smooth.
  5. Heat the cheese sauce in a saucepan over medium-low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, whisking constantly, until it thickens.

  6. Add the cheese sauce to the cauliflower rice mixture, along with the thickened flax mixture, and 1 1/2 cups of the breadcrumb mixture and stir to combine well.
  7. Heat vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed pot until it reaches approximately 365° to 370°F.

  8. While oil is heating, form the risotto balls using a scant 1/4 cup of the mixture to form 1 1/2-inch balls with your hands. Then coat well in the remaining breadcrumb mixture. Set aside each ball onto a plate or baking sheet.

  9. Place 3 to 4 balls in the hot frying oil and fry each batch for approximately 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until the breadcrumb coating is golden brown. Remove each ball from the oil with a slotted fryer spoon and set onto paper towel. Continue until all the arancini are fried.

  10. Warm up your dipping sauce while you’re frying and serve immediately.

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16 thoughts on “vegan cauliflower arancini”

  1. Just made these last night, they were delicious. Couple notes though: I mixed up the flax mixture, stuck it in the fridge, totally forgot to add it. They did fry up nicely though and didn’t crumble apart, disaster averted. I just reheated the leftovers in the microwave, they turn super mushy (which I should’ve expected), will reheat leftovers in the oven next time.

  2. you guys are AWESOME, I watch all of your videos on youtube and have started rewatching some of them because I don’t want to miss anything. Thank you for showing the world they can eat delicious, cruelty-free food <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  3. I just made these and love the cheesy flavor! I always mess up vegan cheeses but this sauce was a win for me and made the inside nice and creamy. Thanks for helping me turn my leftover cauliflower into something delicious. 🙂

  4. These look amazing! 😀

    Do you think I could get away with subbing some tofu for the cashews? My fiance is allergic to nuts. If not, I can just have an excuse to hoard them for myself.

  5. What would be the best way to reheat these? I’m wanting to make this dish for a family dinner which is actually hosted by another family member.

  6. Hi! This is a silly q, but I don’t have a frying ‘machine’ do you suggest I dump a bunch of olive oil into a pot?? and try not to burn myself..

    1. omg no please don’t do that!!! You need to deep fry properly and safely. You cannot use olive oil. You have to use canola vegetable oil or sunflower oil that is refined – like the kind that comes in a big jug. Not a cold pressed oil. AND you need to have a proper vessel like a large and somewhat deep flat bottom pot – a stock pot or a staub-style cast iron dutch oven. You need a thermometer attached to the pot so you can monitor the frying temperature. AND of course you need to have an extinguisher made for grease fires, in your kitchen in case there is an accident! Also I like having my big jar of baking soda handy too just in case, which will also put out a flame. This has never happened to me FYI, but you definitely cannot haphazardly deep fry. This isn’t to discourage you but the way you worded that comment, I was concerned!

    1. it won’t really have the same effect as the inside will cook different baking then frying, but you could try it ?!

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