These baked cauliflower, mushroom, rice balls are out of this world delicious - not even kidding. Rice balls are a big deal around my house - I'm always recipe testing them. I want what I want and that's crunchy outside, soft tender inside. They need to have some denseness, but not be floury or gummy. I want it substantial when you bite into it; and, of course, flavour is King (well, Queen). These balls deliver - hot or cold, on their own or in a bowl, taco, with pasta and marinara, right out the oven - doesn't matter - always fan-freakin-tastic. Anytime I have leftover rice or cauliflower, this is my go-to recipe to make. They are so versatile - basically impossible to screw up. You can use leftover cauliflower, rice, and mushrooms - lots of times, I have all 3 leftover so I skip to the front of the line.
Recipe Notes: If you are cooking the cauliflower fresh (baked or steamed), keep it slightly underdone. The porcini mushroom powder is optional (not for me); but if you have some dry porcinis in the pantry, crush them and add to the mix - you won't be sorry. For the breadcrumbs (in the mixture), I use this Carmine's recipe (I always make a huge batch of these incredible breadcrumbs and freeze them for extra flavour.), but use whatever you have on hand. These balls freeze beautifully (although tbh, we've rarely frozen any, they're that good!).
Hope you enjoy these easy, versatile, delicious rice balls too!
Try it with this pasta and marinara recipe!
Epic Baked Cauliflower Rice Balls
- 3 cups cauliflower florets, steamed*
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms*
- ½ cup red onion, rough chop
- ½-1 tsp hot pepper flakes, to taste
- 2-4 cloves garlic, depending on size
- 1-2 tsp porcini powder* (optional)
- 11/2 cups cooked rice (divided)
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- S&P, to taste
- ¾ cup breadcrumbs*
- 3 tbsp AP flour
- 2 tbsp aqua faba
- Preheat oven to 400 F
Prepare baking sheet by covering with parchment paper and then adding a drizzle of olive oil over surface.
- Steam the cauliflower - just slightly underdone - al dente, drain and set aside.
Use leftover rice (mine was Mexican basmati rice which gives a different flavour profile - so use whatever you have).
- Saute the onions, mushrooms, and garlic in a skillet over medium high. Add 1-2 tsp porcini mushroom powder (I ground dehydrated porcini mushrooms in the mortar and pestle). This powder is optional but super flavourful.
- Transfer the cooked mushroom mixture to the bowl of a food processor, add the cooked cauliflower, 1 cup rice, s&p, red pepper flakes, and parsley and pulse until incorporated but still chunky – do not over process!!!!
- Transfer to a big mixing bowl, add the bread crumbs, aqua faba, and 2 tbsp flour. Mix well with your hands until it comes together and the consistency is slightly sticky. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of flour if your mixture is not sticky enough. Form into 16-18 tight balls and place on the prepared parchment-lined baking sheet (drag each ball lightly through the oil on the baking sheet). Place in preheated 400 F oven for 20 minutes, flip the balls, return to oven for 10 minutes. Increase the temperature to 450 F for 5 minutes.
- Panko option: Mix together 1 cup panko, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, red pepper flakes, 1 tsp parsley flakes in one bowl. In another bowl add 1 cup plant based milk. Dip the balls one at a time in the milk then dredge in the panko and finally roll through the oil on the baking sheet. Place in the oven.
If serving immediately – this version is crunchier but if serving later, no real difference for the extra work and calories. Both version are spectacular!!!
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