Acorn Squash Risotto Balls

Risotto Stuffing formed into balls then rolled in Panko crumb topping, baked in acorn squash pieces, then topped with AFC ANTIPASTO BUTTER. Garnished with basil and dill. A celebration of plants!

Makes 17, 1/2 cup rice balls


2 ripe acorn squash, washed

1- Cut top petals off and discard. Cut each squash from bottom to top into 4 pieces. Scoop out seeds and discard.

2- Bring 1/3rd pot of water to boil. Place colander/steamer into pot without touching water (for steaming purposes).

  • Place acorn cuts into steamer, cover and steam till fork tender. They don’t take long, so check often.

Remove acorn cuts from steamer and place, skin side down, in 9×13 inch baking dish. Salt each lightly. Set aside.


8c. water

1/4 c. apple cider vinegar – I used Heinz

2 c. Canilla Parboiled Long Grain White Rice, rinsed well

2 t. salt


1 T. garlic powder

1 T. turmeric

1 T. smoked paprika

1 T. ground coriander

2 t. ground mustard

lots fresh grind black pepper

1- Place water, rice and seasonings in large saucepan or pot. Stir well.

2- Bring to boil, stir, reduce heat to low, cover tightly and cook 1 hour.

3- Stir up from bottom, remove from heat and keep covered with lid.

4- When ready to use salt and pepper to taste, stirring well to even out consistency.

Antipasto Butter Sauce: Makes 2 cups

2 T. jarred chopped garlic – I used organic Christopher Ranch brand

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

2 T. animal-free margarine

12 oz. jar sweet red roasted peppers, including liquid from jar, fine dice

1/2 c. shredded peeled sweet onion, over large holes of hand-held grater (discard large pieces)

1/2 c. small pitted Kalamata olives, chopped

1/4 c. olive brine

2 T. small capers

fresh grind black pepper

1- Combine all sauce ingredients in medium saucepan on low heat. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring as needed. Turn heat off and set aside.

Panko Crumb Topping:

1 T. animal-free margarine

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 T. jarred chopped garlic


fresh grind black pepper to taste

salt to taste

sprinkling of smoked paprika

1 c. plain Panko crumbs

1- In small skillet, over low heat, melt margarine with oil.

2- Add garlic, bouillon, pepper, salt, smoked paprika. Stir well.

3- Add Panko crumbs, stirring and pressing into oils till evenly coated and textured. Remove from heat.

  • I made enough Panko crumbs for 8 balls with a little leftover. That’s how many squash pieces I had.

  • With the leftover rice I made 9 more balls and needed another batch of Panko crumbs done the same way. With those, oil a 9×9 inch baking dish. Form the rice balls, coat in Panko crumbs, place in baking dish. Bake uncovered at preheated 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, plate, top with AFC antipasto butter sauce. Top with fresh basil slices and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and fresh grind black pepper.
  • A little dried dill on the plate goes nicely.

Assembly: Preheat oven to 350 degrees

fresh sliced basil and dried dill weed as garnish

extra virgin olive oil for drizzle

salt and pepper

1- Bring previously cooked acorn squash cuts to room temperature from refrigerator (if made a head of time).

2- Place skin side down, flesh side up in 9×13 inch baking dish.

3- Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt.

4- Be sure creamy risotto is at room temperature before forming into a smooth ball or oval shape. About 1/2 cup per ball.

5- Roll evenly, gently-firmly in Panko crumbs thoroughly coating. Place in hollow of squash piece. Repeat with remaining 7 pieces.

6- Pour 1/2 c. water in bottom of baking dish.

7- Cut the petal shapes from tops of baked acorn squash that you removed and place in bottom of dish (if you want, if not then discard the little things).

8- Place on middle rack in preheat 350 degree oven. Do not cover. Bake 30 minutes.

9- Remove from oven. Plate individual servings topped with 2 Tablespoons AFC antipasto butter sauce and sliced fresh basil and a sprinkle of dried dill weed. Serve.

  • Or, serve family-style in baking dish. Drizzle with sauce, top with fresh basil.

Notes: The skin is edible, so enjoy some added fiber.


Published by Sharon Lee Davies-Tight, artist, writer/author, animal-free chef, activist

CHEF DAVIES-TIGHT™. AFC Private Reserve™. THE ANIMAL-FREE CHEF™. The Animal-Free Chef Prime Content™. ANIMAL-FREE SOUS-CHEF™. Animal-Free Sous-Chef Prime Content™. ANIMAL-FAT-FREE CHEF™. Fat-Free Chef Prime Content™. AFC GLOBAL PLANTS™. THE TOOTHLESS CHEF™. WORD WARRIOR DAVIES-TIGHT™. Word Warrior Premium Content™. HAPPY WHITE HORSE™. Happy White Horse Premium Content™. SHARON ON THE NEWS™. SHARON'S FAMOUS LITTLE BOOKS™. SHARON'S BOOK OF PROSE™. CHALLENGED BY HANDICAP™. BIRTH OF A SEED™. LOCAL UNION 141™. Till now and forever © Sharon Lee Davies-Tight, Artist, Author, Animal-Free Chef, Activist. ARCHITECT of 5 PRINCIPLES TO A BETTER LIFE™ & MAINSTREAM ANIMAL-FREE CUISINE™.

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