Pomegranate Arancini with Goat Cheese Fonduta

Pomegranate Arancini with Goat Cheese Fonduta 4

Does everyone here watch Top Chef? I’ve been a little lackadaisical about tuning in this season. Usually I’m completely hooked, start it exactly 15 minutes after it begins, and don’t speak to anyone until the previews for the next week are over, but this time around I’m just kind of catching it when I can. I finally saw the Halloween episode with Lea Michele and I couldn’t help but wonder if this was before or after Cory Montieth’s tragic death. Is that weird? I just kept thinking, that poor girl, she must be so sad!

Pomegranate Arancini with Goat Cheese Fonduta

After speculating on just how well Lea Michele is coping, I couldn’t help but notice the three, yes three, different varieties of arancini served that day. Everyone and their mom said the word arancini so often, it should have been the code word for the WWHL drinking game, I’d be drunk by the time the Andy Cohen announced the poll results of which housewife Bravo viewers sided with that night.

(Let’s see how many times I say it in this post.)

The next morning, as I lounged on the couch, sipped on coffee, and caught up on old episodes of Giada at Home, my ears perked up when she mentioned the lobster arancini coming up next. There it was again. What’s the dealio? Is this a thing? Is it the weather? Is it the month of the arancini?

Whatever it is, I’ve got arancini on the brain.

Pomegranate Arancini with Goat Cheese Fonduta 10

Just an FYI if you don’t know, arancini are just deep-fried risotto balls… Yesah puh-lease…

Pomegranate Aracini with Goat Cheese Fondita

These are fancy schmancy arancini, although I guess arancini are already a little bit fancy (or at least sound like they are) but these are uber fancy because they have pomegranates (which I think make everything classier), goat cheese (not as classy as brie or roquefurt but still in the classy cheese category) and fonduta (also very fancy sounding).

8 times and counting…..

You may think it’s kind of crazy to spend the time making a perfect risotto, then totally mess it up and turn it into a deep-fried ball of rice, BUT you can use leftover risotto if you have it (which is actually what traditional arancini are) and if you don’t, risotto is deceptively easy and quick to make. Yes, it does require some attention on your part, yes, it does require frequent stirring, but it’s EASY, and really only takes 20 minutes or so.

The key to speeding up the process? Use hot chicken stock. I repeat, USE HOT CHICKEN STOCK. If you use a cold or room temperature liquid to cook your risotto, you will bring the temperature of the risotto down each time you add a ladle full of liquid, it will then bring the temperature of the whole dish down and consequently take it much, much longer to cook. I found this out the hard way, when it took me 45 minutes to cook a risotto, trust me, this works.

Pomegranate Aracini with Goat Cheese Fondita 11

I’m sooo loving these, and they seem so festive, don’t they? I love the pop of color from the pomegranates, which also happen to give a nice sweet, crunchy surprise when you bite into them.

At first I thought about stuffing them with goat cheese, but liked the idea of having a sauce to dip them in, if you prefer you could skip the sauce, put a little ball of goat cheese in the middle, fry them up as is, and then pop em’ in your mouth until you just can’t stop. (I must always use a Pringles reference when appropriate.)

If you are serving these as an hors d’oeuvre (you should!), put a little bowl of sauce in the middle of all the fried arancini so people can sauce as they please. If you sauce them before or set them in the sauce like I did they’ll get soggy real quick. That is, if they make it to the table at all…

Pomegranate Arancini with Goat Cheese Fonduta 5

Watch out, these are ridiculously addictive…..

And I said aracini nine times, not too bad…

4.0 from 1 reviews
Pomegranate Arancini with Goat Cheese Fonduta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ small onion, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups hot low-sodium chicken stock
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, plus more for garnish
  • ¾ cup bread crumbs, divided
  • 5 ounces goat cheese
  • ½ cup cream or half & half
  • Canola oil for frying
  1. In a medium sauté pan melt butter over a medium heat, add onion and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about two minutes. Add rice, stir to combine, cook another two minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add wine, stir until liquid is absorbed. Add ½ cup HOT chicken stock, stir until almost absorbed. Repeat until all stock is gone. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper after every other addition. Risotto is done when the mixture is creamy, and the rice is tender, but still has a bite. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  2. Spread on to a baking sheet to cool.
  3. Heat about two inches of oil in a large heavy pot to 350 degrees. About a medium heat.
  4. Once mixture has completely cooled, transfer to a mixing bowl. Add cheese, egg, parsley, pomegranate seeds and ¼ cup breadcrumbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Form into 1 ½ inch balls.
  5. Add remaining breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Coat arancini in bread crumbs.
  6. Fry arancini in batches. Drain on paper towel.
  7. In a small saucepan, heat cream and goat cheese over a medium low heat, stirring occasionally until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve arancini with goat cheese fonduta and pomegranate seeds.

Pomegranate Arancini with Goat Cheese Fonduta PS4_edited-2


  1. Ummm can you send me a few of these bad boys?? haha It doesn’t help that I’m starting to get hungry for dinner right now either. I love the color the pomegranate seeds add. And with the goat cheese… gah. The dangers of reading food blogs while hungry…

  2. Making me drool over here…..I can think of nothing more comforting than fried risotto balls and goat cheese!! YUM!! I am obsessed with Top Chef as well. Have you caught any of the kid Master Chef shows? I loved Master Chef but for some reason can’t seem to really get into the kids….is it just me?

  3. What a beautiful appetizer! The pomegranate really adds a unique dimension of color and flavor. And I can never pass up anything with goat cheese, yum!

  4. Um I would love these right now. I havent watched Top Chef in forever but youre making me want to tune back in. I have never had these before, Ive also never made a risotto before..trust me, I know..it’s on my to do list, but seriously..these sound through.the.roof. I want to have a dinner party just to make and serve these. I love it all..every piece of them..Im envisioning inhaling currently!

  5. I’ve never even had arancini before but every time I see them I think I need them…and with goat cheese fonduta, I need em even more!

  6. I love arancini! Yours look incredible and I love the addition of festive pomegranate. Giada led you in the right direction. ;)

  7. This is so funny, because as soon as I saw the name of the post come up in my Bloglovin’ feed I thought ‘there’s another arancini recipe! There must be something going around because it was all over top chef!’. And then I read the post and giggled. I thought it was so crazy how so many people made them that night. I love me some Top Chef! Your arancini look fabulous (better than Michael’s, for sure ;)! Gorgeous photos, too!

  8. These look like great appetizers for a party, which I always feel like I’m short on, and I love mixing fruits into savory dishes. Great job and nice pics too.

  9. What a brilliant recipe concept! I’m going to be dreaming about these tonight…

  10. I don’t think I’ve ever had arancini before, but I am drooling over your pictures. They are gorgeous! I keep forgetting to Watch Top Chef darn it!

  11. I totally HAVE to make these! My wife loves arancini, goat cheese, and pomegranate! What a great looking, creative recipe!

  12. This recipe was AMAZING! Seriously, my kids and I loved them. I featured your recipe in my most recent weekly meal plan on my blog, thanks! I will definitely be trying out more of your recipes in the near future.

  13. Im Italian and my momhas made arancini her entire life and is known for hers .. I tried this reciepe and made them for her and she was very impressed!!

  14. Can anyone tell me how many balls this recipe makes?


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