Cranberry Almond Risotto with Cranberry Orange Sun Dried Tomato Pesto


This is a unique, fun and festive holiday dish that goes great with turkey, pork and anything that might partner with rice. The foundation of our cranberry-almond risotto mix, with the additions of cranberry and orange juices, our sun dried tomatoes two ways and the crunch from the breading make a lovely accompaniment or stand-alone appetizer. Instead of 12 big arancini, make 36 bite-size ones for elegant and fun passed bites. Happy holidays!

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Bella Products Used:

Bella Sun Luci Cranberry Almond Risotto

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Sun Dried Tomatoes Julienne-Cut (Resealable Pouch)

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Julienne Cut Sun Dried Tomatoes in Premium Oil with Italian Herbs 8.5 oz

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Risotto Arancini

  • 1 cup Bella Sun Luci Cucina Cranberry Almond Risotto mix
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp butter 
  • 2 eggs, whites and yolks separated and both beaten with a fork 
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ package of 3 ounce Bella Sun Luci Premium California Sun Dried Tomatoes Julienne, Cut, minced
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp lightly dried chives
  • 1 tbsp lightly dried parsley 
  • Grape seed oil for frying 

Cranberry Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

  • 8 oz ounce jar Bella Sun Luci  Sun Dried Julienne Tomatoes Olive OIl and Italian Herbs 
  • ¾ cup cranberry juice
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup roasted almonds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper 


  • ⅓ cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 2 tbsp grated orange zest 


  1. To prepare risotto, in a small saucepan, bring chicken stock to simmer. In a separate medium saucepan, over high heat, add Bella Sun Luci Cranberry Almond Risotto mix.
  2. Stir in 1 cup hot stock, stirring often for 2 minutes.
  3. Turn heat to medium and continue adding ¼ cup stock every 2 minutes until all the stock is used stirring often.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in butter, egg yolks, parmesan cheese, and minced sun dried tomatoes.
  5. On parchment or waxed paper, divide risotto into 12 equal portions, approximately 2 tablespoon mounds, and cool.
  6. Once cooled, form into balls and place back on paper.  
  7. In a bowl mix flour with salt and pepper. In another bowl mix breadcrumbs with chives and parsley.  
  8. Dust arancini balls in flour mixture, then dip in egg white allowing excess to run off and coat in breadcrumbs. Set aside on parchment until frying.  
  9. To prepare pesto, in a food processor combine entire jar of sun dried tomatoes including oil, cranberry juice, orange juice, white balsamic vinegar, garlic, almonds, salt and cayenne pepper pulsing until well mixed but still has texture.
  10. Warm pesto in a small saucepan over low heat until serving.  
  11. To cook arancini balls, heat ½ inch deep oil in a heavy-bottom 8-10 inch saucepan over medium high. Oil is hot enough when a piece of basil sizzles immediately.
  12. Fry 6 arancini at a time until deeply brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes, then turn with tongs and cook until golden brown all over about 3 more minutes. Drain on paper towels.  
  13. To plate divide pesto between 4 shallow bowl plates. Top each with 3 arancini and garnish with basil and orange zest.

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