BBQ Rice Balls Stuffed with Cheddar Cheese

I have a problem – I can’t stop stuffing things with cheese! I recently saw arancini (Italian rice balls) filled with cheese on Lisa is Cooking and Brown Eyed Baker, and immediately started drooling. Of course, I wanted to add my own little twist, so I drew inspiration from a yummy rice dish I had in New Orleans a few months ago that featured shredded pork and kicked up BBQ sauce.

I mixed brown rice with eggs, BBQ sauce, turkey bacon, and panko, and then used the mixture to encase little chunks of cheddar cheese. Then I carefully coated the rice balls with more panko so they would be crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside after I baked them. We both really enjoyed these little bites, and I managed to convince myself that they were healthy since I used brown rice and turkey bacon and baked them instead of frying them… Thanks to Lisa and Michelle for the inspiration!

BBQ Rice Balls Stuffed with Cheddar Cheese
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
3 cups cooked brown rice
4 slices cooked turkey bacon, chopped
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
2 eggs
2 cups panko
3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 20 small cubes

Directions:
Mix rice, turkey bacon, BBQ sauce, eggs, and 1 cup panko in a medium bowl.

Encase each of the cubes of cheese with the rice mixture, shape into balls, and roll in the remaining cup of panko. Place on a greased cookie sheet.  Place sheet in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400˚F. Bake balls at 400˚F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Makes 5 servings (of 4 balls each).

Nutrition: 389 calories, 11.2g fat, 3.2g fiber, 14.8g protein per serving
Cost: $0.75 per serving

34 Responses to BBQ Rice Balls Stuffed with Cheddar Cheese

  1. Stuffing things with cheese and bacon is not ALWAYS a bad thing! In fact, it is often quite tasty. I would probably make these bigger and add more veggies into them to make them into a complete meal. I always used to get Italian rice balls from the local Italian deli and I bet a healthier baked version would be delicious.

  2. What a cool little treat!!! I think you can never go wrong when you stuff something with cheese :) :) :) I love your pics by the way – I’m so impressed you were able to stack them like a pyramid!

  3. A belated Happy Birthday!!! I hope the coming year is filled with all things beautiful and delicious for you!

    As always, you awe me with your brilliance and innovation… BBQ rice balls are SO clever! I’ve been thinking of making rice balls for a while, and now that you’ve presented me with this BBQ version, well, the temptation is just too great… :-) Thank you!!!

  4. Absolutely they’re healthy for you 😉 I mean, you used turkey bacon and brown rice for heaven’s sake! But regardless of the health content, they look like a unique and tasty treat.

  5. What a genius recipe! I love getting cheese-stuffed stuff when I go out to eat, but I’ve always been too intimidated to make it at home. That actually looks really easy, though!

  6. Those look like the perfect appetizer or the perfect meal! Thank you for taking a picture of the inside – the cheese looks so ooey gooey and the perfect way accompaniment for brown rice :)

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