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Millet "Arancini" Croquettes

Hands-on time 34 mins
Total time 1 hr, 14 mins

Serves 12 (serving size: 2 croquettes)

Traditional arancini is made with rice that’s combined with cheese and other fillings; then it’s breaded and fried. This version uses millet that’s cooked in extra water so that it’s soft and sticky, and combines it with two kinds of cheese and buttery-garlicky wilted spinach. You can cook the croquettes ahead and refrigerate until shortly before serving; warm them in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. If you don’t have millet on hand, you can make the croquettes with
 3 cups cooked brown rice. If possible, overcook the rice a bit so that it’s soft and slightly sticky.


  • 2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup uncooked millet
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 2 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)
  • 5/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil

Nutrition Information

  • calories 139
  • fat 6.9 g
  • satfat 2 g
  • monofat 3.1 g
  • polyfat 1.4 g
  • protein 6 g
  • carbohydrate 14 g
  • fiber 2 g
  • sugars 1 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 0 g
  • cholesterol 23 mg
  • iron 1 mg
  • sodium 208 mg
  • calcium 82 mg

How to Make It

  1. Combine 2 cups water and millet in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Fluff millet with a fork. Place in a large bowl; cool slightly.
  2. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add butter; swirl until butter melts. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add spinach; cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts, tossing constantly. Add spinach mixture to millet. Stir in cheeses and next 4 ingredients (through whole egg).
  3. Place panko in a shallow dish. Divide millet mixture into 24 equal portions, shaping each into a ball. Lightly dredge balls in panko, flattening each slightly into a 2-inch patty.
  4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add 12 patties to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned and thoroughly heated. Repeat procedure with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and 12 patties.

Cook's Notes

Executive Editor at Cooking Light, Ann Pittman, explores whole grain's all-around awesomeness in her new book, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice. This complete guide to healthy, hearty, and incredibly versatile whole grains includes something for everyone and offers innovative new techniques to ensure the most flavorful results. From simple, delicious sides to satisfying mains and sublime desserts, this James Beard Award-winning author educates, inspires and does not disappoint. Discover a whole new way of looking at whole grains, how they are prepared, and how they can be incorporated into a healthy diet at every meal.

Also appeared in: Oxmoor House, March, 2016, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice;