Traditional aranchini are Italian fried balls filled with rice, meat, tomato sauce, and mozzarella cheese. These are a baked variation made by combining, rice, marinara sauce, turkey sausage, mozzarella, and spinach. Serve warm with marinara sauce for dipping as an appetizer or snack. They are an especially great finger food for toddlers.
I doubled the original recipe to feed a crowd. It can easily be halved for a small family.
I used turkey sausage, but chicken sausage or even Italian sausage are great substitutes.
The Baked Aranchini can be made ahead of time. They can be frozen in a single layer after baking, then transferred to a freezer bag. Bake in a 350 degree oven until cooked through, about 20 minutes. The mixture can also be refrigerated after forming into balls for up to a day. Coat and bake them right before serving.
I made my own seasoned bread crumbs by combining plain bread crumbs with parsley flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, sugar, salt, Italian seasonings, and pepper. If you already have pre-seasoned bread crumbs, then you can skip these ingredients and mixing step.