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Play Ball Rice Bites

Prepare these cheesy-crispy-crunchy rice balls packed with nutrient-rich canned vegetables and dipped in a fruit sauce with a savory kick. The bites can be conveniently made ahead of time and served warm or at room temperature for the perfect family snack or finger-food side dish.

Recipe by Canned Food Alliance
Cook Time
10 minutes
Prep Time
15 minutes
nut free, appetizer


For the dip:

  • 2 cans (4 ounces each) mixed fruit in juice, half drained
  • 1/4 cup canned tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

For the rice balls:

  • 1 can (8.25 ounces) no-salt added mixed vegetables, drained
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice (white or brown), warm
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup finely crushed crisp rice cereal
  • Non-stick spray oil for baking, or vegetable oil for frying


For the dips:

  1. Purée the mixed fruit, tomato paste and vinegar in a blender or food processor; set aside.

For the rice balls:

  1. Purée the mixed vegetables, egg, garlic and Worcestershire sauce in a blender or food processor.
  2. Mix with rice, cheese, salt and pepper until completely combined.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F, or heat oil in a deep fryer to 375°F.
  4. Scoop tablespoon-size balls of the rice mixture and gently form into balls, rolling them in the crushed rice cereal to coat.
  5. line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil and coat with spray oil.
  6. Place balls on the sheet and spray with more oil.
  7. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
  8. Cool for 3 minutes.
  9. fry in the deep fryer in small batches until crisp and brown, about 1 minute per batch.
  10. Drain on paper towels.