marinara sauce

I have been craving arancini so much, first of all because they are delicious, second because I associate them with parties, and parties are certainly missing these days. This recipe for spicy white bean croquettes offers that familiar arancini vibe using a different medium. Spicy white bean croquettes are a nice treat and change of pace.

White beans, blended with herbs, spices, egg, and parmesan cheese, create a creamy contrast to the crispy, crunchy exterior. Serve these spicy white beans croquettes with marinara sauce for a yummy snack or pair them with a salad for a full meal! 

makes about 9 large croquettes


  • 1 can white (cannellini, great northern, navy) beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons parsley
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 cups neutral oil (the amount will vary depending on the size of your cooking vessel)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup marinara sauce, for dipping


Place the rinsed beans in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Add the salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and lemon zest and mix with a spatula or spoon. Mix in the parsley, oregano and basil, then add the parmesan cheese. 

Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium-high heat. I cooked these in a 6 ¾ quart dutch oven, so it took about 2 cups of oil to fill it an inch high, but you can use any heavy-bottomed pot or cast iron skillet. Depending on its size, you may need more or less oil, but measuring out the oil exactly is not critical, just fill it enough so that about half of the croquette is covered when placed in the pan.

Once the oil has been heating for 5-7 minutes, it is time to prepare the croquettes. Measure out two tablespoons of the mixture, roll it into a ball, and set it aside. Repeat until all of the bean mixture has been rolled into balls. One at a time, coat each ball in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs, then place it in the pan. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan as this will cool the oil and prevent the croquettes from properly crisping. 

Cook each croquette for 4-5 minutes on one side then flip it and cook for another 4 minutes. Feel free to turn it onto the other sides to achieve a thoroughly crips + golden texture. Serve hot with marinara sauce.