crispy zucchini flowers stuffed with butter anchovy risotto


5 from 10 reviews

If you are a fan of zucchini flowers, then you are going to get pretty excited about this recipe. Crispy Zucchini Flowers Stuffed with Butter and Anchovt Risotto. Lovely zucchini flowers stuffed with a butter anchovy risotto, then coated in breadcrumbs, some fried and some done in an air fryer. The end result, crispy, sweet, creamy, and so so flavorful in every bite. You have to try these! A delicious surprising appetizer feast!


  • 8 zucchini flowers

For the risotto:

  • 1/2 cup Carnaroli or Arboio rice
  • 2  tablespoons evo oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs

The dredge:

  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup panko crumbs

For frying:

  • 300ml peanut oil, or safflower oil`


The Risotto:

  1. The first thing you want to do is get the garlic that I usually press a bit to release the flavor, and into the olive oil in the pan it goes. Pick a nice saute' pan that is not too deep. The one I use has a 2 1/2 inch depth. As for the diameter, not to small, you want the rice nice and evenly spread on the bottom. Mine is a 12 inch for this amount of rice.
  2. Also, you want to put your vegetable stock in a pot on very low heat.
  3. Turn the heat for the pan to a medium setting and get that garlic sizzling infusing all that lovely flavor into the oil!
  4. Time to toss in the rice. Stir it well, making sure it gets nice and toasted and also coated with the garlic infused oil.
  5. The fun begins, I usually start with 2 ladles of stock, stirring continually until the broth dissipates and I start to hear that sizzling sound in the pan. Then time to add one ladle of stock at a time. Stir and wait for the stock to dissipate before adding the next. You continue this for about 18 minutes or until your rice is at that al dente stage.
  6. Turn off the heat and add the butter, grated Parmigiano Reggiano, and the anchovy fillets which I turned into a paste with the mortar and pestle.
  7. Give it a good stir and cover. Let sit for about 5 minutes. In our case we are going to let it cool, because we are going to stuff the zucchini flowers with it. TIP: Leftover risotto that sits in the fridge overnight is even better when making supplì or arancini.

Prepping the zucchini flowers:

  1. The first thing is you need to do is cut off the spines at the bottom of the flower. It is where the flower meets the stem
  2. Next trim off the stem leaving about a cm of the stem connected. Cut along the flower lengthwise, and open, creating a butterfly shape.
  3. Inside the flower is a stile, it is the little knob in the center of the flower right at the bottom. Just break that off and discard.
  4. Wash gently then lay on a paper towel to dry. The zucchini flowers are ready to use!

Stuffing the flowers:

  1. With a spoon I scoop about a good tablespoon of risotto into the flower. Spread it throughout leaving a border to over lap.
  2. I then take to two sides and bring them to the center encasing the risotto in the flower. Take the stuffed flower in my hand, and form them into an oval cylinder closing off the seams. I place it on a plate, seam side down.
  3. This is done until all the flowers are stuffed. Then into the fridge they go while I get my dredging ingredients ready!


  1. In one bowl crack the eggs inside, season with salt and pepper and a pinch of paprika, beat well.
  2. In the other bowl add the Italian-style breadcrumbs and panko and give it a good mix.
  3. Take the stuffed zucchini flowers out of the fridge. Take one, gently place into the egg wash and coat well. Place into the bread crumbs and coat and press into the flower. Shake off any excess breading and place on a plate. Give them a little press.
  4. Continue this until all the flowers are breaded.


  1. In a deep saute pan pour in oil. It should be deep enough that when the breaded stuffed flowers are placed in the oil comes over the sides Bring it to a 360 degree F temperature and then slowly place the zucchini flowers in away from you.
  2. Cook for about a minute or two, or until golden brown, turn over, and do the same for the other side. Do not over crowd the pan it will make it hard to turn them and they may get stuck to one another.
  3. Place the cooked flowers on a paper towel lined plate. 
  4. Ready to serve.

Air frying:

  1. Place the breaded stuffed zucchini flowers into the tray of the air fryer. Close lid, and set for 10 minutes. Close lid and hit start.
  2. Periodically check them to see how done they are. If you need more time add a minute more at a time to make sure they do not over cook.
  3. Enjoy!


If you want you could put a piece of fresh mozzarella inside with the risotto as you are stuffing them.

If you don't like anchovies omit them.

Keywords: zucchini flowers, risotto, stuffed, fried, air fried, anchovies, Parmigiano, Italian food, appetizer,

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