Arancini are Italian rice balls that are stuffed, coated with bread crumbs and deep fried, and are a staple of Sicilian cuisine. This Risotto balls are crisp on the outside with a creamy, cheesy center.
The epitome of southern Italian street food, these small risotto balls are stuffed with mozzarella and peas, dredged in breadcrumbs, and deep fried. The resulting arancini — named for the “little oranges” that they resemble — explode with each crunchy, cheese-filled bite. We can thank the ancient Sicilians for this perfect snack; the southern island is known for combining simple ingredients into tasty recipes. Calling only for rice and a few seasonings, arancini are inexpensive, easy to make, and ready to eat on the go.
Today, this classic southern street food is found across Italy in food carts, counters, and even the finest restaurants. The tasty recipe can be customized with different fillings, from savory ragout to everything you like.
To make these Sicilian cheese-filled snacks, you first have to make risotto, then use the risotto to make cheese-stuffed balls, then coat them with breadcrumbs and deep-fry them.
Making this recipe is a labor of love that will make you and others love each other. If you have not tried it yet, you definitely should.
- Perfect freezer food – reheats 100% perfectly
- Excellent food for big parties and gatherings
- Perfect appetizer or for antipasto display
We love to serve it with our home made Marinara Sauce.
Once arancini are fried and cool to room temperature, you can store them in the refrigerator or freezer (in a freezer safe container or Ziploc bag).
- To reheat frozen arancini – There is no need to be afraid. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 400˚F for 20 minutes.
- To reheat refrigerated arancini – bake on a rimmed baking sheet at 400˚F for 15 minutes.
- Use a good quality Rice- Carnaroli or Arborio are the best choices, but Jasmin rice will do fine. You just need to follow the instructions how to cook the different types of rice
- Use good quality white wine
- Do NOT over cook the rice.
Mozzarella Arancini (Stuffed Rice Balls)
For the Arancini ( Rice Balls):
- 1 medium onion - finely sliced
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 cups Jasmin rice - un-rinsed
- 1 cup white wine - Chardonnay
- 5 cups broth- Hot - chicken or vegetable
- 1 cup frozen peas - fully frozen
- 1/2 cup parsley - finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup parmesan - graded
- 1/2 cup mozzarella - shredded
- 4 oz. mozzarella - cut into cubes- for stuffing
- Bring a large pot with the 5 cups of water to a boil, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.Using a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot with tight fitting lid, over medium/high heat, add 2 Tbsp. olive oil and 2 Tbsp. butter. Add the diced onions to the pan, sprinkle with salt and black pepper to taste and cook until they become tender about 4-5 minutes. When the onions are translucent, add the rice and toast the grains, making sure to coat them with the oil and mixing for 5 minutes.
- Add 1 cup white wine and cook until mostly evaporated (2 min). Add 5 cups hot low sodium chicken broth and 1 tsp salt then cover and simmer until liquid has been absorbed by the rice (about 15-17 min). Check the rice when hit 12 minute mark to se if its cooked.
- A few minutes before removing the rice from the stove, stir in the peas and then cover with a tight fitting lid and finish cooking (2 min). Rice should be soft and the liquid mostly absorbed.
- Remove from stove and add the the 1/3 finely chopped parsley, the parmesan cheese and the shredded mozzarella cheese and check the seasoning. Adjust to your personal preferences.
- Spread the risotto on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper to allow it to cool.
- Form rice balls with wet hands, using a heaping ice cream scoop for each. Stuff each rice ball with a cube of mozzarella cheese and form a tight ball with the rice mixture to enclose the cheese.
- Place the flour, beaten egg, and breadcrumbs in separate bowls. Coat one risotto ball first with the flour, then with the egg, and finally with the breadcrumbs, then place it back on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat this process until all the risotto balls have been coated thoroughly.
- Add an inch of vegetable oil into a deep pot over medium heat. Once oil is hot (350˚F), add the breaded rice balls in batches without crowding the pot and cook about 3 min total per batch, turning to get all sides golden brown. Transfer to paper towels, sprinkle right away with salt and Shredded parmesan on top and serve warm with marinara Sauce.