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Arancini - Italian Rice Balls

Introduction & method

Arancini are deep-fried Italian rice balls, and a brilliant way to use up leftover rice or bolonese sauce.

Arancini - Italian Rice Balls Recipe


If you have some leftover rice or risotto, you can skip this step.
Place the rice and 80% of the chicken stock in a pan and bring to the boil. When boiling, turn down the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes. When the rice is cooked and all the stock absorbed, stir in the parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining stock, stir well, allow to cool down to room temperature, then place in the fridge to chill for half an hour.


You can use whatever filling you like - just cheese, or a mushroom sauce or bolonese sauce.


Take a small handful of rice and form into a ball. Make an indentation in it with your thumb. Put a spoonful of filling in the hollow and a cube of cheese.  Put about a dessertspoon of rice over the filling, and shape and compress the rice into a ball. Try to make sure the joins are sealed.

Coat each ball in flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs and when they are all done, put them in the fridge to firm up for at least half an hour.


Heat the oil to 170°C (338°F), and carefully lower the arancini in. You only want a single layer of the balls in the pan, so you'll probably need to cook them in batches. Make sure the oil returns to the correct temperature between batches. Fry the arancini until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Drain and serve with salad.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Arancini - Italian Rice Balls on YouTube.

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Ingredients & Info

 400 grams arborio or other round-grain rice
 1 litre chicken stock
 40 grams parmesan cheese
 1 pinch salt
 1 pinch ground black pepper
 50 grams flour
 2 beaten eggs
 100 grams breadcrumbs
 8 1cm cubes mozzarella
 8 tsp bolonese sauce


Vegetable oil for deep-frying

US Customary/Imperial

Makes 8 arancini
Prep time: 30 minutes.
Chilling time: 1 hour.
Cooking time: 5 minutes.
Total time: 1 hour 35 minutes.