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Arangini (Italian Rice Balls) recipe

Arangini (Italian Rice Balls) recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Starters

Crispy meatball-sized starters with deep fried outsides and moist herb and cheese insides.

46 people made this

IngredientsServes: 24

  • 900ml water
  • 250g uncooked brown rice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 125g thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
  • 125g mozzarella cheese, diced
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 5 egg whites, divided
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 125g dried breadcrumbs
  • 750ml vegetable oil for frying

MethodPrep:40min ›Cook:25min ›Ready in:1hr5min

  1. Bring water to the boil in a saucepan. Stir in the rice and add the garlic, bay leaf and salt. Return to the boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until rice is tender. Remove from heat, discard garlic and bay leaf, and allow to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the prosciutto, mozzarella cheese and basil. Pour 2 teaspoons of the olive oil over, and toss to coat.
  3. Stir 3 egg whites and the Parmesan cheese into the rice until well blended. Stir the resulting rice mixture into the mozzarella and basil mixture until ingredients are evenly distributed.
  4. Heat 5cm of oil in a deep-fryer to 180 degrees C. Place breadcrumbs in one shallow bowl, and whisk together 2 remaining egg whites and 1 teaspoon of olive oil in another shallow bowl.
  5. Wet hands and shape the rice mixture into 24 balls. Dip each ball in the egg whites, then coat with breadcrumbs. Deep fry the rice balls a few at a time until golden brown, about 30 seconds per batch. Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(42)

Reviews in English (31)

by chefjenwin

While I'm sure that this recipe is great as written, there are a few "technical" things that I want to clear up. It is really known as arancini and should be made first as a risotto and then the cold leftovers used to make the rice balls with a variety of fillings, including mozzarella, ground beef or lamb, proscuitto, peas and swiss cheese. Really great, Roman style street food or snack.-16 Apr 2005

by dtaanman

absolutely divine - can't go wrong with following this recipe to the letter. It is time consuming - but well worth the effort and would be sure to impress! The rice took at least 30 min to cool before I could proceed with the next step, so make sure you get the rice happening before you do anything else.-08 Jul 2006

by April

I've been looking for this recipe everywhere! Thanks so much! These are just like my Nonna's, except she put peas in the middle of hers and occasionally a bit of ground beef or lamb instead of the prosciutto. I made my rice balls pretty large, and molded them into a bell shape like my Nonna's. Delicious! Thanks again!-25 Aug 2003

Arancini: Sicilian Rice Balls

Published: August 21, 2020 • Modified: March 8, 2021 • by Author: Analida • Word count:1260 words. • About 7 minutes to read this article.

What is arancini? Arancini a traditional Sicilian street food. It's rice, filled and then fried. The fillings vary from prosciutto, Fontina cheese, peas, mushrooms or a mix. Pair it with marinara sauce and you've got a creamy, carby appetizer to remember.

Baked risotto balls are relatively quick and easy to put together (if you have already made and chilled the risotto). I would usually make this recipe with leftover risotto rather than making the risotto, cooling it and then preparing the balls on the same day. That would just be too much for me!

I used my Vegetable Risotto Recipe for this post but any risotto recipe can be used. If you have got a recipe that your kids love then use that one. Just make sure your risotto is made with an Italian variety of rice that has the correct starches to produces a creamy texture when cooked. Arborio, Vialone Nanoand Carnaroli are the most common varieties.

NOTE: If serving to a baby make sure the risotto is made using homemade stock or baby stock/low salt stock.

This is a great recipe to get your kids involved in the kitchen. Finn (3) was given the task of forming balls. He struggled to coat and dip them, so I took over that task, but older kids would manage no problem.

I dipped the rice balls in flour then egg and finally rolled them in breadcrumbs. You can really make them any size you desire, ours were roughly one and a half tablespoons each and I made 12 balls from 3 cups of cooked risotto.

I have made baked arancini with a range of breadcrumbs. Fresh, dried and panko. My personal favourite, although not very Italian, is Panko breadcrumbs. It is hard to achieve the same delicious crunchy shell, that frying achieves when you are baking but panko gives the best results.

TIP: Spray your breadcrumbs with oil and pop them in the oven for 5-10 mins before you coat your balls. Although not necessary for taste, doing this will give your breadcrumbs a head start in the browning process and will make your arancini more visually like the fried version.

These baked risotto balls really are delicious and approved by both Finn and Rory. I loved that there aren’t tiny pieces of rice to clean up from the high chair, floor, walls, Rory’s hair, clothes…..

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Have you tried this recipe? I would love to know how it went, please leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram @healthylittlefoodies

Looking for more healthy kid recipes? Sign up for my free recipe newsletter to get new family friendly recipes in your inbox each week! Find me sharing more kind-friendly inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram.

A note on the name

So far I have used the female term arancine, but many people instead use the male arancini. This is because in Italian the distinction of gender — in this case, female for orange (arancia) and male for orange tree (arancio) — arose only in the late 20th century. But in the Sicilian dialect, the fruit is aranciu, which in the Italian peninsula becomes, confusingly, arancio.

For the famous Sicilian rice balls, then, arancine (plural of arancina) is considered more correct, because it is derived from the word for orange as opposed to the word for orange tree. However, arancini (arancino), being more popular in Sicily, is also widely accepted.

Recipe Summary

  • 4 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced hot capicolla or proscuitto, halved and folded into quarters
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • All-Purpose Tomato Sauce

Place rice and 6 cups of water in a large saucepan bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a medium-low and cook, covered, stirring often, until water is completely absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl set aside until completely cooled.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat set aside.

Stir 3 eggs, one at a time, into cooled rice. Add Parmesan, parsley, and reserved cooked garlic stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Fill a large bowl with water. Dip your hands into the water and then form rice mixture into a 2 1/2-inch ball. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat process until all of the rice has been used. Using 2 fingers, make an indentation in each ball. Fill each ball with 1 piece of mozzarella cheese and 1 piece of capicolla or proscuitto. Press together to enclose. If necessary, add more rice mixture to cover.

Beat remaining 2 eggs in a medium bowl. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Dip each rice ball first in egg mixture, and then in breadcrumbs to coat. Gently remold rice balls if they begin to loose their round shape. Return to parchment paper-lined baking sheet set aside.

Heat 5 inches of oil in a large Dutch-oven until it reaches 350 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. Using a slotted spoon, gently lower one rice ball at a time into hot oil, working in batches if necessary. Cook rice balls, turning, until brown and crispy on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Serve immediately with marinara sauce.

Arangini (Italian Rice Balls) recipe - Recipes

On the rare occasion that I eat out at an Italian restaurant, I never can resist ordering arancini, a delightfully cheesy fried rice ball. Recently, I was menu planning, and a craving hit. After the craving, the idea of making baked mushroom arancini. I do confess to having a bit of a weakness for fried savories, for arancini are commonly fried. However, I don't enjoy the mess of frying and baking the balls are a healthier alternative. Inspired by the success of my baked brown rice balls, I made up a pot of mushroom risotto and turned that into arancini.

The mushrooms add an addictive earthiness to the creamy balls oozing with cheese. There was a fair amount of prep involved, but the result was more than worth it and you can be sure these won't last long, despite the substantial nature of these savory balls of bliss. Because I wanted to serve them as a side instead of an appetizer for the occasion, I served them up with rich tomato braised gigantes bean dish to serve as a portion of the sauce, instead of simply the traditional marinara sauce. I'll be sharing that recipe soon, but in the meantime, you might want to consider serving them with Gigantes simmered in a garlicky tomato sauce. The meal was a smashing success.

Baked Mushroom Arancini
Recipe by Lisa Turner
Cuisine: Italian
Published on March 10, 2014

Delicious, creamy and cheesey savory mushroom risotto baked into appetizer-size arancini balls

Preparation: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 5 to 25 minutes

  • 1/2 cup dried mushrooms (porcini, shiitake or portobellos)
  • 8 oz (225 g) white mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp cloth and finely chopped
  • juice from 1 small lemon (2 tablespoons)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or salted water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne (optional)
  • 4 oz (115 g) mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes (about 1/8")
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • fresh ground black pepper

Begin by making the risotto. Soak the dried mushrooms in 1 1/2 cups of hot water for 30 minutes. Drain the mushrooms and reserve the soaking liquid.

Toss the fresh mushrooms with the lemon juice.

Add the vegetable stock or salted water and reserved mushroom soaking water to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.

In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Toss in the fresh mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms begin to release their juices and brown. Stir in the parsley and transfer the mixture to a small bowl.

In the same pan that the mushrooms were cooked in, heat the olive oil and another 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and stir for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion has softened and begins to brown. Add the rice and stir for another few minutes to coat the grains with oil.

Now add the soaked dried mushrooms and cooked fresh mushrooms to the pan and stir well to combine. Pour in the white wine, raise the heat slightly, and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid evaporates.

Add a ladleful of the simmering stock and cook, stirring constantly to prevent the grains from sticking to the pan, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the stock and mushroom liquid a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly and waiting until the liquid is absorbed between each addition. Continue until the rice is al dente — this should take 20 to 30 minutes. Most of the stock and mushroom liquid will be used (add hot water to the stock and mushroom liquid if necessary).

Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter along with the Parmesan, season with salt and pepper, and remove from the stove. Let cool to room temperature.

Once the rice has cooled, the risotto can be turned into arancini. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the cooled rice to the bowl, along with the Parmesan, parsley, salt, and cayenne if using. Stir well to combine.

Preheat an oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with olive oil.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and olive oil for the coating. In another small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs and plenty of black pepper.

Dampen your hands and shape the mixture into roughly 2-inch balls. Insert a mozzarella cube into the center of the rice ball. Dip each of the balls into the egg and olive oil mixture and then into the bread crumbs to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom. Turn them over and continue to bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or both sides are golden brown.

Arangini (Italian Rice Balls) recipe - Recipes

This is one version of the wonderfully crispy and spicy fried rice balls and croquettes that I used to love making all the time, but I've been out of the habit for a long time now because I despise wasting several cups of good quality olive oil for deep-frying and I absolutely refuse to use cheaper vegetable oils. But they were always such a tasty treat that I kept returning to the idea when thinking of something to accompany the Italian-style cannellini bean soup with fontina gremolata I had planned for my menu. To overcome my scruples, I came up with a healthier alternative to deep frying and baked the rice balls instead. I was delighted when they turned out just as delicious as I had remembered them, crunchy and brown on the outside and creamy and chewy in the middle.

These rice balls take little time to prepare, but can take some while to cook, especially if they don't all fit in one baking dish. You can cut down on the time by cooking the rice in the morning and letting it cool during the day. Leftovers can be wrapped in foil and reheated in a 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

These rice balls would also be a good appetizer or snack, served along with some salsa.

Baked Italian Brown Rice Balls (Arancini)
Recipe by Lisa Turner
Cuisine: Italian
Published on March 20, 2008

Crispy, spicy and cheesy Italian-style rice balls — heavenly, and baked instead of fried

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 to 60 minutes

  • 1 1/3 cups brown rice
  • 2 2/3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 oz (115 g) mozzarella cheese, chopped into 1/8-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped, lightly packed
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • olive oil for baking

Soak the brown rice overnight in the water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients for the rice balls. Stir in the cooled rice until all the ingredients are combined.

Preheat an oven to 400°F and grease the bottom of a glass baking dish with a generous layer of olive oil. Whisk together the eggs and olive oil for the coating together in a small bowl. In another small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs with plenty of ground black pepper.

Wet your hands, and shape the rice mixture into 2-inch balls. Dip each rice ball into the egg and oil mixture, then roll around to coat in the bread crumbs. Transfer to the baking dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the bottoms are golden brown. Turn over and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. Drain on paper towel, and serve hot.

Step by Step Instructions to make Sicilian Rice Balls

First, cook your rice by rice cooker or by pot on the stove. Sicilians use Arborio Rice, but for this recipe I used Long Grained Rice. In either case, you will need six cups of cooked rice for this recipe (or 3 cups of dried rice).

Cooking Tip: Follow instructions on package for stove top preparation or manufacture’s instructions if using a rice cooker.

In a bowl microwave (3-4 minutes on high power) 12 small frozen meatballs. These you can buy prepackaged, or make your own with my easy Homemade Meatballs Recipe. Remove from microwave.

In the same bowl that the meatballs were heated in, add 1 1/2 cups of thawed frozen peas, tomato paste, and 1 tablespoon of this Italian spice mix: dried oregano, marjoram, thyme, basil, rosemary, and sage.

Once the rice has cooked, transfer it to a large bowl and cool it for about 10 minutes. Next mix in one cup of each: shredded parmesan, asiago, and Romano cheese. Mix well with a spoon.

Now to make the rice balls…

Create a little pocket in the middle and place one meatball, tomato paste, and pea mixture into it.

Scoop a little more rice and mold it around meatball mixture and press it all together gently.

On to the breading. This is where the rice ball gets its crunchy outer crust and seals in the juices and delicious flavor of its inner contents.

Set up your breading and frying station similar to pictured below. I have eggs (four eggs, beaten), breading (I like Progresso with Italian spices) and a deep fryer.

It’s best if you set this up ahead of time. That way, you can easily move from forming a rice ball, to breading it, followed by frying it in one felled swoop.

To prepare your deep fryer:

Heat the oil to 350 degrees F. And, be sure to add enough vegetable oil per manufacturer’s instructions.

Cooking Tip: Do not overfill with oil.

As you bread your rice balls, don’t let the the rice balls sit in the beaten eggs for too long. Just move it along from one bowl to the other.

As you’ll find, breading of the rice ball goes very quickly…

Thus, in no time at all, you will have enough rice balls to deep fry.

When the rice balls have been breaded, drop them directly into the hot oil.

Cooking Tip: Only prepare bread enough rice balls to fit within the space of the deep fryer. And, crowding the deep fryer will only cause the rice balls to stick and not cook through properly.

Deep fry rice balls until golden brown. This should take approximately 3-4 minutes, maybe a bit longer. Just keep an eye on it.

Once cooked, remove the rice balls with a metal slotted spoon and place them on a sprayed cooling rack.

While you are waiting for the rice balls to cook, you can heat your marinara sauce. I usually use Rao’s Marinara Sauce, although you can definitely make your own homemade marinara sauce recipe just as easily.

When ready, ladle the marinara sauce in the bottom of your bowl.
Add a rice ball. Serve. Enjoy!

For more delicious main dish meals, be sure to check out my Pinterest Board: Dinner Recipes from Wisconsin Homemaker.

Arangini (Italian Rice Balls) recipe - Recipes

Arancine (rice balls) were invented in the tenth century during the Kalbid rule of Sicily. Stuffed with meat and coated with a light, crispy batter, rice balls are similar to foods based on recipes known in the Middle East during the Middle Ages. Their Italian name comes to us from the word for orange (arancia), which they faintly resemble in colour and texture. Nowadays the arancine made in western Sicily are round while those made in eastern Sicily (particularly around Catania) are often conical.

This all seems fairly simple, though preparing arancine (or arancini) well is something of an art. But how did rice arrive in Sicily in the first place? It's certainly not grown here today. Rice (as well as oranges) was introduced during the Arab period. Of course, rice cultivation requires water. The Arabs built innovative and very efficient irrigation systems in Sicily, but the island was naturally grrener then. The climate was cooler and there were larger forests. There were also more streams that flowed year round (instead of the run-off torrents seen today), navigable rivers and natural lakes. In such an environment the Arabs revolutionised agriculture and introduced crops such as cotton and sugar cane.

The cultivation of rice in Sicily had no connection with rice farming in Piedmont, a sub-alpine region of northern Italy where arborio and other rice varieties are still grown. The introduction of rice in Sicily parallels that in Spain.

Arancina rice is flavoured and coloured with saffron. Though cultivated in antiquity in Greece and Sicily, the widespread use of this yellow spice was more prominent in medieval Arab cuisine, and is used in preparing paella, a Spanish rice dish. (Saffron was also used as a pigment in medieval painting.)

Arancine are formed of cooked and flavoured rice shaped around a core of chopped meat filling. The balls are then coated and deep fried to a crisp. Arancini are not the only crispy fried Sicilian food introduced by the Arabs. Pannelle come to mind. These are flat cakes made with ceci flour.

Rice balls are the golden jewel in the crown of Sicilian cuisine.

About the Author: Palermo native Francesca Lombardo is Best of Sicily's resident wine expert. She has written a book about Sicilian street food.

Pesto Arancini Recipe

Chef, cookbook author, restaurateur, and winemaker&mdashthere's not a lot of the Napa Valley culinary lifestyle scene untouched by Michael Chiarello. He ties together his varied interests in a lifestyle brand called NapaStyle. From his iconic Tra Vigne restaurant in the 1980s to his current Bottega, he has helped define wine country cuisine.

Today, Chiarello shares a challenging yet highly rewarding pesto arancini recipe that happens to be a great way to put leftover risotto to use. Take it away, Chef…

Arancini, or rice balls filled with melting cheese, are for leftover risotto days. I never make the rice from scratch when I&rsquom making arancini at home. If you don&rsquot have leftover risotto, you can make these balls from cooked Arborio rice, but be sure to add a teaspoon or two of salt while the rice cooks. (Honestly, you are better off making a big pot of risotto and then making arancini the next day.)

Arancini remind me of my friend Mariano Orlando. He always made arancini the Sicilian way, his rice balls the size of oranges. We talked once about arancini and he kept saying in Italian, &ldquotelephone wire,&rdquo making a motion with his hands as if to stretch a length of cord. &ldquoWhat are you saying?&rdquo I asked him. &ldquoWhy are you talking about telephone wire?&rdquo The cheese, Mariano said, should stretch like a telephone wire when you take a bite from a perfect arancini and pull it away from your lips.

Our arancini don&rsquot have that same telephone wire of cheese we use a little less cheese in the middle and a lot more cheese in the risotto. You can add more cheese to the middle if you want to go for the full telefono filo effect.

This is a multi-part recipe. You will also need to complete the pesto recipe with blanched basil and the Food Republic Best Basic Risotto recipe. Then put them all together to make these cheesy balls.

Watch the video: SICILIAN ARANCINI Recipe. Homemade Italian Rice Balls Recipe (July 2022).


  1. Jarek

    Excuse, not in that section.....

  2. Joseph

    This idea would have just by the way

  3. Gardarr

    It's a pity that I can't speak right now - I'm very busy. But I'll be free - I will definitely write what I think.

  4. Kildare

    In my opinion, he is wrong. I'm sure.

  5. Eusebius

    What a sympathetic thought

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