Down arrow. Click to jump to the recipe.

Jump to recipe

Arancini are delicious, crispy fried balls of rice stuffed with cheese. They are a great way to use up leftover risotto and make a satisfying snack or appetizer.
Freezer Friendly
Side Dish

Have you ever made risotto and ended up with more than you could eat? Don’t let that creamy rice go to waste. Turn it into Arancini, the ultimate comfort food from Sicily.

Arancini are basically rice balls filled with cheese, coated with bread crumbs and fried until golden and crisp. They are crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside, and bursting with flavor. You can eat them plain or dip them in marinara sauce for extra yumminess.

The best part about Arancini is that you can make them ahead and freeze them for later. They are perfect for parties, picnics, or whenever you need a quick and tasty bite. Trust me, once you try them, you’ll be hooked.

Customizing Your Arancini

Arancini are very versatile and you can customize them to your liking. Here are some ideas for substitutions and variations:

  • Use different kinds of melty cheese, such as mozzarella, cheddar, or gouda.
  • For some added protein, add some pre-cooked meat, such as bacon, sausage or ham.
  • Spice up your Arancini with some herbs, such as parsley, basil, or oregano, or some seasonings, such as garlic, onion, or paprika.
  • Try serving them with different sauces, like a spicy arrabbiata or an Italian salsa verde.

Storage and Reheating Leftovers

Arancini are best served right away, but they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat them, you can either bake them in the oven at 375°F for 15 minutes, or pop them back into some hot oil to fry to ensure they stay nice and crispy.

Freezing and Reheating

You can freeze the arancini after you fry them, but I find freezing them before they’re fried results in a crispier ball.

To freeze them before frying, instead of placing the balls in the fridge for an hour to firm up, place them in the freezer for an hour. Then, transfer them to a freezer bag or other air-tight container.

When you want to eat them, remove from the freezer and let them sit on the counter for 15 minutes. Then, follow the frying instructions in the recipe. Since they’re colder than they would be if frying them unfrozen, it may take a few minutes longer for them to turn golden brown.



Prep Time:
1 hour, 20 min
Cook Time:
10 min
Total Time:
1 hour, 30 min
12 balls
Equipment Needed
  • A frying thermometer
  • 2 cups of leftover risotto, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 oz of fontina cheese, cut into 12 small cubes
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Oil, for frying
  • Marinara sauce, for dipping (optional)

  1. In a large bowl, mix the risotto, Parmesan cheese, and one egg. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
  2. Shape the risotto mixture into balls, using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon. Make a hole in the center of each ball and fill it with a cube of the fontina cheese. Seal the hole and roll the ball in your hands to make it smooth and round.
  3. Place the bread crumbs in a shallow dish and the remaining egg in another dish. Dip each ball in the egg and then roll in the bread crumbs, coating them well.
  4. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover them loosely then refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F. Fry the Arancini in batches, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes.
  6. Serve the arancini immediately with marinara or other sauce of your choice.
Recipe Tips
Back to Top Arrow