Arancini (Italian Rice Balls)

Arancini Italian Rice Balls is a wonderful and unique appetizer. Cooked rice, two different types of cheese, ham, pepperoni, salami, and seasonings make for a delicious appetizer your family is certain to enjoy.

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These might not look like much but these Italian rice balls are packed full of cheesy meaty seasoned goodness. They are good alone or served with a marinara or alfredo sauce.         

Why Are These Italian Rice Balls With Mozzarella So Amazing?

Honestly, it’s the whole package itself. They are filled with tasty cheese, wonderful meat choices, and are seasoned perfectly. 

One bit of these arancini di riso AKA Sicilian rice balls and you will be hooked! You should probably double the batch if you want to have any to share, they are just that good. 

So What Exactly Are Italian Rice Balls?

On the outside they are crispy, deep fried balls of rice. But, they are so much more than that. 

This arancini recipe also has a filling that has melty cheese, a marainara sauce, and plenty of seasoning and meats roll in for perfection. 

When everything is fried together, it creates the perfect bite. 

How Do You Make Rice Balls Stick Together? 

By using cold rice you will be able to get the rice to stick well together. If it needs a little encouragement you can add a tiny bit of water, about 1 tablespoon to help develop more of the natural starch in the rice. 

Then, after you have the rice formed, it will be dipped in an egg mixture which is known for keeping things together! 

Why Should You Use Risotto?

Risotto will help achieve the best results possible. By using risotto you can get the sticky kind of rice you need with this short grain, high starch rice, without getting a mushy dish. So, in the end it will make a better final dish.  

Best Way to Store Leftovers of Italian Rice Balls

If you have made the arancini recipe but do not plan to eat them all you do not have to fry them all just yet! 

After placing the fried rice balls in the fridge, move the pan to the freezer to let the balls completely freeze. Once they are completely frozen, you can then place the balls in a freezer-safe ziplock bag and keep them for the next time you want to eat this recipe for Italian rice balls. 

You can keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months! 

If you do plan to eat them within 3-4 days, feel free to keep them in an airtight container in the fridge. 

Reheating Italian Rice Balls

While you do not want to refry these arancini balls you need them to get good and hot to taste delicious but you want to try and avoid them getting soggy. 

The best way to reheat these rice balls would be to use your air fryer and heat them at 380 for 2-3 minutes. Then they should be good to go! 

If you do not have an air fryer, then the oven would be the next best option. Heat the oven to 375 and bake them for 7-10 minutes, or until they are heated all the way through.

Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Rice
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Ham
  • Pepperoni
  • Salami
  • Dried parsley
  • Shredded Romano cheese
  • All-purpose flour
  • Egg
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil for frying
Arancini Italian Rice Balls ingredients

How to Make Arancini Italian Rice Balls

  1. Cook the rice according to the package directions.
  2. Allow rice to cool completely.
  3. Place the ham, pepperoni, salami, and mozzarella in a food processor.
  4. Process until the meats and cheese are ground together.
    ground meat and cheese in a food processor bowl
  5. Place the meat mixture, rice, parsley, and Romano cheese in a bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  6. Roll the rice mixture into balls about 1½-inch in size.
  7. Set up a breading station with 3 shallow containers.
  8. Place flour in the first container, beaten egg in the second container, and breadcrumbs in the third container.
  9. Roll each ball in flour.
  10. Dip the floured balls in the beaten egg.
  11. Dip the egg-coated balls in bread crumbs.
  12. Put at least 3 inches of oil in a deep fryer or heavy pot.
  13. Heat oil to 350 degrees.
  14. Deep fry the rice balls a few at a time until golden brown.
  15. Drain the fried rice balls on a wire rack.
  16. Serve with marinara sauce if desired.
a plate of arancini Italian rice balls and a bowl of marinara sauce

Love Italian food? Try these recipes!

Favorite Rice Dishes

Check out more of my easy appetizer recipes and the best Italian recipes here on CopyKat!

Special thanks to Duane Keth for this recipe.

Arancini Italian Rice Balls on a plate and a bowl of marinara sauce

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Arancini (Italian Rice Balls)

These Arancini Italian rice balls are nothing short of amazing. Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and loaded with meat and cheese. 
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Arancini, Italian Rice Balls
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 401kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rice
  • pounds shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ pound ham finely diced
  • ¼ pound pepperoni finely diced
  • ¼ pound salami finely diced
  • ¼ cup dried parsley
  • ¼ pound Romano cheese grated
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour for caoting
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  • Cook the rice according to the package directions.
  • Allow rice to cool completely.
  • Place the ham, pepperoni, salami, and mozzarella in a food processor.
  • Process until the meats and cheese are ground together.
  • Place the meat mixture, rice, parsley, and Romano cheese in a bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Roll the rice mixture into balls about 1½-inch in size.
  • Set up a breading station with 3 shallow containers.
  • Place flour in the first container, beaten egg in the second container, and breadcrumbs in the third container.
  • Roll each ball in flour.
  • Dip the floured balls in the beaten egg.
  • Dip the egg-coated balls in the bread crumbs.
  • Put at least 3 inches of oil in a deep fryer or heavy pot.
  • Heat oil to 350 degrees.
  • Deep fry the rice balls a few at a time until golden brown. Do not over-crowd the fryer.
  • Drain the fried rice balls on a wire rack.

Notes

Serve arancini with marinara sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 733mg | Potassium: 175mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 290IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 286mg | Iron: 1.6mg

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