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Cheesy Arancini

A staple of Sicilian cuisine

Arancini - a ball of cheesy rice coated with bread crumbs, deep fried and served with tomato sauce. Delicious, crispy and the perfect appetizer for a weekend night!



• Risotto - can be just made and chilled or leftover

• 2 cups panko

• ½ cup all-purpose flour

• 2 large eggs

• Canola oil (for frying; about 6 cups)

* these can be made in an air fryer too!


• 3 tablespoons olive oil

• 1 small onion, finely chopped

• 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

• 3/4 cup dry white wine

• 4 1/2 cups reduced-sodium canned chicken broth

• 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

• 2 tablespoons butter



• Line a baking sheet with parchment. Scoop about 3 tablespoons of risotto and roll into a ball. I use my large cookie scoop. ** Bonus - add an extra cheese cube to the middle of ball for an extra cheesy snack.

• Place on prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining risotto.

• Freeze balls for 10 minutes.

• Prepare your breadcrumbs by pulsing in a food processor or place in a ziptop plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin until finer crumbs form. (This is optional, I have done it without crushing the breadcrumbs and they are still great!)

• Transfer to a shallow dish

• Place flour in another shallow dish

• Lightly beat eggs in a third shallow dish; season all bowls with salt and pepper.

• Remove balls from freezer and one at a time, dredge balls in flour, shaking off excess.

• Transfer to bowl with egg and turn to coat, letting excess drip back into bowl.

• Coat with panko, pressing gently to stick.

• Place on a lined baking sheet.

• Chill balls while you heat oil.

• Pour oil into a medium heavy pot fitted with thermometer to a depth of 2". Heat over medium until thermometer registers 350°

• Carefully lower half of rice balls into oil with a slotted spoon or spider and fry until deeply golden brown, 6–8 minutes

• Transfer to plate with paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Repeat with remaining rice balls.

* if using an air fryer skip the step above and set fryer to 400, spray with nonstick spray, add balls to the basket and cook until golden and crispy. About 10 mins.

• Serve warm with sauce, my favorite is Rao's Homemade!

Risotto Instructions

1) In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Add rice; cook, stirring until well coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring until absorbed, about 1 minute. Season with salt. Gently heat broth; keep warm.

2) Add about 1 cup of warm broth. Cook, stirring frequently, until absorbed. Continue adding broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 25 minutes total. The rice should be tender (but not mushy) and suspended in liquid with the consistency of heavy cream.

3) Remove pan from heat. Stir in Parmesan and butter; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately (risotto will continue to thicken as it sits).

4) If using for Arancini, let Risotto chill for at least 2 hours. Balls will be easier to form when cold.

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