Arancini (Rice Balls) and a Rice Blog Hop
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These vegetarian rice balls are the ultimate vegetarian appetizer for a cocktail party. They also freeze beautifully, so you can make them ahead and heat them as desired.
Recipe Type: Appetiser
Cuisine: Italian
Yield: Makes about 20
  • 3 cups cold, leftover risotto
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan
  • 3 oz (85 g) mozzarella, cubed
  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs
  • Frying oil
  1. Put the risotto, egg, and Parmesan in a large bowl and mix to combine.
  2. Scoop up a small handful of the cold risotto and form into a ball. Push a cube of mozzarella into the center, and smooth the risotto over so it is fully covered. Roll around in your hands to make sure the ball is even. Repeat with remaining risotto and mozzarella (if the risotto starts to stick to your hands so much that you can’t form a ball, put the risotto in the fridge for a few minutes and wash your hands, then start again).
  3. Put the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl.
  4. Roll each risotto ball in the breadcrumbs so they are evenly coated. Transfer to a plate or baking tray. Refrigerate while you heat the oil.
  5. Pour frying oil into a small pot so it comes up 4 inches or so. Heat over medium-high heat until very hot (you can test it by putting a wooden spoon in the oil to see if it bubbles).
  6. Working in batches, carefully lower one risotto ball at a time into the hot oil. Fry, turning around every so often, until evenly golden brown all around. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate or tray and continue with the remaining risotto balls.Serve immediately with marinara sauce, if you like, or keep warm in the oven.
  7. Alternately, you can let the arancini cool then arrange in an even layer on a baking sheet and freeze. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the freezer. When ready to serve, bake directly from the freezer in a preheated oven for 10 minutes or so - they're good as fresh!
Kosher Dairy, Vegetarian

To make gluten free, use gf breadcrumbs.
Recipe by Katherine Martinelli at