I won’t lie, making arancini is a labor of love, but it’s worth it. These Sicilian fried, stuffed rice balls are a delicious appetizer or snack.

First you, make the risotto. Then, a couple days later, when it’s dried out a bit, you shape it into round balls.

Then you stuff those risotto balls with mozzarella cheese and dip them in a batter of flour and water. Your batter should look something like this, kind of like a waffle batter.

Finally, you toss them breadcrumbs, and fry them. I don’t have an air fryer so I fried them the old fashioned way. Sooo good. Worth every calorie.

Crispy, cheesy, ooey, and gooey, this recipe is the perfect way to use the leftover risotto in your fridge.


  • 3-4 cups of leftover risotto (try my mushroom risotto recipe here)
  • Mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 ounces panko breadcrumbs
  • Oil for frying (I used avocado oil)
  • Grated pecorino romano cheese, for serving
  • Marinara sauce for dipping (I use Rao’s)


  1. In a small bowl, combine flour and half of water. Whisk until combined. Slowly add more water until batter resembles waffle batter. You may not need to use the full half cup. Set aside.
  2. Pour panko crumbs onto a small plate. Set aside.
  3. Grab small handfuls of your risotto and shape it into 2 inch balls. Make a dent in each ball, place a cube of mozzarella in it, then seal it in by pinching the risotto around it so the cheese is completely covered.
  4. In a deep frying pan, heat 2 inches of oil over medium low heat until it’s about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You can test if it’s ready by throwing in a piece of bread and seeing if it sizzles and starts to turn golden brown,
  5. Dip each ball in the batter and turn until ball is completely coated. Then dip in the plate of panko and turn until completely coated.
  6. Working in batches, fry 2-3 arancini at a time. If your arancini aren’t completely immersed in oil, flip them over when they’re golden brown on the bottom (about 3 minutes). Repeat on the other side.
  7. When both sides are golden brown, carefully remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with a paper towel so the excess oil can drain. Season with grated pecorino romano cheese and serve with warm marinara sauce.

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