Arancini (Italian Fried Risotto)

Arancini are a traditional Sicilian street food that get their name from their golden hue: Arancini means  little oranges. Risotto is formed into balls, encrusted in breadcrumbs, stuffed with a filling, and fried until crispy.

For The Risotto:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  •  teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley leaves
  • 3 cups chicken stock (store-bought or homemade)
  • 2 teaspoons double-concentrated tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

For The Stuffing:

  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese

For The Coating:

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  •  teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups plain panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups grapeseed or vegetable oil, for frying


  • Saute the onion and garlic: Into a large, heavy bottom saucepan add the olive oil. Set over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  • Cook the rice: Add the rice to the saucepan and stir until semi-translucent, about 1 minute. Add the salt, ground pepper, parsley, stock, tomato paste, and butter. Mix well and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Let simmer until the rice is tender and the broth is absorbed, 20-25 minutes.
  • Set up a breading station: While the rice is cooking, grab 3 medium bowls. In one bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and pepper. In the second, whisk the eggs. Add the breadcrumbs to the third bowl. Line two shallow baking sheets with parchment paper
  • Cube the mozzarella: Cut the mozzarella into 18 to 20, ½ inch cubes and keep chilled and sealed in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Finish the rice: When the rice is tender and the broth is fully absorbed, turn off the heat and stir in the parmesan. Carefully spread the rice onto one of the prepared baking sheets and let cool for 10 minutes.
  • Stuff the rice: When the rice is cool enough to handle, form it into 18, 1-inch balls. You can do this using your hands or a small cookie scoop. Once the balls are formed, insert a cube of cheese into the center and press the rice around it so the cheese is completely encased.
  • Bread the Arancini: Carefully dredge each ball in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Repeat until all the balls are completed and place each completed ball on the other parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Fry: In an 8-inch saucepan, heat 2 cups (approximately ½-inch deep) of olive oil to 350°F, or until the oil forms small bubbles but is not smoking. Fry 6 balls at a time turning gently until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Place completed arancini on a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Serve: Let cool for 5 minutes before serving stuck with toothpicks or with napkins on the side.


Calories: 576.9kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 20.5g | Fat: 19.4g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7.5g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 86.8mg | Sodium: 1378.4mg | Potassium: 335.7mg | Fiber: 3.8g | Sugar: 3.7g | Vitamin A: 595.6IU | Vitamin C: 4.8mg | Calcium: 262.5mg | Iron: 5.2mg

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