Arancini (Rice Balls) with Marinara Sauce

from 51 votes

Make the most of leftover rice with this easy recipe for Arancini (Rice Balls) stuffed with mozzarella and served with warm marinara sauce.

Easy Arancini Rice Balls with marinara sauce

My first taste of authentic arancini, or Italian rice balls, was at Stuzzi Ristorante, a tiny restaurant in Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood and just steps from where I attended culinary school. Back then, we knew the local hotspot as Bar Stuzzi, and it was a favorite for Italian small plates paired with towering glasses of crisp Prosecco.

The best arancini rice balls in a basket sprinkled with parmesan cheese

I’ll never forget my first taste of arancini, as my eyes went wide at the sight of the baseball-sized rice balls coated in breadcrumbs, deep-fried and served atop a bed of bright red marinara. They were a total triple threat: crunchy, creamy and cheesy.

Arancini dipped in eggs and breadcrumbs

If fried rice isn’t your thing, then arancini are the ultimate excuse for using up what’s left of the ol’ Uncle Ben’s in the fridge.

Hand with rice and mozzarella cheese to form arancini ball

Although many arancini recipes begin with a risotto base, it’s perfectly acceptable to skip the 20-minute stir time and start with day-old rice.

Slotted spoon with fried arancini rice balls

Make sure to check out my notes at the end of the recipe for a few tips that could mean the difference between perfectly rounded cheesy fried rice balls and, well, a hot mess of rice and dairy. 

Easy arancini in basket topped with parmesan cheese

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Arancini (Rice Balls) with Marinara Sauce

Make the most of leftover rice with this easy recipe for Arancini (Rice Balls) stuffed with mozzarella and served with warm marinara sauce.
Author: Kelly Senyei
4.81 from 51 votes
Easy Arancini Rice Balls with marinara sauce
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 arancini


  • 2 cups cooked white rice, cooled (See Kelly's Notes)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 3 eggs
  • 8 small cubes fresh mozzarella
  • 1 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • Oil, for frying
  • 1 cup store-bought or homemade marinara sauce


  • Place a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and add enough vegetable oil to rise 4 inches in the pot.
  • Combine the rice, Parmesan and 1 egg in a medium bowl and use your hands to thoroughly combine the mixture.
  • Form each arancini by taking a small portion of the mixture, squeezing it firmly and stuffing one cube of mozzarella inside each ball. Repeat this process to form 8 arancini.
  • Whisk together the remaining 2 eggs. Dip each arancini in the eggs and then in the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess.
  • Once the oil reaches 375ºF, add 2 or 3 of the breaded arancini to the pot and fry them until golden brown and cooked throughout.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the fried arancini from the pot and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate. Immediately salt the arancini. Repeat the frying process with the remaining arancini.
  • Serve the arancini warm with a side of warm marinara sauce.

Kelly's Notes:

  • I've made arancini with many types of rice, but some varieties prove more successful than others. For example, regular old Uncle Ben's will only work if it's particularly sticky. The best rice for arancini is actually sushi rice (despite how unauthentically Italian that may be!) because it is much more glutinous so it's easy to work with.
  • Make sure you really squeeze the arancini together to make them as compact as possible. This will ensure the arancini hold their shape when frying.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


Calories: 165kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 67mg, Sodium: 384mg, Potassium: 172mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 285IU, Vitamin C: 2.1mg, Calcium: 116mg, Iron: 1.4mg


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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.

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  1. 5 stars
    These turned out great! I made sure the rice was completely cooled. I did add a few tablespoons of homemade marinara sauce to the cooked rice because that’s how my Italian mother in law made them. I shaped the balls with the cheese inside a few hours before I was ready to fry them so they were nice and firm. I did use my air fryer for these; I saw a few commenters wondering about this method. I preheated my air fryer to 400, sprayed the prepared balls with avocado oil, and set the timer for 8 minutes. They weren’t quite done, so I cooked for an additional 3 minutes. Turned out perfect – kept their shape and cooked through. Plated them with some marinara sauce on the side and it looked like we were at a fancy Italian restaurant! Thanks for a great post; will be making these many more times.

    1. Hi Fortuna! The ingredient list and directions are listed above underneath the last image of this post. :)

  2. Delicious recipe, I added fresh herbs and used Arborio rice and fresh mozzarella. I’m sadly unable to eat tomatoes so used pesto sauce which was amazing.

  3. I have to say that this was really bland and tasted of basically nothing. I used sushi rice as recommended but opted for Panko breadcrumbs instead of Italian ones. I doubt it would have made a difference, though. My arancini looked really lovely, and they were very nice and crispy on the outside but there was just no flavour to them. I think it would probably be worth using a mushroom risotto or similar as a base rather than just plain (sushi) rice.

    1. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy the recipe, Michala. Italian-style breadcrumbs have seasonings, which give the arancini their flavor. :)

    1. Hi Jannette – I’ve never tried that so I’m not sure! Let me know if you give it a shot :)

  4. 5 stars
    These turned out great! I used sushi rice , made the rice the day beforehand. Took the rice out of the fridge a couple of hours before making the rice balls , and it all came together beautifully! Thank you !

  5. 5 stars
    I have made these in the past with complete failure. However, These were fantastic, finally!
    I didn’t quite have the 2 cups of cooked rice making it difficult to form a ball but I was determined I wasn’t going to give up. So I added a tsp of bread crumbs to the mixture and added parsley, it was perfect! It took approx. 2 minutes to make it into a tight ball. These were a hit! Thank you!!

  6. 5 stars
    Made these tonite ! I used 2 bags (4 cups)of precooked brown rice. Followed pkg directions – 2 mins in microwave. Added sautéed fresh minced garlic and onion, garlic salt powder, pepper, fresh parsley Added one egg and Grated Ramano. Stuffed each ball w shredded mozzarella and continued w recipe.. they held together really well! Delicious!

  7. When the recipe calls for two cups of cooked rice, is that two cups before or after the rice is cooked? Trying to measure how much rice to cook, I’m guessing two cups pre-cooked will be too much.

    Looking forward to trying out the recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    My family loved it. The recipe does need STICKY rice, though. (I improvised with what I had and used an ice cream scoop to hold the balls in place while they cooked. Not a technique I’d recommend, but it worked in a pinch!)

  9. They were really good! It’s like a cross between a mozzarella stick and fried ravioli. I used leftover white rice, it wouldn’t hold together with just 1 egg, I had to add an extra egg and breadcrumbs. I wish it had specified a time estimate for deep frying – they turned golden brown right away but it was hard to tell when they were done in the middle and I didn’t want to burn them. But, they turned out fine!

  10. 5 stars
    What a great recipe to make these for the first time. I had leftover brown rice and I used havarti as the cube cheese (because I like it and it melts well) and added chopped fresh parsley to the rice. Used a can of Muir Glen tomatoes blended with garlic , herbs and chili flakes. These came out so much better than than I expected. Thank you!

  11. This looks great, especially with the addition of green peas. Has anyone tried them in an air fryer. We really try to stay away from fried foods.

    1. Hi Gemia! I’ve never tried making these in an air fryer so I’m not sure what the results would be. Let me know if you give it a shot!

  12. 5 stars
    These were excellent. Had arancini for the first time at a local restaurant but they were a special and the restaurant doesn’t make them anymore. Glad to be able to make them myself, the only thing I needed to purchase was the fresh mozzarella. They were awesome though I found the inside rice to be a tiny bit dry, but I used leftover sushi rice that was dry. Does the rice need to be cold to hold together in the oil? If not I would try heating up the rice with some added water next time, as the sushi rice was made in my rice cooker so it was sticky and starchy. What do you think Kelly? I would love any thoughts you have as I will definitely be making these again sometime!

  13. 5 stars
    Made these tonight and had them with the Marinara sauce recipe over on Cookie & Kate’s blog. DELICIOUS!!! Thank you!

  14. My kids love a standing rack of lamb and caponata with aracini placed around the rack. Sometimes I put green peas in the rice balls as a green surprise.

  15. 5 stars
    I had some leftover rice, so I was searching for a recipe to make. My husband loves rice balls so I decided to make these. I had all the ingredients in my fridge which was a bonus and they came out amazing!! I’ve made them twice now

  16. 5 stars
    made them,love them ,I will make again using Risotto,Do they hold together better with risotto .Thanks for the great recipes.I am baking like a fool since I don;t go out much now.

    1. Hi Jeanne! I’ve never tried making these in an air fryer so I’m not sure what the results would be. Let me know if you give it a shot!

  17. I’ve made these rice balls for many years. The only thing different is we put peas in the middle with the gravy and mozzerella and chop meat. Mine are the size of soft balls.

  18. 5 stars
    Your recipe helped me figure out portions. My grams always made them but never measured so thank you! I knew the process by heart but not how much of each item would be best.

  19. 5 stars
    Great recipe. Followed it exactly the first time. Everyone raves about them. The second time, added minced ham and a pinch of dried basil. Heavenly. It’s a go to with leftover rice now.

  20. I had about 2 cups of Uncle Ben’s rice left over from dinner previous night. I found by adding some bread crumbs to the rice, cheese, egg mixture it helps to bind. I used about a quarter cup of the Italian flavored crumbs, but exactly how much to add is a go by feel. I also added some garlic powder and a pinch or so of hot red pepper flakes just for added flavor. For the out side breading I used PANCO type which made for a more crispy texture.
    I deep fat fried the formed balls which were at room temp in deep fat at 375 degrees till golden brown. They held shape during the frying, they were nice and crispy and the added garlic and red pepper gave me the added flavor I wanted. Give the added bread crumbs a try if you are having trouble getting the ball to stick. It also helps to wet your hands when forming the balls.

  21. It really isn’t good to not add the eggs even when the rice is sushi/extra sticky rice that u can form and stuff..I tried to make this several times..
    Because come to find out that the egg is the binder of the balls. I even tried it without without the dipping of the balls into the egg wash & bread crumbs..they just fail apart..then I tried it the next batch without the egg mixed into it..(binder) I then dipped them into the egg wash and bread crumbs..I thought this way the egg and breadcrumbs would bind it together and be nice and crunchy..But they just fail apart and were so hot from frying that they didn’t keep there form and were a crumbly massed mesh and the insides just starting to oozing out..Also tried in my air firer..they melted into the holding basket..What a huge mess..had to take the pot from frying & airier apart to soak and scrub…oh did I scrub and also lost money and the mushy crumbling mess..this is just what happened to me several times that I didn’t do the eggs..Good luck..if u try it without the egg I hope it does work for You..Good Luck.

  22. 4 stars
    I’m using day old Sushi Rice which is already really sticky. Adding eggs to it makes it overly sticky and wet. I think possibly skipping this step for me may still have my Arancini looking and tasting great?

    1. Hi Kasandra! I can’t say with certainty what your results will be but I think that *should* work! Also, you can try dipping your fingers in water then forming the rice balls. Looking forward to hearing your results :)

  23. These were WONDERFUL!!! my family gobbled them up immediately. I give this recipe 5 stars! :) Quick Question… On my first batch while frying, the cheese didn’t melt in them. So my second batch I left in the oil abit longer, but then they looked almost burnt, Any tips? lower heat but more time, maybe? They were still delish, but the cheese was still a little block of cheese.

  24. 5 stars
    These remind me of the Arancini we ate on the beach in Amalfi when I was young. The recipe is easy to follow. I used arborio rice, which I chilled overnight, and the the balls held together well. Next time I will use olive oil rather than vegetable oil for the flavor. My kids both say, “Yummm!”

  25. 5 stars
    I made these as the recipe stated. They were amazing and my grandchildren (6 to 18) absolutely loved them. Thank you for this great recipe. I’ll be sure to use it at my next dinner party❤️❤️

  26. 4 stars
    These were great. My husband raved over them. Followed directions as listed but didn’t have any mozzarella so I used cheddar. Wonderful. Next time, as someone suggested I might add some herbs and maybe a little sriracha?

  27. I have no idea how much a @small” cube of mozzarella is so I do t know how much to buy. Can you provide details? Thanks because I’d love to try this. Thinking of using panko unless you don’t think they’d work.

  28. 4 stars
    Great recipe. My family has made these they the years and the ONLY rice that is perfect is Arborio. This too is glutinous and sticks together. When rice cools I add the egg and cheese. I then refrig overnite so Its firmer and easy to roll into balls. Also easier to handle to do eggwash and roll in breadcrumbs. While frying batches I keep the balls refrigerated until it’s their turn

  29. 5 stars
    Ive made these twice. The first time I put a little fresh parsley and chives into the rice mixture and they were good. This time I added basil, oregano, parsley and chives and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Perfect. Also I recommend frying in grape seed and olive oil. This time I used olive oil and vegetable oil and I think they absorbed a little more than the first time.

  30. 5 stars
    Thank you for the super easy recipe!

    I understand it’s not authentically Italian, but I only had Calrose (sushi) rice on hand and I agree with you, because of how glutinous it was, it was easy to handle and to form tight balls that didn’t fall apart. :)

    The only 2 changes I made were:
    – smaller arancini so instead of 8 large ones I made 12 smaller ones.
    – I omitted the salt
    They were delicious and I couldn’t stop eating them!
    This recipe is definitely a keeper!

  31. I baked meatballs stuffed with a half mozzarella ball let them become cool enough to handle. I then used your recipe for the rice to form around the meatballs. I rolled in egg and breadcrumbs and fried as directed in your recipe. I had sprayed my hands with canola oil, still pretty sticky, re-oil often. I will try the other commentors hint of flouring my hands. These turned out delicious and popular with the family. I did use short grain rice.

  32. 5 stars
    This was my first time making rice balls. My family plays cards every week, so I brought these. They’re amazing!! Now my problem is they want me to bring them all the time! Lol. Thanks for the delicious recipe.!

  33. 5 stars
    Made with risotto, so didn’t need an egg or Parmesan since there was some in the risotto. I floured my hands and that made it easier to roll into good balls. These are absolutely delicious and will make them often.

  34. 5 stars
    Made these for the first time. Came out awesome. The only step I didn’t do is salt it. The family loves them. Thank you for the easy authentic recipe. Made these for Easter.

  35. 4 stars
    Love this recipe but I added prosciutto omitted the mozzarella and didn’t salt them since they had more than enough. Turned out great.

  36. Hi, this is an easy dish to make the other way takes a little more time. Also, I am Italian so I make my own sauce. I was wondering if u can post other Italian dishes so I can compare them to my nonnas recipe :) if not then it’s cool TY for the recipe

  37. 5 stars
    Very simple recipe. And so delicious! I added 3 tbsp of milk to help bind the ball better, and to make the rice a bit creamier.

    1. Hi Janet – I’ve never tried making these in an air fryer so I’m not sure! Let me know if you give it a shot!

  38. 5 stars
    Leftover, flavorful risotto works really well for these, and doesn’t require the egg to bind it. You can form the balls by tightly filling a small portion scoop and dropping them into a bowl of flour, then egg, then crumbs.

  39. 5 stars
    Wow! Great way to use leftover rice…

    What a stroke of luck finding this recipe with a search…

    I had some leftover aborio rice and was looking for a way to use a significant amount of leftovers…

    Will definitely make again, but will consider adding some zing with some red pepper flakes or maybe some finely diced jalapenos..


    1. I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Katherine! Red pepper flakes and finely diced jalapeños would be delicious additions!

  40. 5 stars
    I made them once and am going to make them again tomorrow but do you have any tips for rolling them . The mixture sticks to my hands and were hard to form into balls. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Anne! You can try dipping your fingers in water then forming the rice balls. Hope that helps :)

  41. 5 stars
    Wonderful recipe! I used some leftover Jasmine rice and they turned out perfectly. I also added a few cloves minced fresh garlic and 1/4 cup of chopped sun dried tomatoes to the rice mixture. Absolutely delicious!

  42. Does using plain sushi rice compared to risotto make a big difference in flavor and texture? Wouldn’t the risotto be more flavorful and moist?

    1. Hi Sara – I’ve never baked the arancini so I’m not sure. Let me know if you give it a shot!

  43. Did I miss the note about how to use leftover rice?
    I saw the warning to read it but I don’t see it.

    1. It’s under the recipe as “Kelly’s Notes” but I’ve pasted it again here :) –> “I’ve made arancini with many types of rice, but some varieties prove more successful than others. For example, regular old Uncle Ben’s will only work if it’s particularly sticky. The best rice for arancini is actually sushi rice (despite how unauthentically Italian that may be!) because it is much more glutinous so it’s easy to work with.” Enjoy!

    1. Hi Cathy! Making them ahead of time and reheating them in the oven should work. You’ll just have to experiment with the amount of time needed to ensure they are crisp on the outside and warm throughout. Hope that helps!

    1. Hi there! Sushi rice varieties can vary so my best recommendation is to follow the directions on the packaging :)

  44. Just made them. Fabulous. I need to play with temp a bit because the cheese didn’t fully melt in a handful of them but they were brown. I didn’t have a thermometer to measure oil temp. I turned down temp and cooked at med-low which fixed the problem.

  45. 5 stars
    Thanks for this recipe! I worked for Stuzzi ristorante in flatiron for 2 years in my early 20’s and your post brought back so many memories! I still dream of their rice balls.

      1. Hi Kelly you mentioned that the oil must reach a temperature of 375, do I need to preheat the oven to 375 and stick the pan in there?

  46. 5 stars
    Hola! Los hice y quedaron deliciosos me dio miedo que se desarmaran pero quedaron muy bien. Los hice con un arroz tradicional y agregue zanahoria además de los ingredientes que están en la receta.
    Mi marido quedó encantado y yo también.
    Lo hicimos con salta de tomate y carne molida. La agrgamos cebolla y pimentón ..esto hice que pareciera una lagsaña jaja probaremos con otras salsas también.
    Muy agradecida de esta receta y sacarnos de la rutina de comer siempre arroz normal jiji

  47. Hey guys, do you know if i were to bake them how long would it take and what would be the temperature?

    1. Hi Maha! I’ve never baked them so I’m not sure. Would love to hear your results if you give it a shot!

    1. Hi Sakshi – I’ve never tried substituting in another ingredient for the egg so unfortunately I can’t provide any recommendations. Let me know if you find a substitute that works!

    1. Arancini (Bolas de Arroz) con Salsa Marinara
      2 tazas
      Arroz blanco cocido, enfriado (Ver Notas de Kelly)
      1/2 taza
      parmesano rallado
      Mozzarella fresca de cubitos pequeños
      1 taza
      Migas de pan de estilo italiano
      Aceite para freír
      1 taza
      Salsa marinara comprada en casa o casera

      Coloque una olla grande de fondo pesado a fuego medio y agregue suficiente aceite vegetal para subir 4 pulgadas en la olla.

      Combine el arroz, el queso parmesano y 1 huevo en un tazón mediano y utilice sus manos para combinar a fondo la mezcla.

      Forma cada arancini tomando una pequeña porción de la mezcla, apretándola firmemente y rellenando un cubo de mozzarella dentro de cada bola. Repita este proceso para formar 8 arancini.

      Batir juntos los 2 huevos restantes. Sumerja cada arancini en los huevos y luego en el pan rallado, sacudiendo cualquier exceso.

      Una vez que el aceite llegue a 375ºF, agregue 2 o 3 de los arancini empanados a la olla y fríelos hasta que estén dorados y cocidos.

      Utilice una cuchara ranurada para quitar el arancini frito de la olla y transferirlos a un plato de papel toalla forrada. Inmediatamente salar el arancini. Repita el proceso de fritura con el arancini restante.

      Sirva el arancini caliente con un lado de la salsa marinara caliente.

      Notas de Kelly:

      He hecho arancini con muchos tipos de arroz, pero algunas variedades resultan más exitosas que otras. Por ejemplo, el tío Ben regular viejo trabajará solamente si es particularmente pegajoso. El mejor arroz para arancini es realmente arroz de sushi (a pesar de lo unuthentically italiano que puede ser!) Porque es mucho más glutinoso por lo que es fácil de trabajar.

      Asegúrese de apretar los arancini juntos para que sean lo más compactos posible. Esto asegurará que los arancini mantengan su forma al freír.

  48. Hi Kelly, I bake mine at 375°F for about 8 minutes. Just until they are golden brown and crispy. I make boudin all the time and started baking them too. I mix mine a bit different but the baking time should be fine. If they are a deep golden brown they are cooked through. Hope that helps anyone wanting to bake and not fry. I use Panko bread crumbs, just my preference.

  49. These look delicious! Is it possible to make these ahead of time and reheat them or possibly keep them warm in a crockpot?

    1. Hi Kelly – Making them ahead of time and reheating them in the oven should work. You’ll just have to experiment with the amount of time needed to ensure they are crisp on the outside and warm throughout. Hope that helps!

  50. Easy peasy to make and VERY delicious. Used old chedder instead of Parmesan as I did not want to go out to the shop. Everyone asked for more. A keeper! Thank you!

  51. I made the rice balls this morning after my wife sprung on me the fact that we need to bring an appetizer to Thanksgiving!!
    So I scrounged up the ingredients. Every Cuban family has leftover rice, and I always make it sticky. So…check!
    Bread crumbs? I had some rock-hard Cuban bread that I easily turned into a cup of crumbs, to which I added ground oregano and rosemary…check!
    And thankfully (get it) I had some mozzarella string cheese in the fridge that easily becomes cubes.
    The balls stayed together pretty good.
    I wound up with 9 and they look great!
    Thanks for the recipe. I’ll let you know how they taste.

  52. This was great! Sushi rice is definitely the way to go – no problems forming balls at all! I found that mine fried up instantly – no more than 30 secs, as ones left in a little longer were a touch too brown but still good.

  53. I made these and they were delicious. Instead of mozzarella I used pepper jack, which gave it a spicy kick. Thanx for the recipe.

  54. Me encantan las recetas de galletas. Chocolates. Turrones. Y galletas combinadas con mani, nueces y panes especiales.
    Gracias por vuestras enseñanzas.
    Quiero seguir aprendiendo .que bueno poder hacer las para negocio.

  55. You say in the recipe “fry them until golden brown and cooked throughout”. I’ve never made these before so how would I know if they are cooked through? Is there a time frame to go by 2 – 3 minutes? They look so good and I can’t wait to try them. Thank you

  56. I remember when I was really young going to my Zia Olga on Christmas eve and there were rice balls she had made. I have never had them since but have asked many Italians if they had a recipe for them and none had. I remember well the mozzarella in them and the rice. From my fuzzy little girl memory I thought the mozzarella was throughout the the rice but I could be wrong since I was so young. I think I’ll try it your way 11st and then shred the mozzarella and try it that way. I’ve read MANY different recipes but this just seems like what Zia’s was…

  57. How about reheating? We are doing appetizers at work- must be ball shaped and vegetarian- If I cook them first thing in the morning, then refrigerate, then reheat on high in a toaster oven do you thing they will hold up?

    1. Hi Hadley! Making them ahead of time and reheating them should work. You’ll just have to experiment with the amount of time needed to ensure they are crisp on the outside and warm throughout. Hope that helps!

  58. Tried this, didn’t have any fresh parmesan so I used mozz for all cheese steps and they turned out delidelis! I’ll try next time with the parm


    1. Hi Gary! If you’re viewing the site on your mobile device and can’t see the recipe directions, please click the green button that says “TAP HERE TO READ THE FULL POST” and you’ll see the full recipe. Enjoy!

  59. Had my first arancini in Rome, at a little hole in the wall. That’s all they served. Different varieties of the rice balls, beer and wine. Been making them at home ever since. My kids love them.

  60. Used leftover jasmine rice and could not get it to stick together…tossed all the rice. Wish I would have read comments first. Next time!

  61. Try cornstarch or crushed cornflakes or finely crushed cracker crumbs (use your favorite crackers for more flavor)

  62. First had an arancini when stationed in Sicily 1983. I’ve been wanting them but haven’t found a restaurant that serves them. With this recipe I no longer have to just reminisce about them, I can actually make them myself. Thank you for the recipe.
    Mary Ann
    USAF Vet..

  63. My husband (at that time boyfriend) had some of he’s family over for dinner to meet me about 45 yrs ago. I found that recipe only with ham and Swiss. I made them as appetizer and they were such a hit. Thank you for sharing your recipe, I’ll make them again this weekend for friends

  64. Thank you so much for this tip. I thought the recipe wouldn’t work when I couldn’t get the rice to stick together well. I put it in the microwave for 2 minutes and it worked great. The rice balls were a big hit. Even my pickiest eater liked them. I’m admittedly not a great cook and these made me look awesome. Thanks.

  65. Loved simplicity of your recipe. Do not need “sticky sushi-style” rice. In fact, bought sushi rice and had to pitch it, as it was too sticky. Uncle Ben’s done not too fluffy works best. Baking in 409 degree oven works wonders. Key is to use Italian seasoned bread crumbs.

  66. I came across this recipe and new I had left over rice so i made them the same day and let me tell you they were really good! The family loved them and to kick it up a bit I plan on making it again with some chicken mixed in next time….thanks for sharing this recipe!

  67. Thank you! I’ve been thinking the same thing. To me, what makes a dish “authentic” is not using the exact perfect ingredients, so much as using what’s available to make the basic idea work. That’s how my aunt and my grandma taught me to cook, to use your heart and your imagination and what was at hand to make something delicious. To make something perfect to the recipe and being so strict as to only use certain ingredients like it makes your dish better feels fake and very “olive garden” to me.

    Why are we judging a simple, tasty recipe that clearly claimed to be Based On an Italian recipe, not perfectly authentic to a specific household in specific region of Italy or Sicily. Stop being judgy-pants and go make your perfect arancine that are totally “authentic” and better than everyone else’s.

  68. Just had to let you know that Google popped your page up when I asked what to do with my leftover rice. I had 2 cups of brown rice that had been lounging in the fridge for 3 days, and this looked like a great solution. You’re probably shaking your head at me because you know that my brown rice wasn’t sticky enough to stick together to make balls. Yup, just a non-sticky mess in a bowl. After about 3 minutes of looking around the kitchen, trying to figure out what to do with this bowl of egg/rice/parm mix, I grabbed a muffin pan, lined it with muffin paper, dropped some of the bread crumbs in the bottom of each liner, layered on a tsp or so of the rice mixture, then the cheese (I used goat), then another spoonful of rice mix topped with a sprinkle of more bread crumbs. I put the whole thing in a 400degree oven for 16 minute, then shook out the little rice muffins onto a plate and topped them with marinara.

    They turned out soooo good! My super picky husband is in love with them, they will probably rotate into our meals once a month. Thanks for the great recipe, even if I duct-taped together the results :)

  69. These were amazing and the recipe was spot on, easy to follow. I did make a simple risotto rather than plain rice to add some flavour, besides which, i wasn’t sure how to make plain arborio rice. It was a trial run before serving it as an appetizer this weekend and i can’t wait to make it again. Also learned a lesson about oil. I thought it had cooled down enough and tried pouring it back into its original container, big mistake, it really has to be cold. I had a bit of a mess to clean up! Thank you for this great recipe!

  70. for mixing the rice and parmason with the eggs is it the egg whites or the entire egg (minus shell) please answer (anyone) asap im making them now! thank you!

  71. I have been makin Rice Balls since I was a little girl. I was though by my Sicilian great grandmother who taught me to make them just like your recipe above, except adding a bit of butter to ensure that the rice sticks together. At some point, I guess after I started making sushi at home, I decided to try sushi rice. Holy Rice Ball!!! Sushi Rice is the absolute best rice for this Italian delicacy. This recipe is very, very close to my great grandma Donna Pepinna! Enjoy!

  72. As someone who just got home from spending 3 months in Sicily, I am sorry but these are NOT authentic by any means. You do nooot dip them in anything annd NO mozzarella! This is a very Americanized version. Sorry!

  73. If you throw the risotto balls in the freezer for about 20-30 mins before you bread them they will hold their shape while frying

  74. Delicious recipe! Made these for the family tonight and everyone wanted more.

    I had some difficulty with forming the rice balls. Any tips forming the balls easily? The rice wanted to stay stuck to my hands instead of the cheese.

    1. Thanks, Kevin! You can try dipping your fingers in water then forming the rice balls, but it just depends on how sticky your rice is.

  75. Cant wait to make these! I want to make my own gluten free breadcrumbs for this but how would I make the breadcrumbs “Italian”? haha Maybe just add Italian seasoning?

    1. Absolutely, Allison! I’d add some dried oregano and basil, plus any other Italian-esque spices you enjoy :)

  76. I am a first generation Italian and have spent much time in Italy – years actually – and visit regularly. One of the first things I get to eat strolling the streets of Rome is a suppli, cousin to the arancini. This recipe is so very similar to my favorite. The Italian way of cooking is using and adapting what you have to make a good dish so YOU are cooking the Italian way!

    I made these last night using left over Vigo yellow rice (LOL) that I had prepared with white wine and wrapped the rice around a square of bella vitano cheese. I followed your instructions for the remainder except I baked them at 400 for about 20 minutes. The last five minutes of baking I sprayed them with a mist of olive oil just to get them to brown up a bit more. This recipe will definitely be repeated again and again. Thank you.

  77. I add cooked hot sausage meat to my rice balls. Also, I chill the mixture before forming the balls. They seem to stick together better for me after being chilled.
    My original recipe calls for the Arancini to be served with Hollandaise sauce. We like that or Marinara sauce.

  78. Just discovered this via stumble, looks amazing! However, I did want to comment that using “sushi” rice doesn’t make it unauthentic. Italians have several short grain rice varieties that are used for risotto and rice pudding, you can find it in the store as Arborio rice.

  79. I made these last night and baked them as Cindy suggested. They turned out very good! My husband absolutely loved them! I think next time I may broil them for a few seconds before serving, just to brown the breadcrumbs a little more. I used sushi rice as you suggested, and it worked great! Thanks for posting!

  80. For Christmas Eve I ‘ll add “ruff”chopped cooked shrimp into the mozzarella chunk!
    Place it on Marinara-Your recipe is perfect!Delich!

    1. Hi Dee – I’ve never tried freezing them prior to frying, so I can’t say with certainty if that would work, but my guess is that it would take the rice balls much longer to cook in the oil, so the outside would get overdone, while the center may still be frozen (this is just my hunch). Hope that helps!

  81. I just tried risotto rice balls for the first time today at Olive Garden and I absolutely loved them! I can’t wait to try this recipe…who cares if it’s “authentic” or not…it looks delicious. Would I be able to oven fry these?

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I’ve never tried baking them in the oven, so I can’t say with certainty how they’d turn out. You’ll just want to make sure to bake them long enough so that the egg is fully cooked.

  82. I made these for dinner tonight and they were very tasty. I used my left over par boiled rice I made the night before. I added 2 tbsp of flour to the mixture to help hold things together. I seasoned at all layers (egg, rice mixture and bread crumbs). I deep fried them just to make this a little quicker. Other then that….I followed this as printed and they were a hit! Thank you. my left over rice will never again go to waste!!

  83. My Nonni used to make these and I was the only person she shared her recipe with; What an honor!. Our variation, in the middle she would put Swiss Cheese and a small clump of hot Capacola Ham. Also, we do not use any breadcrumbs. Roll the balls nice and tight and dip in beaten egg WHITE, then fry……So yummy !
    -Karen from Bosotn

  84. Sorry for my English but for all the negative comments on “not” authentic, for those who have an Italian nonna/auntie/hairdresser who immigrated from “Italy”, enjoy your “authentic” “Italian” arancini with your nose up high. I appreciate Kelly’s approach to give tips for yumminess using what non-Italians have in an average kitchen outside of Italy. I mean, risotto is only the method of cooking the rice, not the rice variety itself. (And to the “authentic” snobs against sushi rice, well arborio rice is from the north – why would one use northern rice in a dish that is mainly from Sicily? And anyway, arborio rice is a type of the Japonica variety, which is the sushi rice). Every person identifies with his region more, as the arancini in Sicily are way different than the “arancini” (aka suppli) in Roma. And even arancini in Sicily differ, as the ones in the northeast can be shaped like conics, rather than balls. A ciascuno il suo!

  85. I usually try to avoid fried foods, but these Arancini with Marinara Sauce look so delicious, I think I have to try them at least once…probably a couple more times than that! You only live once, right?

  86. I’m not trying to be rude but some of the things you have said (such as using uncle ben’s ready rice), are not correct for making authentic arancini. Also typically they also have meat and peas in the middle with the cheese. I’ve been making these my whole life with my family that immigrated to the US from Italy and there’s more to it.

    1. Hi Lauren, I appreciate your comments, but as I noted above, I’m not claiming these to be authentically Italian. Just delicious! They’re quick and tasty, and I’m sure there are many other (more authentic) ways to make them :)

  87. My mom has made these since way before I was born and now my sister and I make them. We use Carolina rice and we have tried all types of cheese in the center and believe it or not deli American cheese melts the best and the saltiness is great.

  88. The brief frying step in making risotto breaks down the grain’s cell walls and is what helps make the rice sticky enough to mold.

    Those of you using any rice at all, sushi-rice or no, take it from a frequent sushi maker: Those cell walls need to be broken down with more than just water cooking unless you want to rely mostly or solely on your cheese for cohesiveness.

    If you would rather not add oil while preparing your rice, simply add vinegar to the water you simmer it in, about one tablespoon of vinegar to every cup (measured dry) of rice.

    I highly recommend using a non-grain vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar, to keep the dish’s phytase levels as low as possible. ;)

    1. Hi Melinda! Yes, I realize this and made a note of it in the recipe. It’s just a tip I shared to help those who otherwise haven’t had luck getting the rice to stick together.

  89. My grandma’s recipe doesn’t include cheess at all. We don’t mix cheese into the rice and we fill them with a thick spagetthi sauce (tomatoes, ground beef, onions, basil) plus a few peas. And we eat them with apple sauce. :D Unfortunately it is a lot of work and so we only make them once a year.. you’re recipe is a lot easier.

  90. These look like an appetizer/fast food I ate in Rome all the time many years ago (they were called Suppli there) and I’ve been craving them for years! Cannot wait to make them!!

  91. I took the advice of Cindy Waters and baked them. Turned out fabulous. I too did not have bread crumbs, but I did have a loaf of pumpernickle bread in the freezer. Just threw a portion of it in the food processor with some fresh garlic, garlic salt and parsley. Great recipe. Thanks!

  92. Yep, these are truly delicious. I’ve been making these but call them Suppli al Telefono (telephone wires, after the strings of mozzarella when you pull two halves apart) – they are great party food, but only if you make them small enough and cool a bit before serving. I think they originated as a way to use up left-over risotto: That’s what I’d read anyway.

  93. So grateful to find this recipe. My brother Chris has been talking about Italian Rice Balls, which I’ve never had. Can’t wait to make this recipe for him. Thank you, Miss Kelly. ♥

  94. I was intrigued by this recipe as I always have a ton of leftover rice left after meals. But I didn’t have mozzarella, bread crumbs or oil to fry in so I improvised. I used marble cheese chunks, cornflake crumbs and I baked them in the oven for 15 mins at 400 degrees. They are amazing! My kids are gobbling them down right now. Guess we’ll find out if 15 minutes at that temp was enough to cook the egg! ;). I ran out of Parmesan so on the batch in the oven right now, I added cornflake crumbs and shredded marble cheese to the ball mixture. I added a chunk of smoked sausage in the middle and then rolled it in cornflake crumbs mixed with garlic seasoning. Going to dip them in pizza sauce!

  95. Excellent tip on the sushi rice – When I make mine I use Arborio Rice (Trader Joes’ brand is great) and my riceballs held together perfectly!

  96. Yum! Tried this with left over rice peas and sweetcorn. I had no parmezan so used cheddar and only had gluten free breadcrumbs but it was delicious. I wont be throwing away left over rice again in a hurry!

  97. I just saw this recipe on Pinterest last night. Made this for dinner tonight as a side dish, wow! Such a tasty treat. Your directions were simple and easy to follow with great result. It is worth the effort to make risotto for this too, gives just that little extra flavor.

  98. I had Parmesan Risotto bites and my boyfriend and I were trying to think of how we could recreate them because they were so good. These sound just like them! A must try! :)

  99. I love eating rice balls and just stumbled upon this great recipe. Will definitely try this recipe out tonight. Thanks Kelly!

  100. Just made these – SO delicious!!!! A tip – if your rice/parmesan/egg mixture doesn’t seem to be coming together enough to form balls, stick it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes and it will then be nice and sticky and easy to form the balls. I used left over white rice from Chinese takeout that was not sticky at all and this did the trick perfectly :)

  101. I found this recipe and had to try. They came out AMAZING! Thanks for the recipe it’s awesome!!!! Gonna check out some more of your recipes!

  102. Another place that does great arancini is Luzzo’s in the East Village. Pair a plate of that with a large pizza and you’ve got one fantastic dinner. Anyway, your recipe seems like a great homemade version!

  103. Oh, how I adore these! I went to Stuzzi last month, and it was fantastic! Now, it’s 9:25, and I’ve yet to eat breakfast, and I’m pretty sure all I’ll be thinking about are these arancini! These will be made on Sunday! :)

  104. These look incredible! I’ve never had rice balls before but I will be trying them very soon!

  105. I love risotto balls and have been wanting to make them so bad. This recipe is much simplier! THANKS!

  106. There’s a restaurant in town that serves these and I’ve always been so curious how to make them. YOU JUST SAVED MY LIFE!

  107. These look AWESOME. I’ve actually never had arancini but have always wanted to try and make them. Absolutely beautiful!!

  108. These look SO good!! Who knew how easy it’d be to make! I love the oozing cheese coming out of the center. So delicious, Kelly!