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Cheesy Rice Balls

Cheesy Rice Balls
30 Min

In Italian, these are called “arancini,” and our good friend Chef Tony makes these for special occasions – Easter, Christmas, birthdays, you name it. Although there’s some work involved in making them, these Italian appetizers are well worth it. You can make these larger if you want to serve them as a main course, and you can even start with cooked, leftover rice like his Mom used to. Plus, the cheesy center is a tasty surprise!

What You'll Need

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup Arborio rice (see Tip)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into 20 (1/2-inch) cubes

What to Do

  1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring chicken broth to a boil; stir in rice, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook 15 to 18 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk eggs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Remove rice from heat and slowly pour the egg mixture into the rice, stirring constantly to prevent the egg from cooking until it’s thoroughly combined. Refrigerate this mixture for 1 hour.
  3. Place bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Remove chilled rice from the refrigerator and, using your hands, form the rice mixture into 20 (1-inch) balls. (Make sure your hands are wet to prevent the rice from sticking to them.) Make an indentation in each ball and place a piece of mozzarella in it, then cover with the rice mixture. (This is important so that the cheese won’t ooze out while it cooks.) Roll each rice ball in the bread crumbs until evenly coated.
  4. In a large deep skillet over medium heat, heat oil until hot (about 350 degrees F.). Fry rice balls, in batches, 4 to 5 minutes or until golden, turning occasionally. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.

Chef Tony's Tip

  • Arborio rice is a short grained sticky rice. It’s the best rice for making arancini because it helps these keep their shape. 
  • To get a copy of Chef Tony’s cookbook, click here
  • Love Italian appetizers? Everyone will think this Italian Antipasto came straight from a 5-star restaurant, and our Caprese Toast has the perfect combo of mozzarella and basil. To really wow the crowd, make these Italian Deviled Eggs. It will have everyone saying, "delizioso!" (That's delicious in Italian!)
  • For dessert, keep the Flavors of Italy going with a fresh take on a classic treat and whip up our Cannoli Pie! Add some holiday spirit to dessert with our Italian Christmas Cream, and impress everyone with our Melt in Your Mouth Tiramisu. Just be careful, with food this good, you might be expected to host all the special occasions from now on! 

Nutritional InformationShow More

Servings Per Recipe: 20

  • Amount Per Serving % Daily Value *
  • Calories 199
  • Calories from Fat 169
  • Total Fat 19g 29 %
  • Saturated Fat 3.4g 17 %
  • Trans Fat 0.1g 0 %
  • Protein 3.2g 6 %
  • Amount Per Serving % Daily Value *
  • Cholesterol 22mg 7 %
  • Sodium 211mg 9 %
  • Total Carbohydrates 5.1g 2 %
  • Dietary Fiber 0.2g 1 %
  • Sugars 0.4g 0 %

Ratings & Comments

My Rating:  

I have not made this yet so I cannot rate it.

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What is the dipping sauce? It looks like it may be marinara?

Hi there! You can use Marinara, or spaghetti sauce also works great!


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