These Arancini balls are delicious, crispy, deep fried Italian balls of rice with a meat sauce and two cheese cheese filling and crunchy breadcrumb coating.
Are you ready to tantalise your taste buds with a burst of Italian flavour? Look no further than these mouthwatering arancini ball recipes.
Whether you’re hosting a party or simply craving a delicious snack, these crispy, golden orbs of goodness will leave you wanting more.

Made with risotto rice, cheese, and a variety of exciting fillings, arancini balls are a culinary delight that will impress even the most discerning foodie.

From classic mozzarella and tomato to indulgent truffle and mushroom, there’s a recipe to suit every palate.
Not only are these delectable treats packed with flavour, but they’re also incredibly versatile.

Serve them as an elegant appetizer, a party finger food, or even a main course with a side salad.
The possibilities are endless!

So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to create a culinary masterpiece that is sure to wow your friends and family.

These delicious arancini ball recipes are your passport to an unforgettable dining experience. Get ready to savor the taste of Italy in every bite!

What are arancini balls?

Arancini balls are a traditional Italian snack made from leftover risotto rice.
The name “arancini” translates to “little oranges” in Italian, which refers to their round shape and golden colour.

These crispy, deep-fried balls are typically filled with a variety of ingredients, such as cheese, meat, or vegetables, and are loved for their rich and indulgent flavours.

Arancini balls have a long history in Italian cuisine and are believed to have originated in Sicily.
The exact origin of arancini is debated, but it is widely believed that they were first created as a way to repurpose leftover risotto.

Today, arancini balls are enjoyed all over Italy and have gained popularity worldwide as a delicious and versatile snack.
The beauty of arancini balls lies in their simplicity.

They are made by forming balls of cooked risotto rice, which are then stuffed with a flavourful filling, coated in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried until golden and crispy.
The result is a delightful combination of creamy rice, melted cheese, and a burst of flavour from the filling.

Different types of arancini balls.

Arancini balls can be filled with a variety of ingredients, allowing for endless flavour combinations.

Here are some popular types of arancini balls:

Classic Mozzarella and Tomato:
This is the most traditional and beloved version of arancini.
The filling consists of mozzarella cheese and a tomato sauce, creating a gooey and tangy centre.
Truffle and Mushroom:
For a more sophisticated twist, try arancini filled with truffle-infused mushrooms.
The earthy flavours of truffle and mushroom pair perfectly with the creamy risotto rice.
Spinach and Ricotta:
Vegetarians will love the combination of spinach and ricotta cheese.
The creamy ricotta complements the earthy flavours of the spinach, creating a deliciously balanced filling.
Meaty Bolognese:
For meat lovers, arancini balls filled with a rich and flavourful Bolognese sauce are a must-try.
The savoury meat sauce adds a hearty and satisfying element to the dish.

These are just a few examples, but the possibilities are endless. You can get creative and experiment with different fillings to suit your taste preferences.

Benefits of making arancini balls at home.

Making arancini balls at home has several benefits.

  • Firstly, it allows you to customise the flavours and fillings to suit your preferences.
    You can get creative and experiment with different combinations, adding your favourite ingredients to make the perfect arancini.
  • Secondly, making arancini balls from scratch is a great way to repurpose leftover risotto.
    Instead of letting your leftover rice go to waste, you can transform it into a delicious snack that everyone will love.
  • Thirdly, making arancini balls at home is a fun and rewarding cooking project.
    It’s a great way to spend time in the kitchen, perfecting your culinary skills, and creating something delicious from scratch.
  • Plus, the satisfaction of biting into a homemade arancini ball is unbeatable.

Essential ingredients for arancini balls.

To make arancini balls, you’ll need a few key ingredients:

Risotto Rice:
Arborio or Carnaroli rice is commonly used for making arancini balls.
These rice varieties have a high starch content, which helps create a creamy texture when cooked.
Broth or Stock:
A flavourful broth or stock is essential for cooking the risotto rice.
It adds depth of flavour to the dish and infuses the rice with a savoury taste.
Mozzarella cheese is the classic choice for arancini balls.
It melts beautifully and adds a gooey texture to the filling.

However, you can also experiment with other types of cheese, such as provolone or fontina, to add different flavours.

The filling options are endless.
You can choose from classic combinations like mozzarella and tomato, or get creative with ingredients like truffle, mushrooms, spinach, or Bolognese sauce.
Breadcrumbs are used to coat the arancini balls before frying, giving them a crispy exterior.
You can use regular breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs for extra crunch.
Oil for frying:
Vegetable oil or another neutral oil with a high smoke point is best for frying the arancini balls until golden and crispy.

With these essential ingredients on hand, you’re ready to embark on your arancini-making adventure.

Tips for perfecting your arancini ball recipe.

Creating the perfect arancini balls takes practice and attention to detail.
Here are some tips to help you achieve culinary perfection:

Use good-quality ingredients:
The quality of your ingredients will directly affect the taste and texture of your arancini balls.
Use fresh, high-quality rice, cheese, and fillings to ensure the best results.
Cook the risotto correctly:
Cooking the risotto until it’s slightly undercooked will prevent it from becoming mushy when forming the arancini balls.
The rice should be Al Dente, with a slight bite to it.
Keep your hands moist:
Wetting your hands slightly before forming the arancini balls will prevent the rice from sticking to your hands and make it easier to shape them.
Chill the arancini balls:
After forming the arancini balls, refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes before frying.
This will help them hold their shape and prevent them from falling apart in the hot oil.
Maintain the oil temperature:
Make sure the oil is at the correct temperature before frying the arancini balls.
If the oil is too hot, the exterior will brown too quickly while the filling remains cold.
If the oil is too cool, the arancini balls will absorb excess oil and become greasy.
Work in small batches:
Fry the arancini balls in small batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. This will ensure that they cook evenly and maintain their shape.
Cooked arancini balls.

Step-by-step guide to making arancini balls.

Good Food To Eat
An Italian classic, arancini balls are delicious deep-fried risotto balls with a delicious cheesy centre.
Learn how to make the perfect arancini, from preparing the risotto to rolling and lightly coating in breadcrumbs before frying.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Easy and Delicious Appetiser Recipes for Any Occasion
Cuisine Italian
Calories 106 kcal



  • cups Arborio rice uncooked
  • cups cold water
  • 2 stock cubes. Vegetable
  • 1 Tbsp butter


  • 250 grams lean minced beef
  • 2 or 3 eggs whisked with a fork.
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • Salt Pepper to taste


  • Flour
  • Egg wash 1 egg to 1 Tbsp water
  • Bread Crumbs Plain
  • Oil for deep frying


  • Now just follow these simple instructions.
    There is not as much work as it appears to be.
    Cooking the rice is largely unattended, and a batch normally takes me an hour, once the rice is cool.

Prepare the risotto:

  • Put the rice in a heavy bottom saute pan, and add cold water, stock cubes, and the 1 Tbsp of butter.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Immediately, give one stir and cover.
  • Turn the heat to low. (As low as possible) Leave the pan on the burner for 20 minutes without stirring or opening the pan.
  • After 20 minutes, open pan, and fluff rice with a fork.
    Rice for this dish should be slightly sticky.
    If rice is too dry or fluffy, add a tablespoon of water, and place back on low heat for a few more minutes.
  • When rice is thoroughly cooked and sticky, let covered pan cool to room temperature.

Cook The Meat:

  • While rice is cooling, cook minced beef in an open Frypan until it is thoroughly cooked.
  • Crumble cooked minced beef finely.
  • Drain cooked meat in a colander and discard fat.

Combine Everything:

  • Mix cooled rice, meat, cheeses, and melted butter.
  • Taste mixture and correct seasonings by adding salt and pepper to taste.
    (I use a lot of pepper, some people add a little oregano here.)
  • Add beaten eggs, and then mix thoroughly.
    You want the mixture to be about the consistency of play dough, albeit lumpy.
  • Mold Yor Arancini Balls
  • Mold the mixture into small balls, about 3cm / 1½ inches in diameter.
    You will need to have wet hands to do this.
    If you've ever made meatballs, the process is similar, but you kind of have to press the rice to make it hold together.
  • Let the finished balls sit out for 15 minutes or so to firm up.
  • Roll the rice balls in flour, then egg wash, then breadcrumbs.
  • Again, let sit out for a few minutes for the coating to firm up on the rice balls.
  • Preheat oil in deep fryer to 150-170℃ (300-325℉).
  • Preheat oven to 180℃ (350℉).
  • Fry the rice balls a few at a time, until very lightly coloured.
  • Place fried rice balls on a lightly greased baking tray.
  • When all the rice balls are fried, bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or so.
    This is to make sure that the egg is completely cooked, and to prevent salmonella poisoning.
  • Serve.



Variations and creative twists on traditional arancini balls.

While the classic arancini balls are undeniably delicious, there are countless ways to put a unique spin on this traditional Italian dish.
Here are some creative variations to inspire your culinary adventures:
  • Vegetarian Options:
    Experiment with vegetarian fillings, such as roasted vegetables, sun-dried tomatoes, or artichokes.
    These add a burst of flavour and offer a lighter alternative to meat-based fillings.
  • Seafood Delight:
    Incorporate seafood into your arancini balls by adding cooked shrimp, crab meat, or smoked salmon to the filling.
    The delicate flavours of the seafood will complement the creamy rice perfectly.
  • Spicy Kick:
    If you enjoy a bit of heat, consider adding some spicy ingredients to your arancini balls.
    Jalapenos, red pepper flakes, or even a dash of hot sauce can add a fiery twist to the dish.
  • International flavours:
    Take inspiration from other cuisines and experiment with different spices and ingredients.
    For example, you can create Mexican-inspired arancini balls by adding black beans, corn, and a touch of cumin.
  • Sweet Arancini:
    Who says arancini balls have to be savoury?
    For a unique dessert option, try filling the rice balls with sweet ingredients like Nutella, caramel, or fruit preserves. Dust them with powdered sugar for an extra touch of sweetness.
Feel free to let your creativity run wild and come up with your own unique arancini ball creations.
The only limit is your imagination!

What To Serve With Arancini Balls

Arancini balls pair well with a variety of dishes, including salads and soups.
They also make great side dishes if served with pasta dishes or tomato sauces.
Depending on what's inside them, you can serve with a dipping sauce, vegetables, salads, relish or pasta.
Here's some ideas to get you started.
  • Blanched Greens
    Why not serve something green with your rice balls - such as a plate of blanched watercress, or spinach, or kale, or puha along with mashed potato or cauliflower cheese. These easy side dishes will not only up the nutritional value but add heaps of taste.
  • BBQ Grilled Asparagus
    The crunchiness of bbq grilled asparagus is an ideal accompaniment to eat with arancini balls. Add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese on the top and serve alongside cheeseburger salad and some potato salad.
  • Macaroni Cheese
    Why not serve some pasta with your rice balls - such as a plate of creamy savoury macaroni cheese and a side of tossed salad. The flavours all mingle well and the smooth texture of the macaroni cheese with the crunch of the balls is awesome.
  • Pasta Salad
    Another pasta idea to serve with your rice balls is a good serve of Pasta salad with dressing along with some sliced, buttered cobb loaf or French stick. Once again the flavours all mingle well and the smooth texture of the macaroni cheese with the crunch of the balls is awesome.

What Sauce To Serve With Arancini Balls

Arancini balls are best served with a simple, yet flavourful dipping sauce.
You can go a classic route, like marinara or pesto, or you could get creative and make your own.
Popular options include cheese sauces, garlic-lemon-butter mixtures, and even spicy mayo!
Here is our list of 6 popular sauces to serve with your arancini balls:
  1. Aioli Dipping Sauce
    Aioli is a tasty Mediterranean sauce made from garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice and pairs well with arancini balls. The aioli adds just the right amount of flavour without overwhelming the delicate flavour of the arancini.
  2. Rich Tomato Sauce
    Made with tomato passata, onion and garlic this sauce has is rich and full flavours which will take your arancini balls to the next level.
    Being a popular finger food or appetiser, having a little tomato sauce on the side for dipping is very good. One of the best to serve with them is a tasty homemade sauce like the Greek meatball sauce in this recipe.
  3. Bolognese Sauce
    Bolognese Sauce is a rich and hearty meat-based sauce that is made with ground beef, tomatoes, and various other ingredients.
    This sauce can be used as a dipping sauce, or you could try pouring it over the Arancini balls. Serve your arancini balls with a side of Bolognese Sauce and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
    Use the tasty homemade sauce like the Bolognese sauce in this recipe.
  4. Creamy Cocktail Sauce
    A rich and creamy dipping sauce is a wonderful accompniment for your Arancini balls. Serve your arancini balls with a side of cocktail sauce as an appetiser or finger food at your next party.
    Here is the cocktail sauce recipe I suggest using.
    The sauce adds a nice amount of tangy flavour without overpowering the flavours of the arancini.
  5. Avocado Hummus
    Avocado Hummus is smooth and creamy. The combination of flavours is superb accompniment for your Arancini balls. Serve your arancini balls with a side of avocado Hummus as a dip for appetisers or finger foods at your next party.
    Here is the avocado hummus recipe I suggest using.
  6. Butter Sauce
    Drawn butter sauce is a luscious butter sauce that has subtle flavourings that does not not overpower any other
    This sauce can be used as a dipping sauce, or you could try pouring it over the Arancini balls. Here's the tasty homemade Drawn butter sauce.

FAQs about Arancini Balls

  • What Rice For Arancini Balls?
    When choosing the right Rice for arancini, it is important to pick a short-grain variety such as Arborio or Carnaroli.
    These types of rice create a creamy texture to the risotto which helps bind and shape the arancini mixture. Long grain varieties such as basmati do not work well in this context due to their drier, more crumbly texture.
    • Can You Prepare Arancini in Advance?
      Yes it is possible prepare arancini in advance.
      You can make cooked arancini balls up to two days in advance and store them in the refrigerator.
      For best results, reheat in the oven or re-fry before serving. Or you can shape the arancini balls, store them in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or freeze them for up to 3 months, then cook just prior to serving.
    • Can You Freeze Arancini Balls?
      Yes, arancini balls can be frozen. Before freezing, make sure the arancini balls have cooled down completely.
      Prepare the filling and shape the arancini balls, then place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze. Once they are frozen, transfer them to an airtight container and store in the freezer until ready to cook.
      Then, place them in freezer bags or airtight containers in a single layer.
      Once frozen, transfer the arancini balls to a resealable plastic bag and store for up to 3 months.
    • How Long Do Arancini Balls Last?
      When stored in an airtight container in the fridge, arancini balls can last for 3-4 days.
      If you want to extend their shelf life, you can freeze them for up to 3 months.
    • How to Reheat Arancini Balls?
      Arancini balls are best reheated by baking them.
      Preheat the oven to 205°C (400°F) and lightly grease a baking dish.
      Place the Arancini balls on the baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until heated through. If you want to crisp up the outside of your arancini, remove the foil after 5 minutes of baking time and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes.
    • How Do You Stop Arancini From Falling Apart?
      The key to perfect arancini balls that don't fall apart is to be sure you use enough binder, like egg or breadcrumbs. It's also important to firmly shape your arancini and make sure all of the ingredients, particularly the short grain rice, are cooked completely before forming them into balls.

    Conclusion and final thoughts on arancini balls.

    In conclusion, arancini balls are a culinary delight that will transport your taste buds to Italy.
    With their crispy exterior, creamy rice, and flavourful fillings, these golden orbs of goodness are sure to wow your friends and family.
    Whether you stick with the classic mozzarella and tomato or venture into more creative variations, making arancini balls at home allows you to customize the flavours to suit your preferences.
    It's a fun and rewarding cooking project that will leave you with a sense of accomplishment and a delicious treat to enjoy.
    So, why not roll up your sleeves, gather the ingredients, and embark on a culinary adventure?
    Get ready to savour the taste of Italy in every bite as you create your very own arancini ball masterpiece.
    Whether you're hosting a party or simply treating yourself to a delicious snack, these mouthwatering arancini ball recipes are sure to impress.
    Buon appetito!
Keyword Arancini Balls, How To Make Arancini Balls

Shane Lowry

Shane Lowry is the author of Good Food To Eat, a website that provides recipes and cooking help.He is a home cook who enjoys sharing his passion for food with others. Lowry’s mother is a chef, and she taught him the basics of cooking and baking when he was young.He also has experience running a catering business with his wife, specializing in finger foods and full meals for people with dietary restrictions such as gluten-free, vegan, and low-carb.Through his various cooking experiences, Lowry has learned what makes a great recipe: simple to follow, yet delicious and satisfying. That’s why he focuses on creating step-by-step recipes that are easy for anyone to make, regardless of their cooking skills.


Stephan Wetherington · 02/10/2022 at 1:25 am

5 stars
I used to buy these from the supermarket but they are hard to find now. Thanks for the recipe

Debbie Pulman · 10/11/2022 at 2:02 am

5 stars
I read this recipe and thought, too hard. It wasn’t really though. thank you for something so tasty.

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