Got leftover risotto? Make Parmesan Arancini – a delicious fried rice ball appetizer!
Easy Arancini Balls
Looking for a deep-fried cheesy rice ball of goodness? Arancini is truly the perfect appetizer made with risotto, parmesan cheese, and a breadcrumb coating.
Serve this appetizer at a friendly gathering or any holiday event.
What is arancini?
Arancini is an Italian fried rice ball commonly made with cooked risotto, breadcrumbs, and oil.
Why you’ll love it!
Use up leftover risotto: got leftover risotto? Arancini balls are the perfect way to use up your leftovers.
Crowd-pleasing appetizer: we’re fans of anything fried and so is everyone else. Your guests will love this app!
What You Need
- Risotto: this recipe is a great way to use up leftover risotto– make sure you’re using fully cooked and cooled arborio rice.
- Parmesan: parmesan cheese adds great saltiness and nuttiness to the arancini.
- Cooked Arborio Rice: In this recipe we used an unflavored risotto so we added salt, garlic powder, italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. If you have a super flavorful risotto leftover, feel free to skip these!
- Breadcrumbs: We used plain breadcrumbs but Italian or panko would also work– use whatever you have on hand!
- Egg: Egg helps the breadcrumbs stick to the arancini!
- Flour: A little flour helps the egg stick to the arancini (and thus, the breadcrumbs too).
- Oil: You can use pretty much any flavorless oil to fry the arancini but I used a simple vegetable oil.
How to Make Arancini
Combine cooked risotto, parmesan cheese, and spices in a large bowl. Make sure that your arancini is chilled and not freshly cooked.
Use a 1″ cookie scoop to scoop the rice into your hands. Then, roll it into a ball. Repeat until all rice is gone.
Dip each rice ball into flour and then into the whisked egg. Then, dip the balls into the breadcrumbs.
Add oil into a Dutch oven and heat it to 365ºF. Make sure you use enough oil so that there is 2″ of oil in the pot.
Fry Arancini Balls
Fry around 3-4 arancini at a time. Carefully place them into the hot oil and fry for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown.
Once the rice balls are fried, place them on a paper towel-lined plate to cool. Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.
Dip Idea –> Calabrian Chili Ranch
If you’re looking for a luscious dip for these arancini balls, this Calabrian chili ranch is your dip!
It perfectly compliments the simple parmesan flavor of the rice balls and is so easy to whip up. Here’s what you need:
- Sour Cream and Mayo: I love the mix of sour cream and mayonnaise in this dip– I feel like it lightens it up slightly so the dip isn’t too rich.
- Milk: helps thin out the ranch.
- Calabrian chili paste: this can be found at most grocery stores in the italian section but if you don’t have any, you can use red pepper flakes to taste.
- Spices/Herbs: The mixture of parsley, thyme, garlic, italian seasoning, dill, celery salt, and black pepper imitates the classic ranch flavor! If you don’t want to use each seasoning individually, just buy a premade ranch seasoning packet and use that– still delicious!
Store the cooled arancini in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
We suggest reheating in the microwave for 60-90 seconds or on the stovetop in a little oil over medium heat.
Parmesan Arancini Balls
- 3 cups cooked risotto cooled
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 1 cup plain bread crumbs
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- Vegetable Oil enough to fill your pot at least 2” deep
Calabrian Chili Ranch
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon Calabrian chili paste
- 2 teaspoons freshly chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon celery salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked risotto, ¾ cup parmesan cheese, salt, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes.
- Roll the risotto into 1” balls, making sure to pack them together well so they don’t fall apart.
- Prepare your breading station by placing the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs each in their own medium-sized bowl. Whisk the eggs until they are smooth and uniform.
- Dip each risotto ball (one at a time) into the flour, followed by the egg, and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat with the remaining arancini.
- Fill a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven with at least 2” of vegetable oil and heat it over medium until it reaches 365ºF.
- Carefully lower 3-4 risotto balls into the oil and cook them for 1-2 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
- Remove the arancini to a paper towel and repeat until all of the arancini have been fried.
- Serve immediately, garnished with the remaining grated parmesan and fresh parsley.
Calabrian Chili Ranch
- In a large bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.