These mozzarella stuffed arancini are the PERFECT use for any leftover risotto. Just form into balls, coat in breadcrumbs and fry until gorgeously golden and crispy. They’re the ultimate snack and a great zero waste dish.
Whenever I’m making risotto, I always make sure I make just a little more than I need. That’s because I want to make arancini the next day!
Arancini are a traditional Sicilian snack and they are unbelievably delicious. They’re essentially deep-fried rice balls and are the BEST thing to do with any leftover risotto you might have. I love stuffing them with a little cube of mozzarella for a cheesy surprise, but you can make them plain too.
Even if someone isn’t a fan of risotto, I bet they’ll be a fan of arancini. My boyfriend doesn’t like risotto (which is sad for me because it means I end up making it less than I’d like) but he LOVES arancini. Which makes no sense to me, but there we are.
The arancini pictured were made using leftovers of my creamy tomato and mascarpone risotto which I HIGHLY recommend giving a go.
Why you’ll love them
- Zero waste – use up your risotto leftovers in a new, fun way.
- They’re easy to make, with minimal ingredients.
- They’re gooey, creamy and crunchy all in one bite!
All you need is leftover risotto, flour, an egg, breadcrumbs, mozzarella and oil. I’ve given you a simple risotto recipe in the recipe card below if you’re starting from scratch with the arancini, otherwise, that’s it!
How to make them
If you’re making risotto, start there, making sure you’re spreading the cooked risotto out onto a lined oven tray once it’s finished. This will help it cool quickly and evenly.
PRO TIP: I like to pop this in the freezer for about 30 minutes to cool it quickly.
Once you’re ready with your cooled risotto, get three bowls out and put your flour, egg and breadcrumbs in each. Give the egg a quick mix with a fork. Get another plate ready to put your formed arancini on. Scoop up a a couple of tablespoons of cooled risotto into your hands, then place a mozzarella piece in the middle of the risotto. Form the risotto around the mozzarella and shape it into a ball, about the size of a golf ball. Set aside on the plate and continue with the rest of the risotto and mozzarella.
Pick up an arancini ball and place in the bowl with the flour. Give it a little toss through, so that every side is lightly coated. Dunk the floured ball in the egg mixture, again coating all sides. Finish by tossing the arancini ball in the breadcrumbs, making sure it’s completely coated. Set aside on your plate and continue with the rest.
PRO TIP: To keep this less messy – use one hand to toss the arancini in the flour and breadcrumbs, and the other to toss it in the wet egg mix (basically using one hand for the dry ingredients and one for the wet). Alternatively, you can use disposable gloves.
Heat your oil in a large pot (you want the oil to come at least 1/3 of the way up the sides of the pot). You want the oil to hit 180C – this is the perfect temperature for the arancini to cook evenly. If it’s too cold, they won’t crisp up and will go soggy, and if it’s too hot, the coating will burn before the inside is heated. If you have a thermometer, that’s your friend here, otherwise you can do the wooden spoon test. Stick the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil and if the oil bubbles up against it, it’s good to go. Place 3 arancini at a time into the hot oil, carefully, and cook for about 5 minutes, turning with a spatula or wooden spot occasionally. You’re looking for them to be golden and crispy. At this point, scoop them out of the oil and place them on a wire rack while you continue with the rest of the arancini. Serve them while hot, oozy and crispy. I’m serving these with a little aioli and pesto!
Got a question?
The best and most accurate way is to use a thermometer. You want the oil to be at 180C when you add the arancini. If you don’t have a thermometer, use a wooden spoon. Place the handle upright in your oil filled pot – if little bubbles start to pool around the handle, it’s good to go.
You can form and coat the arancini up to a day ahead of time. Just store in an airtight container in the fridge until you want to fry them.
Fried arancini will keep well for 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge – you can reheat them in the oven at 180C fan for 15 minutes.
You can! They won’t be quite as crispy but it will work. Heat your oven to 200C fan and drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over the arancini on a lined oven tray. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until they’re looking golden.
Yes! Just like with the oven – drizzle with olive oil then pop in the air fryer for 10 minutes.
Make sure you’ve coated them really well in the flour, egg and breadcrumbs. If you see any rice sticking out, cover it! I also find it helps to pop them in the fridge for 10 minutes or so after you’ve coated them just so they firm up a little.
Like this recipe? Here are more fun snacks you might enjoy
- Homemade Baked Pita Chips
- How to Make Parmesan Crisps
- Easy Crispy Baked Halloumi Fries
- How to Make a Butter Board
If you make these arancini, let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you.Print
How to Make Mozzarella Stuffed Risotto Balls (Arancini)
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 16 arancini 1x
- Diet: Vegetarian
These mozzarella stuffed arancini are the PERFECT use for any leftover risotto. Just form into balls, coat in breadcrumbs and fry until golden and crispy. They’re the ultimate snack and a great zero waste dish.
For the risotto –
1 white onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
200g arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine (optional)
1.2 litres hot chicken or vegetable stock
50g butter, diced
50g parmesan, grated
1/2 salt (if needed)
For the arancini –
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup flour
100g mozzarella, chopped into 1cm pieces (use a mozzarella ball, mini mozzarella pearls or grated mozzarella)
Vegetable oil, for frying
- Make the risotto. Skip this step if you’re using leftover risotto you already have. Get a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the tablespoon of olive oil. Add the diced onion and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes until it starts to soften. Add the crushed garlic and stir through the onion, then add the arborio rice. Stir the rice through the onion and garlic mix for a minute, then add the wine if you’re using it. Let the wine bubble up for a minute, so the alcohol evaporates. At this point, you can start adding the stock, one ladleful at a time. Stir the rice until the stock has been absorbed into the rice, then go in with another ladleful. Continue like this until all the stock has been used up. The rice at this point should be al dente – cooked, with a little bite in the middle. Add the diced butter and grated parmesan and mix through the melt into the risotto. Give it a taste and add salt if you think it needs it. Line an oven tray with baking paper, then spread the risotto out onto it and cool in the fridge for at least 1 hour. PRO TIP: You can put it in the freezer for 30 minutes if you have space to speed this up.
- Stuff the arancini. Line a tray with baking paper and put the egg, flour and breadcrumbs into three separate bowls. Scoop your cooled risotto into golf ball sized pieces. Working with one at a time, flatten it with your hand, then add a piece of mozzarella into the middle. Enclose the cheese in the rice by rolling it into a ball in your hands. Set aside on the lined tray and repeat with the remaining risotto balls.
- Coat the arancini. Dip each ball first into the flour and give it a roll around. You just want it to be a light coating, so shake off the excess before it goes into the egg bowl. Toss to coat in the egg, let the excess drip off and then transfer it to the breadcrumbs. Toss to combine again, making sure it’s coated evenly. Transfer to the lined tray and continue with the rest of the risotto balls. I like to pop them in the fridge at this point for about 10 minutes while the oil heats up, just to help them firm up a little so they hold their shape better when frying.
- Fry the arancini. Pour enough oil into a large pot so that it comes about 1/3 of the way up the side. Heat the oil to 180C (using a thermometer is the best here – or stick the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil – if the oil bubbles against the handle you know it’s ready). Lower three risotto balls into the oil (you don’t want the pot to be crowded or the balls won’t crisp up) and cook, turning occasionally for about 5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a wire rack then repeat with the rest of the arancini. Serve while still hot, crispy and gooey in the middle.
I love making these using my easy, creamy tomato and mascarpone risotto.
Serve the arancini as they are, or with a dipping sauce. I love serving them will a little pesto topped aioli.
You can bake the arancini if you like – place them on a lined oven tray then drizzle them with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake at 200C fan for 15 – 20 minutes until golden and crispy. You can also do this in an air fryer.
You can form and coat the arancini a day before you want to cook them, just store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
To reheat fried arancini, place on a lined oven tray and bake for 15 – 20 minutes at 200C fan until heated through.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 5
- Category: snacks
- Method: deep frying
- Cuisine: italian
- Serving Size: 2 arancini
Keywords: risotto balls, fried rice balls, arancini
YUM!!!! I’d never tried making arancini but had a bit of leftover risotto so gave them a go, so good and easy!!
The perfect reminder of Sicily! A firm family favourite!
Yayyy!! They’re just the best aren’t they
Mammmma mia! So tasty 🤌