Arancini di riso

arancini di riso

Now these are the bad boys I was talking about in the previous post. They make for a wonderful hors d’oeuvre or light supper, and are especially convenient to have in the freezer for last-minute eats. Additionally, if you end up making a more solid, no-flow risotto (not typically a good thing) these are a perfect way to use it up if you rather not serve it on its own!

arancini di riso

Arancini di riso

Active Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Inactive Preparation Time: 4 hours+

Cooking Time: 4 minutes per batch

Makes: 3 dozen


  • 1 recipe basic risotto, transferred to a 9×13″ baking dish and well-chilled (overnight or several hours)
  • 6 – 8 ounces (36 small, about 1/2″ pieces) fresh mozzarella (I use ciliegine cut in half)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) millet flour
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh gluten-free breadcrumbs (see recipe below)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 4 cups oil for frying¹
  • Marinara or pizza sauce, optional


Form Risotto Balls:

Portion out two tablespoon of the chilled risotto; roll into a ball. Press ball out in your palm to make a 1/4″ – 1/2″ disk. Place one piece of mozzarella in the center. Mold risotto over cheese and roll into a seamless ball. Set formed balls on a plate; repeat with remaining risotto. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before proceeding.

Coat Arancini:

In three, separate dishes (I use 3 cup pyrex storage containers pictured here) place the millet flour, eggs and breadcrumbs. Whisk eggs together just until combined, and stir salt and pepper into breadcrumbs.

Roll each ball in millet flour then eggs and finally breadcrumbs. Set coated balls on a clean plate; repeat with remaining arancini. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Once the coating is set, they can be wrapped up and stored in the freezer or you may proceed to frying.

Fry and Serve:

Preheat oven to 200°F; set an oven-safe serving platter or rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment on the center rack. In a 4 quart heavy pot over medium heat, warm oil to 350°F.

Once oil is heated, fry arancini in batches for about 4 minutes or until golden brown on the outside. Drain on a paper towel lined plate for 1 minute then transfer to the preheated oven to keep hot. Allow oil to recover (return to temp), and repeat with remaining balls. Serve hot with tomato sauce for dipping (optional).

scooping tablespoons of chilled risotto

after rolling, pressed out with an indent

in goes the cheese

risotto molded around cheese, rolled into a seamless ball

filled and rolled into balls (ready to chill)

coated and ready to chill (again)


¹ I use Trader Joe’s Grapeseed Oil or Spectrum Ingredients Peanut Oil (both are refined varieties). Neither gives off the fishy odor that is typical of canola oil (in my experience).

To reuse:

Cool completely, filter through a mesh sieve lined with several layers of cheesecloth into a clean, glass jar (or back into the bottle it came in) and cover tightly. Store in the refrigerator (this will make most types a little cloudy, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone bad). It can be used several times if you take these steps. Discard when it darkens significantly, smells bad or exhibits other signs of rancidity.


Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Yields: About 3 cups



Cut loaf into 1″ cubes (remove crust first, if desired — a tasty snack when spread with triple crème cheese, such as Saint-André). Place in the bowl of a food processor; run machine until fine crumbs form. Transfer crumbs into a colander with small holes (about the diameter of a toothpick, I use this one by zak! designs — similar ones are available at Target and Sur la Table) or a perforated metal strainer (also known as a China Cap, not to be confused with a mesh Chinoise, available here), and sift onto a large baking sheet.

Return any bits left in the colander to the food processor and run again to chop them up into smaller crumbs. Repeat sifting and processing steps until you’ve gotten as many fine breadcrumbs as possible (I had about 1/4 cup waste, pictured here). Use immediately or transfer to a freezer-safe container with tight-fitting lid or seal (mason jar, freezer bag, etc.). Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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  • Reply
    July 27, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Seriously these look amazing!!! I need to get on this and make some!

  • Reply
    heather sage
    July 27, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Thank you! Highly encourage it :).

  • Reply
    Digital Printing
    July 28, 2011 at 12:02 am

    arancini di riso? Is this an Mexican food? I heard this before from my sister, she told me that she wanted to duplicate the taste but she can’t. I think I am going to have a hard time looking for the ingredients.

  • Reply
    heather sage
    July 28, 2011 at 5:37 am

    Digital Printing: Aranini di riso are Italian (rice oranges is the translation). If you need any assistance locating ingredients for the above recipe, I am happy to help! I made a gluten-free pantry resource (on the sidebar) that you may find useful. Thanks for stopping by!

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