Arancini (Italian Rice Balls)

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Arancini, also known as Italian Rice Balls, is one of our all-time favorites.

There is just something so tantalizingly delicious about these little balls of yumminess.

These are quickly deep-fried to golden crispy perfection.  The risotto delivers superior flavor.

Split the arancini open and see the melted cheese and prosciutto


There are few simple tricks to making perfect risotto, which we show you step-by-step.

The rest is a snap!

Watch us show you how to make perfect Arancini in your own kitchen!

Arancini means ‘little oranges’ in Italian because they sort of look like little oranges once they come out of the fryer. All we know is they are nothing but pure deliciousness. These are very popular in Sicily and throughout Italian restaurants throughout the world.

Once you have made the risotto, it is important to let the rice mixture cool completely before rolling into balls.

If the risotto is too wet, then you can add more binding ingredients, such as more parmesan cheese or bread crumbs.


Wet your hands when rolling the balls. Or, you might find that dusting your hands with flour will help. The risotto will be sticky, but once you dredge the arancini in the flour, egg and bread crumbs, they will hold together.

You can choose whatever filling you like for your Arancini. Sweet baby peas are popular along with a rich meat sauce. We love the simplicity of good-quality prosciutto and mozzarella. Ooey gooey, and oh so amazing!

They only take a few minutes to fry up to a golden perfection. If you are making a large batch of arancini, fry them in batches and keep the finished rice balls in a low-temp oven until ready to serve.

These are delicious served with homemade marinara. But honestly, they are so scrumptious as they are…you won’t even probably take the time to dip them in a sauce.


Ready to make these incredible balls of Italian deliciousness? They are easier than you’d think. Go for it and ENJOY!!

A white platter with Arancini

Arancini (Italian Rice Balls)

This Arancini (Italian Rice Balls) recipe is pure appetizer perfection. Lightly fried to golden perfection. We love filling them with good-quality prosciutto and mozzarella. Small peas and meat sauce are a popular filling, too. These are perfect by themselves, but they are great with marinara for dipping, too. Pure deliciousness! Be sure to read the NOTE below!
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: rice balls
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 436kcal


  • 3 oz. prosciutto chopped
  • 3 oz. mozzarella shredded
  • 3 to 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup shallots chopped
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 4 eggs divided
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups bread crumbs fine crumbs are best
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying


  • Combine the proscuitto and mozzarella in a bowl and set aside. (This will be the filling)
  • In a medium pot, heat the stock to a simmer.
  • Meanwhile, in a large heavy skillet or pot (preferably a Dutch oven), melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  • Add the shallots and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the rice and cook until lightly toasted, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the wine and cook until almost evaporated, about 4 minutes.
  • Ladle over enough of the hot stock to cover the rice.
  • Stir frequently with a wooden spoon until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 8 minutes.
  • Add more stock and continue stirring until absorbed.
  • Add stock again, until absorbed and creamy and rice is soft (about 25 minutes total). Taste rice, if still not soft, continue adding hot stock and stirring until rice is soft and creamy. Don't let the risotto be too wet! Remove from the heat.
  • Add 3/4 teaspoon salt, Parmesan cheese and 2 eggs and gently mix to incorporate. Set aside and let cool completely.
  • Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 365°F.
  • Spread the flour on a plate and the bread crumbs in a separate plate.
  • Add the remaining eggs and 2 tablespoons of water in a medium bowl.
  • In another bowl, mix together prosciutto and mozzarella.
  • At this point, the risotto will be sticky. However, if the mixture is too wet to roll a ball, then gradually add in more parmesan cheese and bread crumbs until you can just form a ball. The balls will stay together after you dredge them. Wet hands (or lightly floured hands) help when dredging.
  • Scoop about 1/4 cup of the risotto (rice mixture) into the palm of your hand and place 1 portion of the prosciutto/mozzarella cheese mixture on top. Shape the rice into a ball and add more risotto, if necessary.
  • Roll the ball in flour, and then dip into the egg mixture to coat completely, shaking off excess.
  • Finally, roll the ball in the bread crumbs and place on a rack.
  • Repeat this process with remaining ingredients. Depending on the size of the rice balls, you wil have between 8 to 12 balls.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the balls (a few at a time) to the hot oil and fry until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove with slotted spoon and place on a rack. (Keep finished arancini in a warm oven).


This bears repeating: The cooked risotto will be sticky. However, if the mixture is too wet to roll into individual balls, then gradually add in more parmesan cheese and bread crumbs until you can just form a ball. The balls will stay together after you dredge them. Wet hands (or lightly floured hands) help when dredging.  Moist is makes the arancini very creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside. 


Calories: 436kcal
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!


    • Hi Cynthia, yes, you absolutely can. The best method is to form the balls and then line them on a small baking sheet, or platter, that will fit in your freezer. Once frozen, you can put them in a Ziploc baggie. Let them that in the fridge over night and then fry them the next day. You can also freeze arancini after you have fried them. Let them thaw completely and then heat them in an oven, or even a microwave. They won’t be a crispy on the outside by doing it this way, but they’ll still be tasty. Hope this helps and let us know how they turn out! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • I just got back from Italy 2 weeks ago and had these in Florence and they are amazing. I will be trying to make them during the Holiday time.

    • Wow!! We’re jealous! Well, not sure how these will stack up to what you had in Florence, but we think they’re pretty delicious! Keep us posted if you do make them!!! xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • Kris, this recipe is lovely. I am a coeliac, so rolled mine in gluten free flower and used dry grainy polenta as my bread crumbs. They were delicious. I live in Australia and have received many compliments when serving these to my friends.

    • Hi Leslie! We are so so happy you were able to make the arancini and prepare it in a manner that works for you! Kuddos to you!!! Thank you so so much for sharing! And we LOVE Australia! Some of our dearest friends in the world are Aussies! xoxo

  • 5 stars
    We make them every New Year..
    We don’t use flour…
    Rice cooked with Saffron in a Rice Cooker,
    when done we mix in egg yolks, and butter.

    Stuff the Balls with Moz, Provolone and proscuitto.
    And finally roll them in egg whites and bread crumbs

    fry in a deep fryer.

  • 5 stars
    These are just so delicious! I want to make them for a friend who is gluten free ‍♀️ … do you think gluten free flour & bread crumbs will work? Or should I just make a different appetizer?

    • Hi there! Honestly, we’ve never used gluten-free flour and bread crumbs to make these…but we don’t see why they still wouldn’t be delicious! Let us know if you make them and how they turn out!! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • This recipe looks great but am I able to make these and freeze? If so, at which point would I freeze them. I’m doing a dinner party for family but on holiday so would like to have these prepared before going ideally.


    • Hi Alix, you can go ahead and make them just before frying them. Form the balls, and then place them in an air-tight container for up to 1 month. Let thaw before frying. Let us know how it turns out if you make them!

  • i love these. When i do them, i make the risotto the night before for a meal. i find that the rice balls roll really well when cold. i am going to add prosciutto next time. this sounds delicious.

  • 5 stars
    Hello Kris and Wesley,

    Just found your AMAZING recipe for ARANCINI. I’ve enjoyed many, but this recipe with the mazzarella and prosciutto sounds fantastic. I’ve got to try this, soon I hope. This is truly the most exquisite recipe I’ve seen !
    Thanks so much for making my day. Yumm i can’t wait.

    • Hi Patty!!

      Woo hoo!! So glad you found us! We think these arancini rice balls are the BEST!!! Please let us know how they turn out and what you think!! Cheers!! Kris & Wesley

  • I love arancini, and this recipe looks delicious. Perfect as a starter for an Italian feast! I’ve always enjoyed eating them in restaurants, but never made them myself. Might have to give them a try!

    • Hi Matt!! Arancini is SO GOOD, right?!! You should give ’em a try at home, they’re really as delicious as you get in a restaurant (The Loon thinks better!). Let us know if you give them a try and/or if you have any questions. All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    I absolutely love you two! If I am having a crappy day, all I have to do is go to your website and look at one of your videos to make me smile and get inspiration for a dish and I forget about all my troubles . For real, Kris and Wesley, not only do you offer great recipes but you both have a gift to connect with people and lighten up lives, and I don’t think you even realize it. By the way, I just saw a rerun of the Guy’s Grocery Games this past weekend featuring Kris. Total BS . You two should have your own Food Network show. Anyway, my next recipe adventure is going to be Kris’s chicken fried steak. More later. Peace and love always, Kat >>^..^<<

    • Hi Kathleen!! You just made us so so very happy!!! We are so glad you found us and we found YOU!!! You truly brightened our day more than you’ll know!! And stay in touch…lost more on the way. Let us know how the CFS turns out! It’s one of our favs!!! xoxoxo Kris & Wesley

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