Arancini are Italian stuffed rice balls coated with spiced breadcrumbs and then fried. Traditionally, they are stuffed with white wine risotto or ragù, mozzarella and marinara sauce. In its perfection, arancini has a nice crispy outside and scrumptious gooey center. They make a great addition to any meal or served as an afternoon snack.

The name for arancini rice balls comes from their shape and color which is similar to an orange.  Arancini di riso are little balls of rice that means little “oranges of rice”. However, in eastern Sicily the delicious treat has more of a conical shape.  As well, arancini balls (or arancine in Sicilian) come in a wide variety of shapes and fillings.

Arancini recipes can also vary. But the most delicious and more traditional versions are rice balls recipes that have the perfect crispness on the outside with a moist gooey cheese filling.  Granting, this arancini recipe is not handed down through numerous Italian generations. But you do not have to slave for hours in the kitchen making them. However, the rice balls recipe is very similar in taste and texture to the original Italian version.

Serve these delicious arancini balls with Prosecco, a nice green salad with vinaigrette or simply by themselves as a wonderful snack or hors-d’oeuvre. You can also add mushrooms, peas, ground beef, sausage or salami. But first, you must try arancini rice balls the traditional way. They are absolutely incredible!

Serves 16

  • Prep 15 min
  • Cook time 10 min
  • Total time 25 min


  • 4 cups cooked white rice, cooled
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 6 eggs
  • 16 small cubes of fresh mozzarella
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs, Italian style
  • Oil, for frying
  • 2 cups marinara sauce

Best Cookware to Use

  • Large heavy-bottomed pot
  • Large bowl
  • 2 small bowls
  • Slotted spoon
  • Paper towel-lined plate


  1. Add 4 inches of oil to a large heavy-bottomed pot. Heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the rice, Parmesan and 2 eggs. Use your hands to combine the ingredients thoroughly.
  3. Form the arancini balls by taking a small portion of the rice mixture and squeezing it firmly. Stuff one cube of mozzarella inside each ball. Repeat until all the rice mixture is gone. Also dampen your hands with water while shaping the balls. This prevents them from sticking to your hands.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining eggs. Dip the arancini balls individually into the in the whisked eggs. Next, dip the ball into the breadcrumbs. Shake off any excess breadcrumbs.
  5. Heat the oil to 375ºF (190°C). Gently add 2 or 3 of breaded arancini balls to the pot. Fry the arancini balls until golden brown and cooked all the way through.
  6. Remove the fried arancini balls from the pot with a slotted spoon. Transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate. Salt the arancini balls promptly. Repeat the process until all arancini balls are fried. If making a large batch, place the arancini rice balls that are done in the oven at 200°F (95°C) until the remaining rice balls are fried.
  7. Serve the arancini rice balls warm with warm marinara sauce.

Extra Notes

  1. Arancini balls can be made with many types of rice. However, glutinous types of rice like sushi rice work the best and hold up much better when fried. And like all types of rice, glutinous rice does not contain dietary gluten and is said to be safe for a gluten-free diets.

Also, squeeze the arancini rice balls together so that they are very compact. This will help the arancini balls hold their shape when they are fried.