How to make arancini

How to make arancini

How to make arancini

22 March 2016

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How to make arancini

Arancini are said to have been introduced into Sicily in the tenth century by the Arabs. At this time they were simply known as rice balls; the name arancini was coined due to the resemblance of the balls to the Sicilian orange of the same name. As with most Italian dishes, there is much regional variation when it comes to the filing of arancini. Some contain a ragu and others remain meat-free, but whatever you choose they are one of the tastiest ways to use up leftover risotto. Arancini are normally served as antipasti but can also be served as a starter; they also make fantastic finger food at a party (just be sure to make them bite size).

This amount of rice will make around 12 arancini. If you are using leftover risotto, skip the first three steps.




  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 200g of risotto rice
  • 600ml of chicken stock, or vegetable stock
  • 50g of butter
  • 50g of Parmesan, grated
  • 100g of mozzarella cheese
  • flour, for breadcrumbing
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 100g of breadcrumbs, diced
Sweat down the onion in a little butter until softened but not coloured then add the rice
Add the chicken stock a ladle at a time until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked through, which will take about 15 minutes. Beat in the remaining butter and Parmesan and season to taste
Spread the mixture onto a tray and transfer to the fridge to chill for about an hour or until set
Preheat a deep fryer to 170℃
Cut the mozzarella into small cubes about 2cm square
Form balls of rice around each mozzarella cube, about 4–5cm round
Dredge each ball first through the flour, followed by the egg wash and finally the breadcrumbs
Deep fry until the balls are golden and crispy, which should take 2-3 minutes
Drain the arancini on kitchen paper and season with sea salt before serving


Don't stop at mozzarella for the filling of your arancini – try adding a spoon of beef ragu, chopped sautéed mushrooms or a different cheese such as Gorgonzola.

You could also try adding flavourings to the rice. Saffron is the most traditional but you could also try black pepper, nutmeg or even chilli for a bit of a kick.

Serving suggestions

Paul Ainsworth serves a tasty arrabiata sauce with his arancini and Frances Atkins not only uses leftover risotto but also leftover turkey, serving the rice balls with a parsnip and yoghurt sauce.

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