Arancini di riso (crispy fried risotto balls) with red onion marmellata
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Prep Time: 
Cook Time: 
Total Time: 
Serves: 4
Arancini di riso are Italian crispy fried risotto balls, served here with a quick red onion marmellata (marmelade)
  • 500 grams (17 oz, 3 cups) leftover risotto (any flavor), cooled
  • 100 grams (3 oz, 1 cup) of mozzarella (or fontina or provolone) cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • Optional: steamed peas, chopped deli meats (salame, prosciutto, speck), cooked meat, a few tablespoons of tomato sauce
  • 200 grams (7 oz, 2 cups) all purpose flour (or more, as needed)
  • 3 large eggs, beaten well
  • 250 grams (9 oz, 2 cups) breadcrumbs (or more, as needed)
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • salt & pepper for seasoning
  • Peanut (or other high-smoking point vegetable, such as canola or sunflower) oil, for frying
Quick red onion marmellata (to serve)
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 Tbps olive oil
  • Salt and pepper TT
  • ½ Tbsp Turbinado sugar
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  1. Place about ⅓ to ½ cup risotto in your palm (have wet hands) and use it to enclose a piece of mozzarella (and feel free to be creative with any other additions: see my optional suggestions), pushing into the center, then roll again to make sure the rice has surrounded it on all sides. Set on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and repeat until you have used up all the leftover risotto and cheese.
  2. Create your breading station: line three dishes with flour, beaten egg (seasoned with salt and pepper) and bread crumbs.
  3. Once all the balls have been rolled out, working one at a time, dip and roll the balls in the flour first, then in the beaten egg and turn to coat entirely. Lift and allow any excess egg to drip off, then roll in the breadcrumbs until completely combined. Again, shake off any excess and place back on the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the risotto balls.
  4. Place tray in fridge for 30-60 minutes. Line a large tray with paper towels. Heat 3-4 inches of the oil in a deep heavy-bottom pan or heat deep fryer to 375 degrees F. Remove risotto balls from the fridge. Fry the arancini no more than 3 to 4 at a time until golden brown, turning on each side, about 4 minutes in total. Remove with slotted spoon and place arancini to drain on tray lined with paper towels. Season again with sea salt. Serve hot or room temperature, with very cold beer or prosecco.
Quick red onion marmellata
  1. Sauté the thinly sliced red onion in heated olive oil, add a pinch of salt, pepper, Turbinado sugar, and red wine vinegar. Slowly cook, covered, for 10 minutes, or until they are translucent and caramelized, adding some water if needed.
Recipe by Honest Cooking by Mercato Fabbrica at