two arancini balls in a bed of red tomato sauce and sprinkled with parmesan

Leftover risotto is never as good the next day. All the work you put into it to make it creamy, silky, and luscious is lost as it turns into sticky goop over night. Luckily leftover risotto has the perfect texture for making arancini! Arancini (fried rice balls) are Sicilian in origin and are traditionally stuffed with meat sauce and cheese. Here, I stuffed them with only a bit of cheese and served them on a bed of leftover veggie pasta sauce instead. 

  • Prep Time10 min
  • Cook Time25 min
  • Total Time35 min
  • Ready in35 min
  • Energy160 cal


  • Leftover risotto
  • Your favourite cheese for stuffing (ex. Mozzarella, gruyere, blue, fontina, Swiss, etc)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs or panko
  • salt
  • pepper
  • oil for frying
  • Dipping sauce, Parmesan cheese and minced parsley to serve



Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C or gas mark 7) if you are planning on baking the arancini. 


Fill a frying pan with 1/2 inch of oil if you are planning on frying the arancini. 


Take out a baking sheet and three bowls.

Fill one bowl with flour.

Fill one bowl with breadcrumbs, a pinch of salt and some black pepper. 

Crack the two eggs in the third bowl and whisk them until smooth.


Cut a few pieces of cheese about the size of playing dice. 

Take a two fingered scoop of the leftover risotto and place a piece of cheese onto it. Using your fingers, form the rice into a ball around the cheese, making sure that the cheese has been completely enveloped in the rice. You’re aiming for about the size of a large golf ball.


Drop the ball in the bowl of flour and roll it around until it is completely covered.

Now take it and drop it in the egg and do the same. 

Lastly, roll it around in the breadcrumbs until it is completely covered.

Place the finished arancino (this is the singular form of arancini!) on the baking sheet. 


Repeat until you’ve used up all of the leftover risotto. *

If you are baking the arancini


Transfer the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, turning once or twice, until golden brown.

If you are frying the arancini


Heat your frying pan and oil over medium high heat until a tiny pinch of breadcrumbs dropped into the pan sizzle.

Place your arancini in the pan. If they look like they’re going to crowd the pan, do this in two batches.


Fry, rolling over every minute, so that all sides get evenly golden and crispy. Reduce the heat a bit if they seem to be cooking too fast. 

To Serve


Serve with a tomato based (like marinara) or cream based (like ranch dressing) sauce, grated Parmesan cheese and minced parsley. 

*At this step, you can freeze any extra arancini you’ve made. Simply freeze the arancini, separated by wax paper, in a container. Cook from frozen, using the oven method to cook them, adding on about 10 extra minutes of cooking time. 

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