Italian Rice and Cheese Balls

This is comfort food Italian-style! Rice balls, or arancini, are crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside, great for an appetizer or snack.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 25 minutesTotal: 8 hoursDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 8


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1⁄2 cup minced onion
  • 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped fine
  • 1⁄2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1⁄2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups cold cooked rice
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3⁄4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1⁄4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese


  • In medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir about 5 minutes, or until tender. Add flour, salt, 1⁄4 teaspoon oregano, and pepper; cook and stir 1 minute, or until bubbly. Stir in buttermilk; cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, or until thick. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese and rice and mix well; chill for 4 to 8 hours.
  • Roll chilled rice mixture into 1 1⁄2-inch balls. Dip into beaten egg and roll in breadcrumbs to coat. At this point balls can be chilled again.
  • Set oven to 250°F. Line a medium baking dish with parchment. In a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Working in batches, add balls and fry, turning for even browning, until golden brown. Transfer to baking dish and place in the warm oven until ready to serve. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and the remaining oregano.