This baked arancini recipe is spectacular for entertaining!
Leftover risotto is wrapped around cheese, rolled in bread crumbs, and baked until golden brown.
These risotto balls are always a fun appetizer idea but they can also be served up as a main meal when topped with marinara sauce. Serve them up however you please and they’re sure to be a hit either way! We love eating these for New Year and other fun holiday parties because they sound fancy and look incredible. Watching the ball drop on New Year’s Eve while stuffing your face with a plate full of these risotto balls, is a pretty fun tradition.
What Are Arancini Balls?
Arancini balls or risotto balls (which translates to little oranges) are little balls of risotto that are stuffed with cheese. Most often the cheese is mozzarella. The balls are also usually deep-fried but we want to make them a little easier and slightly healthier so we can feel good about all the cheesy pasta balls that we’re about to consume. We also use Gruyere cheese instead of mozzarella making them a little fancier and high-class feeling. That said, this appetizer is sure to be a hit no matter what!
- Cooked Risotto
- Gruyere cheese
- All-purpose flour
- Bread crumbs
- Panko bread crumbs
- Shredded Asiago
For the exact measurements needed, please see the recipe card below.
How To Make Stuffed Arancini Recipe
This recipe assumes you already have risotto prepared (this is a wonderful way to use up leftovers). Check out this Lemon Risotto or this Cheesy Leek and Bacon Risotto Recipe for recipe ideas. You need it to be cool enough to the touch that you can safely handle it without burning yourself.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- You will need 2 small shallow bowls. In one bowl place your beaten eggs, in another bowl place the flour, and in the third bowl place your breadcrumbs and Asiago cheese (stir to combine).
- Once the risotto is cool or cold, scoop up enough risotto to form a 1-inch ball.
- Place a small square of gruyere cheese in the center of the ball ( you may have to mold the risotto carefully around the cheese).
- Each ball will get a dip in all-purpose flour, a beaten egg, and then into a shallow bowl filled with breadcrumbs.
- The balls are placed on a baking sheet; they will take about 25 minutes to bake up golden brown.
- Serve warm with marinara sauce.
- Customize the flavors. You can easily customize the flavors in this recipe to suit your own tastebuds by changing up the seasoning blends as desired. Using Italian bread crumbs and panko bread crumbs can add in a lot of flavor with no added work.
- Size matters. I like to make these balls about the same size as a golf ball so that they’re 2-3 bites each. If you want to make them larger you can, but keep in mind that the baking time will vary. You will need to cook the bigger balls longer. Internal temperature should reach about 165 degrees F.
- Shape the balls well to hold in the cheese. Be sure to pinch the rice around the cheese as MUCH as possible or else the cheese will ooze out while baking. This means more mess to clean up and less cheese in your mouth, so this tip is very important.
- The coating is a mixture of breadcrumbs and panko breadcrumbs. I like to combine these two; I love the fine coating than traditional breadcrumbs give but I also love the crunch that you get from panko. I also add in the Asiago cheese to make it perfect.
- Serving ideas. I like to serve these with marinara sauce (try this homemade marinara sauce), but an aioli or a pesto sauce would be lovely as well!
Feel free to substitute mozzarella for gruyere. Gruyere has a distinct taste that may not please everyone plus it can be a little pricier. I personally love it and I wanted the flavor of the cheese to stand out.
How To Freeze Risotto Balls
The best method for freezing this appetizer is to prepare the recipe as directed but do not bake the balls. Instead, place the balls on the cookie sheet then place the cookie sheet in the freezer. Instead, place the ball in layers separated by wax paper in an airtight container. The arancini balls can be frozen for 1-2 months.
When needed, move the arancini balls to the fridge to thaw completely. Then place them back on a baking sheet and bake as directed. The balls can also be baked from frozen, but you will need to increase the bake time by 5-10 minutes.
How To Reheat Arancini Recipe
If you find yourself with leftover arancini, the best way to reheat them is to pop them in the oven. Simply preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, place your balls on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
Can Arancini Be Made In Advance?
Yes, the can! Prepare the recipe as directed, but again, do not bake them. Keep them on the baking sheet in the fridge until you need them.
Allow the baking sheet to come to room temperature as you preheat the oven. When the oven is ready, bake the arancini as directed. Serve immediately.
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- 2 cups cooked risotto
- 8 small cubes gruyere
- ½ cup flour
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup bread crumbs
- ¼ cup panko
- 2 tablespoons shredded asiago
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place flour in a shallow bowl, beaten eggs in a separate shallow bowl, and bread crumbs and Asiago cheese in a third shallow bowl.
- Scoop risotto and roll rice into a 1-inch sized balls. Insert a cheese cube inside the ball, making sure to completely cover the cheese.
- Roll risotto balls in flour, then dip into the eggs, shaking off any excess. Roll balls in the bread crumb mixture then place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining balls.
- Bake risotto balls for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve warm with marinara sauce.
These balls can be frozen before baked. Roll balls per recipe instructions, but do not bake. Instead place the ball in layers separated by wax paper an airtight container. Freeze the risotto balls for up to one month. Balls can be baked from frozen, increase the bake time by 5-10 minutes.
Serving Size1 ball
Amount Per Serving Calories 636Total Fat 41gSaturated Fat 23gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 198mgSodium 1227mgCarbohydrates 25gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 40g