Appetizers,  Dinner,  Recipe,  Vegetarian

Arancini with Leftover Rice

I now look forward to leftover rice. These little balls are so delicious and comforting!

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Arancini with Leftover Rice

A classic Italian Great Depression recipe, this uses leftover rice and breadcrumbs.
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Freezing time10 minutes
Total Time47 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cheese, rice
Servings: 14
Calories: 270kcal


  • cooking thermometer


  • 2 cups rice leftover, chilled
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 egg
  • 1 cup parmesan grated
  • 3 oz mozzarella cheese cut into 1/2" cubes


  • 2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp water
  • vegetable oil for frying


  • Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment and setting close by.
  • For the rice balls, mix together the rice, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, egg and parmesan.
  • Using 1/4 cup of the rice mixture, roll into a ball then flatten. Place a cube of mozzarella cheese in the center. Close the rice around the cheese then roll into a ball again. Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat until all the rice mixture has been used.
  • Freeze the rice balls for 10 minutes.
  • Fill a medium sized saucepan with 3 inches of oil. Insert the cooking thermometer and begin to heat over a low to medium temperature.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the breading. You will need three medium sized bowls.
  • In the first bowl, mix the flour and salt and pepper.
  • In the second bowl, mix the eggs and 1 tablespoon of water.
  • Place the breadcrumbs in the third bowl.
  • Remove the rice balls from the freezer and begin breading them.
  • Take a rice ball, roll it in the flour bowl then tap it to remove any excess flour. Proceed to dip it into the egg bowl making sure the entire surface is covered. Remove with a fork, letting any extra egg drip off before placing it in the breadcrumb bowl. Roll the ball making sure it is completely covered in breadcrumbs then gently pat the ball. This will prevent the breadcrumbs from being loose and falling off. Place the breaded rice ball back onto the baking sheet and repeat with the rest.
  • Line a large plate with a few layers of paper towels and set aside.
  • Once the oil reaches 350°F you can begin to cook. Using a slotted spoon, gently lower each rice ball into the oil, 5 at a time. Let them cook until dark golden brown.
  • Remove the rice balls with a slotted spoon and set them on the paper towel lined plate. Repeat.
  • Serve immediately. These taste great with heated marinara sauce.
  • You can wasily reheat these by placing them on a baking sheet and putting in a 400°F oven for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!!


Sodium: 623mg | Calcium: 168mg | Vitamin C: 1mg | Vitamin A: 173IU | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 2g | Potassium: 121mg | Cholesterol: 33mg | Calories: 270kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Fat: 5g | Protein: 11g | Carbohydrates: 43g | Iron: 2mg

If you like this recipe, check out the book that inspired it!


You can buy The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah here from Amazon or you can also choose to support local bookstores by purchasing it from Bookshop although I highly recommend listening to this book! You can buy the audio version at here. 

The Four Winds Book Review ~ A Raw Look at the Dust Bowl

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