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Rice Balls with Meat Sauce Recipe

Rice Balls with Meat Sauce Recipe

My mom's deep-fried rice balls, flavored with traditional Italian cheeses, make a hearty main dish. She serves them with her special spaghetti sauce - my favorite - featuring ground beef and artichoke hearts. -Concetta Maranto Skenfield, Bakersfield, California
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 50 min. + chilling Cook: 1 hour YIELD:6-8 servings


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14 ounces) water-packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 jar (4-1/2 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 2-1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 ounces cubed part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • Oil for deep-fat frying


  • 1. In a large saucepan, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the next nine ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  • 2. For rice balls, in a large bowl, lightly beat 2 eggs. Stir in the rice, butter, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Roll into 1-1/2-in. balls. Press a mozzarella cube into each; reshape balls.
  • 3. In a small bowl, lightly beat remaining egg. Dip each ball into egg, then roll in bread crumbs. In a deep-fat fryer or electric skillet, heat oil to 375°. Fry rice balls until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Discard bay leaves. Serve meat sauce with rice balls. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Reviews for Rice Balls with Meat Sauce

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janinemarie214 User ID: 7357953 113148
Reviewed Aug. 2, 2013

"I love these rice-balls!! I do however, add a some other ingredients... a few handfuls of chopped fresh organic spinach, 1/2 cup/one cup of peas, 2 tablespoons of organic Flax Seed (to sneak in something healthy ;) I didn't have cubed mozzarella so I used a few handfuls of shredded mozzarella. I also added some breadcrumbs to mix because my rice mixture was on the moist side.

If using minute rice... 4 servings is enough for this recipe."

garley531414 User ID: 2060665 36510
Reviewed Dec. 12, 2011

"My family loves these. My kids, who are very picky, ask for these frequently. I use my own sauce, though, so I can't comment on the sauce."

marcia User ID: 14092 35782
Reviewed Sep. 23, 2010

"This is my daughters favorite recipe! It is really good!"

karbauer User ID: 363727 87278
Reviewed May. 29, 2009

"I have wanted to make the rice balls in this recipe since I first saw it. The mix was very sticky but well worth the effort.I used my on sauce on the riceballs and they were good. I'm so happy I finally tried it. Thanks for a great recipe."

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