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Risotto Balls (Arancini)

Total Time

Prep: 35 min. Bake: 25 min.


about 3 dozen

My Italian grandma made these risotto balls for me. I still request them when I visit her, and so do my children. These can be made ahead of time and frozen. They are also delicious served as a vegetarian main course with a salad. —Gretchen Whelan, San Francisco
Risotto Balls (Arancini) Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked arborio rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs, divided
  • Marinara sauce, warmed


  1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large saucepan, combine water, rice and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 18-20 minutes. Let stand, covered, 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl; cool slightly. Add eggs and pesto; stir in 1 cup bread crumbs.
  2. Place remaining bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. Shape rice mixture into 1-1/4-in. balls. Roll in bread crumbs, patting to help coating adhere. Place on greased 15x10x1-in. baking pans. Bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Serve with marinara sauce.

Risotto Ball Tips

What do you serve with risotto balls?

You can serve risotto balls with many Italian dishes, including carbonara, manicotti and grilled veggies.

Can arancini balls be made in advance?

Arancini can be made in advance! They’ll last 3-4 days in the fridge and about a month in the freezer.

How do you cook frozen risotto balls?

To cook frozen risotto balls, bake them at 375° for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.

How would you describe arancini?

Arancini are a classic Italian favorite of deep-fried rice balls. They are the perfect combo of crispy and creamy. Research contributed by Maggie Knoebel, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

1 appetizer (calculated without marinara sauce): 42 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 10mg cholesterol, 125mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1/2 starch.

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