What are Arancini?
This snack is one of many staples found in Sicilian cuisine. When translated, this word means “little orange.” When you look at it, arancini does resemble a small orange due to its color and shape. Arancini is a simple ball of rice coated in bread crumbs. What makes it taste so good is the flavorful fillings inside and the fact that it is deep-fried. These little guys are great as an appetizer for a party because they are the perfect finger food. You can also serve them as a side dish with various soups, salads, or paninis. If you’ve never tried this street food appetizer, we hope these recipes will inspire you to start making arancini. If you have a cheat day coming up, arancini are a great way to enjoy a moment of indulgence.
1. Neapolitan Arancini
Palle de riso is the Neopolitan version of arancini, and the only filling you will find in this is cheese. However, even though it is a simple recipe, the texture and overall flavor will wow your tastebuds. You will need arborio rice, which is Italian short-grain rice. If you can’t find arborio in your local grocery store, Amazon sells it at a reasonable price. The cheese used in this recipe is pecorino, a hard cheese that is perfect for grating. Be sure to oil your hands when forming the rice balls; this will help the process go smoothly and prevent any rice from accidentally sticking to your hands.
Get the full recipe and directions here.
2. Baked Arancini
Try this healthier version of traditional arancini. Instead of frying the rice balls, you will bake them in a 350°F oven for about 30 minutes. The filling in this recipe consists of olive oil, ground pork, shallot, green peas, red wine, tomato sauce, and scamorza cheese. We recommend adding a pinch of nutmeg and cumin if you want to add some flavor to your filling. After you prepare the arancini, line a baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent them from sticking to your pan. Spread them out evenly to allow the arancini to cook correctly. If you plan to serve these at a party, you will need to double or triple the recipe as necessary.
Get the full recipe and directions here.
3. Sicilian Arancini
The author of this recipe has Italian heritage and recommends cooking a risotto a few hours or up to one day in advance. Using risotto makes it easy to form the arancini compared to a freshly cooked batch of regular rice. Along with dipping the formed rice balls in egg, she incorporates some egg into the risotto after letting it cool. You can use either a deep fryer, pot, or wok to cook your arancini. Fry them for a few minutes to let the cheese melt inside if you’re serving them immediately. Otherwise, allow them to begin browning and quickly transfer them to a baking sheet. When they are ready to cook, bake them in a 400°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
Get the full recipe and directions from Christina’s Cucina.
4. Ham and Cheese Arancini
This recipe takes a unique approach and combines the rice with all of the filling ingredients. You can use regular white rice if you want since there is no specification on the type of rice required. Cook the rice according to the package directions and allow it to cool. Then beat two large eggs in a bowl and stir in the rice, diced ham, melted butter, parmesan cheese, sauteed onion, seasoned salt, garlic salt, parsley, and black pepper. Next, cover and refrigerate this mix for 30 minutes to make it easier to form the rice balls. Press a cube of cheddar cheese in the middle of all of the arancini before dipping them in the flour, egg, and panko breadcrumbs, then deep fry them for 4 minutes.
Get the full recipe and directions from Food.com.
5. Porcini Mushroom Arancini
These cheesy mushroom arancini go great with a fresh pesto dip and are a lovely vegetarian-friendly snack. The recipe calls for a risotto made with arborio rice, just like the Sicilian arancini recipe. However, you will combine the filling in a similar way that the ham and cheese arancini recipe directs. You will be using dried porcini mushrooms that are boiled for 20 minutes to rehydrate them. Be sure to reserve the mushroom cooking water to use when you’re cooking the risotto. The author says to work in batches and carefully submerge the arancini in the frying oil for about 5 minutes. Heat the oil to about 350°F for best results.
Get the full recipe and directions from Sainsbury Magazine.
6. Arancini Patty Cakes
Instead of rolling them into balls, you can make it easier on yourself and form arancini into flat cakes. Similar to how you cook potato cakes, this recipe is excellent for when you want to use leftover risotto. The addition of lemon zest and lemon juice in this recipe gives your arancini a hint of freshness to it, which revives the overall taste of your leftover risotto. If you don’t have a deep fryer, this recipe is for you.
All you need is a pan and two tablespoons of olive oil to cook these delicious patty cakes. The author suggests adding extra parmesan to your arancini if it is too wet to hold its shape. They also say to use one hand for the flour and breadcrumb steps and the other hand to coat the cakes in the egg.
Get the full recipe and directions from Delicious Magazine.
7. Vegan Arancini
Last but not least, here is a vegan-friendly version of arancini that uses a plant-based mozzarella cheese for the filling. Wet your hands slightly and measure out ¼ cup of risotto to create each ball. This recipe says to chill the balls on a baking sheet for 30 minutes or up to overnight before frying them. You will cook them in 4 inches of grapeseed oil in a pan for 4 minutes. To keep them warm, set the arancini on a wire rack over a baking sheet and leave them in a 250°F oven. Serve it with a fresh tomato sauce, and you’re ready to eat!
Get the full recipe and directions from Pure Wow.
We hope you enjoyed learning more about these delicious arancini recipes. There are various ways to prepare this appetizer, but the principles remain the same across the board. If you want to keep it simple, you can use regular white rice. However, if you have the time to make a risotto with arborio rice, the extra effort will bring your arancini to the next level.
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