Arancini (Stuffed Rice Balls)

A quick and easy appetizer perfect to be served as a snack, quick bite, or a complete meal on its own, these Arancini (AKA Stuffed Rice Balls) are kicked up a notch with fantastic seasonings and Smoked Mozzarella.

Arancini (Stuffed Rice Balls) with Smoked Mozzarella

Arancini originated in the 10-century by way of a food culture born of Sicilian roots with an Arabian influence. Although I kept my recipe fairly simple by adding just a few herbs, this recipe is quite versatile. Stuffing your rice balls with other veggies (like peas) and even meat can easily turn this into a completely new dish.

Arancini (Stuffed Rice Balls) with Smoked Mozzarella

How to make Arancini (Stuffed Rice Balls):

I used two different types of rice in this recipe…sushi and Arborio. This combination produces a texture that is stickier which keeps everything together and secure. You don’t want your rice balls falling apart.

Arancini (Stuffed Rice Balls) with Smoked Mozzarella

The seasonings are a huge part of this recipe. Because the ingredient list is simple, this is where the recipe shines. Combining the seasonings along with fresh Cilantro adds a nice fragrant flavor.

The core of this recipe, literally and figuratively — is the smoked mozzarella. I chose smoked mozzarella because of its texture and flavor. It has a soft, silky and natural milky flavor that will have you eating these rice balls non-stop. The added smokiness just seals the deal.

Arancini (Stuffed Rice Balls) with Smoked Mozzarella

The rice balls are rolled in a mixture of Italian breadcrumbs, Pako and Parmesan Cheese. You get a slight crunch and a hint of sharp cheesy flavor right before hitting the extra cheesy center.

Arancini (Stuffed Rice Balls) with Smoked Mozzarella

Normally, Arancini is paired with a marinara dipping sauce. I wanted to try something a little different so I whipped up a Ranch Pesto dipping sauce instead. This is very easy to put together and once you dip your rice ball into this sauce you will understand why my family loves it.

Arancini (Stuffed Rice Balls) with Smoked Mozzarella

When you want to create something unique for your next game night, family gathering, or just dinner with the family, give these Arancini (Stuffed Rice Balls) with Smoked Mozzarella a spot on the table!

Here are a few more appetizer recipes:

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Arancini (Stuffed Rice Balls) with Smoked Mozzarella

Arancini (Rice Balls) with Smoked Mozzarella

  • Author: Eric Jones
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


A quick and easy appetizer perfect to be served as a snack, quick bite, or a complete meal on its own, these Arancini (AKA Stuffed Rice Ball) is kicked up a notch with fantastic seasoning and Smoked Mozzarella.


  • 1 cup Sushi Rice
  • 1 cup Arborio Rice
  • 1/4 cup Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro
  • 1/2 lb Smoked Mozzarella Cheese Block
  • 3 Large Organic Eggs
  • 1 cup Italian Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Basil Flakes
  • 2 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Sage
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Himalayan Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper

For the Pesto Ranch Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Ranch
  • 1 tbsp Basil Pesto
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper


  1. Cook both types of rice according to its instructions.
  2. Chop your fresh smoked mozzarella into small cubes and set to the side. 
  3. Remove the stems from the cilantro leaves and chop into fine pieces. 
  4. In a large bowl, combine cooked rice, chicken stock, 1 egg, cilantro, paprika, basil flakes, oregano, sage, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, Himalayan salt, and black pepper. Mix together well and allow to cool.
  5. Add breadcrumbs, Panko and Parmesan cheese into a large bowl. Add remaining (2) eggs in a separate bowl. Whisk
  6. Form balls by taking a handful of rice (enough to fit in the ball of your hand), flatten to the size of the palm of your hand, then add a smoked mozzarella block to the middle of the rice ball. Form into ball and covering cheese completely.
  7. Dip the rice ball into the egg mixture, then into the breadcrumb mixture. 
  8. Add oil to pan and heat pan to medium heat.  Fry the rice balls for 2 to 3 minutes each side and remove from heat. 
  9. For the sauce, add all ingredients into a bowl and whisk together until smooth. 


Add cold water to a bowl to use for your hands to keep the rice from sticking while forming the balls. 

Feel free to adjust the size of the rice ball (the overall size and/or ratio of rice to mozzarella cheese block) to your preference.

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Fry
  • Cuisine: Sicilian


  • Calories: 559
  • Sugar: 2.7g
  • Sodium: 538mg
  • Fat: 17.4g
  • Carbohydrates: 76.9g
  • Fiber: 3.1g
  • Protein: 21.8g
  • Cholesterol: 133mg

Keywords: Arancini (Rice Balls) with Smoked Mozzarella, Arancini with Smoked Mozzarella, Arancini (Rice Balls), Arancini, Stuffed Rice Balls, Rice Balls

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