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arancini balls stuffed with smoked mozzarella

Arancini (Italian Rice Balls) with Peso Ranch Sauce

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Eric Jones
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


A quick and easy recipe perfect to be served as a snack, quick bite, or a complete meal on its own, these Arancini (Italian Rice Balls) are kicked up a notch with fantastic seasoning, smoked mozzarella, and a creamy pesto ranch dipping sauce.


Units Scale
  • 3 cups cooked rice (1 cup uncooked rice)
  • 1/4 cup Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro
  • 1/2 lb. Smoked Mozzarella Cheese, cubed
  • 2 Large Organic Eggs
  • 1 cup Italian Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp Smoked 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

Pesto Ranch Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Ranch
  • 1 tbsp. Basil Pesto, pre-made
  • 1 tsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp. Oregano
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper


  1. Cook your rice according to its instructions. Set it to the side.
  2. Cut your smoked mozzarella into small cubes. Set to the side. 
  3. Remove the stems from the cilantro leaves and chop them into fine pieces. Set to the side. 
  4. In a small bowl, whisk (paid link) 2 eggs and add to a large bowl along with cooked rice, chicken stock, Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs, cilantro, smoked paprika, basil flakes, oregano, sage, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, Himalayan salt, and black pepper.
  5. Form balls by taking a handful of rice (enough to fit in the ball of your hand) and slightly create a hole with your thumb. Add a smoked mozzarella block to the middle of the rice ball. Form into a ball, making sure the cheese is enclosed completely.
  6. Add remaining Italian breadcrumbs and panko into a large bowl. Roll rice balls into the breadcrumb mixture until completely coated. Place on parchment paper and cool in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
  7. Add oil to pan and heat pan to medium heat. Fry the rice balls for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and cool on parchment paper or a paper towel.
  8. For the pesto ranch sauce, add all ingredients into a bowl and whisk (paid link) 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.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • 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