Arancini Rice Balls and Arrabbiata Sauce

Arancini rice balls are just the thing when you're looking to shake up a meal!

Today's "Meatless Monday" post is brought to you by... Wednesday! It was my blogiversary on Monday so I shifted stuff around a bit. Ah well!

But back to the arancini

Easy to make, rich and delicious, serve these as a main, or as an appeteizer with some delicious dipping sauce!

Most people like to pair with marinara, but I prefer a spicy arribbiata sauce (not TOO spicy), which is easy to whip up while you're preparing the arancini. The recipe for sauce I have below is not for a large amount, I would recommend doubling if you're going to serve all 24 arancini at once!

Arancini Rice Balls and Arrabbiata Sauce (makes 24 rice balls) 

  • 2 cups white rice
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup fresh parsley
  • Large handful fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 - 3/4 shredded mozzarella (as desired)
  • 1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil per cooking batch

For Sauce: 
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 oz. red wine
  • 2 tsp cornstarch in 6 tsp cold water (to thicken if necessary)


1) Start by putting your sauce on to cook. Dice up your tomatoes, then add to medium sized pot on stove over medium heat with olive oil. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, sugar and red wine and stir well. 

Stir occasionally, continuing to cook until tomatoes break down into a sauce. Just keep it at a simmer. (while this is happening you'll have time to start on your Arancini)

If your sauce is a bit watery, add the cornstarch and water mixture while simmering and stir, letting your sauce thicken. When ready keep warm over min. heat until your Arancini are ready!

2) Put your rice on to cook, following the standard instructions. When it's ready, transfer to a new bowl and let it cool a bit.

add 1 cracked egg, fresh parsley, Parmesan cheese, and your desired amount of shredded mozzarella to the bowl of rice. Stir until cheese is mostly melted (doesn't need to be COMPLETELY melted)

3) In small bowl, crack and beat two eggs. In a second bowl, add about 1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs

When rice is cool to touch, roll into 1 1/2" balls. When all rolled, coat in egg, and then lightly coat in breadcrumbs.

4) Cook in batches of 6 on stove over high heat, adding 2 tbsp of vegetable oil to pan for each batch. Remove when breadcrumbs brown and set aside on paper towel to drip dry and cool.

You're ready to eat! I served mine as a main with a side of asparagus sauteed with garlic powder, but you could just as easily serve these as an appetizer! 

Each arancini ball is about 100 calories, so they actually make a pretty great snack. Just have some of your arrabbiata ready for dipping! 

Bon Apetit!