Baked Cheesy Italian Arancini Balls

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Who doesn’t love bite sized snacks? They are so perfect for parties, game day or even as a quick meal for your family. Arancini are Italian stuffed rice balls that are traditionally fried. Typically they are made out of a risotto based filling. Traditionally they are always fried, but, like I have voiced before, truly hate frying things at home! So instead I am baking them, don’t worry they still turn out extra crispy and extra gooey.

I had madeĀ Parmesan Herb Risotto with Roasted Shrimp, and after three days of eating the same leftovers, I decided I would do something different with the rest of my leftover risotto. I always keep breadcrumbs on hand in my freezer, typically I make my own with leftover stale baguette or sliced sandwich bread that is going bad. Simply pulse it in the food processor, add in some seasoning if desired. You can keep your homemade breadcrumbs in an airtight container in the freezer, for a very long time! It’s a great money saver and a great way to use up something that other wise would be thrown away.

I made my arancini very simple with Parmesan and herbs, but you can add a plethora or different ingredients. Cooked ground beef, vegetables, different cheese, and much more. But no matter what you put in them I promise you can’t go wrong baked Arancini balls filled with rice, herbs and cheese! Lets get started!

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In a large dutch oven heat olive oil over medium heat, add in the minced garlic and onion and sweet for 3-5 minutes util translucent and fragrant. Add in the arborio rice and stir until the rice turns translucent. Pour in the white wine, scraping any stuck on pieces off the bottom. Once the liquid is mainly absorbed add in the chicken stock and heavy cream.

Stir to combine, bring to a simmer, cover and transfer to the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the rice is tender. Allow the mixture to cool than add in one egg, the shredded Parmesan, chopped parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine, cover and transfer to the fridge. Allow to cool for 2-3 hours, until set.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside. Remove the chilled risotto from the fridge. Using a cookie or ice cream scoop, back the rice into even sized balls and roll out evenly. Continue until all the rice is used. In a shallow bowl mix the flour, salt, and pepper together. In another bowl lightly beat the remaining eggs, place the panko in a third bowl.

Roll each rice ball in the flour, than dredge in the eggs, than coat firmly in the panko, repeat again until all of the rice balls have been breaded. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Bake at 350 degrees F, for 25-30 minutes until the outside is golden brown and crispy and the rice in the middle is warm and gooey. Serve with marinara and fresh parsley!

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Baked Cheesy Italian Arancini Balls

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Servings: 25 Arancini Balls

Ingredients

  • 2 tsbp Olive oil
  • 1 Small onion, diced
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Arborio Rice
  • 1/2 cup White wine
  • 32 oz Chicken stock, low sodium
  • 1 cup Heavy cream
  • 3 Large eggs
  • 1 cup Shredded Parmesan
  • 3 tbsp Chopped, fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup All purpose flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 2 cups Panko breadcrumbs

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, sweet for 5 minutes until soft. Add in rice and stir until grains turn translucent. Add wine and turn up the heat to medium high. Cook until liquid is mostly absorbed.
  • Add chicken broth and heavy cream. Stir, bring to simmer, cover, then transfer to oven. Baked, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool. 
  • Mix in one egg, shredded Parmesan, chopped parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix to combine. Cover and transfer to the refrigerator and allow to cool 2-3 hours.
  • Mix flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl, eggs in another (lightly beaten) and panko in a third shallow bowl. Using a cookie or ice cream scoop, scoop out portions of the risotto and roll into even sized balls.
  • Roll in flour, then dredge in egg mixture, then coat in panko, pressing to coat.  Repeat with the remaining risotto mixture until all the rice has been formed into balls and breaded. 
  • Line the breaded risotto balls in a single layer on a baking sheet, bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. The arancini balls should be golden brown and crispy and the rice should be warm and gooey. 
  • Transfer to a serving platter and serve with warm marinara or another favorite sauce.

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