Friday, December 28, 2012

Stuffed Italian Rice Balls - Arancini di Riso - with Marinara Sauce

Italian stuffed rice balls are one of my favorite things.  Then again, most Italian food is!  These rice balls are excellent to have, when you are looking for a hardy lunch.   I absolutely love these with some piping hot marinara sauce poured over them.    Some people like these as an appetizer to a dinner, some like them for lunch, with a nice bowl of soup next to them…   Regardless, these are sure to be a nice change of pace.

This Italian dish is also known as Arancini di Riso, which means "little orange of rice".

Arancini di Riso - Italian Rice Balls
Arancini di Riso - Italian Rice Balls




3 cups of long grain white rice
6 cups of water
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil


1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 lbs ground beef or turkey
3 cups of Marinara Sauce
1 ½ cups frozen baby peas
1 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup Romano cheese
1 lbs shredded Mozzarella cheese
2 eggs, beaten
Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs for coating
Olive Oil for frying.


First, make the filling:

  • Sautee the onion and garlic in a large skillet.  Don’t burn the garlic.
  • Remove the onion and garlic from the skillet, and set aside.
  • Brown the chopped meat in the same skillet.   Drain off any fat.
  • Add the onion and garlic to the meat in the skillet.
  • Add the marinara sauce and simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes
  • Add the frozen peas and cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Uncover the meat mixture and cook off some of the moisture.   The meat/sauce mixture needs to be thick.
  • Remove from heat to cool

After making the filling, make the rice:

  • Heat up the olive oil in a pot until it is hot.   Add the rice and stir until it is evenly coated.  Heat it for about a minute, but don’t brown it .
  • Add the water.   Be careful when adding the water, as it will sizzle. 
  • Bring the water to a boil, then cover and cook for 20 minutes on low heat.   Do not take the lid off while the rice is cooking.

  • When the rice is finished cooking, place the rice into a bowl.
  • Add the parmesan and romano cheese to the rice, while it is hot, and mix into the rice.
  • Let the rice cool.

Now, to make the rice balls:

  • Add the beaten eggs to the rice, after it has cooled off a bit.  Gently and evenly mix the rice, grated cheese and egg mixture.
  • Form the rice into a ball using your hands. 
  • Take your finger and poke an indentation into the ball. 
  • Fill the indentation with some mozzarella cheese and tablespoon full of the meat mixture.
  • Close the indentation, using rice to seal in the filling and reform the rice ball.   The meat/sauce mixture should be completely sealed.
  • Roll the rice balls in the bread crumbs.
  • Fry the rice balls in olive oil, using a large skillet.  Fry them until golden brown, carefully turning to evenly heat.

Plate up the rice balls, by sprinkling them with some grated parmesan.   Serve with some heated marinara sauce.

I hope you have enjoyed this Italian Rice Ball recipe.    Please stay tuned and check back frequently, as I will be posting more of my family favorites….

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