Marra's Fried Tomato and Mozzarella Arancini

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 45 mins

There are many arancini (or rice ball) recipes out there, many complicated, many just parmesan and chicken stock or milanese. I recreated what i got at school in Italy in grade 7. I love them and they are easy. If you have 2 cups of short grain cooked rice left over use them. Or if you have any tomato sauce and cooked short grain rice left over then just mix them together, and proceed to adding the mozzarella, dredge and cook.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. First of all put the olive oil in a heavy saucepan on medium heat and add onion and garlic until softened. then add rice coating it in oil.
  2. Put 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of tomato sauce in a measuring cup and slowly add a quarter cup, stirring constantly until absorbed, then add another quarter cup until done. This is a bit of a slow process, you want the rice to absorb the sauce before adding more. It is important to continuously stir, like any risotto or the bottom will burn. Once this is done, then add a 1/2c of water/tomato sauce mix, until absorbed, taste and add more if necessary. Until you get nice tender rice.
  3. Set aside to cool.
  4. Set up breading station, with a bowl for the 2 eggs, whisk, a bowl for bread crumbs and a bowl for flour.
  5. Take a small handful with wet hands of the cooled risotto, and make a dent. put 1 cube of mozzarella in it and cover it in a circle. I admit i put large amts of mozzarella in lol. Dredge in flour, then egg and then bread crumbs. My own preference is to dredge them again in egg and breadcrumbs but that is up to you.
  6. Make all your arancini (means small oranges) and heat the canola or other frying oil to medium high in a skillet. Place the balls in batches, turning as each side browns. Remove and drain.
  7. You will hear and see a few "leaking" cheese very quickly. I take those out sooner and after draining give it 15 seconds in the microwave before serving so they totally melt the cheese without it disappearing where I can't eat it into the oil.
Most Helpful

I've never had an arancini before so have nothing to compare it to.. but wanted to give this a shot since it looked so yummy. I'm so glad i went ahead and made it!! These were so yummy that my family devoured them!! The only change i did was to substitute cheddar cheese for the mozzarella since my family prefers cheddar for its creaminess rather than mozzarella for its stringiness.
These lil things will be made often!!! Thank you so much for the recipe!!

K's December 20, 2010

These are fantastic! In the end the arancini was absolutely delicious, however, I did have some problems with the recipe. The directions for adding the water/tomato sauce mixture were very confusing... I suggest re-writing it somehow to explain the directions better. Also, the recipe only called for 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup tomato sauce to cook the risotto rice. This was definitely not enough. I am a pretty good cook but was getting very frustrated with the recipe because I had never made risotto before and the amount of liquid needed to be tripled for it to come out right. Those are my only negatives about this recipe.... They turned out wonderfully in the end! Absolutely delicious!!! I have had arancini at restaurants before and the ones I made were perfect! I even used chopped up string cheese as the mozzerella and it worked out great! :)

canders96 November 27, 2009

Very good! I had problems not with the recipe which is excellent and has very clear directions. When I went to the grocery store to buy arborio rice the only short grain rice they had was sushi so bought that. That worked okay. But after I started making the rissoto I discovered that I did not have ANY tomato sauce so thought a smaller amount of tomato paste would work, but it really made the color dark-hence the dark arancini. Paste also tastes way different. Instead what I should have done was used diced tomato which I have lots of and would look and taste better. I used lots of hot chicken broth for cooking the rice, added basil, salt, and Italian seasoning. The other mistake I made was I cut the cubes into 1 inch cubes which is too big. Added Italian seasoning to my plain bread crumbs. I do as little frying in my kitchen as I can get away with (hate frying) so I might not have done it right. Do sort of wonder why the flour is put on. My picture was taken right before the sun set with drinks on our deck so the lighting is not the best. I have some leftover and plan on warming them up in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Thanks MarraMamba for sharing. Made for 1-2-3 Hit Wonders game.

WiGal July 18, 2009