It’s Arancini Time!

Do you remember my recipe post, Pesto Prosciutto and Mozzarella Stuffed Quinoa Arancini? I have to say they were pretty scrumptious! ;-)


After my mother-in-law tasted my quinoa arancini she was even more curious about my recipe for the traditional ones.  Well, “my” recipe is that of a family friend who gave me the (unwritten) recipe years ago.  On another note, I’ve only made arancini 3 times and there was never an exact recipe involved, unless you call “eye-balling” the ingredients a recipe (Rachel Ray would be so proud!).

The moral of the story…

You don’t need to be a chef (or Italian for that matter) to make these!

So friends, I double dare you…forget the recipe, forget exact quantities, forget your self-professed fear of not being able to cook, and get in the kitchen and make these (you’ll be happy you did)!

Here’s my “recipe”:

1) Sautée about 400g of ground beef with tomato purée (just enough to coat the meat) and add (thawed) frozen peas for the last 5 minutes to heat through.

2) In the meantime, cook about 2.5 cups of arborio rice until al dente and chop 1/2 a mozzarella (the real kind, packed in water) into small cubes.


3) Let the rice cool then add 3 eggs and 1 1/2 – 2 cups grated Parmesan and mix until combined.


4) The rice should be sticky enough to form patties but not too wet to the touch.


5) Scoop up some rice (about 1/2 cup), roll around in the palms of your hands to form a ball.


6) Place the ball in the palm of one hand and with your opposite thumb, poke a large hole in the center. Fill with a few pieces of chopped mozzarella.


7) Layer the meat sauce over the mozzarella then fold the rice over the condiment until the rice ball is completely sealed.


8) Frying prep: Coat arancini with egg wash, flour then egg wash again then coat with bread crumbs.

*Coating twice gives a crunchy crust and prevents the oil from soaking into the rice!


9) A trick of the trade is to use one hand for the egg wash and the other for the flour/breadcrumbs.

I don’t have any any patience + we were starving = one big mess! 


10) Fry the arancini (in preferred oil) in a deep pan, turning a few times until crispy all around OR (go big or go home) in a deep fryer!

Cooked to perfection!  Crispy on the outside (and not oily AT ALL!)…


with the perfect combination of warm sauce, gooey cheese and crunchy peas on the inside!


Nonna decided to hold my daughter during dinner…Let me tell you, she eyed that arancini down to the last bite!


Dinner was around 9:00 p.m…a bit too late for my son to eat (besides he was already in bed) so of course, I set some aside for him for lunch the following day! ;-)

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  • monica

    I LOVE your fantastic recipes! And look at those happy babies!!

    • Lisa @bitesforbabies

      My daughter didn’t look so happy, lol! She sat there the ENTIRE time, mesmerized by those arancini!!!

  • Lisa Montagliano-Pellegrino

    Thank you for the recipe, this looks amazing I cant wait to try it :)

    • Lisa @bitesforbabies

      No problem…they are so easy to make and SO worth it! I’d love to know what you think of them!!

      • Lisa Montagliano-Pellegrino

        I will let you know :)

      • Lisa Montagliano-Pellegrino

        Just made them, they were amazing! My kids and hubby loved them. Thank you so much!

    • Lisa @bitesforbabies

      I’m so glad the entire family loved them! What did you think of the recipe? They’re not as difficult to make as they seem, right?

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