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5 from 2 votes

Baked Arancini Balls

Leftover risotto is pretty horrid. So turn it into something amazing with just a few ingredients. These arancini balls are baked, not fried, so you won't feel as guilty when you have seconds....and thirds....and fourths.....
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italia
Servings: 12
Calories: 170kcal
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats


  • 3 cups leftover risotto (see note 1)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup grated cheese (tasty, cheddar, mozzarella or any other good melting cheese)
  • 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs (Optional - to thicken the risotto. May not be required - see note 2)
  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil


  • Combine risotto with the egg and cheese and mix well.
  • Do a test ball to determine stiffness of risotto (optional step - see note 2): Take a slightly mounded scoop of the risotto using an ice cream scooper (about 1/4 cup), roll it into an egg shape and place it upright on a small plate so that it is higher than it is wide. Wait a minute or two and see if it holds its shape. If it collapses at bit, use the plain breadcrumbs to thicken the risotto - you may not need any, you might need more or less. Do another test until you are happy with the consistency.
  • Cover risotto and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
  • Lightly grease or spray a baking tray.
  • Combine panko and salt in a bowl. Then add the olive oil and use your fingers to lightly "rub" the olive oil into the panko and disperse it as evenly as possible
  • Make the arancini balls: As per the test ball, make arancini balls using the ice-cream scooper. Drop the balls into the bowl with the panko. Spoon over the panko, then use your fingers to either roll and pat the panko so it sticks to the arancini.
  • Scoop the arancini out of the panko bowl using a dessert spoon and use your fingers to shape it into an egg / cylinder shape.
  • Place the arancini onto the baking tray upright so it stands taller than it is wide. The reason for this is that the arancini will collapse a bit when baking. So by shaping them slightly taller, when they come out of the oven they will be more of a ball shape rather than collapsing into a pattie.
  • Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until golden.
  • Remove from oven, rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with finely chopped parsley if desired.


1. This recipe is best made with leftover risotto that has been refrigerated at least overnight.
2. The step to determine whether you need any breadcrumbs to thicken the risotto is optional. If you don't mind arancini in the shape of a pattie rather than a ball, then you do not need to do this step. Or your risotto may be thick enough so you don't need breadcrumbs anyway.
The purpose of the breadcrumbs is to adjust the consistency of the risotto so that when you roll it into balls it holds its shape rather than collapsing. It will depend on your risotto and how much liquid it absorbed. You may need to adjust the amount of breadcrumbs you use - you might need more or less or you may not need it at all. Just roll a few test balls.
3. Nutrition per serving.
Baked Arancini Nutrition


Serving: 46g | Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 5.3g | Fat: 6.8g | Saturated Fat: 2.1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 247mg | Potassium: 14mg | Fiber: 1.1g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 0.9mg