Awesome arancini (Risotto balls)

    2 hours 15 min

    A delicious arancini recipe. Risotto balls are stuffed with fontina cheese, before being breaded and fried to perfection. The melted cheese inside the arancini, complement the thyme in the risotto exceedingly well.

    18 people made this

    Makes: 9 

    • 1 pinch saffron threads, crushed
    • 250ml white wine
    • 30g butter
    • 1.5 litres chicken stock or as needed
    • 675g Arborio risotto rice
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
    • 80g Parmesan cheese, grated
    • 450g fontina cheese, cubed
    • 215g dry breadcrumbs
    • 1 litre olive oil for frying

    Prep:25min  ›  Cook:50min  ›  Extra time:1hr chilling  ›  Ready in:2hr15min 

    1. Place the wine and saffron in a small bowl. Stir briefly, then let it sit. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion; cook and stir until transparent, about 3 minutes. Mix in the rice and continue cooking and stirring until the rice has absorbed most of the butter.
    2. Slowly stir the white wine and saffron into the rice, stirring continuously until the wine is absorbed and rice is creamy. Season with thyme, then pour in 250ml of chicken stock at a time, cooking and stirring constantly until all of the stock is absorbed before adding the next. Stop adding stock when the rice is tender. If you run out of stock, you may use water. Remove from the heat, stir in the Parmesan cheese and allow to cool until you can touch it without burning your hands.
    3. Lightly grease a large baking tray with olive oil. Pour the risotto out onto the tray and spread evenly. Place in the refrigerator for about 1 hour or until chilled.
    4. When the rice is cool, roll small portions into balls about the size of golf balls. Tuck a cube of fontina cheese into the centre of each one. Roll each ball in breadcrumbs to coat.
    5. Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan or deep fat fryer to 190 degrees C. The oil should be about 7.5cm deep. When the oil is hot, fry the arancini until they reach a golden orangish brown, about 3 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, then serve with any marinara sauce.


    If fontina cheese is unavailable, substitute in either Emmental or Gruyere.

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    Reviews in English (11)


    I learned to make this recipe in an Italian Cooking class I took. My husband, who doesn't like rice, begs for these. We also added diced fine ham. We were told this is a staple in Sicilian households  -  02 Oct 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    The only changes I made to this recipe were that I used 1 tsp. dried thyme because I didn't have fresh, and I used Mozzarella cheese because I couldn't find Fontina. I am puzzled by the indication that this recipe yields 6 servings. Dividing the risotto mixture into 6 produces croquettes about 3-1/2" diam. each, which is about the size of a softball, and that's before inserting the cheese! Dividing the risotto into 36 instead, produced croquettes about 1-3/4" diam., and were the right size for inserting 3/4" cubes of cheese. Once filled with the cheese, each croquette is about 2" diam. Final note...only 2/3 cup of bread crumbs was required to coat all 36 arancini croquettes. I enjoyed these, but am only giving this 4 stars because two in my family aren't big fans of Parmesan (necessary, because it's the "glue" that holds the risotto together). Hope these notes are helpful.  -  16 Jul 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Who knew risotto could get any better? I used this to get rid of left overs, and it was great. I didn't have a deep frier so I pan fried them. They were a little lop sided, but tasted great.  -  03 Oct 2006  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)