Pan Fried Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Rice Balls with Marinara

Pan Fried Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Rice Balls with Marinara

Pan Fried Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Rice Balls are crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and stuffed with lots of melted cheese! What’s not to love?

Pan Fried Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Rice Balls with Marinara

For my last birthday, we went out to dinner at an adorably quaint Italian restaurant called Tony Spavone’s. Since the owner (Tony himself) likes to croon Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin songs to his patrons as they casually enjoy the Italian delicacies that come out of his traditional Italian kitchen, you can only imagine that the atmosphere is as fun and inviting, as the food is incredibly delicious.

 

We chose the arancini as our appetizer the night we visited Tony’s restaurant. Tony’s arancini made such an impression on me that I needed to recreate those wonderful fried rice balls as soon as possible in my Kudos Kitchen, and then bring them to you. Since I didn’t have Tony’s recipe to follow, I improvised as best I could. And since everyone loves melted cheese, I decided that adding a tiny bit of mozzarella cheese to the center of each crunchy, creamy rice ball would not be a bad thing. Because after all, who doesn’t love melted cheese?

Pan Fried Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Rice Balls with Marinara

While my recipe for Pan Fried Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Rice Balls (Arancini di Riso) with Marinara may not be authentically Italian, they are 100% authentically delicious! So much so that I would put them up against Tony’s arancini any day of the week. Ha! Ha! I can safely say that because I know it will never happen. LOL But, I’m ready if it ever does!

Pan Fried Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Rice Balls with Marinara

If you need a good recipe for Easy Classic Homemade Marinara I posted mine a few weeks ago, and you can find it HERE:

Easy Classic Marinara Sauce Recipe

Here are the easy to follow step-by-step photo instructions for making Pan Fried Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Rice Balls with Marinara. If you should have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them for you if you contact me, or leave a comment in comment section.

Rinse 1 cup of arborio rice several times under running water. Add 2 cups of chicken or turkey stock to a medium sauce pan and bring to a low simmer. Add the rinsed rice, cover, and continue simmering until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is tender (approximately 22-25 minutes)

Pan Fried Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Rice Balls with Marinara

Spread the cooked rice out onto a sheet tray to cool completely. If not making the arancini immediately, place the cooked and cooled rice into a container and refrigerate. Cut mozzarella cheese into fifteen 1″ cubes. Use water to keep hands wet (so the rice won’t stick to your hands and fingers) and place approximately 1½ tablespoons of cooled rice in the palm of your hand. Place a mozzarella cube in the center of the rice… 

Pan Fried Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Rice Balls with Marinara

…and then gently encase the cheese into the rice by making a ball. Roll each ball into a panko breadcrumbs, pressing the crumbs into the rice if necessary. Set the panko crumbed rice balls aside while you heat the oil for pan frying.

Pan Fried Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Rice Balls with Marinara

Heat approximately 1 cup canola oil (until the handle of a wooden spoon releases small bubbles when placed in the oil) in a large, high sided skillet. Carefully add the coated rice balls to the hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Pan fry the rice balls, turning as needed until they’re nicely golden brown. Remove the fried rice balls to paper towels to drain, and season with a sprinkling of salt. Serve hot with marinara sauce, grated Parmesan cheese (not shown) and freshly chopped basil, if desired.

Pan Fried Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Rice Balls with MarinaraPan Fried Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Rice Balls with MarinaraThe following Amazon.com items are some suggested products I’ve chosen that will aid you in the making (and serving) of this recipe for Pan Fried Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Rice Balls with Marinara, if needed. By clicking on the item, you’ll be taken directly to Amazon.com if you’re interested in purchasing any of these products. You are in no way required to do so, and you will not be charged in any way unless you decide to purchase a product through Amazon.

Pan Fried Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Rice Balls with Marinara

Pan Fried Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Rice Balls with Marinara
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Pan Fried Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Rice Balls are crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and stuffed with lots of melted cheese! What's not to love?
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer or Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Makes: 12-15
Ingredients
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 cups chicken or turkey stock (beef or vegetable will work as well)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional for seasoning after frying (if desired)
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 mozzarella string cheese, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1½ cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup canola oil or other light colored oil
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
  • fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional)
  • water to keep rice balls from being too sticky
Instructions
  1. Use a strainer to rinse the rice under running water several times before cooking.
  2. Place the stock in a medium sauce pan along with the salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Add the rinsed rice and stir well. Cover and simmer an additional 20-25 minutes or until all the liquid has cooked away.
  4. Spread the cooked rice on a baking sheet and allow to cool completely. Place the cooled rice in a covered container and refrigerate until ready to make the rice balls.
  5. Heat the oil in a medium, high sided skillet until the oil shimmers and tiny bubbles form on the handle of a wooden spoon when placed in the oil.
  6. Place the panko crumbs in a medium bowl.
  7. Keep hands wet with water as you take approximately 1½ tablespoons of cooled rice in the palm of hand and flatten it.
  8. Add a cheese cube to the center of the rice and then form the rice over the cheese to form a ball.
  9. Add the rice balls to the panko crumbs and roll and press until the ball is covered in the crumbs.
  10. Carefully add the panko coated balls to the hot oil and pan fry on all sides until golden (approximately 2-3 minutes).
  11. Remove the fried rice balls to paper towels to drain and immediately sprinkle with additional salt, if desired.
  12. Serve warm with Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh basil (optional) and marinara sauce for dipping.
Notes
Tools and equipment:

medium saucepan
strainer
slotted spoon
baking sheet
wooden spoon
medium, high sided skillet
medium bowl
paring knife
paper towels
2 serving bowls, 1 medium and 1 small

These Arancini di Riso (a.k.a. Pan Fried Mozzarella Stuffed Rice Balls with Marinara) would make an amazing appetizer (as we had them the night we went out to dinner), or as a delicious side dish for almost any entrée. But, whichever way you choose to serve them, I know you’ll enjoy them as much as we do! 

I’ve decided to coordinate this recipe with my hand painted “Herb Lovers” apron that is available in my shop on Etsy. This apron can be personalized if requested at no extra charge.

Hand Painted Herb Lovers Apron - Kudos Kitchen Paints

All of my hand painted aprons start with high quality aprons which are manufactured by Chef Works. They’re a 65/35 cotton poly blend with adjustable neck straps, extra long ties, and two large front pockets. I paint with high quality fabric paint that stays bright and vivid wash after wash. My aprons are all machine washable and dryable, but no fabric softener please. I love special, custom orders so if there is ever anything I can paint for you, please don’t hesitate to contact me or visit one of my shops: Etsy and Wazala.

Kudos Kitchen by Renée ~ Where food, art, and fun collide each and every day!

Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!

Kudos Kitchen Custom Signature

 

 

 

The post above includes affiliate links. When I find a great product or service, I like to share it with my readers. Sometimes I use affiliate links so I can earn commission for my recommendations.  As always, I thank you for your support!

 

 

 

11 Comments

  1. Oh my gosh, I love arancini, but I haven’t had or made it in years. These are beautiful!

  2. WOW, these look absolutely perfect!!! I can’t think of anything I’d rather be snacking on right now 🙂

  3. WOW, these look absolutely perfect!!! I can’t think of anything I’d rather be snacking on right now 🙂

  4. These are so perfect!! I am making them for NYE!!

  5. I had some delicious arancini when I was Italy and I’ve been dreaming of it ever since!!

  6. I haven’t made this in so long! Thanks for the inspiration again