Risotto balls are stuffed with cheese, breaded and fried. The ooey gooey centers filled with delicious fontina cheese and fresh thyme add classic flavor to this Italian dish. A favorite of my family.

Gallery

Recipe Summary

prep:
25 mins
cook:
50 mins
additional:
1 hr
total:
2 hrs 15 mins
Servings:
9
Yield:
9 servings
Advertisement

Ingredients

9
Original recipe yields 9 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place the wine and saffron in a cup or small bowl. Stir briefly, then let it sit. Melt the butter in a large skillet 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.

    Advertisement
  • 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 1 cup of chicken broth at a time, cooking and stirring constantly until each cup of broth is absorbed before adding the next. Stop adding broth when the rice is tender. If you run out of broth, 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.

  • Lightly grease a large cookie sheet with olive oil. Pour the risotto out onto the sheet and spread evenly. Place in the refrigerator for about 1 hour or until chilled.

  • When the rice is cool, roll small portions into balls about the size of golf balls. Tuck a cube of fontina cheese into the center of each one. Roll each ball in bread crumbs to coat.

  • Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan or deep fryer to 375 degrees F 190 degrees C). The oil should be about 3 inches deep. When the oil is hot, fry the arancini until they reach a golden orangish brown, about 3 minutes. Arancini literally means 'little oranges'. Cool for 5 minutes, then serve with any marinara sauce.

Nutrition Facts

761 calories; protein 25.1g; carbohydrates 85.2g; fat 32.4g; cholesterol 73.1mg; sodium 735.2mg. Full Nutrition
Advertisement

Reviews (12)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
10/02/2007
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 Read More
(18)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
03/05/2012
At nearly 800 calories, they should taste good! Just as good baked in a moderate oven tasting delicious, less like oil balls. Read More
(3)
16 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 8
  • 4 star values: 6
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
10/02/2007
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 Read More
(18)
Rating: 4 stars
07/16/2007
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. Read More
(17)
Rating: 5 stars
10/03/2006
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. Read More
(14)
Advertisement
Rating: 4 stars
01/10/2008
Very good. I used leftover saffron risotto. I used the risotto cold out of the fridge and I think because of that I didn't even need to add anything (egg or breadcrumbs) to the rice when forming the balls. They held together beautifully. Just rolled them in egg wash and breadcrumbs and fried them up. Reheated really well too. Just be warned these are very very filling. I just about ate myself sick. Read More
(11)
Rating: 4 stars
02/05/2010
The rice for this was a little bland but can be used with any combination of fillings. My house likes mozzarella with ham and peas. Fried up perfectly save well great recipe. Read More
(5)
Rating: 4 stars
06/30/2009
These were time-consuming to make but they were good. Next time I will make them about half the size because as they were they were too big. Also the recipe said to deep fry them for three minutes but when I did that with the first set it was too long. The cooking time increased slightly after every couple batches. The fontina cheese was a little strong for some of the people in my family so next time I may substitute gouda instead. Read More
(5)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
10/23/2011
awesome simply awesome. just like grandma use to make just make balls a good size. size of a league ball. Read More
(4)
Rating: 4 stars
10/01/2011
These were work intensive but good. They seem to freeze and reheat well which is a bonus for any recipe. Read More
(3)
Rating: 3 stars
03/05/2012
At nearly 800 calories, they should taste good! Just as good baked in a moderate oven tasting delicious, less like oil balls. Read More
(3)
Advertisement