When life throws you risotto, make Arancini!

There’s nothing I like less than day-old risotto. When it’s hot off the stove, all the textures and flavors meld together to create a soothing, heavenly mixture. But after a day in the fridge, it turns a bit gummy and then heating it up inevitably makes it gummier. What to do with day old risotto?!

Thank the Lord for this website. Because a while back, when I last made risotto, I said I threw out the leftovers because they were kind of nasty. A commenter wrote: “Don’t do that next time! Make Arancini!” Which is exactly what I did last night.

Arancini is a fried risotto ball. Putting it together is a cinch. The only thing I had to go out and buy was breadcrumbs (and salad ingredients to serve with it) but that’s it. That and cheese—but I had goat cheese on hand. So set up three bowls: (1) 1/2 cup of flour; (2) 2 eggs beaten; (3) 1/2 cup of bread crumbs.

I seasoned the flour a bit but that’s your choice. Some of the recipes I read didn’t have you do that, but I’m a rebel. I opened a package of Coach Farm goat cheese that I bought at the farmer’s market, and unlike the last one this one was creamy and tangy just the way I like it:


So the next part’s kind of gross, but just work fast. You open up your day-old refrigerated risotto, and stick your hand in and make a 1 to 2 inch ball. Flatten it and break off a piece of goat cheese, insert it in the middle, and reform the ball. (My risotto was really wet and it made all this really difficult, but I still managed.) Then dip that ball into the flour, coat, shake off; then into the egg; and finally the breadcrumbs. Here’s what you’ll end up with:


I rested them on wax paper as I heated up the oil. It took an entire bottle of Canola oil to fill 2-inches of my heavy pot, but that happens when you fry. You heat up the oil to 360 (make sure you have a thermometer) and once there, drop your balls in. (I wanna dip my balls in it!) (<--anyone remember that?) IMG_4.JPG

They only took a little more than 2 minutes before they were golden brown. I took them out with a slotted spoon and drained them on paper towels:


Don’t they look great? Just so I didn’t feel too unhealthy, I served them with a salad (basically a bag of exotic lettuce with grape tomatoes in a homemade vinaigrette—I’m a pro!):


Biting into the Arancini was awesome: crunchy on the outside, and creamy/risotto-ey on the inside. Plus that goat cheese is a nice surprise:


It’s almost worth making risotto so you can make this the next day. Two meals out of one dish: that’s my kind of food.

17 thoughts on “When life throws you risotto, make Arancini!”

  1. Oh man oh man … I might have to fry something for the first time ever! Talk about an indulgence that’s worth it! I enjoy your style, your site. Many thanks for its many contributions. AK

  2. Hoo boy, I don’t know if the leafy greens are enough to cancel out the gooey fried goodness. Much like the ‘diet coke cancels out a candy bar’ concept, you might need to add a vegetable or two. ;D

  3. I pan fry my leftover risotta. I prepare it pretty much the same way as AG describes, but I flatten the balls into patties before I flour and bread crumb them. Saves a lot of oil and tastes almost as good. You can also oven bake the balls.

  4. I miss Louie!!! I want to dip my balls in it! I’m so glad someone other than me still quotes The State.

  5. “I wanna dip my balls in it!” is from the State. Man, I thought it was from just Stella. I never got to see the State. And your balls look delicious.

  6. thank you thank you thank you!

    2 or three times a year I make champagne risotto but the recipe I use makes enough to feed 5 people (we are only three) so I always have leftovers. Now I know what to do with the leftover risotto. Thank you.

  7. You are a pro–that plate looks outstanding. I watched Goddess Giada DiLaurentis make this on her show, and your little rice balls look just as tasty as hers.

    And I would eat a shingle off the roof if it had goat cheese smeared on it.

  8. Adam-

    Do you remember $250 worth of puddin?? Is there anything you could do – maybe a chocolate mousse recipe to utilize that great food moment from The State??

  9. i am in love with these! using the same principle, when i was in a panic about what to bring for a tgif, had no time or ingredients, i took the chickpea curry&rice we had eaten the night before, made balls, stuck in batter & deepfried. they were a huge hit!

  10. Arancini, i live in melbourne, and i have just found a store that make them, they look incredible, i just can’t wait to start making them… Oh my what a wonderful world we live in….

    Melbourne Australia

  11. Hey Damo, where is this store or can you get the number. i would like to try some. i used to buy them at Chadstone but they have moved out. I cannot seem to find them now

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