Giada De Laurentiis’ Gooey, Cheesy Arancini Di Riso Packs a Little Surprise in Each Bite

Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis’ Arancini di riso, or Sicilian rice balls, are a carb-lovers feast: bundles of rice packed with meat and cheese are breaded and fried for an addictively delicious appetizer or snack that will be a favorite for gatherings.

Here’s De Laurentiis’ easy-to-prepare dish.

Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis wears a denim jacket and gray blouse in this photograph.
Giada De Laurentiis | Michael N. Todaro/ FilmMagic

De Laurentiis’ dish gets made with simple ingredients

The chef’s humble, but elegant, appetizer calls for vegetable oil for deep frying the arancini, eggs, a prepared batch of risotto with mushroom and peas, grated Parmesan cheese, Italian-style storebought breadcrumbs, cubed mozzarella cheese, and salt.

Her risotto recipe will need low-salt chicken broth, dried porcini mushrooms, unsalted butter, olive oil, finely chopped onions and mushrooms, minced garlic, Arborio rice, dry white wine, thawed frozen peas, grated Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper.

The chef’s appetizer gets done easily

“It’s hard to imagine that you’d have leftover risotto,” the Simply Giada host says in the Food Network video, link below, for this recipe. “But when you do, you’ve got to make my Arancini di riso. Arancini means ‘little oranges,’ and it got its name because traditionally, in Sicily, they add saffron to their risotto so it turns orange. And then they make them into little balls and you bite into them, and it looks like little oranges.”

The risotto in this recipe should be cooled before starting the recipe.

Beaten eggs, the Parmesan cheese, and breadcrumbs are tossed together, and then, “here we go, the fun part,” the chef says. Another cup of breadcrumbs is placed into another bowl for later.

Begin forming some of the mixture into balls and then “there’s a little surprise in every little rice croquette in here and it is a piece of mozzarella.”

A cube of fresh mozzarella is tucked into the center of each rice ball and then rolled in breadcrumbs. It’s deep fried in 350-degree vegetable oil.

“You just want them to become golden brown on the outside and the heat will warm the rice up on the inside and melt the mozzarella,” the culinary personality explained. “You want to make sure that you don’t overcrowd your pan; otherwise, it’ll drop the temperature of the oil.”

Place the rice balls on a paper-towel-lined plate to drain the excess oil, and enjoy!

Get the complete recipe, video, and reviews on Food Network’s site.

Reviewers loved De Laurentiis’ clever use of leftover risotto

Risotto on its own is a quintessential comfort dish. Add mozzarella cheese to the equation, a breadcrumb coating, and deep frying and it’s transformed into a dish that will surely become a quick favorite, as reviewers on Food Network’s site reported.

“This is a wonderful way to use leftover risotto. It’s delicious and easy to make. We enjoyed these with some homemade marinara sauce for dipping, but they would have been just as good without. The mozzarella inside is a great surprise,” one home cook wrote.

Another person added, “This use of leftovers is worth making the risotto in the first place. Make sure you try it!”

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