Here’s an awesome way to use leftover risotto! Arancini di Riso. Which is a way to say fried risotto balls in Italian and make it sound way prettier than “fried risotto balls.” 🙂

Arancini di Riso - Cheesy Risotto Balls - Delicious way to use leftover risotto!.jpg


  • 2 c. cooled risotto (I used this recipe, but didn’t add any cheese – YET!)
  • 2 c. Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 6 oz. fontina cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2 Tbs. freshly grated Parmesan cheese + more for topping
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • oil for frying (I used a mixture of vegetable and canola)
  • optional: marinara sauce for dipping


In a mixing bowl, stir together cooled risotto, garlic, egg, parmesan, salt, pepper and 1/2 c. Panko breadcrumbs. Using your hands, roll the mixture into round balls (1 to 2 inches in diameter).

Gently push a cube (or two!) of fontina cheese in the center of each ball then seal it all around. Roll each ball in the remaining Panko and place on a baking sheet. Once all the panko is rolled, place baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes.

After removing from the freezer, heat 1 or so inches of oil in a large pot, until it’s 325-350°F.

Add about 3-4 risotto balls to the oil at one time, frying until golden on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel covered plate to remove excess grease. Repeat until all have been fried.

While still hot, grate some parmesan cheese on top, and serve. Optional: Use marinara for a dipping sauce.

recipe adapted from

Arancini di Riso Recipe - Cheesy Risotto Balls - easy way to use leftover risotto!

Italian Red Sauce - so easy and fresh and homemade - includes an awesome lasagna recipe - I make giant batches and freeze for later