Air Fryer Arancini Balls

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Looking for a quick, easy, cheesy appetizer for your next party? Look no further because these air fryer arancini balls are sure to be a hit!

Also known as Italian Rice Balls, Arancini Balls are a popular street food in Sicily. These classic deep fried balls get a whole make-over with this Air Fryer Arancini Balls Recipe!

picture of air fryer arancini ball on a plate with sauce

Easy Air Fryer Arancini Balls

Greasy fried foods aren’t the healthiest option when it comes to snacks, but making these arancini balls in your air fryer allows you to have a healthier, guilt free snack or appetizer. Plus, you won’t have to worry about cleaning up the greasy mess or having it pop you while you’re trying to cook them. These cheese stuffed rice balls are the perfect quick and easy appetizer or snack. 

picture of air fryer arancini ball on a plate with sauce

How To Make Air Fryer Arancini Balls

For this deliciously quick and easy rice appetizer, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Arborio rice– You will need to cook your rice and let it cool to room temperature before rolling it into balls. 
  • Mozzarella cheese– Fresh is always best, but you can use packaged shredded mozzarella cheese if you prefer. 
  • Parsley– Chop fresh parsley in small pieces that can easily be mixed in with the rice. 
  • Breadcrumbs– I use Italian breadcrumbs because they are already packed with lots of herbs, spices, and flavor.
  • Flour– Don’t pack your flour. Just scoop it into the measuring spoon and level it off with a butter knife. 
  • Italian seasoning– Although the breadcrumbs have Italian seasonings in them, adding a little more makes these rice balls super flavorful.
  • Sea salt– Sea salt adds a little crunch and a delicious flavor to your end result. 
  • Eggs– Rolling the rice balls in beaten eggs before rolling in your seasoned bread crumbs helps the breading stick to your rice. 

These delicious arancini balls are basically rice and parmesan rolled into a ball and covered in a deliciously seasoned breading. They come out crisp, cheesy and delicious every time. Follow the steps below for a quick and easy appetizer.

  1. First, cook your rice and allow it to cool to room temperature. Then, mix 2 cups of cooked arborio rice with 1 ½ cups of the shredded mozzarella and freshly chopped parsley. 
  2. Roll the rice mixture into 14 equal balls. Then, preheat your air fryer to 360?.
  3. While the air fryer is preheating, mix the breadcrumbs, flour, Italian seasoning, and salt together in a small bowl and set aside. 
  4. In a separate bowl, beat your eggs. Then, dip each rice ball one at a time into the beaten eggs and roll them into the breading mixture, covering all sides. 
  5. Place your rice balls into your air fryer basket and cook for 16-minutes, rolling them around halfway through. 
  6. Serve with marinara sauce and enjoy!
picture of air fryer arancini ball on a plate with sauce

Tips and Tricks to Perfect Arancini Balls and FAQs: 

  • If the rice is too sticky you can put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes and then roll them; it will be easier to get them into a ball shape.
  • Do not overcrowd the air fryer basket. Cook the rice balls in batches if you need to. 
  • If you want even more flavor, add onions or bell peppers to the rice mixture. 
  • When breading the arancini balls, use the left hand for the egg mixture and the right hand for the bread crumbs. This will keep your wet and dry separate and eliminate some of the mess. 
  • If you have leftover rice, use it. Leftover rice works great for this recipe.


What temperature should I cook arancini balls?

For this recipe, you will first need to cook your rice over medium-high heat on the stove top. Then, you will cook your breaded rice balls at 360?.

How do I cook arborio rice?

To cook your rice, ??bring 2 cups of water to boil over medium-high heat, add the rice, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Then, simmer the rice until the liquid is fully absorbed and your rice is al dente. It will take about 20-minutes. 

How long does this recipe take to make?

If you already have precooked rice, you will need 5-minutes of preparation time and 10-15-minutes of cook time for this recipe. So, you can have fresh appetizers ready in about 20-minutes. However, if you need to cook your rice, you’ll need to add an additional 20-minutes to your total time. 

Can arancini balls be eaten cold? 

It is best to serve arancini balls warm. This is because it ensures they have a creamy and cheesy center with a crispy exterior. If they get cold, you can easily plop them back in the air fryer for a few minutes. They are just as good fresh as they are reheated in the air fryer. 

How do I store arancini balls?

If you plan to eat your leftover arancini balls within two days, you can store them in an airtight container in your refrigerator. Keep in mind that after two days, they will dry out and become unappetizing. 

Can I freeze the arancini balls?

Yes, you absolutely can! In fact, this is the best way to store leftovers as well. Prepare the arancini as directed and then place the prepared balls on a baking sheet and freeze for a couple of hours so they keep their shape. Then transfer them to a freezer bag and freeze until you are ready to air fry them. They may need a little longer in the air fryer if cooking them from frozen.

picture of air fryer arancini ball on a plate with sauce

More Appetizers You’ll Love

Appetizers are great if you’re hosting a party or celebration, but who wants to spend all your time making appetizers. If you’re looking for more quick and easy appetizers to make, try my Easy Mini Crab Cakes, Spicy Vegan Samosas, or The Best Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites!

For more delicious appetizers, click here.

Air Fryer Arancini Balls Recipe

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picture of air fryer arancini ball on a plate with sauce

Air Fryer Arancini Balls

Arancini are traditionally a Sicilian appetizer perfect for any time of the year. These yummy Italian appetizers are great for company or any night of the week with the family. Arancini Balls in an air fryer is a quick and healthier way to make this delicious appetizer!
Course Appetizers
Cuisine air fryer
Keyword air fryer, air fryer appetizers, appetizers, cheese, italian food, rice
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 128kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell



  • Mix 2 cups of cooked arborio rice (room temperature) with 1 ½ cups of shredded mozzarella and freshly chopped parsley.
  • Roll into 14 equal balls and make breading mixture. (This is when you can preheat the air fryer to 360F). If it is too sticky you can put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes and then roll them; it will be easier to get them into a ball shape.
  • In a small bowl mix together breadcrumbs, flour, Italian seasoning, and salt and set aside.
  • One at a time, dip a rice ball into the beaten egg and then roll into breading mixture covering all sides.
  • Put rice balls in air fryer and cook for 16 minutes, lightly moving them around about halfway with tongs. Be sure not to crowd the air fryer, and work in batches if needed.
  • Serve with marinara sauce and lightly garnished with fresh parsley.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 381mg

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style. Courtney writes the popular creative lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs- a site devoted to delicious everyday recipes, home decor, crafts, DIY inspiration, and photography tips to help make your every day extraordinary.

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