Air Fryer Arancini or Italian Rice Balls — —Do you love Italian food? This is one of the best recipes! These make for a great appetizer or snack!
What is Arancini
Arancini are delectable Italian rice balls coated with breadcrumbs and then deep-fried. The name “arancini” translates to “little oranges” in Italian, which refers to their shape and color once cooked. Here are some key details about this delicious dish:
Can You Cook Aranachi In Air Fryer?
Yes, you can absolutely cook arancini (often spelled “arancini”) in an air fryer! It’s a great way to get your favorite recipe done in minutes!
Ingredients Needed For Air-Fried Aranachi
Crafting the perfect air-fried arancini requires a medley of key ingredients, each bringing its unique texture and flavor to the table.
Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredients are listed below in a printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.
- Porcini Mushrooms: Use Dried Out Mushrooms. The mushrooms will be rehydrated.
- Butter: Used for sauteing the onions, it adds a great base flavor.
- Onions: Use sweet or regular white onions.
- Garlic: Use freshly minced garlic or minced garlic from a jar.
- Arborio Rice: A great option for classic arancini.
- White Wine: If you do not want to use wine, you can use vegetable broth or stock.
- Broth: Use either vegetable or chicken broth.
- Parmesan Cheese: Use grated cheese, freshly shredded or packaged.
- Mozzarelal Cheese: Use Fresh Mozzalla cheese.
- All-Purpose Flour: If you want to make gluten-free arancini, you can substitute gluten-free all-purpose flour.
- Eggs: This will help bind the arancini together.
- Panko: You can also use bread crumbs or gluten-free bread crumbs.
- Seasonings/Spices: Parsley, Salt, and Black Pepper
How To Cook Air Fryer Arancini Balls
Creating delicious arancini has never been easier or healthier than with the air fryer. Follow this streamlined method to achieve crispy, golden rice balls filled with rich, savory centers without the excess oil of traditional frying.
Soak dried porcini mushrooms in 1 cup of hot water for 20 minutes and allow to rehydrate. Drain mushrooms, reserving soaking liquid. Chop mushrooms into pieces and set them aside. In a heavy-based frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter. Sauté onion for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.
Add rice to the frying pan and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly, until the rice starts to turn translucent. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for a minute. In a small saucepan, heat stock and liquid from the mushrooms. Add 1/2 cup of liquid at a time to the rice, stirring each time, until all liquid has been used and the rice is almost tender.
Stir in chopped mushrooms, parmesan cheese, and parsley into risotto. Season with salt and pepper. Spread rice onto a baking sheet and put it into the fridge to cool.
Once cool, roll the rice into golf-ball-sized balls and stuff it with a piece of mozzarella. Place back in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set.
Put flour, eggs, and panko bread crumbs in three separate balls. Dip each ball into flour (shaking off excess), then egg, then cover in breadcrumbs.
Preheat the air fryer to 370˚F (187˚C). Place a batch of arancini balls in the air fryer and cook for 6 minutes. Increase temperature to 400˚F (200˚C) and cook for another 3 minutes until golden on the outside. Repeat till all balls are cooked. Serve immediately.
Pro Tips For Air Fryer Arancini
Achieving the perfect air fryer arancini balls requires a few tips and tricks. Here are some pro tips to help you get that irresistible crunch and delectable center every time:
- Use Cold Risotto: Make sure your risotto is completely cooled or refrigerated before shaping. This makes it easier to mold and ensures it holds its shape while cooking.
- Compact Shape: Press and shape the arancini firmly to ensure they don’t fall apart during cooking. A compact rice ball will also have a uniform cooking result.
- Consistent Size: Make all the arancini balls roughly the same size. This ensures even cooking and that they’ll all be done simultaneously.
- Breadcrumbs Choice: For a crispier exterior, opt for panko breadcrumbs—their flaky and coarse texture results in a crunchier shell when air-fried.
- Rotate for Even Browning: Halfway through cooking, rotate or shake the basket to ensure all sides of the arancini balls get evenly browned.
- Avoid Overcrowding: Place the arancini in a single layer without touching it. Overcrowding can result in uneven cooking and a less crispy exterior.
- Spray with Oil: Even though you’re not deep frying, a light mist of oil on the arancini before air frying can help achieve a deeper golden color and mimic the taste of traditional frying.
- Use Preheated Air Fryer: Always preheat your air fryer for a few minutes before adding the arancini. This ensures they start cooking immediately and get that crispy exterior.
- Flavor the Breadcrumbs: Add some Italian seasoning, garlic powder, grated Parmesan, or even a pinch of chili flakes to your breadcrumbs for an added flavor boost.
- Check Temperature: If you’re unsure about the doneness, especially for arancini with meat fillings, use a food thermometer to ensure the center has reached a safe temperature.
- Rest After Cooking: Letting the arancini sit for a couple of minutes after cooking will help them retain their shape when bitten into without spilling their delicious fillings.
Arancini is a delightful treat made even better when cooked in the air fryer. With these pro tips, you can perfect your technique and serve a batch that will impress.
How To Cook Frozen Air Fryer Risotto Balls
Cooking frozen arancini in the air fryer is convenient and results in a deliciously crispy exterior and a warm, creamy center. To start, preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C). Place the frozen risotto balls in a single layer, ensuring they aren’t touching to allow for even circulation of air.
No need to thaw; add 3-5 minutes to the original cooking time. Lightly spray the balls with oil to achieve a golden color. Halfway through the cooking process, shake the basket or turn the balls to ensure even browning. Cook until they are golden brown and heated through. The convenience of cooking from frozen combined with the efficiency of the air fryer means you can have mouthwatering risotto balls ready in no time!
Frequently Asked Questions About Air Fryer Arancini Recipe
Can I use leftover risotto for my arancini balls?
Absolutely! Cold or leftover risotto is ideal for making arancini as it’s firmer and easier to shape.
How can I prevent my arancini balls from falling apart in the air fryer?
Ensure that the rice balls are compact and well-coated with breadcrumbs (a tight ball). Use an ice cream scoop or a large cookie scoop. The egg wash is a binder, so don’t skip this step. Additionally, avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket.
Can I make arancini balls ahead of time and freeze them?
You can prepare arancini balls, freeze them on a baking sheet, or baking tray and transfer them to a freezer bag once frozen. When ready to cook, air fry directly from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time.
Is there a gluten-free version of arancini balls?
Yes, you can replace regular breadcrumbs with gluten-free breadcrumbs and ensure all other ingredients used are gluten-free.
How long do air-fried arancini balls keep?
While best enjoyed fresh, leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer or oven to retain crispiness.
Can I use other fillings besides cheese and ragù?
Definitely! Arancini can be filled with various ingredients, such as cooked vegetables, cheeses, or seafood. Be creative!
What’s the best dipping sauce for arancini?
Marinara sauce, tomato sauce, or aioli are popular choices, but you can serve it with pesto, Alfredo sauce, or any other favorite dip.
Do I need to adjust the cooking time for larger or smaller arancini balls?
Yes, smaller balls may require less time, while larger ones might need a bit longer. Always keep an eye on them and adjust as necessary.
More Air Fryer Recipes
- Air Fryer Trader Joe’s Mozzarella Sticks
- Air Fryer Trader Joe’s French Fries
- Easy Air Fryer Trader Joe’s Gyoza
- Air Fryer Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken
- Air Fryer Trader Joe’s Potstickers
Don’t Forget To Pin!
Air Fryer Arancini
- 1.7 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1 1/3 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups panko, or breadcrumbs
- Soak dried porcini mushrooms in 1 cup of hot water for 20 minutes and allow to rehydrate. Drain mushrooms, reserving soaking liquid. Chop mushrooms into pieces and set aside.
- In a heavy-based frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter. Sauté onion for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.
- Add rice to frying pan and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly, until rice starts to turn translucent. Pour in wine and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for a minute.
- In a small saucepan, heat stock and liquid from the mushrooms. Add 1/2 cup of liquid at a time to the rice, stirring each time, until all liquid has been used and rice is almost tender.
- Stir in chopped mushrooms, parmesan cheese and parsley into risotto. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spread rice onto a baking sheet and put into fridge to cool. Once cool, roll rice into golf-ball sized balls and stuff with a piece of mozzarella. Place back in fridge for at least 30 minutes to set.
- Put flour, eggs and panko bread crumbs in three separate balls. Dip each ball into flour (shaking off excess), then egg, then cover in breadcrumbs
- Preheat the air fryer to 370˚F (187˚C). Place batch of arancini balls in air fryer and cook for 6 minutes. Increase temperature to 400˚F (200˚C) and cook for another 3 minutes until golden on the outside. Repeat till all balls are cooked. Serve immediately.
- Air Fryer
- Parchment Paper
- Cooking Spray, or Vegetable Oil, or Olive Oil Spray
Storage, Reheating, and Freezing Instructions for Risotto Balls:Storage:
- Refrigerator: Store leftover risotto balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Air Fryer: For best results, reheat risotto balls in the air fryer at 350°F (175°C) for 5-7 minutes or until they are heated through and regain their crispiness.
- Oven: Alternatively, you can reheat them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-12 minutes, turning halfway to ensure even reheating.
- Microwave: While this is the quickest method, reheating in the microwave might not retain the crispiness of the risotto balls. Place them on a microwave-safe plate and heat in 30-second intervals until warmed through.
- Before Cooking: Once you’ve shaped the risotto balls and they’re ready to be cooked, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer them to a zip-lock freezer bag or an airtight container, separating layers with parchment paper. They can be stored frozen for up to 3 months. Cook directly from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time.
- After Cooking: Allow cooked risotto balls to cool completely. Then, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze until solid. Transfer to a zip-lock freezer bag or airtight container and store for up to 1 month. Reheat directly from frozen using the methods mentioned above, adjusting the time accordingly.