Arancini recipe, a delicious street food from Sicily

Updated on Aug 03, 2017 by Kathryn Burrington

Blog > Arancini recipe, a delicious street food from Sicily

Wherever you go in Sicily you are likely to come across arancini, a delicious snack named after the oranges it resembles, but there the likeness ends.

These golden balls consist of deep-fried rice and are traditionally stuffed with either meat sauce with peas or mozzarella, with ham and butter. They are a popular street food snack and can be a great way to use up leftovers.

As well as being made in a ball shape, they are also sometimes conical, and the different shapes may denote different fillings or what part of the island they are from.

Traditionally arancini are quite large, about the size of an orange, but they are growing smaller as they grow in popularity as an antipasti.



Here’s our recipe for traditional arancini


Ingredients for around 10 arancini

400g of Arborio rice (or leftover risotto)

1 pinch of saffron

100g grated Parmesan cheese

2 eggs

300g bread crumbs

A drizzle of olive oil

Vegetable oil for frying

Salt and freshly ground pepper


For the filling

200g of a thick Bolognese sauce with peas


200g of diced mozzarella, ham and butter



  1. Cook the rice in salted water with the saffron until it is soft and yellow.
  2. Drain well.
  3. Add a little olive oil so that the rice doesn’t stick together.
  4. Add the cheese and a little freshly ground black pepper and mix together.
  5. Leave to cool.
  6. Beat the eggs and season with a little salt and pepper.
  7. Spread the bread crumbs out in a shallow tray.
  8. When the rice is cool, wet one hand and cover your palm with about 2cm thickness of rice.
  9. Add a spoonful of your chosen filling to the centre.
  10. Close the rice around the filling to make a ball the size of a small orange.
  11. Take care to keep all the filling tucked up inside.
  12. Once all the filling and rice is used up, roll each ball in the beaten egg and then in the bread crumbs so that the rice is fully covered.
  13. Deep-fry in hot oil until golden brown. (Shallow frying is also possible but you won’t get the same level of crispness.)
  14. Place on sheets of kitchen roll to remove the excess oil.

Serve immediately while still hot and crunchy. Enjoy!



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