I don’t need much of an excuse to whip up arancini balls and now that I have mastered how to do them in the air fryer, they’re practically a no-mess snack. PLUS it’s a delicious game-changer for using up leftover risotto from dinner the night before!

Say goodbye to deep-frying … cooking arancini in the air fryer is not only healthier and safer – it’s a time saver too!

NUMBER ONE ARANCINI BALLS TIP: Cook your risotto the day before and leave it covered in the fridge until you need it. It’s MUCH easier to roll completely cold risotto into balls than it is to roll warm risotto! You could even roll and crumb them ahead of time if required. Easy!

Good things come in small arancini ball packages…

Use any risotto recipe you like, but do remember that the ‘extras’ in your risotto need to be cut small enough to roll. We love prawns in a risotto but it’s impossible to roll a whole prawn into an arancini ball – you see? So you either need to cut them small (chicken/mushrooms/sundried tomato etc) or keep your arancini plain and cheesy. You can even add a little piece of cheese into the centre of your arancini balls for added melty goodness.

Easy air fryer arancini balls recipe

NOTE: If using leftover risotto, skip straight to step 5!

Ingredients

For risotto

  • 4 cups liquid chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1½ cups arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced

For arancini balls

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 3 cups shop-bought bread crumbs
  • Oil spray

Method

  1. First, you have to make risotto! Place stock and 1½ cups of cold water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the stock until needed.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the brown onion and cook, stirring for five minutes or until soft. Stir in the garlic and the arborio rice, mixing through the onion completely. Add in the wine and bring to a boil. Continue stirring and cooking for 3 minutes or until liquid has almost evaporated.
  3. Reduce the heat to low. Add one soup ladle of the stock mixture to the rice. Cook, stirring until the liquid has absorbed. Repeat with the remaining stock mixture, one ladle at a time.
  4. Once all the stock has been absorbed, stir in grated parmesan and green onion. Let the risotto cool before covering and placing it in the fridge to cool completely.
  5. It’s time to make arancini balls! Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, make large walnut-sized balls from the cold risotto.
  6. Roll each ball in flour lightly, then the egg and finally, the breadcrumbs. Place one layer of balls in the bottom of the air fryer basket and spritz them with oil. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes at 180°C or until golden brown in colour and heated all the way through. TIP: Give the arancini balls a little shake halfway through for even colouring.
  7. Serve warm with a dipping sauce of your choice and enjoy your arancini balls – it’s risotto, reinvented! YUM!
arancini balls air fryer recipe
Arancini balls – the ultimate nibble snack and use of leftover risotto! Source: L. Klaebe

What do you think? Will you be giving your leftover risotto the air fryer arancini balls treatment? Perfect for a snack, lunch or as a grazing board addition for nibbles and drinks – however it is that you serve them, they’re always gobbled up fast!

Do you have a favourite air fryer recipe you think we should REALLY know about? We’d love to hear! Tell us about it below in the comments and if it sounds delicious enough to share, we’ll be in touch!

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Author

South Australian mum and self proclaimed foodie, Lexi can most days be found in the kitchen, apron tied firm and armed with a whisk or wooden spoon!

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