Italian Rice Balls

Italian Rice Balls

Servings: 8 rice balls

For the perfect appetizer, serve these rice balls alongside prepared marinara sauce.


  • 1 cup (250 ml) medium-grain white rice
  • 2 cups (500 ml) water
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten well
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ounce (28 g) mozzarella cheese, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil, for spraying
  • 1 cup (250 ml) prepared marinara sauce, for dipping, optional


1. Put the rice, water and salt into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once rice comes to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 10 minutes. Cool fully before adding the following egg and cheese mixture; cooling the rice will help prevent the egg from cooking.

2. In a small bowl, combine the egg, Pecorino, ricotta, basil and pepper. While mixing and fluffing the rice with a spoon, mix in the egg and cheese mixture. Spread the rice onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate to chill, at least 30 minutes.

3. Once the rice has chilled, use slightly wet hands to scoop 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of rice and form into a ball. Repeat with remaining rice. Stuff each ball with one piece of the mozzarella and re-form if necessary.

4. Place the AirFryer Basket onto the Baking Pan. Put the breadcrumbs into a small bowl. Gently toss each rice ball into the breadcrumbs and transfer to the basket. Spray all sides liberally with oil.

5. Put the assembled pan into rack Position 2. Set to AirFry at 350˚F (180˚C) for 20 minutes. Cook rice balls until evenly golden. Serve immediately, with marinara sauce on the side if desired.


Nutritional information per rice ball: Calories 149 (24% from fat) • carb. 22g • pro. 5g • fat 4g • sat. fat 2g • chol. 35mg • sod. 195mg • calc. 45mg • fiber 0g

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