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Arancini is authentic Sicilian cuisine - a ragu stuffed rice ball dipped in bread crumbs and fried. Make these and your friends will believe you just became an Italian.
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4.67 from 3 votes


Arancini is the ultimate Sicilian and Italian food, its a delicious meat sauce stuffed inside a rice ball, dipped in bread crumbs and fried a ragu stuffed rice ball dipped in bread crumbs and deep fried. 
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Cuisine: Sicilian Cusine
Servings: 15 rice balls
Author: Ellen


  • 2 ½ cups short white grain rice – arancini rice if you can find it (this rice is sticky when cooked)
  • 6 cups water
  • ½ lb ground beef
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion
  • ½ cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 3 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 TBS salt - divided
  • 1 tsp pepper – to taste
  • 1 TBS white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 to 2 cups fine breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup olive oil – enough to cover the onion and carrot
  • 3 to 4 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 bowl of water


  • Bring the 6 cups of water to boil in a large pot
  • Stir in rice and salt, lower the temperature slightly, cook until rice is tender and soaks up all or most of the water; about 20 minutes
  • Drain rice if needed, spread out on a cooking sheet to cool the rice
  • In a large sauce pan add the olive oil, saute the diced onions and carrots until golden – add more olive oil if needed to cover the onions and carrots
  • Brown the ground beef with the onions and carrots
  • Add the tomato sauce, ½ to 1 TBS salt (to taste), 1 tsp of pepper (to taste), and sugar
  • Simmer until thicken, about 20 to 30 minutes – the sauce needs to not be runny because it will be placed inside the rice balls
  • Add the green peas and let simmer an additional 5 minutes
  • Remove sauce from heat and let cool to touch
  • In a small bowl, whisk the 2 eggs until completely combined
  • In another small bowl add the fine breadcrumbs
  • Wet your hands in the bowl of water to prevent rice from sticking
  • Take about ¼ cup of rice and spread over your hand to make a layer of rice sticky together
  • Scoop about 2 TBS of ragu – tomato sauce and ground beef – in the middle of the rice
  • Work the rice into a ball to surround the ragu, make sure there are no openings – they should be about 2 inches in diameter
  • Continue to form all the stuffed rice balls, wetting hands slightly between each rice ball as needed
  • Dip a rice ball in the egg, swirling around to cover
  • Dip the rice ball in the breadcrumbs and cover completely with breadcrumbs, place on another cooking sheet
  • Repeat until all stuffed rice balls are covered with breadcrumbs
  • In a wide diameter pot, add the vegetable oil – you want to be able to fry 3 to 4 rice balls at a time
  • Once the oil is to a temperature ready for frying, place 3 to 4 rice balls into the oil
  • Let fry for a minute or two until golden brown, turning to brown all sides
  • Remove using a slotted spoon or spatula and lay on paper towel to drain
  • Continue until all arancini are fried