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Arancini from leftover risotto

A stone bowl filled with Arancini balls with coriander sprinkled over the top.

Ever find yourself with leftover risotto, with no idea what to do with it? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! Let’s transform that Creamy Chorizo and Sweet Potato Risotto from last week’s post into delicious arancini – those golden, crispy, cheesy rice balls everyone loves. And trust me, they’re easier to make than you think.

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Over the long weekend, I made arancini using the leftover creamy chorizo and sweet potato risotto. The kids were thrilled with them. Here’s how you can achieve the same success.

Our 2 year old grandson eating an arancini ball.
A stone bowl filled with Arancini balls with coriander sprinkled over the top.

Arancini from leftover risotto

5 from 1 vote

5 stars tells us you love the recipe

You can make arancini with any leftover risotto. It's super easy to do, and the air fryer is a healthy option.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Course Dinner, Lunch or entree
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Method Air Fryer, Thermomix or food processor


  • 1 Thermomix or Food Processor
  • 1 Air Fryer


  • Leftover risotto about 2 cups something like this
  • Mozzarella cheese cut into small cubes
  • 80 g plain flour more or less
  • 2 eggs beaten (1 for the arancini and 1 for the coating)
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs more or less
  • Olive oil spray


  • Prep the Risotto: Start by removing any large chorizo or sweet potato chunks from your leftover risotto. Give the mix a quick blitz in the Thermomix for 4 seconds on speed 5. This step makes the risotto easier to work with by breaking those chunky bits down just enough to form smooth balls. Then, crack one egg into the mix and gently fold everything together.
  • Form the Arancini Balls: Take a small amount of the risotto and roll it into a ball. Then, poke your finger in the centre to make space for your filling. Place a cube of mozzarella in the centre, then cover it with more risotto, rolling it into a ball. Ensure the mozzarella is well sealed inside. Repeat until all the risotto is used.
  • Dredging Station: Set up three bowls – one with flour, one with beaten eggs, and one with panko bread crumbs. Roll each arancini ball in the flour, dip it in the egg, and then roll it in the panko bread crumbs. This triple coating gives the arancini an irresistible, crispy exterior.
  • Air Frying: Place the breaded arancini balls in your air fryer, making sure to leave some space between them. Spray them with olive oil. Set the air fryer to 180°C and cook for about 15 minutes, or until they are golden and crispy.
  • Serve and Enjoy: Let the arancini cool slightly before serving. These little golden nuggets are perfect for appetizers, party snacks, or a fun dinner. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce – marinara, aioli, or a spicy tomato chutney works wonderfully!


YouTube video


  • Chilling the Risotto: Cold risotto is easier to shape, so keep your leftover risotto cold or chill it in the fridge for an hour before you start forming the balls.
  • Uniform Size: For even cooking, try to keep the arancini balls the same size. You could weigh them or use a small ice cream scoop, which can help.
  • Variations: Don’t be afraid to get creative! You can fill arancini with different cheeses, meats, or even vegetables. If you don’t have any cheese, you could even fill them with the chorizo/sweet potato you blitzed at the start!

Making arancini is a fantastic way to breathe new life into leftover risotto. It’s sure to be a hit with family and friends. Our kids loved them. Give it a try, and let us know how it turns out!


  1. 5 stars
    OK, so I am a fan. Normally I might do risotto for several meals (ie. large batch), but this is a much better idea to provide a little variation.

5 from 1 vote

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