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CHEESY ALFREDO ARANCINI BALLS {Air Fryer Risotto Balls}

Hearty, and crispy Cheesy Alfredo Arancini Balls are a great way to start off a Sunday Supper meal or as an appetizer for any party! Leftover risotto is combined with Alfredo sauce made with cauliflower and cooked in the air fryer for less calories and fat than regular risotto balls!

arancini on a plate with alfredo sauce

If you’d rather skip my essential cooking tips and tricks and get straight to this delicious recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Bertolli®

WHAT IS ARACINI?

How hard is it to get your family and friends together over the summer? Everyone is either traveling, involved in camps and activities, or planning quiet family time after a busy week at work!

With all of these things going on, Sunday seems like the best time of the week to even attempt it.

Sunday is a day to recharge after the week, catch up on all the wonderful things going on, and is the best day to gather those that travel before they head off again.

Sunday Supper has been and will continue to be the best family meal!

When people think of sauce, pasta is usually what comes to mind. I know it does for me as my parent’s owned an Italian restaurant where they cooked and the rest of the family worked as well. I have a soft spot for Italian foods, particularly pasta.

But another Italian dish that I love is risotto. And using the leftovers to make rice balls. Italian rice balls, or arancini, can be made with regular long grain rice, but I prefer the short grain Arborio rice, to make them.

Arancini, or rice balls, are a great way to change up a meal, use small amounts of leftover meat and cheese that are in the fridge, and are fun for kids to try too!

jar of New Bertolli Creamy Alfredo Sauce with Cauliflower & Milk

ARANCINI BALLS INGREDIENTS

  • olive oil
  • butter
  • garlic
  • white onion
  • Arborio rice
  • chicken stock
  • Alfredo sauce
  • 1 egg
  • Italian Seasoned Panko breadcrumbs
  • Non-stick cooking spray

If you have had rice balls before, you know that they are crispy on the outside and cheesy and gooey in the center. You know what would be better?

Adding the sauce to the risotto toward the end of the cooking process, keeps the creamy texture and adds a rich and cheesy flavor to the rice. Cheesy sauce in the risotto means you don’t need to add any extra to the arancini!

table set with cheesy alfredo arancini balls on small black plates

HOW TO MAKE ARANCINI BALLS

FIRST: Make the Risotto: Pour the chicken stock into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.

In a large skillet, add the olive oil over medium-high heat and heat until shimmering. Add the minced onion and cook for a few minutes until onion starts to get soft.

SECOND: Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two. Add the butter and the Arborio rice and stir to coat the rice in butter and oil. Cook for a few minutes to toast the rice grains and get them a nice and toasty light brown.

Add the chicken stock 1/2 cup at a time. Each time you add the stock, stir to combine and let the rice absorb the stock slowly.

THIRD: After the last addition of the stock, wait till the stock is absorbed, and then add 1/2 the jar of alfredo sauce. Stir to combine. At this point the risotto should be creamy, tender, and with a little bit of bite. It should not be mushy.

Remove the risotto from the heat, spread on a baking sheet, and place in the fridge to cool completely.

FOURTH: When ready to cook the arancini, add the leftover risotto to a bowl. Add in the egg and mix to combine. Scoop into 1-inch balls. Roll in the panko breadcrumbs. Place on baking sheet or plate until ready to cook.

FIFTH: These arancini can be deep fried at 350F for 3 minutes, baked in the oven at 350F for 10 minutes or until golden brown, or you can air fry them like I did here. To air fry the arancini, place a small batch of the panko crusted in the air fryer basket, and spray with a non-stick cooking spray (to help brown the coating).

Air fry at 400F for 5 minutes. Turn over and spray the risotto balls again. Cook for another 5 minutes. Remove and repeat with remaining rice balls. Serve on a plate with the remaining Alfredo sauce as a base. Enjoy warm!

For the full recipe and detailed instructions, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

arancini rolled in panko crumbs on a baking sheet
process collage of how to make arancini

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the inside of an Italian cheesy alfredo arancini rice ball!

CAN I MAKE THEM AHEAD OF TIME AND FREEZE THEM?

Yes, you can! Just freeze them either before or after you coat them in Panko. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

HOW DO YOU COOK FROZEN ARANCINI?

You can cook them in the oven at 400F for 40 minutes or until hot all the way through.

CAN I ADD MEAT OR OTHER INGREDIENTS AFTER I HAVE MADE THE RISOTTO?

Sure! If you prefer to keep them just cheesy that’s great, but you can add vegetables or small pieces of meat before frying.

ARE THESE HEALTHIER THAN REGULAR ARANCINI?

The New Bertolli Creamy Alfredo Sauce with Cauliflower & Milk is half the calories and fat of regular Alfredo sauce. And because of the cheesy nature of Alfredo, you don’t need to add any additional cheese! The air frying method doesn’t use oil so it is much healthier than deep frying!

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

Pinterest image for cheesy alfredo arancini

MORE EASY FINGER FOODS

3 Arancini on top cheesy alfredo sauce

Cheesy Alfredo Arancini

Yield: 30 risotto balls
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Leftover risotto is combined with Alfredo sauce made with cauliflower and cooked in the air fryer for less calories and fat than regular risotto balls!

Ingredients

Cauliflower Alfredo Risotto

Arancini

  • 2 cups cold Cauliflower Alfredo Risotto
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Italian Seasoned Panko breadcrumbs
  • Non-stick cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Start by making the Cauliflower Alfredo Risotto
  2. Pour the chicken stock into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  3. In a large skillet, add the olive oil over medium-high heat and heat until shimmering.
  4. Add the minced onion and cook for a few minutes until onion starts to get soft.
  5. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
  6. Add the butter and the Arborio rice and stir to coat the rice in butter and oil.
  7. Cook for a few minutes to toast the rice grains and get them a nice and toasty light brown.
  8. Add the chicken stock 1/2 cup at a time.
  9. Each time you add the stock, stir to combine and let the rice absorb the stock slowly.
  10. After the last addition of the stock, wait till the stock is absorbed, and then add 1/2 the jar of New Bertolli Creamy Alfredo with Cauliflower and Milk Sauce.
  11. Stir to combine.
  12. At this point the risotto should be creamy, tender, and with a little bit of bite. It should not be mushy.
  13. Remove the risotto from the heat, spread on a baking sheet, and place in the fridge to cool completely.
  14. Store for up to 5 days before making the Cheesy Alfredo Arancini.
  15. When ready to cook the arancini, add the leftover risotto to a bowl.
  16. Add in the egg and mix to combine.
  17. Scoop into 1-inch balls.
  18. Roll in the panko breadcrumbs.
  19. Place on baking sheet or plate until ready to cook.
  20. These arancini can be deep fried at 350F for 3 minutes, baked in the oven at 350F for 10 minutes or until golden brown, or you can air fry them like I did here.
  21. To air fry the arancini, place a small batch of the panko crusted in the air fryer basket, and spray with a non-stick cooking spray (to help brown the coating).
  22. Air fry at 400F for 5 minutes.
  23. Turn over and spray the risotto balls again.
  24. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  25. Remove and repeat with remaining rice balls.
  26. Serve on a plate with the remaining New Bertolli Creamy Alfredo with Cauliflower and Milk Sauce as a base.
  27. Enjoy warm!

Notes

*If you like this recipe, please leave me a comment and rate it with 5 stars. Thank you!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 5 arancini
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 361Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 1148mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 5gSugar: 9gProtein: 14g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

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overhead view of cheesy alfredo arancini on a plate

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,michel

Tuesday 23rd of July 2019

Holy amazeballs! These were so wonderful... I had to make them again the next day we liked them so much! The sauce was such a quick way to get the super cheesy flavor we love!

Michaela Kenkel

Tuesday 23rd of July 2019

Arancini is one of my most favorite appetizers EVER!! When I saw this on facebook I knew I had to try your version with that cauliflower pasta sauce!! Just like every other recipe of yours, it was fantastic!! Thank you so much for always keeping me in new recipes for company!

kylee

Monday 22nd of July 2019

Arancini is like someone thought "how do I make little bites of heaven" and then created those. THESE look incredible, so cheesy and creamy. My kind of food.

Angela

Monday 22nd of July 2019

This is brilliant!!! I've made arancini before and we love them but never thought to mix alfredo in- YUM!!

Lori Vachon

Sunday 21st of July 2019

We were definitely not disappointed, such a creative recipe!

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