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Air fryer arancini: Your favorite appetizer just got a lot easier to make

There's no need to break out the deep fryer anymore

Arancini on a serving platter
Anima Visual/Unsplash

Deep-fried risotto balls. Is there anything in the world more tempting than arancini? These crispy, crunchy, cheesy, creamy, salty, savory balls of pure bliss are impossible to turn away at any cocktail party. Serve them with an extra dusting of cheese and an array of sauces from marinara to pesto, and you have what is sure to be the hottest, most delicious dish at your soiree. The only problem – if we can even call it a problem – is that arancini is rather an indulgent dish. Between the buttery, cheesy, creamy risotto and the often gorgeously deep-fried outer crust, these little beauties aren’t exactly easy on the waistline. And between all the holiday eggnog, the countless Christmas cookies, and buckets of exquisite gravy for days, it isn’t exactly the healthiest of seasons, to be sure.

But what if we told you you can actually make arancini at home without all of the extra fat and oil with the use of your trusty air fryer? Not only will they taste every bit as indulgent and delicious, but they’ll be far easier to make with absolutely none of the oily, greasy mess of a deep fryer.

So if you’re a sucker for incredible air fryer recipes and are looking for the perfect holiday appetizer this season, these delicious arancini are the perfect answer.

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Air fryer arancini recipe

You can make these delicious arancini with any leftover risotto recipe, but for the holiday season, we absolutely love it with this pumpkin risotto.


  • 2 cups risotto, leftover and chilled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup panko
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Mozzarella, cut into 8 1-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat air fryer to 375F.
  2. In three separate bowls, prepare a dredging station. In the first bowl, add flour. In the second bowl, add your two eggs and whisk. In the third bowl, add panko, Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt, pepper, and oil.
  3. Divide the risotto into 8 equal rice balls, inserting one piece of mozzarella in the center of each, forming the risotto around the cheese. Repeat with all the risotto balls.
  4. Working one at a time, dip each risotto ball into the flour, then into the egg wash, and finally into the panko mixture, ensuring each ball is thoroughly coated.
  5. Drizzle the basket of the air fryer with olive oil and place the balls into the air fryer. Cook for 14-16 minutes or until crispy and golden brown, flipping the balls halfway through the cooking process.
  6. Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.
Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
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