Cheddar Brown Rice Arancini

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This brown rice arancini is the perfect way to use up leftover rice for a quick appetizer or light meal.
I cook for two and test a lot of recipes. This means I end up with a lot of leftovers. Especially grains like brown rice. Brown rice is healthy and goes with a lot of things and takes a bit to cook, so making a double batch seems like a no-brainer.
There are lots of ways to use it up. Grain bowls are one of my favorites, but I recently made some arancini. This may be a new favorite.
brown rice arancini
If you’re not familiar, arancini are typically made with risotto, so this isn’t exactly authentic. But these are filled with cheese, rolled in breadcrumbs, and fried to a crisp golden brown.
brown rice arancini
I added some finely chopped onions, garlic, and a few seasonings in addition to an egg. But if your rice already has some of these things, you can skip these additions. Rolling in panko breadcrumbs makes them extra crispy and golden brown.
One thing to note — I used short grain brown rice. Short grain rice is stickier and will hold together much better than long grain. You may be able to use long-grain, but you might want to add an extra egg to get it to hold better.
For frying, I used my cast iron skillet and shallow fried these in avocado oil. You can use any high smoke oil that you like.
For serving, I served these with salsa and sour cream because I thought the flavors went well with the seasonings I chose. But hot sauce, marinara, or even ranch would work.
Like most fried things, serve these immediately. If you are making a lot, you can keep them crisp in a 200-degree oven. Use a rack to promote airflow and they will stay crispy until you are ready to serve.
brown rice arancini
brown rice arancini

Cheddar and Brown Rice Arancini

These easy brown rice Arancini are delicious way to use up leftover rice. Perfect for snacking, entertaining, or as a decadent side dish.
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 295 kcal



  • 2 cups cooked short grain brown rice
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Oil for frying avocado, safflower, etc.


  • Combine the rice, cheese, onion, garlic, and spices including salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Add one egg and mix until well combined.
  • Grab two small bowls. Add the remaining egg to one and the breadcrumbs to another.
  • Beat the egg and add a pinch of salt and pepper to the breadcrumbs. Stir.
  • Using a cookie scoop (or just your hands) divide the rice mixture into 8 equal sized balls.
  • Roll each in the egg, followed by the breadcrumbs. Place the balls on a sheetpan.
  • Freeze for 20 minutes until firm.
  • When ready to cook, add about 2 inches of oil to a deep skillet and heat until it reaches about 350 degrees.
  • Add the rice balls to the oil and cook, turning to cook all sides. Continue cooking until they are all golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
  • Serve immediately with your desired accompaniments.


Storing leftovers: Leftovers can be stored in the fridge, but will likely not be as crispy.
Variations: Any type of cheese can be subbed for cheddar, and you can alternate the spices as well. Chopped veggies, such as mushrooms, zucchini, or bell peppers can also be added.
Pairs well with: Smoked Almond Cashew Queso, Pan-Fried Feta Cheese, Lemon Herb Marinated Mozzarella Toast


Calories: 295kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 12gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 523mgPotassium: 223mgFiber: 3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 387IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 166mgIron: 2mg
Nutrition information is only an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. View full nutrition disclousre.
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