Air Fryer Arancini

If you've ever had arancini in a restaurant, you know how incredibly delicious they are. Here the round balls of risotto and cheese are rolled in seasoned breadcrumbs and air fried to crispy perfection for an easier, lighter spin on the classic. We even put a cube of mozzarella inside each one, for a melty, gooey surprise.
Save Recipe
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 55 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 15 arancini
Share This Recipe


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot, minced 

2 cloves garlic, minced 

1 cup arborio rice 

1/4 cup dry white wine 

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, warmed  

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan  

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons Italian-style seasoned breadcrumbs 

Fifteen 1/2-inch cubes whole-milk mozzarella cheese (from a 3.5-ounce piece) 

Nonstick cooking spray, for the air fryer 

Warmed marinara sauce, for serving 


Special equipment:
a 3.5-quart air fryer
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and cook until completely absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes more. Pour in the warm chicken broth, about 1/2 cup at a time; cook, stirring constantly and allowing all of the liquid to be absorbed before adding more, until the rice is just tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan, 3/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper.
  2. Transfer the risotto to a shallow bowl and refrigerate until completely cool, about 1 hour and up to 8 hours (cover with plastic wrap).  
  3. Stir 3 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs into the risotto until evenly combined. Form the mixture into 15 arancini (each about 3 tablespoons and 1 1/2 inches in diameter). Insert 1 mozzarella cube in the center of each one, then roll between the palm of your hands to make a smooth, round ball. Refrigerate until chilled through, about 30 minutes more. 
  4. Preheat a 3.5-quart air fryer to 400 degrees F and spray the basket with nonstick cooking spray. Place the remaining 1/2 cup breadcrumbs in a small bowl, then roll the arancini in the breadcrumbs until evenly coated. Add the arancini to the basket and spray the tops with more nonstick cooking spray. Cook until golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. 
  5. Transfer to a platter and serve with warm marinara sauce, for dipping.