Arancini Rice Balls Ham and Cheese

How to Make Arancini Rice Balls Ham and Cheese

Arancini Rice Balls Ham and Cheese are deliciously plump stuffed saffron rice balls filled with ham, provolone, mozzarella and deep fried.  Arancini rice balls are originally from Sicily and my version is simple to make and coated with fresh breadcrumbs making them extra crispy and simply exquisite.

Watch Arancini Ham and Cheese video recipe:

Arancini Ham and Cheese | How to Make Homemade Arancini Rice Balls Recipe

arancini ham and cheese recipe on a plate

Vincenzo’s Top Tips To Make Arancini Rice Balls Ham and Cheese

ANY size will do!

Remember you can make these large, medium or small, depending on your preference and the occasion.

Keep an eye on the rice!

Make sure you keep an eye on the rice and we don’t want the rice to get dry! Always read cooking time on the packet

Use YOUR hands to shape it

Much better if you will cup your hands around it making it well rounded and into a ball. Making sure that the ingredients in the centre are covered well.

arancini ham and cheese

Arancini Rice Balls Ham and Cheese

Vincenzo's Plate


  • Medium pot for rice
  • Whisk or fork
  • wooden spoon
  • Medium tray


  • For Risotto
  • ¼ Onion chopped into pieces
  • 4-5 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil EVOO
  • A few pinches of table salt
  • Vegetable stock
  • Saffron Leaves
  • 500 grams Arborio Rice 17.06oz
  • 100 grams Butter 3.53oz
  • Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Cheese
  • For Arancini Balls Filling and Coating
  • Fresh Mozzarella cut into cubes
  • Provolone cut into cubes
  • Fresh breadcrumbs in a wide plate
  • Small bowl of water for your hands
  • 4 Eggs
  • Vegetable oil enough for frying


  • Prepararing the Rice:
  • Put the pot on the stove at a medium heat and add 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Add the chopped onion and stir it into the oil. Leave it to become golden brown for 2-3 minutes and add the arborio rice
  • Toast the rice for a few minute then add vegetable stock until you cover the rice
  • Make sure you keep an eye on the rice and keep adding the stock when needed as you don't want the rice to get dry.The rice should cook for around 15 minutes (always read cooking time on the packet)
  • When the risotto is ready add the butter, the grated parmesan and stir very very well until butter melts
  • Spread out the risotto on a wooden board or tray and let it cool down faster. You cannot make the arancini ham and cheese until the rice is cold
  • Cut the mozzarella , provolone and ham into small cubes
  • Crack two eggs into a bowl and beat them well
  • Prepare the breadcrumbs by putting them into a bowl and put some water into another bowl leaving them side by side
  • Damp your hands in water and pick up a portion of the rice, flattening it slightly into your palm
  • Add a spoonful of ham, provolone and mozzarella in the middle and then more rice on top
  • Cup your hands around it making it into a ball and moving it around to make sure it is well rounded and that the ingredients in the centre are covered well
  • Once you have formed the balls, dip them one at a time into the egg, making sure you cover it all over and then drop it into the bowl of breadcrumbs, coating it well. Please note most Sicilians dip the arancini in a "pastella" which is a mix of water and flour and then pass them on the bread crumbs. If you don't want to use eggs use the pastella to dip the arancini in. Using the eggs could be more expensive but in my opinion it taste better
  • Repeat the above for all of your arancini ham and cheese and then prepare your oil by pouring it into a pan and heating it up.
  • Frying the Arancini rice balls
  • You can put the arancini balls into the oil when it reaches a temperature of between 150 degrees celsius.
  • Fry 1 or 2 arancini ham and cheese at a time (depending on the size of your pot/fryer) and they should sizzle as they cook. You should turn them slighty while they are frying to make sure they are cooking right through and the heat is distributed evenly.
  • E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate….Enjoy!


Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

How to serve Arancini Rice Balls Ham and Cheese

Make sure you cook the arancini ham and cheese just as you are ready to serve them as they are best enjoyed hot with the provolone and mozzarella melted right through.
You can serve them on their own or with a drizzle of sugo on top, placing them side by side on a chopping board with a few basil leaves to add a splash of colour.

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