Easy Air Fryer Arancini Recipe

Air Fryer arancini are one of the delicious and easy appetizers. Make these air fryer rice balls quickly and easily. These are kids friendly as well. Arancini or Italian Rice Balls, is a very popular street food in Sicily. The classic traditional deep fried recipe gets a makeover by being air fried to make it a healthier and guilt free snack / appetizer.

What is Arancini

In simpler words, Arancini is a cheese stuffed rice balls that is breaded and fried. The traditionally deep fried recipe gets a makeover in the Air Fryer to make it healthier and guilt free. 

Arancini is prepared throughout the island and is a very common site in a local Sicilian deli or from a roadside vendor. They are shaped, packed and stuffed differently in different parts of the region. 

What is in the shape

 also learned that based on the way they are shaped they are defined and called either in a feminine name or a masculine name. In the western regions, they have a spherical shape and are called the “arancine” (female form). In the Eastern regions they are shaped in a conical form and are called “arancini” (the male form).

So, based on the way shaped these, I should be calling them “Arancine”. The name arancini is derived from the Italian word Arancia which is the orange

How to make Easy Air Fryer Arancini


  • 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 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 cup arborio rice 
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine 


  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. 
Easy Air Fryer Arancini


Can I make Arancini Al Forno in the oven?

Arancini Al Forno translates to directly to Arancini in the oven. If you want to use an oven instead of the Air Fryer, you may just need to add 5-8 minutes of cook time at the same temperature.

What makes the Arancini crispy?

On top of using the Air Fryer to cook the Arancini, mixing in olive oil as well as fresh Parmesan cheese into the breading makes the outside of the Arancini crispier than most baked “fried” foods

Can I freeze the arancini balls?

Yes, you absolutely can! In fact, this is the best way to store leftovers as well. Prepare the arancini as directed and then place the prepared balls on a baking sheet and freeze for a couple of hours so they keep their shape. Then transfer them to a freezer bag and freeze until you are ready to air fry them. They may need a little longer in the air fryer if cooking them from frozen.

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