Italian Rice Balls

Cuisinart original

For the perfect appetizer, serve these rice balls alongside prepared marinara sauce.


Makes 8 rice balls


1 cup medium-grain white rice

2 cups water

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 large egg, beaten well

3 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese

¼ cup ricotta cheese

¼ cup basil leaves, thinly sliced

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 ounce mozzarella cheese, cut into 1-inch x ¼-inch pieces

¼ cup Italian-style breadcrumbs

Olive oil, for spraying

1 cup prepared marinara sauce*, for dipping, optional


Nutritional information


Nutritional information per rice ball: Calories 149 (24% from fat) • carb. 22g • pro. 5g • fat 4g • sat. fat 2g • chol. 35mg sod. 195mg • calc. 45mg • fiber 0g



1. Put the rice, water and salt into a medium saucepan.Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.Once rice comes to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 10 minutes.Cool fully before adding the following egg and cheese mixture; cooling the rice will help prevent the egg from cooking.

2. In a small bowl, combine the egg, Pecorino, ricotta, basil and pepper.While mixing and fluffing the rice with a spoon, mix in the egg and cheese mixture.Spread the rice onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.Refrigerate to chill, at least 30 minutes.

3. Once the rice has chilled, use slightly wet hands to scoop 3 tablespoons of rice and form into a ball.Repeat with remaining rice.Stuff each ball with one piece of the mozzarella and re-form if necessary.

4. Place the AirFryer Basket onto the Baking Pan.Put the breadcrumbs into a small bowl.Gently toss each rice ball into the breadcrumbs and transfer to the basket.Spray all sides with oil.

5. Put the assembled pan into Rack Position 2.  Set to AirFry at 350ºF for 20 minutes.Cook rice balls until evenly golden.Serve immediately, with marinara sauce* on the side if desired.

*Reduce the red pepper flakes in the Diablo Sauce recipe on page 16 to about ¼teaspoon for a delicious marinara sauce.