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 is an authentic Italian dish. These are risotto rice balls rolled with breadcrumbs and deep-fried to make crispy. These are quick appetizers. However, these crispy rice balls are air fried with minimal oil and thus eliminating the tons of fat that you will gain while deep-frying.
If you like your air fryer cooking, here is one of the best air fryer appetizers collections that are easy, quick, and delicious. Also, check out my vegetarian air fryer recipes on the blog. Many of them are vegan too.
Why Air Fryer Arancini?
These are so easy to make in the air fryer. And quick as well. The whole process of making the healthier version of arancini won't take time more than 30 minutes also.
These air fryer arancini are equally delicious bursting with authentic flavors and cheesy as well. Enjoy these healthy air fryer arancini and ditch the deep-fried ones.
And, these are gluten-free as well. The bread crumbs I have taken are gluten-free. And rice is naturally gluten-free. So if you are gluten intolerant, you can enjoy these crispy rice balls.
Kids friendly. I bet you kids will love these snacks. And since these are not deep-fried, you can ensure it's not adding bad fat and calories to the food.
You can also substitute the cheese (dairy) for any vegan cheese and customize this to vegan arancini.
What ingredients you will need?
To make arancini, leftover rice is the best since it turns more starchy and easier to bing. Here for this recipe, I'm not taking egg wash since we don't eat eggs. But you can use eggwash if your diet allows that. I have substituted egg wash with a corn starch slurry. This also made the rice balls crispy.
Since I have used cheese, this is not vegan. To make these arancini completely vegan, omit cheese or substitute with vegan meltable cheese or simple mushroom stuffing. However, these arancini are absolutely gluten-free.
Rice - Cooked or leftover rice is best for making arancini. The starch helps to bind them nicely.
Flavors - Italian herbs seasoning. It has dried oregano, dried basil leaves, dried parsley, chili flakes, salt, pepper, garlic powder.
For breading - gluten-free bread crumbs/ panko bread crumbs/ brown bread crumbs. Whatever suits you, you can choose. For slurry, corn starch, and water. Here you can take eggwash for coating before you roll them on bread crumbs.
Cheese - mozzarella cheese or any meltable cheese. You can take shredded cheese or cheese cubes for stuffing here. For the vegan option, consider any vegan cheese for stuffing.
Oil Spray - Just to coat the rice balls
How to make air fryer arancini?
Take out rice in a large mixing bowl. Mash it roughly with help of a masher. Add the seasonings and mix them nicely with the mashed rice. Take one scoop out of the mixture and flatten by pressing with palms.
Place the cheese cube or small portion of it and cover it from all sides making a ball again. Don't press too hard to avoid any cracks on it else it will fall apart while coating or cooking.
In a bowl, add corn starch and water making a slurry. Now drop the ball into the slurry and then roll it on seasoned bread crumbs. Repeat this for all the balls.
Preheat the air fryer at 400 F for 4 minutes. Grease the pan by lightly brushing it with oil. Now place the coated balls and spray oil from the top or sides. Avoid using the brush as the crumbs may remove with a brush in the process.
Start the air fryer at 375 F or 190 C for 12 minutes. Then last 3 - 4 minutes at 400 F or 203 C. This will make the crispy balls golden.
If you want nice equally golden arancini, then I must recommend using brown bread crumbs or a mixture of regular bread crumbs and panko crumbs. Coating with panko will not give an equal browning effect on the end product. Though the rice balls will be equally crispy and crunchy.
Also please note every air fryer cooks differently. So the timing may vary a little depending on the type, size of the air fryer too.
Can I Bake the arancini?
If you don't have the air fryer, then also no problem. You can bake them in an oven. Preheat the oven. Place the coated rice balls on the baking tray lined with parchment paper. Spray oil on them. Bake them at 350 F/ 180 C for 25 - 30 minutes or till it turns golden.
How to freeze and reheat?
To freeze the rice balls, follow the steps till coating the balls with bread crumbs. Don't Bake them before freezing. Place it on a tray lined with a silicon mat and place it in the freezer for 1 - 2 hrs. Then transfer the balls to a freezer bag or pouch. Store for up to 3 months. Whenever required, remove from the freezer and bake as said in the instructions above.
Recipe Card For Air Fryer Arancini
Air Fryer Arancini
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 4 tbsp water
- 1 cup bread brumbs GF or a mix of 1/2 regular crumbs + 1/2 panko crumbs
- 1 tsp herb mix
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Take out rice in a large mixing bowl.
- Mash it roughly with help of a masher.
- Add the seasonings (herbs mix, garlic powder, salt, pepper).
- Mix them nicely with the mashed rice.
- Take one scoop out of the mixture and flatten by pressing with palms.
- Place the cheese cube or small portion of it and cover it from all sides making a ball again.
- Don't press too hard to avoid any cracks on it else it will fall apart while coating or cooking.
- In a bowl, add corn starch and water making a slurry.
- Now drop the ball into the slurry and then roll it on seasoned bread crumbs.
- Repeat this for all the balls.
Air Fry The Rice Balls
- Preheat the air fryer at 400 F for 4 minutes.
- Grease the pan by lightly brushing it with oil.
- Now place the coated balls and spray oil from the top or sides.
- Start the air fryer at 375 F or 190 C for 12 minutes.
- Then last 3 - 4 minutes at 400 F or 203 C. This will make the crispy balls golden.
- Preheat the oven at 400 F.
- Place the coated rice balls on the baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Spray oil on them.
- Bake them at 350 F/ 180 C for 25 - 30 minutes or till it turns golden.
- Remove them once turns crispy and golden.