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Cheesy Air Fried Arancini

A crunchy flaky outside, a creamy textured flavor packed middle and a ooey-gooey melty inside. Dip it in our favorite homemade marinara and you have yourself a meal, a side, an appetizer or however you choose to enjoy these unbelievable arancini.

You may be shocked to find out that that creamy, melted drool worthy cheese pull comes from something you would find in your kids lunchbox...

We stuff these arancini with a creamy #Galbani whole milk mozzarella string cheese that I cut into quarters! The string cheese is so convenient for stuffing inside the arancini because it holds it shape and is already formed into a perfect mini log that fits perfectly inside!

Classic arancini is heavy, deep fried and super dense. Our delicious balls of risotto are kept lighter by using a light breading and airfrying for a perfectly healthy crunchy. And the best part is they can be stuffed with anything! Next time I plan to go a little crazy and make my own "Steak and Cheese Arancini"! Stay tuned :)

Serve with good quality marinara sauce. If I'm using store bought I stick with #Raoshomemade. I love the tomato basil one. Otherwise I will make my own homemade marinara with crushed tomatoes and yummy herbs. Get the recipe for my homemade marinara here!

Cheesy Air Fried Arancini

4 servings | Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 20 min


For arancini:

  • 3 cups prepared risotto (using 1 cup uncooked arborio rice- see Stove Top or Instant Pot version below)

  • 2 whole milk mozzarella #Galbani string cheese

  • 2 oz egg whites

  • 2 tbsp water

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs

  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

For serving:


  1. Cut each string cheese into quarters (8, ~1” long chunks). Scoop the cooled risotto (~1/3 cup), insert a piece of cheese inside the mixture and use your hands to form the risotto into a ball around the cheese. Repeat 7 more times with the remaining risotto and cheese chunks (Note: to keep the risotto from sticking, start with wet hands and spray a little nonstick olive oil spray on them).

  2. Arrange the risotto balls on a plate and place the plate in the freezer to solidify while you set up the breading.

  3. Whisk together egg whites and water in a shallow bowl or plate. Mix together whole wheat breadcrumbs and panko crumbs in a second bowl/plate (Note: for extra flavor, add in dried oregano and basil to the bread crumb mixture).

  4. After 5-10 minutes, remove the risotto balls from the freezer. Roll them in the egg white mixture until fully coated. Then, roll them in the breadcrumb mixture. Return the breaded balls to the initial plate and return to the freezer to set for another 5-10 minutes.

  5. After 5-10 minutes, remove from freezer. Spray the air fryer with nonstick spray and arrange the arancini in the basket. Spray the tops of them with nonstick spray. Air fry at 350F for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway. They should get nice and golden brown.

  6. Serve hot with warm marinara sauce and topped with extra parmesan and fresh parsley.


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Nutrition Facts are provided as a guideline only. Exact nutrition will depend on quantity, brand and ingredients used. Nutrition facts do not include optional "for serving toppings" like marinara sauce and extra cheese.


Recipe Link
Nutrition Facts
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