clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Mini Arancini Rice Balls

  • Author: Nancylynn Sicilia
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: about 20 rice balls 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Italian


Mini Arancini Rice Balls are a bite sized version of my favorite holiday food from when I was a kid.  Not only did I make them smaller, I took my family’s traditional recipe and made it healthier and gluten-free using brown rice and lean, grass fed beef.  And although these Mini Arancini Rice Balls are baked, not fried, they are totally delicious and bring me right back to my childhood.


  • 1/2 lb of grass fed ground beef
  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2T onion, diced up very small
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 T, plus 1 1/2 cups of seasoned breadcrumbs – we used gluten free
  • 4 T pecorino romano cheese (love Locatelli)
  • 3 1/2 cups of cooked brown rice, cooled (overcook your rice just a bit to get the correct mushy texture)
  • 1/3 cup of peas
  • 4 T of marinara sauce, plus more for dipping
  • olive oil spray


  1. Mix meat with 1 egg yolk, 2 T of cheese, onion, garlic, and 2 T of breadcrumbs. Brown over medium heat. Once meat is cooked through, remove from heat and add in sauce.
  2. Next, mix 1 egg yolk and 2 T cheese into cooled brown rice.
  3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  4. Take a pinch of the rice mixture and place in your palm. Using your fingers from your other hand, press rice down to flatten and cup your hand a bit to make the bottom of the ball.
  5. Grab a pinch of meat and a few peas, and place them on top of the rice.
  6. Next, take double the amount of rice as you did in step 4 and cup it over the top of the ball, closing it around the meat and pea mixture. If any ingredients stick out of the rice, just push it back in.
  7. Lightly dip the ball in the egg whites, then carefully dredge it in the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess.
  8. Place the breaded ball on your parchment paper and then – very important – wash your hands before starting on the next rice ball.
  9. After all the balls have been made, spray them with olive oil spray. Bake for 18-20 minutes on 400 or until they turn a light golden brown.
  10. Enjoy warm with some marinara sauce for dipping!


1 serving = 4 arancini rice balls

21 Day Fix: 1 YELLOW, 1/3 RED, trace blue per serving

WW Freestyle: 10 points per serving


  • Serving Size: 4 balls

Keywords: appetizer, beef, rice, snack, bites, gluten-free, side, holiday