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Italian Cheesy Fried Rice Ball Appetizer Recipe | How to Make “Crocchette di Riso”

These fried bites of cheesy rice are a delicious appetizer that will keep you coming back for more! This recipe comes courtesy of Eva’s mother, Mamma Rosa. These are one of her personal specialties, and no family gathering is complete without a big platter of her crocchette di riso.

Italian Cheesy Fried Rice Ball Appetizer Recipe | How to Make “Crocchette di Riso”

A Quick Note on Ingredients

When it comes to dishes like this where a “dough” is made from a mixture of ingredients, you need to measure by eye and feel to a certain extent. Cheese, as always, can be added according to your taste. We’ve given a good starting amount below, but Mamma Rosa’s philosophy is that more cheese is never a bad thing.

With the ingredient amounts we’ve listed, one egg will probably be sufficient in order to create a mixture that is soft and moldable, but still firm enough to hold up to frying. Use your judgement and feel free to add another egg if the mix feels too dry and crumbly. Conversely, if it feels too wet and sticky, you can always remedy the texture by adding (you guessed it) more cheese.

Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make Crocchette di Riso here:


Makes: About 10 crocchette

Cook Time: 1 hour

For this recipe, you will need:

  • Salt

  • 2/3 cup (150g) arborio, vialone nano or carnaroli rice

  • 2.5 oz (70g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • 2.5 oz (70g) grated pecorino Romano cheese

  • 1 egg

  • 1-2 tbsp chopped parsley

  • Fresh black pepper

  • Fine bread crumbs (about 1 cup, but try to keep plenty on hand)

  • Frying oil (olive oil is great, otherwise use a neutral oil of your choice)

  • Pot

  • Fine colander or mesh sieve

  • Large mixing bowl

  • Wooden spoon

  • Plate

  • Deep pan for frying

  • Forks

  • Paper towels

Bring a pot of water to boil and salt it generously. Add the rice and cook as directed by the package, or until “al dente” to your taste. Drain the rice and transfer it into a mixing bowl. While it remains hot, thoroughly stir in the grated cheeses, egg, parsley and pepper. Because the cheese seasons the rice (without ever over-salting it, no matter how much you add!) you shouldn’t need to add any additional salt. Let the mixture cool for a minute or two before proceeding to form the crocchette.

Pour bread crumbs onto a flat plate. Scoop out a big spoonful of the rice mixture and roll it by hand into a small torpedo shape, about 3 inches (~7.5cm) in length. Take care to ensure that it is smooth, with no visible cracks or gaps. Dust the crocchetta in the bread crumbs until it is completely and evenly coated. Set the crochetta aside and repeat until you have used all of the rice.

Fill a deep pan with about 2 inches (5cm) of frying oil and heat it over medium/high. Give the oil plenty of time to preheat. You can test the oil by dropping in a bread crumb or small morsel of the rice mixture. If it starts to bubble and fry right away, the oil is hot enough.

Working in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan, carefully drop the crocchette in. Using a couple of forks, gently turn them in the oil so that they fry evenly on all sides. When they become golden brown, carefully lift them out with the forks to a paper towel to drain.

Serve warm and fresh for best results. Cold leftovers are still irresistible.

Buon appetito!

Want to try the “advanced,” stuffed version? Check out our recipe for the incredible Sicilian Arancini!

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1 Comment

Cat Maaske
Cat Maaske
Apr 03


Can these be made ahead and frozen until needed? If so at what stage do you freeze them? Thank you for all your videos. I’m using these to impress my Italian son in law!


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