Asparagus Arancini aka Risotto Balls

Not everyone likes leftovers, my hubby included. So I end up eating most of the leftovers or creating something new with it. Somewhere in this blog, I tell the story of my grandmother who was a master at recreating meals with leftovers. And at one point when I was a child, I asked her what the dish was when it was ‘new’. 

So today I am going to create something ‘new’ with leftover risotto. See Limoncello, Leek & Asparagus Risotto for the risotto recipe I used to create these arancini or use another risotto recipe from this blog, or your favorite.

What I like about this arancini recipe is that it is baked and not fried and has a versatile use as a tasty snack, appetizer, or side dish. And truth be told, one friend said she ate her arancini for lunch. So there you have it!

It is pretty easy to put these balls together and you can make them any size you like. Small for appetizers, or small to medium for snacks or side dish. Served with a marinara or pizza sauce they are delicious!

A note about breadcrumbs… make your own. Most people don’t like the heels or ends of a loaf of bread and these are perfect for grating into breadcrumbs. Or if a few slices of bread are getting stale, again a great resource to make into breadcrumbs. What I do is throw a heel or slice of stale bread into the freezer until I get enough to make a batch of breadcrumbs or cubes for stuffing. They are easy to grate in a food processor, season and use in recipes. 

For this recipe, if you use homemade breadcrumbs, you will need to season them with a pinch of oregano, parsley, and paprika. 


Dipping bowls with egg, flour, and breadcrumbs. Cheese cubed and ready to be stuffed into the risotto ball. 

Risotto balls ready for dipping and coating.

To the oven!

Baked and oozing with cheese. Best served hot.

Asparagus Arancini aka Risotto Balls

Yields 12

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  • 2 cups leftover asparagus risotto (can be made without asparagus if you prefer)
  • 12 small cubes cheese (choices: mozzarella, jack, brindisi, or your favorite white cheese)
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs (with Italian seasonings)
  • 1/3 cup flour (white or whole wheat)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of black pepper


  1. PREP: preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In three separate dishes, pour eggs, flour, and breadcrumbs. This will be your dipping station.
  3. Roll one heaping tablespoon of risotto into a ball and stuff the cubed cheese in the center. Reshape ball if necessary.
  4. Roll each ball into flour, egg and breadcrumb mixtures in that order. Place each ball in the baking sheet spaced evenly apart.
  5. Bake arancini for about 15-20 minutes. They should be golden and crunchy on the outside and melted and gooey on the inside.
  6. Serve with marinara, pizza sauce, or your favorite dipping sauce.


Arancini freezes nicely.


Calories: 11475 cal
Carbohydrates: 119 g
Fat: 911 g
Sodium: 19213 g
Cholesterol: 3044 g
Protein: 703 g
Fiber: 10 g

2 thoughts on “Asparagus Arancini aka Risotto Balls”

    1. The nutritional info is incorrect. Sometimes the nutritional calculator in the recipe cards used on the website don't generate the right info. Here is the correct info from Recipe Calorie Analyzer: Nutrition Facts Servings: 12 Amount per serving Calories 149 % Daily Value* Total Fat 8.1g 10% Saturated Fat 4.4g 22% Cholesterol 37mg 12% Sodium 176mg 8% Total Carbohydrate 10.8g 4% Dietary Fiber 0.5g 2% Total Sugars 0.8g Protein 7.3g Vitamin D 1mcg 6% Calcium 177mg 14% Iron 1mg 4% Potassium 17mg 0%

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