Friday, August 21, 2009

Italian Rice Balls

Rice balls are delicious. If you have never had one please go out and get yourself one ASAP. My cousin used to have them at all of her holiday parties and I would gobble one up. Then a few months ago John and I went on a Greenwich Village food tour in NYC and fell in love with the rice balls at Faicco's Italian Specialties. If you are ever in that area get one- it's the most amazing rice ball I have ever tasted.

I saw this recipe pop up in my google reader and I actually said "YES!" out loud. I decided to make them as an appetizer for a small dinner party we had. I looked at the recipe and thought it couldn't be easier. Then I tried to make them... and it was a mess.

Let me paint the picture: We have people coming at 7. It's 5:15. I am hands deep in rice and egg mixture, trying to form it into balls. It's like trying to make dry sand into a ball- it's just not working! So now I am panicking. So I add an extra egg out of complete desperation. And some parmesan cheese. It's still not working. I say screw it and try to roll this mess in bread crumbs- fail. So I give up. I walk away and grunt. But I go back and try again. And it kind of works! They didn't come out like I wanted. I wanted them larger like the kind you get at an Italian deli but it just wasn't working. However I was able to roll them into small balls so I went with it.

The end results were tasty. They went over well with our friends and were pretty good. I think I might have used too much rice- I didn't measure- so maybe the formula was off. The taste was good and I will try this again when I am not stressing about time to try to prefect them!

Source: Brown Eyed Baker


2 eggs
2 cups cooked rice
4 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut in ½-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
¾ cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons olive oil


1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Beat eggs lightly with fork. Add the rice and stir gently but thoroughly.
3. Take 1 tablespoon of the mixture, place a cube of mozzarella in the middle and then top with another tablespoon of rice. Shape into a ball and roll in the breadcrumbs. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the rice mixture.
4. Refrigerate pan of rice balls for at least 30 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425°F. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over rice balls.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with warm marinara sauce.


  1. These sound delicious and I love that they aren't fried.

  2. So glad you enjoyed these, even though they gave you a little trouble!

  3. idk if you do this or not, but when my mom makes them, she makes the rice/egg/cheese mixture the night before and lets it sit over night. then she dips them in egg whites and breads and fries them the next day. i think it helps the rice and other ingredients solidify so it is easier to roll and they dont break apart when deep frying! (altho you baked yours so it might be different)