Appetizer/ Rice and Grains

Cheesy Rice Balls with Peas

Cheesy Rice Balls with Peas by 2sistersrecipes.com

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Cheesy Rice Balls with Peas are loaded with tender rice, two kinds of cheeses, eggs, and baby peas.  Fried to a golden crisp finish on the outside, these rice balls are oh-so-deliciously gooey and YUMMY! Make-ahead or make them in minutes just before serving, we guarantee these rice balls will be a favorite dish in your home too!

 

My family has always adored these delicious rice balls as a fun appetizer, and still do!  Everyone goes bonkers over them every time we serve them at family gatherings. 

They are that GOOD! 

You can either serve them alone or serve them with our mom’s quick marinara sauce for dipping.  They are fantastic!! 

 

 

Cheesy Rice Balls with Peas by 2sistersrecipes.com

In our family, rice balls were one of our favorite staple dishes, and still today, a very popular dish! 

These were common foods because they were inexpensive to make in all of Southern Italy.  Different regions added different ingredients including stuffing them with meat, salami, and various vegetables.  

But I prefer to make it easier like these with peas.

You may want to try our mom’s most popular recipe, Best Rice Balls Stuffed with Meat and Peas.  It’s made in an easy casserole version.

Both recipes are wonderful!

 

Cheesy Rice Balls with Peas by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

 

COOK’S NOTES and TIPS for Cheesy Rice Balls with Peas: 

  • This is a 2 step process to prepare. One is the rice mixture to make into balls and the other is to fry them up.

  • What Kind of Rice to Use? You will need sticky rice.  It’s best to use white long-grain rice.  Instant rice will not work.

  • Frozen baby peas are best.  I only used 1/2 cup for this recipe and it was perfect.  No need to wait to defrost them, just give them a quick rinse and drain. 

  • If you find the rice mixture is still too soft and too mushy to roll into balls, place the entire bowl, uncovered,  into the refrigerator and chill for 15 minutes or more.  This will do the trick!

  • Make ahead!  You can prepare them, and refrigerate up to one day ahead.  When you are ready to fry them,  just remove them for the fridge, heat up your skillet with some oil, and fry them up until golden crispy finish.  

  • Keep in mind, the rice mixture will get sticky as it cools down. 

 

*Follow along with our Step-by-Step directions, or jump down to the bottom for our full recipe card.

HOW TO MAKE CHEESY RICE BALLS with PEAS: 

1.   The first step is to cook the rice.  Following the directions on the package, for 1.5 cups of rice.  The time needed is about 15 to 17 minutes to cook the rice, and all the water has been absorbed.

2.   Combine all the main ingredients in the mixing bowl, then set the rice mixture aside for cooling.  Butter, grated Parmesan cheese, and eggs are an absolute must to making this rice mixture sticky. 

Next, once the mixture is cool enough to handle, you can start making the balls.   It’s a good idea to place all the parts next to one other to easily assemble. 

 

All the bowls to making the balls set beside each other. by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

3.   Grab a spoonful of rice mixture.  Make a small pancake in your hand (as shown in the photo).  Place a small amount of shredded mozzarella cheese, about a small sprinkle on top.

Making a small pancake with rice mixture, by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

4.  Next, grab another spoonful of the rice mixture to cover and shape it into a ball.  Then try to tuck in any of the shredded cheese peeking out of the ball.

 

Making rice balls in the palm of my hand, by 2sistersrecipes.com

5.  Next, coat with plain bread crumbs.  Using both hands to coat, lightly patting the bread crumbs evenly around each ball.   Transfer the rice ball to a platter or a bowl.  Repeat and continue until all the rice mixture is gone. 

(Note: here is where you can chill them and fry them up at a later time, or the next day). 

Coating rice balls with bread crumbs by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

6. READY TO FRY THEM UP!   In a small or medium-size skillet, pour oil and heat on medium heat for about 1 minute.  When the oil is hot, gently add rice balls, one at a time into the skillet, and fry them until golden on all sides.   Turning them using a slotted spoon and a fork to assist.

I prefer to use this Blue Ceramic Non-Stick  8-inch Frypan and it’s perfect, no need to use a ton of oil to fry them up.   

Plus, it also helps to use a slotted spoon to remove the rice balls from the hot oil.

Remove and drain on paper towels.   And serve! 

Frying rice balls in hot oil in a skillet by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

TO PREPARE IN ADVANCE:

  • You can prepare the rice balls before frying.  Place them into a bowl or platter.

  • Then lightly cover ( if you feel the need to, I prefer uncovered) and chill in the fridge up for a few hours before frying, or keep chilled up to one day ahead.  

  • Rice balls in a bowl by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

  Finally, More Tasty Appetizers!

 

Yield: 13 to 15 rice balls

Cheesy Rice Balls with Peas

Cheesy Rice Balls with Peas by 2sistersrecipes.com

Cheesy Rice Balls with Peas are loaded with tender rice, baby peas, eggs, and deliciously gooey, cheese! A warm appetizer or a wonderful side dish is easy to prepare and fried to a golden crispy finish.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 + 1/2 cups of Carolina long grain rice
  • 3 cups of water
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen baby peas - rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil, and extra for frying

Instructions

  1. In a medium-size saucepan, bring cups of water to a boil, add the rice, lower the heat and cover with a lid. Cook the rice for 15 to 17 minutes, until tender. The water should be completely absorbed.
  2. Transfer the rice to a large mixing bowl and stir in 4 tablespoons of butter. Stir until the butter completely melts into the rice. Then set it aside to cool down, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. When the mixture is slightly cooled, stir in 3 whole eggs, then add the seasonings and grated cheese. Stirring to combine.
  4. Finally, add the frozen peas, and stir to combine. The rice mixture should be sticky as it continues cooling.

To Make the Rice Balls:

  1. On a small plate, add the shredded mozzarella.
  2. In a small bowl, add the plain bread crumbs. Now you are ready to begin to make balls.
  3. Using a tablespoon to work with, grab some rice mixture, and transfer to the palm of your hand.
  4. Press to make a small pancake. Add a sprinkle of shredded mozzarella in the center. Then grab a little rice mixture to cover the pancake. And shape it into a ball using both hands.
  5. Then toss it into the bread crumbs and press lightly around the ball to coat all sides.
  6. Transfer the ball to a bowl. Continue making rice balls, until the mixture is gone. This is where you can place the balls into the refrigerator, keep them chilled until ready to fry them.

TO FRY THEM UP:

  1. First, line a dinner plate with a few paper towels.
  2. Next, pour the oil into a medium-size skillet. Heat oil on medium heat. When the oil is hot, ( about 1 to 2 minutes) lower the oil to medium-low heat, then add a few rice balls at a time. Not too many or it will cool down the oil.
  3. Stay near the stove, they will fry up quickly. Use a fork and a slotted spoon to help turn each one as they turn golden.
  4. When rice balls are golden on both or all sides, carefully remove one by one, using the slotted spoon to help drain the oil. And transfer each one to the prepared plate to drain on the paper towels. Continue to add more rice balls into the skillet, fry them up and drain on paper towels. Allow them to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
  5. Serve them warm.
  6. Yields: 13 to 15 rice balls

Notes

The prep time does not include the 10 or 15 minute extra time needed for the rice mixture to cool before making balls.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1 rice ball

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 121

 … Thanks for PINNING!

Cheesy Rice Balls with Peas by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

Hi friends!  Have you tried our rice balls recipe?  Please let us know and leave a comment below with a star rating –  we’d greatly appreciate it.  Have fun and snap a photo and share it on Pinterest; be sure to tag or hashtag us.  

Oh, and let’s be friends…  Sign up for 2 Sisters Recipes Weekly Newsletter and never miss a recipe.  Get our recipes every time we post a new recipe, plus reminders of great older ones too!

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Stay Healthy … and Happy Cooking!   ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Thanks for stopping by!  

 xo Anna and Liz

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 servings
Servings: 15
Amount per serving  
Calories 121
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4.6g 6%
Saturated Fat 2.5g 12%
Cholesterol 41mg 14%
Sodium 251mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0.7g 2%
Total Sugars 0.9g  
Protein 3.6g  
Vitamin D 5mcg 26%
Calcium 23mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 40mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

 

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Susan
    September 10, 2020 at 4:56 pm

    They look so delicious! I little comfort in every bite ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve never tried making them at home but I think it will be a long fall and winter in the Midwest so happy to have new recipes (to me) to try!

    • Reply
      by Anna and Liz
      September 10, 2020 at 7:57 pm

      So thrilled to hear you will try this recipe. I will have a video up soon to show you how to stuff each one and roll to coat with bread crumbs. It’s just taking me a little longer than most people because I am not tech-savvy. LOL ….

  • Reply
    Sonia Mangla
    September 3, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    The rice balls with cheese stuffing is looking amazing and cant wait to try this version. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      by Anna and Liz
      September 3, 2020 at 5:32 pm

      Thank you, Sonia! I will be adding a short video to this post in the next few days. ENJOY and have a great day!

  • Reply
    Sandra Favre-Byles
    September 1, 2020 at 11:41 am

    These look so delicious! I feel hungry just looking at them!

    • Reply
      by Anna and Liz
      September 1, 2020 at 1:16 pm

      Thank you, Sandra! They are truly worth making, perfect for any lazy Sunday!

  • Reply
    Karen (Back Road Journal)
    August 30, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    I haven’t had rice balls since we moved to Florida. When we lived in New England, every Italian restaurant served their own version. What was a surprise was the size, especially in Boston where they were are big as softballs. I’ve pinned so I’ll reminder to try your delicious version.

    • Reply
      by Anna and Liz
      August 30, 2020 at 2:30 pm

      Thank you Karen! So many versions for these delicious rice balls. The ones you mentioned, the size of softballs, are the Sicilian’s version called Arancine. Anyway, I hope you will enjoy these as much as we do.
      Thank you for pinning!

  • Reply
    Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina
    August 29, 2020 at 10:25 pm

    Mmmm, cheese, and rice! This is comfort food for me, Liz and Anna! Thank you for sharing another great recipe and I do hope that you’re staying very, very safe! I’d love to visit Charleston (and really, just about anywhere but inside my house), but who knows when that will happen. Let’s count our blessings and enjoy the delicious bounty from our cucine!
    xoxo
    Roz

    • Reply
      by Anna and Liz
      August 29, 2020 at 11:25 pm

      Thank you so much, Roz! So nice to hear from you. Hope to catch up with you soon…. Buona notte!

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