Mini Rice Balls with Eggs and Cheese are a fun finger food for the whole family. Just serve these with our Mom’s Quick Marinara Sauce for dipping and watch as they vanish! Italian Rice Balls are made with tender rice, eggs, cheese, butter and parsley, then gently fried in oil until golden brown. Yummy!
I haven’t made these in a while, and since my family was in the mood for an appetizer (also the big game is on today- Jets vs Giants!) I decided to make them and revive this recipe from our archives.
A classic Neapolitan recipe from mom, and Aunt Tina. Aunt Tina and mom are both great cooks. At family gatherings and on Sundays, you can bet Aunt Tina makes these rice balls every time!
Mini Rice Balls with Eggs and Cheese can be made to any size you prefer. Our family loves them best when we make them into the appetizer size. These are easy enough to make a day in advance and fry them up just before you serve them.
They’re fun at parties, great as an appetizer, or as a side dish. Either way, everyone will LOVE THEM!
Here are some Tips: For a healthier appetizer, use brown rice instead of white rice. Also, if you make the rice balls slightly larger, 2 to 3 inches, you may add a small chunk of mozzarella in the center of each ball just before you roll into breadcrumbs. Then fry them up! Making them more delicious with a surprise inside waiting!
You can follow along below for the step by step on the recipe or just jump down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe card.
Mini Rice Balls with Eggs and Cheese
- 1+ 1/2 cups Long Grain Rice
- 1/2 stick of butter
- 1 cup of Parmigiana grated cheese
- 3 whole eggs
- 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley- chopped
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 + 1/2 cups plain bread crumbs
- 1 cup of canola oil
- 1 cup Mom’s Quick Marinara Sauce
Boil rice according to the directions, 3 cups of water with 1+ 1/2 cups of rice.
Cover with a lid. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, until all water has been absorbed.
Turn off heat.
Add butter and mix well with a large spoon until the butter has completely melted.
Transfer rice to a large bowl and set aside to cool, about 15 minutes.
Stir in the eggs and mix until eggs are well combined.
Add grated cheese, parsley and cayenne pepper.
Continue to mix until well combined.
Taste the rice, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
As the mixture cools, the rice mixture will start to thicken and become sticky enough to make into balls.
Grab a second bowl and place bread crumbs.
Using your hand and a teaspoon.
Take one heaping teaspoon of rice and form a 1 + 1/2 ” ball in your palm.
While in your palm, place your hand over the bread crumbs bowl, take some bread crumbs to coat the rice and pat gently until the rice ball is completely coated. Repeat this process with each ball until the entire rice mixture is gone.
Using a 10″ frying pan or skillet. Heat canola oil on medium to high heat. When OIL is HOT, gently add the Rice Balls one by one (no more than 9 at a time, or it will cool down the oil).
Fry until golden on all sides. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Transfer rice balls into a serving platter.
Place a cup of Marinara Sauce in a small bowl for dipping.
Optional: Add some crushed red pepper to the dipping sauce – to spice it up. And serve. Enjoy!
Yields: 28 to 30 rice balls ( depending on the size you make).