Appetizers/ Kid-Friendly Recipes/ Rice and Grains

Italian Rice Balls with Eggs and Cheese

Italian Rice Balls with Eggs and Cheese by 2sistersrecipes.com

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Our Italian Rice Balls with Eggs and Cheese will make a delicious appetizer or side dish for the whole family to enjoy.  Italian rice balls are made with cooked rice, mixed with eggs, cheese, butter, and parsley, then coated with bread crumbs and gently fried in oil until golden brown. Yum!

 

I haven’t made rice balls in a while, and since my family was in the mood for them, I decided to make them and revive this recipe from our archives.

This is a classic Neapolitan recipe from our mom, and from our aunt Tina who just turned 96!  As kids, we all looked forward to having these rice balls at our family gatherings and on Sundays.  

Thanks to our aunt Tina for passing down her recipe, now I can make them for the whole family to enjoy.

 

Italian Rice Balls with Eggs and Cheese by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

Soft, pillowy rice texture with melted cheese oozing out with every bite makes them totally delicious!  It’s like eating a piece of heaven every time. 

Best served with our Mom’s Quick Marinara Sauce for dipping.   

 

These 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!

 

Italian Rice Balls with Eggs and Cheese by 2sistersrecipes.com

Cook’s Notes and Tips: 

  • For healthier riceball, use brown rice instead of white rice. 

  • Also, if you make the rice balls slightly larger, about 2 to 3 inches in width, 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 melted cheese oozing out!

  • Use gluten-free bread crumbs, if need to.

  • Our recipe calls for fresh parsley, but if you don’t have any on hand,  you may use dried parsley.  But fresh parsley is always best!

  • Make ahead and refrigerate up to one day.  Then fry them up! 

 

 

 

*You can follow along with our step-by-step directions, or just jump down to the bottom for the full recipe card. 

 

Ingredients for Italian Rice Balls with Eggs and Cheese:

 

Directions for Italian Rice Balls:

1.  Boil rice according to the directions on the package.  Normally, it’s 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.

2.  Add the 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.

3.  Stir in the eggs and mix until eggs are well combined.  Add grated cheese, parsley, and cayenne pepper.  Continue to mix until well combined. 

4.  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 them into balls.

5.  Grab a second bowl and place bread crumbs.
6.  Using your hand and a teaspoon.  Take one heaping teaspoon of rice and form a ball, about 1 + 1/2-inch in size. 

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

7.  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.  Transfer into a bowl, or a tray.  Repeat this process with each ball until the entire rice mixture is gone.

 

Coating rice balls with bread crumbs by 2sistersrecipes.com
 
 

 

 
Frying rice ballls in a skillet by 2sistersrecipes.com
 
 

8.  Using10″ 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).

9.  Fry them up, turning them as needed to ensure even golden on all sides.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

 
bowl of finished rice balls resting on paper towels by 2sistersrecipes.com
 
 

10.  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!

 

 

Italian Rice Balls with Eggs and Cheese by 2sistersrecipes.com
 
 

Yields: 28 to 30 rice balls (depending on the size you make)

 

 

 …Thanks for Pinning!

Italian Rice Balls with Eggs and Cheese by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

Yield: 28 to 30

Italian Rice Balls with Eggs and Cheese

Italian Rice Balls with Eggs and Cheese
Italian Rice Balls with Eggs and Cheese are a fun finger food for the whole family to enjoy!  Just serve these with our Mom's Quick Marinara Sauce for dipping and watch them vanish! 

Ingredients

  • 1+ 1/2 cups uncooked white 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

Instructions

  1. Boil rice according to the directions, 3 cups of water with 1 + 1/2 cups of rice.
  2. Cover with a lid. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, until all water has been absorbed. Turn off heat.
  3. 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.
  4. Stir in the eggs and mix until eggs are well combined. Add grated cheese, parsley and cayenne pepper. Continue to mix until well combined.
  5. Taste the rice, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. As the mixture cools, the rice mixture will start to thicken and become sticky enough to make balls.
  7. Grab a second bowl and place the bread crumbs in it.
  8. Using your hand and a teaspoon. Take one heaping teaspoon of rice and form a ball in your palm, about the size or larger than a golf ball.
  9. 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. Transfer to a bowl, or tray. Repeat this process with each ball until the entire rice mixture is gone.
  10. 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).
  11. Fry, turning them as needed to ensure even golden on all sides. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  12. Transfer rice balls into a serving platter.
  13. 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.
  14. And serve.

  

Finally, here are a few more recipes you might enjoy!

Try our Best Rice Ball Casserole Stuffed with Meat and Peas

Best Rice Ball Casserole Stuffed with Meat and Peas by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

 Baked Mini Rice Balls Stuffed with Soppressata

Baked Mini Rice Balls Stuffed with Soppressata by 2sistersrecipes.com

Cheesy Rice Balls with Peas

Cheesy Rice Balls with Peas by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

That’s it friends!  Have you tried our Italian rice balls with eggs and cheese?  We’d love to hear from you.  Have fun and snap a photo, hashtag it #2sistersrecipes on Instagram, and on Pinterestand be sure to tag us @2sistersrecipes.  We’d love to see your creations and share them with the world!  🙂

And, please leave a comment with a star rating, your insights and experience will help everyone who reads them, and will help us too! 

Don’t forget to enter your email in our weekly ‘Subscribe Box’ and be the first to get new recipes every time we post, and reminders of great older ones too! 

Happy Cooking!   🙂

Thanks for stopping by!  

Anna and Liz

 

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Karen (Back Road Journal)
    March 13, 2020 at 10:05 am

    You had me at “like eating a piece of heaven”…I’ve pinned.

    • Reply
      by Anna and Liz
      March 13, 2020 at 2:40 pm

      LOL! thanks Karen!! Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Mimi
    March 8, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    These look so fun! I like the idea of using risotto for the rice as well. Especially if it’s got saffron or mushrooms or something…. just to add more flavor. And to dip in the marinara? Brilliant!

    • Reply
      by Anna and Liz
      March 9, 2020 at 9:12 am

      Thank you Mimi! and your idea sounds wonderful too! Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Tricia Buice
    October 17, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    I think I could dunk a few of these! Yum

  • Reply
    annaliz
    October 17, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Hi Josie! And welcome to our site- its so nice to meet you! Glad you came by to visit and hope you see you again.

  • Reply
    Josie | Frozen Yogurt Las Vegas
    October 17, 2013 at 6:10 am

    I am new visitor to your blog. Really nice to find and go through it. You have shared some amazing recipes. The recipe shared here is delicious, healthy and crispy. Surely will try it in my breakfast. Continue sharing such recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Barbara Bakes
    July 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    I especially like the idea of making them bigger and hiding mozzarella inside. They look so crispy and delicious!

  • Reply
    Joanne
    July 26, 2013 at 10:49 am

    We used to get huge rice balls all the time from an Italian deli but now that I'm seeing these, I think I'd like the mini more! More crispy surface area. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sarah | The Sugar Hit
    July 26, 2013 at 2:16 am

    I have to say, fried food is the best finger food. These look absolutely wonderful!

  • Reply
    Marin mama cooks
    July 25, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    Hey girls! These look amazing. I love anything that is fried and crispy. These sort of remind me of mozzarella sticks especially since they can be dipped in the marina sauce. Yum! xoxo, Jackie

    • Reply
      annaliz
      July 26, 2013 at 12:37 am

      Hey jackie, you're right! Mozzarella sticks is now on my list of things to make! I haven't made them in a long time, its goes on my endless list of things to do…thanks xo

  • Reply
    Andj
    July 25, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    These look so good! I love anything you can prep the day before and just cook the day of.

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    July 25, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Hello, ladies! Thank you so much for your kind comment and I'm glad it brought me here. I'm you newest email subscriber. I've never made rice balls and they sound like a delicious appetizer. I'll be making some with mozzarella too. I think my family will love these.

    • Reply
      annaliz
      July 25, 2013 at 3:07 pm

      Oh thank you Susan! We hope you like the rice balls, and we hope to see you more often! xxoo Anna

  • Reply
    Malli
    February 1, 2012 at 12:38 am

    OMG, these are so crispy and crunchy looking I wish I could get a bite or two:)

  • Reply
    Indie.Tea
    January 31, 2012 at 6:20 am

    Wow, those look and sound amazing. Perfect finger-food indeed!

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    January 31, 2012 at 2:39 am

    I enjoy very much your recipes and I look forward to learning more Italian cooking sincer my husband is Italian! Thanks again, Lisa

  • Reply
    annaliz
    October 11, 2011 at 1:07 am

    Yes I believe you can Sara, My Mom makes this recipe in a pie form and bakes it, similar to her potato pie. Its just as creamy and delicious with a slight crunch on top. Go for it!

  • Reply
    Sara Bee
    October 11, 2011 at 12:27 am

    I am not a huge fan of eating fried foods because they often upset my stomach. BUT I think that you could totally make a baked version of these to still get that crunch. I think I just might try to do that. 🙂

  • Reply
    annaliz
    October 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Mike, you can certainly use olive oil and adding more cheese will make them even creamier!

    I try to keep them light – less calories per ball.

  • Reply
    Mike Venditto
    April 27, 2011 at 1:51 am

    I made them for Easter along with the sauce. Everyone liked them a lot. I found them equally good the next day. I'd alter the recipe a little by doubling the parmigiana. I used light olive oil, too. A deep fryer would be best, especially with peanut oil.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    April 20, 2011 at 1:44 am

    Hi Carla,
    yes good ol aunt tina's rice balls…they were the best.

  • Reply
    Carla
    April 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    This recipe is what floods my mind with memories of my lovely family in NY. I've never had a meal with any of you without rice balls on the table. 🙂

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