Pepperoni Pizza Arancini is a rice ball recipe with pepperoni and cheese in the center

Pepperoni Pizza Arancini

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 3 minutes
  • Yield: 36 rice balls 1x

These crispy, fried rice balls have the most creamy center! Arborio rice and cheese mixed with mini pepperoni bits make the most amazing appetizer!



  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • dash of kosher salt
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup pepperoni minis (or regular pepperoni cut into smaller pieces)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2/3 cup breadcrumbs (plus and extra 1/2 cup extra for coating the arancini)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Marinara sauce for dipping
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying


  1. Add the chicken broth and a dash of salt to a medium pot and heat until simmering.
  2. Add the rice, stir and cover. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Pour the cooked rice out onto a baking sheet that’s lined with parchment paper, spread out and let cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile add the mozzarella and parmesan cheese to a large bowl. Add the eggs, parsley, breadcrumbs and salt and mix to combine.
  5. Add the cooled rice to the cheese mixture along with the mini pepperoni, stirring together until all the ingredients are mixed well.
  6. Fill a heavy bottomed, deep pot halfway with oil. Heat over medium heat until the temperature reaches 350 degrees, about 15 minutes.
  7. Pour the extra 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs into a shallow bowl.
  8. While the oil is heating up, make 1 1/2 inch balls and coat them in the breadcrumbs. You should end up with about 36 rice balls. To make this easier you can use a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop.
  9. Once the oil is to temperature, carefully add a few rice balls at a time to fry. Doing this is batches is the best way to get an even fry and not bring the temperature of your oil down.
  10. Fry the arancini for 2-3 minutes until they are golden brown, remove from the oil and place onto a paper towel lined plate. Repeat until all the arancini are fried.
  11. Garnish with extra chopped parsley and parmesan cheese and serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping.

Recipe Notes

To Keep Warm: You can keep these arancini in a 300 degree oven to keep warm while your frying, or until you’re ready to serve.

To Cook From Frozen: Place the frozen arancini in to a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes until the center is warm and cooked through.

To Reheat From Refrigerator: Place fried arancini in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.

  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Deep Fry
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: rice balls, arancini recipe, appetizers, pizza recipes, pepperoni, fried food