Appetizer Culture Recipes

BEST Pesto Arancini – Recipe ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

This pesto arancini makes a great summer snack! Pair it with a crisp, cold white wine and a charcuterie board.


For risotto (rice filling):

  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt

For pesto sauce:

  • 130 g young Basil leaves
  • 8 g Salt
  • 60 g Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino
  • 350 g Olive Oil
  • 20 g Pine Nuts (pumpkin seeds are a good alternative for nut allergies or you can leave this part out)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves

For breading:

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  1. To make the pesto using a mortar and pestle, the order in which you grind your ingredients is very important.

1. Garlic and salt
2. Pine Nuts
3. Basil
4. Parmigiano or Pecorino
5. Olive Oil

If you are using a food processor you can still follow these steps but make sure you donโ€™t over process the basil. This pesto recipe will make more than you need for the arancini, jar up any leftovers and store it in the fridge.

2. Make arborio rice according to brand instructions (typically a 3:1 arborio to water ratio).

3. Once risotto is cooked, pour pesto sauce in and mix to incorporate.

4. Allow risotto to cool in the fridge for atleast 2 hours.ย 

5. Set up breading station with 3 bowls. Fill one bowl with eggs and beat them. Fill a second bowl with flour and the third bowl with bread crumbs.ย 

6. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan or dutch oven to medium heat.

7. Using an ice cream scooper or table spoon, scoop cold risotto and form balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.ย 

8. Coat each risotto ball in flour, then egg wash, then bread crumbs. Repeat egg wash and bread crumbs a second time.

9. Once arancini balls are coated, place in frying oil and cook until golden brown. Do not over crowd the frying pan.ย 

10. Let arancini cool on a drying rack and salt generously.

11. You can use the leftover pesto sauce as a dip or you can make tomato sauce, basil aioli or any other sauce you’d like!

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