These Air Fryer arancini-inspired rice balls are made with a risotto-style arroz rojo, or red rice, and filled with queso fresco, all with a warm and crispy outer shell.
In a saucepan, combine broth and tomatoes; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low to maintain heat.
Melt butter in large high-sided skillet set over medium heat; cook onion, red pepper, jalapeño and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender.
Stir in rice, chili powder and cumin; cook for about 2 minutes or until well coated. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in wine; cook, stirring constantly, until rice absorbs most of the liquid.
Stir in broth mixture, 1 cup at a time, until most of the liquid is absorbed before adding the next addition; cook for 18 to 20 minutes or until arborio rice is very tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 to 8 hours or until well chilled.
Cut queso fresco into forty 1/2-inch cubes; set aside. Stir Parmesan cheese and 1 egg into rice mixture. Using 1/4 cup measure, roll mixture into balls. Press thumb into each ball to create an indent in center. Insert 2 cubes of queso fresco into each indent; re-roll to seal and enclose cheese. Repeat to make 20 rice balls.
In a shallow bowl, toss together breadcrumbs, chili powder, oregano and garlic powder. In separate shallow bowl, lightly beat together the remaining eggs. Place flour in separate shallow bowl.
One at a time, dredge each rice ball in flour, dip into eggs, and then roll in breadcrumbs. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Preheat air fryer according to manufacturer’s instructions.
In 4 batches, place rice balls in air fryer basket. Drizzle each batch with 1 tbsp oil. Air fry at 370°F, turning rice balls halfway during cooking time, for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown and heated through.
Inspired by the classic Italian arancini, these savory and spicy rice balls combine two great dishes –Traditional Mexican Rice, or arroz rojo, and a rich and creamy risotto.
To give this dish over-the-top flavor and that signature creamy on the inside and crunchy on the outside texture, it’s important to use quality ingredients. We suggest Carolina® Arborio Rice (or white rice), crafted especially for luscious risotto dishes and fresh vegetables. Find a quality canned passata or make your own with pureed tomatoes.
For a more classic Arancini Flavor, try these Mushroom and Thyme Risotto Balls with marinara sauce.
If you’re new to using an Air Fryer, this hot air cooker is great for achieving that deep-fried texture without using as much oil! We’ve put together a few tips to make this recipe the best yet:
– Make sure to flip the rice balls halfway to cook evenly.
– Just like an oven or cooking water, make sure to preheat your Air Fryer before use.
– Ensure you are breading your ingredients properly to avoid any mess. Toss your arancini in the flour, egg and then breadcrumbs.