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If you like risotto you'll love my Gluten Free Arancini Balls - and these air fryer arancini are super easy to make! Leftover risotto is rolled in gluten free breadcrumbs and air fried, with a gorgeously gooey mozzarella centre.
If you haven't tried the Italian dish of arancini yet then you're in for a treat.
These tasty rice balls are made up of cold, leftover risotto, rolled into a ball.
Traditionally, they're dipped in gluten free flour, egg and then gluten free breadcrumbs before being deep fried.
But to cut down on the faff of deep fat frying, plus the rising cost of cooking oil, I've made these easy air fryer arancini instead.
They still get a lovely, crispy texture but without the hassle of having to work with a pan of hot oil.
And if you don't have an air fryer, I have included instructions for making baked arancini in the oven in the recipe card below too.
Do arancini balls contain gluten?
Arancini balls are an Italian dish, where balls of cold risotto are rolled in breadcrumbs and fried.
Or, in this case, air-fried!
The fact they are rolled in breadcrumbs means arancini are sadly not gluten free.
Every now and then a supermarket will bring out a Christmas special party food of gluten free arancini but I've not seen this for a while.
But while gluten free arancini may be hard to find in the shops, it's easy to make your own at home using an air fryer!
What risotto is gluten free?
Risotto is a dish made with rice, so largely is gluten free - but it's always best to double check.
Arborio rice, most commonly used in risotto is gluten free. But some of the other added ingredients may not be.
Some stocks contain gluten so you'll need to be sure the risotto was made using a gluten free stock.
You'll also need to ensure none of the flavourings, spices or additions to the risotto contain any gluten.
But if you follow one of my risotto recipes it will be 100% gluten free and coeliac-safe.
Some of my gluten free risotto recipes which can be used to make arancini include:
- Lemon and Courgette Risotto (pictured in these photos!)
- Butternut Squash and Chorizo Risotto
- Pea, Lemon and Thyme Risotto
- Tomato and Mascarpone Risotto
As long as you have cold gluten free risotto leftovers, you can use them for arancini!
What ingredients so I need for gluten free arancini?
I love arancini because they're perfect for cutting down on food waste.
You can use up leftover stale gluten free bread for the breadcrumbs, and leftover risotto for the filling.
There's a full recipe card below but here are the main ingredients you'll need:
Cold Leftover Risotto - For this recipe I used around half the recipe for my gluten free lemon and courgette risotto. This works out at around 600g of cooked risotto to make six arancini balls. Of course, any risotto will work and if you're making it specifically for this recipe, you can always halve the quantity of the recipe.
Mozzarella - If you want to stuff your arancini balls then you can do this using chunks of mozzarella. Any cheese will work so have a play around and choose one which best suits the flavours of the risotto you're using.
Gluten Free Bread - To make the breadcrumb coating, I blitz up some slices of leftover gluten free bread. You can also make a big batch of breadcrumbs and freeze them in a bag or tub, taking them out whenever you want to make more arancini! I prefer to use white gluten free bread but any will work.
Egg and Gluten Free Flour - Beaten egg and plain gluten free flour are used to 'glue' the breadcrumbs to the arancini balls. This is essential for creating a crispy coating and for stopping any mozzarella escaping!
Spray Cooking Oil - I always use this when air frying as it helps to get the breadcrumbs nice and golden. Spraying it in the air fryer basket also stops the arancini balls from sticking. You can use a light spray oil or an olive oil in a spray bottle, just to get an even coating.
How to make gluten free arancini balls
Making gluten free arancini balls in the air fryer is really simple - you'll wonder why you never tried it before.
Firstly, you'll need to chill your risotto - so if you're making it fresh for this recipe, get it nice and cold in the fridge first.
Once the risotto is cold, wet your hands (it stops the rice sticking) and then divide the mixture into six portions.
Flatten a portion between your hands then shape around a piece of mozzarella, sealing it in.
Coat the ball of rice in beaten egg, then gluten free flour and then finally breadcrumbs. Make sure to really press them in.
Spray the rice balls with oil before air frying until golden brown - simple!
And if you don't have an air fryer, check out the recipe card for my gluten free baked arancini recipe instead.
My gluten free air fryer arancini recipe
This recipe makes six gluten free arancini balls in the air fryer - and it's one of the easiest gluten free recipes!
These are really fun to make and a great one for getting the kids involved with too.
Serve them as a side dish, a starter, or a light lunch or dinner.
And please do leave a review to let others know you loved it too! It would mean the world to me.
- Approx 600g COLD leftover risotto
- 60g light mozzarella (cut into 6 chunks)
- 4 slices gluten free white bread
- 1 large egg (beaten)
- 2 tbsp plain gluten free flour
- Spray cooking oil
- Blitz the gluten free bread in a food processor into a fine crumb and then pour onto a plate.
- Add the gluten free flour to a second plate and the beaten egg to a third plate.
- Scoop approx 100g (⅙th) of the cold risotto from the pan and flatten in your hand (I suggest wetting your hands to stop it sticking).
- Place a piece of mozzarella in the centre and wrap the risotto around it to seal it up. Shape into a ball using your hands.
- Roll the ball first in the gluten free flour, then the egg, and lastly the gluten free breadcrumbs, pressing in to coat. Repeat until you have six balls.
To air fry the arancini:
- Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil and evenly place the arancini (in one layer, cook in batches if you have a small air fryer). Spray the eggs with a few sprays of oil each and cook for 10-12 minute at 185C until golden.
To bake the arancini:
- Alternatively, spray the arancini with a little oil and then bake on a lined baking tray in the oven at 180C / Gas Mark 4 for approx 25 mins until golden brown.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 607mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 10g
Need more gluten free recipe inspiration?
Here are some more easy gluten free dinner recipes you can try out once you've made this Gluten Free Arancini recipe.
- Gluten Free Scotch Eggs (air fryer option)
- Courgette and Halloumi Fritters
- Gluten Free Greek Salad
- Halloumi, Aubergine and Chickpea Traybake
If you have any recipe suggestions, please let me know in the comments what you’d like to see next!
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