Spinach Florentine Arancini with Fontina Cheese


Arancini are balls of arborio rice that are typically stuffed with cheese and rolled in breadcrumbs before being fried a golden hue. They are a beloved street food in Italy, where they are eaten as a hot snack or appetizer. These Spinach Florentine arancini blend the savory flavors of spinach, garlic, and chiles with creamy arborio rice and melted fontina cheese.


Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 35 min | Serves: 4-6 portions



  • 1 Cup Spinach Florentine Risotto

  • 1 quarts water or chicken stock

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter

  • 1 Cup grated fontina cheese

  • 3 each eggs

  • ½ cup all purpose flour

  • ½ cup whole milk

  • 2 cups panko or dry breadcrumbs

  • 2 ½ quarts oil for deep frying

  • 1 cup marinara sauce

  • 2 tsp kosher salt

  • ½ tsp ground white pepper


  1. Bring the chicken stock to a simmer.  Keep warm.  In a large saute pan,  heat the vegetable oil to medium, add the Spinach Florentine Risotto, and stir for 2 minutes. Slowly ladle in the hot stock a cup at a time, stirring constantly.

  2. Continue adding stock until all liquid is absorbed, and rice is tender but firm.   Add the parmesan cheese and butter, stir well. Add salt and pepper, adjust seasoning as needed. Season Pour into a sheet pan, cool, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

  3. Scoop cooled risotto into 2 Tbsp portions, flatten a bit, and pack 1 Tbsp of fontina into the center of each piece. Fold the edges up around, and seal into a ball with the cheese encased in the middle. Repeat until all risotto has been used. Place in freezer for 40 minutes for easier breading.

  4. In a small bowl, beat 3 eggs with the milk. Place flour in a separate bowl, and the panko in another.  Dredge each ball in the flour completely, shake off excess, drop into egg wash with a slotted spoon, coat completely, shake off excess, and then roll in the panko, coating the balls.

  5. Heat the frying oil to 350F. Fry the balls until golden brown, place in a 350F oven for 5 minutes until cheese filling is very hot and melted. Serve with hot marinara sauce.