Mini Sausage & Parmesan Rice Balls

Prep Time
Cook Time
1h 15m
Ready In

"Great for Game Day! These savory little treats are a twist on Arancini (Italian Rice Balls), but are half the size and baked instead of fried. You can prep the mixture the day before, then form and bake the balls right before your guests arrive! These are perfect when eaten plain, but I like to serve them with a bowl of marinara for dipping. TIME DOES NOT INCLUDE 4 HOUR RESTING TIME!!! plan ahead..."

Original recipe yields 36 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (47.7 g)
  • Calories 84.7
  • Total Fat - 4.8 g
  • Saturated Fat - 1.7 g
  • Cholesterol - 30.3 mg
  • Sodium - 229.5 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 5.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 0.7 g
  • Sugars - 0.8 g
  • Protein - 4.8 g
  • Calcium - 77.5 mg
  • Iron - 0.5 mg
  • Vitamin C - 0 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.1 mg

Step 1

Combine the rice, broth and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium pot. Bring to a boil. Stir once, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 18 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes; fluff with a fork and let cool.

Step 2

Add the sausage to a nonstick skillet and cook over medium heat, breaking up the meat as it cooks, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, then finely chop the sausage.

Step 3

Add the sausage to a large bowl with the cooled rice, 3/4 cup of the Parmesan, and mozzarella. Mix thoroughly and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in 2 lightly beaten eggs. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

If making ahead, stop at this point. Mixture can be left overnight in the fridge!

Step 4

Meanwhile, wash the skillet and return it to the stove. Add the olive oil and warm over medium heat. Add the panko and cook, stirring constantly, until the bread crumbs are toasted and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium/large bowl to cool. Once cool, stir in the fine breadcrumbs and the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. Set mixture aside.

Step 5

Heat oven to 400°. Beat the remaining eggs in a medium bowl. Using a 1½-inch spring loaded scoop or two level tablespoons of the mixture, form the rice into balls, applying light pressure to keep the mixture together. Working one at a time, roll the balls in the beaten egg followed by the breadcrumb mixture. Place one ball in each cup of 1½ mini-muffin pans (about 36 cavities total).

Step 6

Bake until heated through and cheese has melted, 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.