I first learned what arancini is when I was watching Giada on Food Network. Man they looked delicious. Rice and cheese mixed together, battered, and fried. I don’t think you can go wrong. I love the salty and creamy and cheesy combination. Oh I can go on and on!
Well, seeing it on tv and actually trying them are two different things. The first time I tried it was on a date with the husband. Oh.My.God! All I wanted was to eat these delicious arancini for every course! Seeing them on tv, then actually eating them are two different things, and I’ll tell you what. Eating is absolutely much better for this case!
I’ve made quite a few attempts over the years to make these. Initially, they melted as I was trying to fry them. Then the seasoning was off, and each try I missed something until finally, I was able to make a delicious batch! I’m so glad this was one project I didn’t abandon!
About a month ago, we had leftover pearl couscous (it seems we always do). I wanted to upcycle it and have the girls eat it in a different way and instantly I thought of arancini. It was a long shot but in my mind, I thought, hey, a leftover grain that could potentially bind with cheese. All I had to do was season it correctly. Results? The kids want me to make this for them everyday! Let’s not get carried away though. I did make quite a few and had to really work on distracting the girls with other foods because they are just as in love with arancini as I am!
Try these out for appetizers, make them a little larger and have them for a main course, make them bite sized and serve them for parties. I served them with warm marinara sauce and a sprinkle of chopped basil and for me, that was the perfect pairing.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these decadent Couscous Arancini!
- 1 c Pearl Couscous
- 1 1/4 c water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 c herbed bread crumbs
- 1/3 c shredded mozzarella
- 15-20 pearl mozzarella balls
- salt and pepper to season
- 2-3 Tbsp Basil, chopped in strips
- Oil for frying
To make the Couscous:
- Combine the couscous, water, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes until all of the water has evaporated.
- Remove from heat and cover for 5 minutes.
- Spread the couscous onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- In a bowl, combine the couscous, shredded mozzarella, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Once the mixture is ready, shape into spheres. Make an indent into each arancini and stuff with 1-2 pearl mozzarella. Close the seam and roll well so that the mozzarella doesn't seep out when frying.
- In a heavy bottomed pan, add oil to cover about 1/2 inch in the pot. Heat the oil to 350 degrees.
- Add the arancini in batches into the oil and fry for about 4 minutes or until golden brown on all sides.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
- Warm up 1/4 c marinara in a small saucepan. Add a little on the bottom of a plate, then top with warm Couscous Arancini.
- Garnish with freshly chopped basil.
- Serve warm.
**You can use day old couscous to make this recipe. Just warm it up a little and follow the rest of the steps to combine the arancini mixture.
Here are the tools I used to make this recipe: