Jalapeño, Corn and Cheddar Arancini in a bowl.

Jalapeño, Corn, and Cheddar Arancini

A recipe for Jalapeño, Corn, and Cheddar Arancini – this spicy twist to fried risotto balls is a must-try!

Jalapeño, Corn and Cheddar Arancini in a bowl.
Jalapeño, Corn, and Cheddar Arancini

Have you ever tried making arancini with leftover risotto? This recipe for Jalapeño, Corn, and Cheddar Arancini makes the perfect snack, appetizer, or party food!

A bowl of homemade Arancini, or stuffed rice balls.

Note: This post first appeared on October 12, 2014, as part of the Simple Sundays series,
and was part of a collaboration between Rice Select and SheKnows.

What Counts is the Inside

My son woke up earlier than usual. For a school day, he was getting a head start, and for once, was waiting on me to finish up in the bathroom. I was rushing through my morning routine but took a moment to dip an eyeshadow brush into my favorite palette and dab a bit of color on my lids.

“You don’t need makeup, mama,” he chimed from his perch on the edge of the bathtub. “You’re already beautiful.”

Seriously. I am not making this up. How did I get so lucky?

A freshly made bowl of risotto balls sitting on a table with a cloth napkin.
An open jar of Rice Select Arborio Rice Blend alongside chopped leeks.

“You are so sweet, bud. No one needs makeup, but I think it’s fun.” I do. But he also doesn’t need to know that I feel the need to conceal any dark circles from not getting to bed on time, or the sunspots from too many summers in the sun when we weren’t wise enough to worship sunscreen. I love that his little heart sees past all that.

“Yeah,” he agreed. “You’re beautiful on the inside. And that is what counts.”

A saucepan full of freshly made risotto made of rice, corn, and leeks.

Inside Arancini

Of course, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. What if I told you that inside these crispy risotto balls, you’ll find beautiful bits of cheddar and sweet corn? That the risotto is infused with spicy jalapeno? Honestly, these Jalapeño, Corn, and Cheddar Arancini are beautiful, inside and out. (Arancini are Italian rice balls – if you aren’t familiar with them, then you can learn more here.)

A container of Rice Select Arborio Blend.
Jalapeño, Corn, and Cheddar Arancini arranged on a tray, ready to be fried.

There was just the right amount of heat for my spice-seeking tastebuds, so I knew my husband would love the rice blend too. But what made me most excited was how much my children were crazy about the jalapeño rice blend – especially when it was made into the Arancini! These risotto balls disappeared far too quickly.

Arancini made with leftover risotto, fried and served in a bowl.
Jalapeño, Corn, and Cheddar Arancini split open and served on a plate.

Note: This post first appeared on October 12, 2014, and was part of a collaboration between Rice Select and SheKnows.
Find the recipe for Jalapeño, Corn, and Cheddar Arancini below, then you can jump to SheKnows.com for a step-by-step video!

More Rice Recipes

Taco Rice: Okinawa Taco Rice
Spicy Shrimp Fried Rice
Puto: Filipino Steamed Rice Cakes
Chai Coconut Brown Rice Pudding
Arroz Caldo | Filipino Chicken and Rice Soup 

Jalapeño, Corn, and Cheddar Arancini

Have you ever tried making arancini with leftover risotto? This recipe for Jalapeño, Corn, and Cheddar Arancini makes the perfect snack, appetizer or party food!
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Chill Time 12 hours
Servings 6 servings
Calories 371kcal


For the Jalapeño, Corn and Cheddar Risotto:

  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 leek chopped
  • 1 jalapeño seeded and diced
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup Rice Select Arborio Blend with Jalapeño
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups chicken stock heated
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese finely grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the Arancini:

  • 2 cups prepared risotto refrigerated overnight
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese grated
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese



    For the Jalapeño, Corn, and Cheddar Risotto:

    • In a deep-sided saute or saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Saute the leeks, jalapeno, and corn until the leeks are wilted.
    • Add the Rice Select Arborio Blend with Jalapeno, stirring until the rice is coated and translucent.
    • Add the wine, and cook until it is evaporated. Stir in 1 cup of chicken stock and allow to simmer. When the stock is absorbed, add another cup, and continue incorporating the stock until the rice is fully cooked and the stock is all used – about 30 minutes. Stir in the cheese and season to taste. Refrigerate overnight in preparation for making the arancini.

    For the Arancini:

    • Combine 2 cups of the refrigerated risotto and the egg in a bowl. Combine panko bread crumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in another deep-sided bowl.
    • Using a standard size ice cream scoop, form a ball of the risotto mixture. Insert about a teaspoon of cheddar cheese in the center and form the ball around it, using your hands (it helps to wet the palm of your hand so it does not stick).
    • Drop the risotto ball in the breadcrumb mixture and coat well. Repeat until all the risotto balls are formed. Allow to sit in the refrigerator uncovered to dry out while you preheat the oil.
    • Preheat canola or peanut oil in a deep fryer or a small saucepan (at least two inches of oil for the latter) to 350°F. Carefully drop the arancini into the oil one or two at a time, gently rotating to ensure even browning, and fry for about 4-6 minutes. When golden brown, remove from oil and allow to drain/rest on paper towels.
    • Serve immediately.


    Disclosure: This post is part of a collaboration with Rice Select and SheKnows.


    Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 648mg | Potassium: 324mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 706IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 333mg | Iron: 2mg
    Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante


    Recipe Rating

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    1. Shaina

      The golden brown you achieved on these on these is impressive! Heading over for the recipe now.

    2. Denise

      I so need to make these, as I love arancini.  Your recipe is stellar as it has a nice spicy addition – love the corn and the jalapeños!

    3. cristina

      I’ve wanted to try making arancini one day, when I get my risotto more consistent.   Fantastic looking texture and color of the coating.   

      Such a sweet conversation between you and your son.  What a blessing!  :)

    4. Erin | The Law Student's Wife

      Risotto is one of my favorite dinners to make for a stay-in date night or dinner party, but I’ve never done arancini. Clearly, that needs to change, STAT. Also, your son’s comments warm my heart. We should all hear his words more often! He’s one smart kid :)

    5. Julie | This Gal Cooks

      I have a container of the Jalapeno Arborio Rice in my pantry. I LOVE it. I’m going to head over to check out your recipe because I think I would really enjoy it. Thanks for sharing, Liren! 

    Kitchen Confidante®