Italian Arancini Rice Cups

This quick take on a classic Sicilian street-food favorite is a fun meal that’s satisfying and comforting.

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Italian Arancini Rice Cups

Cooking time PREP TIME 2 mins
Cooking time COOK TIME 2 mins
Servings SERVES 1
Ready in TOTAL TIME 4 mins
Cooking time
PREP TIME 2 mins
Cooking time
COOK TIME 2 mins
Ready in


  • 1 cup Minute® Ready to Serve White Rice
  • 1 cube mozzarella cheese, about 1 inch
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp basil pesto
  • 2 tbsp garlic croutons, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated


  • Fans of the Sicilian street food classic will love this recipe for Italian Arancini Rice Cups made with Minute® Rice.

    Step 1

  • Heat rice according to package directions, with mozzarella cube inserted in center of rice.

    Step 2

  • In a small, microwave-safe bowl, stir together tomato sauce, peas and pesto. Cover with plastic wrap, pulling back a small area for venting.

    Step 3

  • Microwave on HIGH, stirring once, for 60-90 seconds, or until heated through.

    Step 4

  • Transfer rice to tomato sauce mixture and stir until well coated. Top with croutons and Parmesan

    Recipe Tip

    Substitute croutons with crumbled, toasted bread drizzled with olive oil.

What are Arancini?

Originally from Sicily, Arancini are deep-fried rice balls covered in breadcrumbs that are typical Italian snacks. Making authentic Sicilian arancini can be quite time consuming so this quick and easy recipe for Italian Arancini Rice Cups is the next best thing.

For more Italian-inspired dishes check out this Italian Meatball and Grain Bowl or, for something more risotto inspired, learn how to make this Creamy Italian Mushroom Rice recipe. If you’re a fan of stuffed peppers, this recipe for Easy Italian Stuffed Peppers will most certainly be of interest!

Make Your Own Tomato Sauce

Although tomato sauce is a common kitchen staple, there may be times when you find you don’t have any at hand. Luckily, making tomato sauce is actually very simple. Simply cut some tomatoes in half, discard the seeds and grate the tomato flesh into a saucepan. Then, heat the tomato pulp, along with some salt, olive oil, tomato paste, garlic and basil. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until the sauce has reduced by about half.

Once you’ve finished making your tomato sauce, try adding it into these Classic Stuffed Peppers, this Spanish-Style Chicken Rice or this Brown Rice and Bean Chili.

Preparing Frozen Peas

The great thing about frozen peas is that they are flash steamed before they are frozen, meaning that they are already ready to eat, you simply need to heat them up so they get that desired texture and color. 

Frozen peas are a versatile ingredient and can be used in plenty of dishes like this Mediterranean Shrimp and Rice, this Leftover Turkey Dinner Rice or this Golden Rice Pilaf. They also make a great addition to this cheesy Mexican Rice Recipe.

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