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The Best Gluten-Free Rice Balls Recipe

by Elyse the Gluten-Free Foodee
The Best Gluten-Free Rice Balls Recipe

Rice balls are an Italian favourite that works as an appetizer, a side or even a main dish. They are delicious any time of the year, but they can be a real showstopper during the holidays. Today, we are sharing the best gluten-free rice ball recipe that will deliciously work however you decide to serve them.

The number of steps in this recipe can make it seem daunting; however, it is surprisingly simple and can be made in advance. You can fry these rice balls ahead of time and just keep them in the freezer or fridge, until you are ready to reheat them in the oven. Or you can make them up to the point of frying, and fry them right before you are ready to serve them, if you prefer.

They are a great way to use up any leftover risotto you may have. So, if risotto is on the menu during the holidays, make a little extra and use the leftovers to make these amazing gluten-free rice balls.

The Best Gluten-Free Rice Balls Recipe

Can be made lactose-free with the suggested substitutions

Ingredients:

For The Risotto:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs butter (lactose-free or alternative dairy butter)
  • 2 tbs olive oil or Puroliva (an olive oil and canola oil blend)
  • 1 c Arborio rice
  • 3-5 cups of gluten stock ( chicken, vegetable, or vegetarian chicken stock work best)
  • 1/2 tbs butter (lactose-free or alternative dairy butter)
  • 1/2 C of good grated Parmesan cheese (you could use a lactose-free cheese)
  • 1/2 C frozen peas (optional)

For the Rice Balls:

  • 400g of mozzarella (or lactose-free mozzarella) cut into cubes.
  • 2 tbs water in a bowl
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

For The Breadcrumbs:

  • 2 cups plain, gluten-free bread crumbs (I use Life Smart or President’s Choice)
  • 3/4 c Parmesan (optional)
  • 1 tsp each of granulated onion, granulated garlic, salt, and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp basil paste or minced fresh basil
  • 1 tsp baking powder
BREAD CRUMB TIP: When choosing a type of gluten-free breadcrumbs, you want to use ones that aren’t pre-seasoned, and unfortunately Panko breadcrumbs do not work well with this recipe. While I enjoy Panko breadcrumbs, the gluten-free ones tend to become quite a lot saltier after they are fried. So if you prefer using Panko, be sure to slightly under-season the breadcrumbs prior to cooking.

For Egg Mix:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

For Flour Mix:

Directions:

Preparing the Risotto:

  • Chop onion and mince garlic clove
  • In a medium pot, melt oil and butter.
  • Add the onion and garlic to the pot and let cook until translucent.
  • Next, add the rice to the pot, stirring constantly as you want the rice not only to coat in the butter and oil; but also to become slightly toasted.
  • Make or heat the stock.
Tip: Stock must be hot when added to the rice. You can make your stock in a pot and ladle in half a cup at a time or you can make 1 cup at a time in the microwave.
  • Once the rice is toasted, add in 1/2c of warm/hot stock at a time, allowing the stock to be absorbed by the rice. Stir continuously.
  • When the stock has been absorbed, add another 1/2 cup and stir.
  • Continue to add in stock until the rice is starchy and tender.
  • Add in the frozen peas and cook 5 more minutes stirring continuously, as you want the peas to thaw and the risotto to be stiffer than regular risotto.
  • Let sit 5 minutes off the heat.
  • Then add in 1/2 C of good quality grated Parmesan cheese, and a pad of butter, and mix well.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Pour risotto onto the parchment-lined baking sheet in an even layer, and allow it to cool.

Preparing The Breadcrumbs:

  • In a food processor, blitz parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs- until breadcrumbs are fine, like sand.
  • Pour out half of the parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs into a shallow pie plate, pan, or bowl.
  • To the other half, add in the seasoning and herbs and blitz again.
  • Mix the two halves of breadcrumbs together, add in the baking powder, and mix again.
  • Set aside.
Tip: You can make a larger batch of these breadcrumbs if you make our gluten-free chicken cutlet recipe, as it’s the same breadcrumb mixture.

Preparing The Egg Mix:

  • In a shallow pie plate, pan, or bowl, crack eggs.
  • Add the seasoning to the eggs, beat well with a fork or whisk.

Preparing The Flour Mix:

  • In a shallow pie plate, pan, or bowl, mix flour and seasonings.
  • Mix well using another fork.

Preparing The Rice Balls:

  • Once the risotto has cooled, use a butter knife to mark even-sized squares onto the risotto. You can make them as big or small as you like.
  • Cut the mozzarella into as many cubes as you need, and set it aside. You want them to be 1-inch cubes for larger rice balls, and 1/2-inch for smaller ones.
  • Lift a square of risotto out of the pan and flatten it in your palm.
  • Place a cube of cheese into the center.
  • Close the risotto around the cube, and roll into a ball shape. Ensure that there is no visible seam, as you do this.
Tip: If the risotto sticks to your hand, wet your hand with a little water.
  • Place the balls on another cookie sheet that is lined with wax paper.
  • Finish rolling all of the rice balls.
  • Next, dredge each rice ball in flour, then gently re-roll the balls to ensure that there is no seam.
  • Dip the rice ball in the egg mixture. Shake off any excess egg and roll in bread crumbs.
  • Once they are all breaded, pour about 2-inches of vegetable oil into a medium size pot.
  • When the oil is hot, gently lower rice balls into the oil.
  • Fry until the rice balls are golden brown on the outside, and the cheese is melted on the inside.
  • Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet to cool slightly
  • Serve on their own or with marinara sauce and enjoy.

The best gluten-free rice ball recipe may seem like a lot of work, but they are so worth it, as they are delicious.

These gluten-free rice balls would be a great addition to a holiday buffet, potluck, or any other type of gathering. Remember to size them accordingly, if they are being served alongside other dishes, you would want to make them a slightly smaller appetizer size.

Enjoy!

The Best Gluten-Free Rice Balls Recipe

The Best Gluten-Free Rice Balls Recipe

Print Recipe/Tips
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat

Ingredients

For The Risotto:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs butter (lactose-free or alternative dairy butter)
  • 2 tbs olive oil or Puroliva (an olive oil and canola oil blend)
  • 1 c Arborio rice
  • 3-5 cups of gluten stock ( chicken, vegetable, or vegetarian chicken stock work best)
  • 1/2 tbs butter (lactose-free or alternative dairy butter)
  • 1/2 C of good grated Parmesan cheese (you could use a lactose-free cheese)
  • 1/2 C frozen peas

For the Rice Balls:

  • 400g of mozzarella (or lactose-free mozzarella) cut into cubes.
  • 2 tbs water in a bowl
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

For The Breadcrumbs:

  • 2 cups plain, gluten-free bread crumbs (I use Life Smart or President’s Choice)
  • 3/4 c Parmesan (optional)
  • 1 tsp each of granulated onion, granulated garlic, salt, and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp basil paste or minced fresh basil
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For Egg Mix:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

For Flour Mix:

  • 1/2 cup Robin Hood gluten-free all-purpose flour blend (or your preferred gluten-free all-purpose flour brand)
  • 1/4 tsp each of black pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion, and salt

Instructions

Preparing the Risotto:

    • Chop onion and mince garlic clove
    • In a medium pot, melt oil and butter.
    • Add the onion and garlic to the pot and let cook until translucent.
    • Next, add the rice to the pot, stirring constantly as you want the rice not only to coat in the butter and oil; but also to become slightly toasted.
    • Make or heat the stock.
    • Tip: Stock must be hot when added to the rice. You can make your stock in a pot and ladle in half a cup a time or you can make 1 cup at a time in the microwave.
    • Once the rice is toasted, add in 1/2c of warm/hot stock at a time, allowing the stock to be absorbed by the rice. Stir continuously.
    • When the stock has been absorbed, add another 1/2 cup and stir.
    • Continue to add in stock until the rice is starchy and tender.
    • Add in the frozen peas and cook 5 more minutes stirring continuously, as you want the peas to thaw and the risotto to be stiffer than regular risotto.
    • Let sit 5 minutes off the heat.
    • Then add in 1/2 C of good quality grated Parmesan cheese, and a pad of butter, and mix well.
    • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
    • Pour risotto onto the parchment-lined baking sheet in an even layer, and allow it to cool

Preparing The Breadcrumbs:

  • In a food processor, blitz parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs- until breadcrumbs are fine, like sand.
  • Pour out half of the parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs into a shallow pie plate, pan, or bowl.
  • To the other half, add in the seasoning and herbs and blitz again.
  • Mix the two halves of parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs together, and add in the baking powder, and mix again.
  • Set aside.
  • Tip: You can make a larger batch of these breadcrumbs if you make our gluten-free chicken cutlet recipe, as it’s the same breadcrumb mixture.

Preparing The Egg Mix:

  • In a shallow pie plate, pan, or bowl, crack eggs.
  • Add the seasoning to the eggs, beat well with a fork or whisk.

Preparing The Flour Mix:

  • In a shallow pie plate, pan, or bowl, mix flour and seasonings.
  • Mix well using another fork.

Preparing The Rice Balls:

  • Once the risotto has cooled, use a butter knife to mark even-sized squares onto the risotto. You can make them as big or small as you like.
  • Cut the mozzarella into as many cubes as you need, and set it aside. You want them to be 1-inch cubes for larger rice balls, and 1/2-inch for smaller ones.
  • Lift a square of risotto out of the pan and flatten it in your palm.
  • Place a cube of cheese into the center.
  • Close the risotto around the cube, and roll into a ball shape. Ensure that there is no visible seam, as you do this.
  • Tip: If the risotto sticks to your hand, wet your hand with a little water.
  • Place the formed balls on another cookie sheet that is lined with wax paper.
  • Finish rolling all of the rice balls.
  • Next, dredge each rice ball in flour, then gently re-roll the balls to ensure that there is no seam.
  • Dip the rice ball in the egg mixture. Shake off any excess egg and roll in bread crumbs.
  • Once they are all breaded, pour about 2-inches of vegetable oil into a medium size pot.
  • When the oil is hot, gently lower rice balls into the oil.
  • Fry until the rice balls are golden brown on the outside, and the cheese is melted on the inside.
  • Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet to cool slightly
  • Serve on their own or with marinara sauce and enjoy.

NOTES/TIPS

BREAD CRUMB TIP: When choosing a type of gluten-free breadcrumbs, you want to use ones that aren’t pre-seasoned, and unfortunately Panko breadcrumbs do not work well with this recipe. While I enjoy Panko breadcrumbs, the gluten-free ones tend to become quite a lot saltier after they are fried. So if you prefer using Panko, be sure to slightly under-season the breadcrumbs prior to cooking.

Did You Try This Recipe or These Tips?
How did it go? Let us know in the comments. Tag us on Instagram at @Gluten_Free_Foodee..

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