Can you freeze arancini?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you freeze arancini?” and discuss how to freeze arancini?

Can you freeze arancini?

Yes, you can freeze arancini. Arancini balls stuffed with melted cheese and filled with flavor are among the best treats in the world. It’s very uncommon to question what to do with arancini leftovers if you haven’t succumbed to their deliciousness and eaten them all in one go!

Arancino is a Sicilian snack or a meal consisting of a fried drop-shaped ball of rice stuffed with ragù of meat with tomato sauce and spices or with vegetables. Tourism in Sicily (Italy) is booming, as the latest data show. With more than 14.4 million visitors in 2017, almost 4.7 million arrivals from foreign countries, and 212 million overnight stays, international tourism registered an 8% increase from 2016 to 2017 (1).

Arancini Freezing Instructions

Freezing is an effective method to extend the shelf life of cooked rice; however, it affects cooked rice texture significantly when freeze-thawing occurs. It is reported that there is an increase in the hardness of cooked rice products during storage and one main reason for the increase in hardness during storage may be amylopectin retrogradation. Starch retrogradation occurs when the molecules of gelatinized starch begin to reassociate in an ordered crystalline structure under low energy input, such as in cooling and freezing. Commonly, as storage time increases, the degree of retrogradation gradually increases (3).

Arancini balls can be reheated in a matter of minutes after they’ve been frozen, so freezing cooked arancini is a terrific method to save time before your dinner party. This makes it a great snack dish to provide to your guests ahead of time. Follow these easy procedures to store cooked arancini in the freezer:


In order to freeze arancini, you must allow them to completely cool before doing so. Regardless of how they were prepared before. Place the balls on a cooling rack to enable air to circulate around them as effectively as possible.

Freeze Initially

Line a greaseproof paper tray with arancini balls after they have cooled. Freeze them for at least two hours until they’re solid, making sure they aren’t touching one another at all.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, food stored constantly at 0 °F will always be safe. Only the quality suffers with lengthy freezer storage. Freezing keeps food safe by slowing the movement of molecules, causing microbes to enter a dormant stage. Freezing preserves food for extended periods because it prevents the growth of microorganisms that cause both food spoilage and foodborne illness (2).

In a freezer-safe bag, store

You may now store your arancini balls in a freezer-safe bag without fear of them losing their form after they were originally frozen.

Freeze and label your food

Before closing the bag, try to remove as much air as possible. Before putting the bag in the freezer, note the date you made the arancini and the best-by date on the label. Arancini may be frozen for up to three months. Cooked rice can be stored for 6 months in the freezer (4).

However, the sensory quality of frozen fried rice balls significantly decreased after 6 weeks of storage, according to studies. There were changes on the texture (an increase in hardness) and increase on the concentration of aroma compounds related to lipid oxidation (3).

Arancini may be frozen in three ways

For the greatest results, we suggest following these three steps for freezing arancini, which we’ve put up for you:

  • Using Frozen Arancini Balls — If you want to cook your arancini balls in oil, you don’t need to thaw them beforehand. This is one of the reasons why arancini are a great option for a pre-dinner snack.
  • For the greatest arancini recipe, use cheddar or mozzarella, which are the tastiest cheeses (you can even use both). Keep in mind that soft cheeses do not freeze well, so if you plan on freezing your arancini, stick to firm ones.
  • In order to ensure that arancini don’t fall apart, you need to use breadcrumbs instead of flour or cornmeal. While it isn’t ideal, it’s possible that your balls may disintegrate as soon as they are in the pan. 

A great way to keep your arancini from crumbling apart while also enhancing its crunch factor is to include half a cup of breadcrumbs into the batter.

How Long Can Arancini Be Freeze?

Arancini will keep in the freezer for about three months. Arancini should be stored in the refrigerator for no more than two days since they will begin to dry up if kept for longer. The easiest approach to keep your arancini fresh when you reheat them is to freeze them immediately after making them, so they’ll be ready to eat when you are.

In a study, the shelf life of fried rice balls kept in the refrigerator was 5 days (3). However, the shelf life of food depends on the ingredients quality and initial microbial load, as well as the hygiene practice for its preparation.

Arancini Defrosting: What Is the Best Method?

You may cook your arancini balls directly from the freezer if you intend on reheating them in oil. It’s also possible to defrost the balls by taking them out of your freezer and putting them in the fridge to defrost. If you want to use the arancini the next day, it’s best to take them out of the freezer the night before.

Arancini can be reheated?

Yes, Because arancini are delicate, they should only be frozen once. You may guarantee that you have the precise number of arancini you need at any given moment by freezing the balls first and then transferring them to a freezer-safe bag. There is no need to worry about re-freezing these items.

Is it possible to store arancini in the freezer?

Cooked arancini may be frozen without any problems. You can’t tell the difference between reheated frozen arancini and freshly made and cooked arancini balls. With proper packaging and freezing, you’ll have the ideal Italian appetizer at your disposal for up to three months, making it easy to dazzle your family or visitors whenever you choose.

Arancini: Is It Possible to Freeze Them First?

For this reason, we recommend against freezing them before frying or boiling them. After they’ve been fried, arancini may be quickly reheated without affecting their structure or texture thanks to the convenience of freezing them.

Is Risotto Safe to Freeze?

The risotto stuffing is an essential part of each arancino. Risotto is a versatile dish that freezes well. Once it’s cold, put it in freezer bags and store it.

Leftovers of risotto prepared without meat may be frozen for 2 months, while cooked dishes containing meat may be stored in the freezer for 3 months (4).

To learn more about freezing arancini click here


In this article, we answered the question “Can you freeze arancini?” and we discussed how to freeze arancini?


  1. Privitera, Donatella. A view on culinary tourism–case study of Catania, Italy. Geography Tourism, 2020, 8, 105-114. 
  2. Freezing and Food Safety. United States Department of Agriculture.  
  3. Montero, María Laura, et al. Characterization of the sensory, chemical, and microbial quality of microwave‐assisted, thermally pasteurized fried rice during storage. J Food Sci, 2020, 85, 2711-2719.
  4. Foodkeeper. United States Department of Agriculture.