Arancini with mussels

Arancini with mussels

Introduction to the recipe

Mussels are one of the most common types of shellfish in Italian cuisine, especially in the South. They are often called the “mortadella of the sea”, because they don’t cost much but they’re extremely flavourful. As is also the case in pasta or soups made with mussels, you can really taste the sea in these arancini, because the rice is prepared in the liquid in which the mussels were steamed. The filling is supplemented with cherry tomatoes, which balance its flavour and brighten its colour.



160 grams


Ingredients for about 12 arancini

For rice:

  • 500 grams of rice ("Roma" and "Originario" rices, mixed in equal doses)
  • 600 ml of water
  • 500 ml of mussel water
  • 2 bags of saffron
  • 10 grams of salt
  • 60-100 grams of butter

For the finish:

  • 100 gr of flour
  • 180 ml of water
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 gr of bread crumbs

For the filling:

  • 1 kg of mussels

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • half a glass of white wine

  • parsley

  • chili pepper

  • 150 ml of tomato sauce

Preparation of rice and filling


  • Clean and debeard the mussels, rubbing them together to clean off their shells, then rinse them well
  • Place the mussels in a large saucepan with the crushed garlic and the white wine
  • Cover and cook over high heat for a few minutes, so that all of the mussels open
  • Let them cool, filter and reserve the cooking liquid, then remove the mussels from their shells
  • Sauté the mussels in a frying pan for a couple of minutes, with a drizzle of oil and the tomato purée. Remove the pan from the heat, add a pinch of red pepper and some finely chopped parsley, then allow it to cool


How to prepare the rice:

  • In a saucepan, put the broth substituting the cooking liquid from the mussels for a part of the broth, the butter, the saffron and the salt
  • When the stock is boiling, add the rice and mix well
  • Cover and cook over low heat until the rice absorbs all the broth and is cooked but al dente
  • When cooked, stir, pour the rice on a cold surface and spread evenly to allow rapid cooling
  • When the rice is cool down, it is ready to prepare the arancini

For more informations about rice, Click here.

How to shape the arancini

How to frying the arancini

The finishing touch

Put the arancini in the batter and in the bread crumbs as follows:

  • In a bowl, place the flour
  • Add the egg and water and beat well with whips
  • When the batter is smooth and dense, pass the arancini
  • Immediately after having passed them in the batter, pass the arancini in bread crumbs


  • Fry in plenty of oil until golden brown, to ensure your arancini fry up perfectly, use one of the following oils: peanut oil, olive oil, or palm oil.
  • Heat the oil to the ideal temperature, 190°C, either in a frying pan or by setting the temperature on your deep fryer.
  • If using a pan, you can make sure that the oil has reached the proper temperature by dropping in a bread crumb. If it sizzles, then the oil is ready.
  • Immerse the arancini gently in the oil, only a few at a time, so as to prevent the temperature of the oil from falling too low.
  • When they are done, place the arancini on absorbent paper, then serve.
  • Serve the arancini with sauce on the side.

For more information about Finishing and Frying, Click here.

Enjoy your arancini!


These arancini are also excellent “in bianco” (without tomato), with the mussels dressed simply with some lemon juice.

Bonus idea

You can also add a vegetable, such as broccoli rabe, to the mussels.

What do you think of the recipe? Send us the photos!

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  • Arancinotto Staff