Spoon UIUC teamed up with Food & Wine magazine to increase awareness about the problem of food waste on our campus. With a microgrant of just under $100, we created 10 original recipes to show you how you can transform leftover late-night eats into something equally amazing the next day.

The best part of studying abroad was never knowing where the adventure would take me when I woke up the next morning. Now that I’m back on campus and the Chinese food delivery man officially knows my order by heart again, you could say I’m missing homemade, Italian meals from my host family.

This recipe will turn last night’s fried rice order into crunchy Italian arancini balls. Cross-culture dish all in one – just be sure to cred us in the Instagram, okay?

Italian Arancini

  • Prep Time:20 minutes
  • Cook Time:5 minutes
  • Total Time:25 minutes
  • Servings:4 (2 arancini per person)
  • Medium


  • 2 cup leftover fried rice
  • 1 cup Italian-style seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesean cheese
  • 8-16 mozzarella pearls
  • 4 eggs
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Step 1

    Place medium-sized pot over medium heat and fill with enough vegetable oil to rise 4 inches.

  • Step 2

    In a medium bowl, mix rice, Parmesan cheese, and 2 eggs with your hands.

    Photo by Shalayne Pulia
  • Step 3

    Roll rice mixture into balls and stuff 1-2 mozzarella pearls into the center of each ball.

    Photo by Shalayne Pulia
  • Step 4

    Combine 2 eggs in one small bowl and the breadcrumbs in another medium bowl. Dip arancini balls in egg and then breadcrumbs making sure they are coated completely.

    Photo by Shalayne Pulia
  • Step 5

    Drop arancini into hot oil and wait about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.

    Photo by Shalayne Pulia
  • Step 6

    Remove from oil with a slotted spoon when golden brown. Drain on paper towel.

    Photo by Shalayne Pulia
  • Step 7

    Add salt to taste and serve with marinara sauce.

    Photo by Shalayne Pulia