Buffalo Chicken and Smoked Bacon Arancini Balls

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This chicken and bacon Arancini ball recipe is an American take on traditional Italian street food! They are full of heat and flavour making them perfect for dinner, afternoon snack or game day treat! 

Buffalo Chicken and Smoked Bacon Arancini Balls

What is Arancini? 

Arancini balls originate from Italy. They are delicious stuffed (usually with mozzarella or ragu) rice balls which are coated in bread crumbs and then deep-fried.

Nowadays you will usually find them on an Italian street food stall or as a starter in a restaurant!

However, they are also perfect for a snack or sharing platter. 

Do I need any special products to make the Chicken and Bacon Arancini balls? 

A deep fat fryer always helps when making Arancini balls, as one will help you to regulate temperature a lot easier than in a pan. 

Alternatively, a thick saucepan can do the job just as well,  just don’t overheat or overfill with the oil!

This recipe also uses Frank’s Hot Sauce, a staple used in most Deep South American cooking (and a staple in my kitchen!)

What shall I serve the chicken and bacon arancini with? 

Arancini can be deceptively filling but it can be served with a mixed leaf salad(Lettuce, tomato, cucumber and red onion).

This particular recipe has been created to be served as part of a platter. Alternatively, as a snack with a delicious dip. 

Scroll down to find the full recipe… 

Served arancini ball meal

Buffalo Chicken and Smoked Bacon Arancini Balls Recipe

Yield: 12 Balls

Buffalo Chicken and Smoked Bacon Arancini

Buffalo Chicken and Smoked Bacon Arancini

These arancini balls have a spicy American twist

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours


Arancini Balls

  • 1 Chicken breast (Finely Diced into cubes)
  • 3 Rashers smoked bacon (Finely Diced into cubes)
  • 1 White onion/ Shallot (Finely diced)
  • 250g arborio rice
  • 100g of mozzarella (Small Cubes)
  • 2 tsp garlic granules
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried onion
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon of frank's hot sauce
  • 1 tsp of cooking oil (Vegetable)
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 200g of panko bread crumbs
  • A cup of plain flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bottle of vegetable oil for frying

Blue Cheese Ranch Dressing

  • 60g Blue cheese (Crushed or diced)
  • 100g Sour cream
  • 100g mayo
  • 1 tsp of garlic granules or garlic puree
  • Roughly chopped chives

Buffalo Sauce

  • 100ml Franks hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of butter/ spread
  • 2 tsp of Cumin


  1. Fry the diced onions in a pan on low heat with butter and oil until golden
  2. Once golden add the smoked bacon and chicken and cook for a further five minutes
  3. Add the garlic, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper and oregano, then allow to cook out for 2-3 minutes before seasoning with salt and pepper
  4. Add the rice to the pan and continue cooking on low heat. When it starts to stick add a splash of red wine to de-glaze the pan
  5. Add the chicken stock and leave on a low heat occasionally stirring for 15 minutes until rice is soft (If it starts to stick simply add more chicken stock!)
  6. While the rice is cooking get started on making your sauces.
    Blue Cheese Ranch Dressing: Simply place all in a bowl and mix together with a fork! (or use a food processor/ blender for ease)
    Buffalo sauce: Use a saucepan and melt the butter, cumin and hot sauce together on a low heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes
  7. Once the rice is cooked, pour on to a flat baking tray with baking parchment and allow to cool for up to an hour. (Wrap with cling film the risotto rice does not form a skin)
  8. Line another rimmed baking sheet with baking parchment
  9. Scoop about a handful of risotto into your hands and form into a patty about 2½" in diameter (it doesn’t need to be perfect!)
  10. Place a piece of mozzarella in the centre of the patty. Carefully pinch and shape risotto so it completely covers the cheese, then roll into a 2" ball.
    Your hands will get messy!
  11. Place on the prepared tray and repeat until you run out of risotto or mozzarella. Freeze the balls for 10 minutes.
  12. Meanwhile gather 3 shallow bowls, one with the panko, one with flour and one with the beaten (season all 3 with salt and pepper)
  13. Carefully dip each arancini ball into the flour, shaking off any excess, then the egg, and then lastly the panko breadcrumbs, ensuring the rice is completely coated. Set aside on a baking tray
  14. Pour the vegetable oil into a deep heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over a high heat. To test if the oil is ready simply drop in a few breadcrumbs – if they sizzle it is ready (alternatively use a deep fat fryer on 185 degrees Celcius)
  15. Carefully lower in the balls into the oil with a metal spoon with holes in batches
  16. Deep-fry for 8 minutes, or until golden and crispy. When cooked place on a baking tray with a kitchen towel to drain excess oil.
  17. Serve with sauces on the side or on top for presentation

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1095Total Fat: 61gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 37gCholesterol: 203mgSodium: 2239mgCarbohydrates: 92gFiber: 5gSugar: 9gProtein: 43g

All values are estimates are just for guidance