Italian Spinach Rice Balls

These Italian rice balls pack an abundance of delicious flavors into every bite.

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Italian Spinach Rice Balls

Cooking time
PREP TIME 15 mins
Cooking time
COOK TIME 20 mins
Ready in
TOTAL TIME 35 mins


  • 1 bag Success® Basmati Rice
  • 10 cups spinach, trimmed and packed
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 eggs, divided
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs, divided
  • 2 tbsp oil-packed and drained sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp basil pesto
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


  • Capture all those irresistible Italian ingredients in these bite-sized Spinach Rice Balls. For a guaranteed crowd pleaser, get rolling on these vegetarian appetizers!

    Step 1

  • Prepare rice according to package directions.

    Step 2

  • In large skillet set over medium-high heat, add 2 tbsp water and spinach. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes or until wilted and tender. Let cool completely. Squeeze out excess moisture and finely chop.

    Step 3

  • In large bowl, combine rice, spinach, mozzarella, Parmesan, 1 egg, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto until well combined. Season with salt and black pepper. Divide evenly into 12 balls and arrange on parchment paper–lined baking sheet.

    Step 4

  • In medium bowl, add flour. In second medium bowl, beat remaining egg. In third medium bowl, add remaining breadcrumbs. Dredge balls in flour, dip in egg and roll in breadcrumbs, pressing to adhere. Transfer back to parchment paper–lined sheet.

    Step 5

  • In high-sided skillet set over medium heat, add enough oil to come 2 inches up sides of skillet and heat oil until shimmering or to 350°F. In batches to avoid crowding, fry balls, turning once, for 4 to 6 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to paper towel–lined plate.

    Recipe Tips:

    For a dinner party, prepare rice balls early in the day. Refrigerate until ready to use and reheat in 350°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until heated through.

    Serve any leftover rice balls as a snack or side dish alongside warm tomato sauce for dipping.

    Mocktail Pairing Recipes:

    Pair Italian Spinach Rice Balls with a Fizzy Lemonade drink or Virgin Mary Mocktail.

    Fizzy Lemonade: 

    -Lemon Peel and Juice
    -Club Soda or Seltzer Water

    How to Make: Heat the sugar and water over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring frequently. Stir in lemon peel in steps and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncover for 5 minutes. Cool slightly. Transfer everything to a pitcher. Stir in lemon juice; cover and refrigerate until chilled. Discard lemon strips. Stir in club soda or seltzer water and serve over ice.

    Virgin Mary Mocktail:

    -Tomato juice
    -Lemon juice
    -Worcestershire sauce
    -Celery salt
    -Hot sauce (tabasco)

    How to Make: Combine the tomato juice and lemon juice together along with some ice cubes. Once these ingredients have been mixed together, add in the Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, pepper and hot sauce. Mix well and then serve!

Appetizer Board

These Italian rice balls pack an abundance of delicious flavors into every bite.

  • Pizzas and parties and a perfect match. Packed with savory pepperoni, gooey mozzarella, and nutty Quinoa, these Quinoa Pizza Bites will hit the spot!

Pair with Marinara: From pizza bites to Italian Spinach Rice Balls, this zesty tomato-based sauce is ever-versatile.

  • Filled with Cheddar cheese and fluffy White Rice, these crispy Rice Balls are perfect for cheese lovers!

Pair with Sweet and Spicy Sauce: Why not opt for an upgraded hot sauce? Similar to a hot chili sauce, spicy Dijon mustard and horseradish is perfectly balanced by the sweet red currant jelly.

Pair with Aioli: Blend mayonnaise, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and a pinch of cayenne pepper for a creamy

Spinach Tips

With recipes this delicious, it’s a cinch to sneak more leafy greens into your meals! If you are looking for something sweeter and more tender, reach for a bag of baby spinach. For optimal texture and nutritional integrity, spinach is best fresh. Extend the shelf-life by sticking a paper towel in the bag to absorb some of the moisture. If you buy in bulk, you can even freeze fresh leaves. Looking for some new dinner ideas? Try our: Spanish Rice Recipes.