I hear you like the combo of cheese and carbs and since I do too, I decided to make you these Air Fryer Cheesy Risotto Balls. I think you’re gonna dig em.
Remember when I said I was really trying to focus on tons of veggies and less carbs and all that? Well here I am. Here I am with two carby delicious recipes  in a row and guess how many apologies I give for that? Answer: zero.
Noah came home today after being introduced to risotto balls at his bestie’s house and wouldn’t stop raving. Confession time – I’d never made risotto balls, or arancini as they’re called. But I know 2 things. I love risotto. I love cheese. Oh, third thing… I love fried foods. So I knew I had to try and that’s precisely what I did.
Praise be, I had everything stocked in my kitchen. I was starting to run low on romano, but as luck would have it, I had enough. I also had a half a jar of marinara in the fridge, still fresh. And I had 1 bag of arborio rice, purchased at the beginning of the pandemic but not yet used. Thank you to the starch gawds for making sure I had all the right stuff. Made a mama and her son real happy.
I decided to make some of them in the air fryer and some fried traditionally in avocado oil. I can honestly say I liked the air fryer version better as the fried ones didn’t get as crispy as I would have liked. The air fryer ones were a firmer on the outside with cheesy, tender middles. If you don’t have an air fryer, the traditional fried version will still work. I needed to turn my oil up hotter in order to get them to brown more nicely. In any event, I think you’re going to really dig these and as usual, NO – CAULI RICE WON’T BE THE SAME! Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.Print 
Air Fryer Cheesy Risotto Balls
- 4 cups water
- 1.75 cups arborio rice 
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup shredded romano
- 1/2 cup shredded Italian blend cheeses
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons cassava flour 
For the coating:
- 1 cup tigernut flour 
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- Marinara sauce
- Fresh parsley to garnish
- Extra romano to garnish
- In a medium saucepan, bring the rice, water, butter, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper to a boil. Cook until all of the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.
- Remove from heat and fold in the cheeses.
- Now stir in the cassava flour and allow to cool slightly
- In a separate small bowl, whisk the eggs together and let sit until risotto combo cools as to not cook the eggs. It will also help thicken the mixture
- On a small plate, mix the tigernut flour and remaining seasonings
- Mix in the eggs to the risotto mixture
- Now use a cookie scoop to take about a tablespoon of the risotto and drop into the tigernut flour
- Roll it around and then form it into a ball
- Repeat with remaining risotto
- If making in an air fryer, place the coated risotto balls into your air fryer, spray them with avocado oil, and cook on the air fry setting at 400F for 6 minutes
- If frying traditionally, heat avocado oil over medium/high heat and gently fry the risotto balls until they are golden brown, removing them from a slotted spoon and placing them on a towel lined plate
- Serve with warm marinara, a sprinkle of extra romano, and some fresh or dried parsley flakes on top