What to Serve with AranciniWhat to Serve with Arancini

Arancini the delectable Italian rice balls are a true culinary delight. With their crispy exterior and flavorful filling, arancini are a popular choice for appetizers, snacks, or even a main course. While arancini can be satisfying on their own, pairing them with the right sides and accompaniments can elevate the dining experience to a whole new level. In this article, we will explore a variety of options for what to serve with arancini, ensuring your meal is a memorable one.

What to Serve with Arancini?

Arancini those delightful Italian rice balls, are a culinary treat that’s hard to resist. With their crispy outer layer and delectable fillings, arancini can be enjoyed as appetizers, snacks, or even a satisfying main course. While arancini shine on their own, enhancing your dining experience with the right accompaniments is a surefire way to elevate your meal. we have explore delicious options for what to serve with arancini, ensuring your meal becomes a memorable culinary adventure:

1. Marinara Sauce – A Classic Complement

Marinara Sauce

One of the most classic and beloved pairings for arancini is marinara sauce. The rich, tomato-based sauce perfectly complements the crispy exterior and creamy interior of the arancini. The tangy and slightly sweet flavors of marinara sauce balance the richness of the arancini, creating a harmonious combination that’s hard to resist.

2. Aioli – Creamy and Flavorful


For a more indulgent dipping sauce, aioli is an excellent choice. This creamy condiment, often infused with garlic and various herbs, adds a burst of flavor to each bite. The garlicky notes of aioli meld beautifully with the subtle flavors of arancini, making it a luxurious option for those looking to elevate their dining experience.

How to make Homemade Aioli?

3. Pesto – A Fresh and Vibrant Option


Pesto, a sauce made from fresh basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, offers a vibrant and fresh contrast to the rich arancini. The herbal notes and nutty undertones of pesto create a delightful balance, providing a burst of freshness with every bite.

4. Salad Greens – A Light and Refreshing Side

Salad Greens

Arancini are often rich and filling, so pairing them with a simple salad can be a great way to balance the meal. A bed of mixed greens drizzled with a light vinaigrette can provide a refreshing contrast to the savory arancini, making for a well-rounded and satisfying meal.

5. Roasted Vegetables – Healthy and Hearty

Roasted Vegetables

For a healthier twist, consider serving arancini with a side of roasted vegetables. The natural sweetness and caramelization of roasted vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes, can complement the arancini’s richness and offer a delightful contrast in both flavor and texture.

6. Soup – A Comforting Pairing


On a chilly day, arancini can be paired with a warm and comforting soup. Minestrone or tomato soup can be a perfect choice, providing a comforting and fulfilling meal with the arancini. The combination of the crispy rice balls and the hearty soup is sure to warm your soul.

7. Grilled Shrimp – A Seafood Delight

Grilled Shrimp

To add a touch of seafood elegance to your meal, serve arancini with grilled shrimp. The succulent and smoky flavors of grilled shrimp complement the creamy arancini exceptionally well, creating a luxurious dining experience.

8. Antipasto Platter – A Mediterranean Feast

Antipasto Platter

For a Mediterranean-inspired feast, create an antipasto platter with a selection of cured meats, cheeses, olives, and roasted vegetables. This combination of flavors and textures can turn your meal into a grand celebration of Italian cuisine.

9. Bruschetta – A Refreshing Appetizer


Bruschetta, with its combination of diced tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, and olive oil, offers a refreshing and vibrant appetizer option. Served alongside arancini, it can be a delightful start to your meal.

10. Lemon Caper Sauce – Zesty and Unique

Lemon Caper Sauce

For a zesty and unique twist, consider lemon caper sauce as an accompaniment for your arancini. The citrusy and briny notes of this sauce enhance the flavors of the rice balls, providing a memorable dining experience.


What do Italians eat with arancini?

In Italy, arancini are often enjoyed on their own, but they can also be paired with classic Italian accompaniments. Many Italians savor arancini with a side of marinara sauce, creating a delightful combination of the crispy rice balls and the rich, tomato-based sauce. Arancini can also be served with a fresh green salad to balance the meal, and in some regions, they are enjoyed alongside roasted or grilled vegetables. The choice of accompaniment largely depends on personal preference, but these classic pairings are popular in Italy.

How do you serve arancini as a main course?

To serve arancini as a main course, you can create a more substantial meal by pairing them with a variety of sides. Start with a generous portion of arancini, and consider adding a salad or steamed vegetables to provide balance and freshness. You can also serve them with a side of soup, such as a hearty tomato soup or a minestrone, to create a satisfying and wholesome main course. The key is to ensure you have enough arancini to make the meal fulfilling, and the choice of sides can be tailored to your taste.

Do you eat arancini with your hands?

Yes, traditionally, arancini are eaten with your hands. The crispy exterior of the rice balls makes them easy to pick up and enjoy without the need for utensils. Simply hold an arancino between your thumb and fingers and take a bite. Eating them this way adds to the delightful, casual experience of enjoying arancini, especially when served as appetizers or street food. However, if you prefer a neater dining experience, you can certainly use a fork and knife.

What sets arancini apart from risotto balls?

Arancini and risotto balls are similar in that they both involve rice, but they have distinct differences. Arancini are deep-fried rice balls typically made from leftover risotto. The rice is often mixed with cheese, meat, or vegetables, then coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried until crispy. Risotto balls, on the other hand, are typically made from freshly prepared risotto. The risotto is formed into balls, stuffed with cheese or other ingredients, coated in breadcrumbs, and also deep-fried. While the ingredients are similar, the key distinction is that arancini are made from leftover risotto, while risotto balls are typically made from fresh risotto.

What sauce to serve with arancini balls?

Arancini can be enjoyed with various sauces. The most common choice is marinara sauce, which is a rich and tangy tomato-based sauce that complements the flavors of the rice balls. Aioli, a creamy garlic sauce, is another popular option, adding a burst of flavor. Pesto, made from fresh basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, offers a vibrant and fresh contrast. Ultimately, the choice of sauce is a matter of personal preference, and you can experiment with different options to find the one that suits your taste best.

What to serve with arancini vegetarian?

For a vegetarian pairing with arancini, consider serving them with a fresh green salad. The salad can include a variety of greens, such as mixed lettuces, arugula, and spinach, drizzled with a light vinaigrette. Roasted or grilled vegetables, like bell peppers, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes, can also be a flavorful and hearty option. Additionally, you can pair vegetarian arancini with a side of tzatziki, a Greek yogurt-based dip with cucumbers and herbs, for a cool and tangy accompaniment.

What to serve with arancini for dinner?

To make a complete dinner with arancini, you can start with a generous portion of the rice balls and consider adding a side salad, roasted vegetables, or steamed vegetables to create a balanced meal. A light soup, like a tomato or minestrone soup, can serve as a comforting and fulfilling starter. The choice of accompaniments can be tailored to your preferences, ensuring a satisfying dinner experience with arancini as the centerpiece.

What is the best dipping sauce for arancini balls?

The choice of the best dipping sauce for arancini balls depends on your personal taste. Classic options include marinara sauce, which is a timeless favorite with its rich tomato flavors, and aioli, a creamy garlic sauce that adds a burst of flavor. Pesto, with its fresh basil and nutty undertones, is a vibrant and flavorful choice. Additionally, lemon caper sauce can provide a zesty and unique twist, while tzatziki offers a tangy and refreshing accompaniment. Ultimately, the best dipping sauce is the one that complements your arancini and suits your palate.


In conclusion, arancini are a versatile and delicious dish that can be paired with a wide variety of sides and accompaniments. From classic choices like marinara sauce to more adventurous options like grilled shrimp or antipasto platters, the possibilities are endless. By selecting the right sides to serve with your arancini, you can create a meal that’s not only satisfying but also a culinary experience to remember. So, go ahead and experiment with different pairings to find your perfect combination and enjoy the delightful world of arancini.

Remember that the key to a memorable arancini meal is not only the quality of the rice balls but also the creativity and variety of the sides and accompaniments you choose.

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