Maqloubi Arancini

Turn your leftover Maqloubi rice pilaf into crispy eggplant arancini balls. A Middle Eastern twist on the Italian classic, perfect for snacking!
10 minutes
10 minutes

About this recipe

Looking for a tasty solution to use up your leftover Maqloubi rice pilaf? Look no further! This recipe for Maqloubi Arancini is the perfect answer. These crispy fried rice bite-sized balls are full of aromatic spices and tender chicken, making them an ideal appetizer or snack. Additionally, it’s an excellent way to reduce food waste in the kitchen by utilizing leftover eggplant.

To create the Maqloubi Arancini, gently mash the chicken, rice, and eggplant together until well incorporated, using your hands. Add grated parmesan cheese, and stir everything thoroughly. Then, shape the mixture into balls, dip into flour, egg and coat them in breadcrumbs, and fry until golden brown.

Maqloubi Arancini balls are perfect for entertaining, side dishes, or late-night snacks. Serve them hot alongside spaghetti, salad, or bruschetta for a complete meal, or enjoy them alone as a satisfying snack. With this recipe, you’ll never let leftover rice pilaf go to waste again.

Trust me, you won’t regret trying the Maqloubi rice pilaf! It’s simply amazing. I even have a blog on how to cook it perfectly and another one with the actual recipe. The heart-stopping moment when you flip your Maqloubi is why it’s the best recipe in the world. Don’t miss out on this delicious dish!



  • 2 cups leftover Maqloubi rice pilaf
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 50 grams mozzarella diced small
  • 2 teaspoons chili flakes
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs whisked
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Notes from Rouba

  • If your Maqloubi rice pilaf is a little dry, add a tablespoon of chicken broth to the mixture to help bind it together.
  • When rolling the mixture into balls, make sure they are packed tightly to prevent them from falling apart during frying.
  • To make sure the arancini balls are evenly coated in the breadcrumb mixture, use one hand for dipping the ball in the egg mixture and the other hand for rolling it in the breadcrumbs. This will prevent the mixture from clumping on your fingers and make the process much easier.
  • What is panko breadcrumb


Step 1.

Start by mixing the leftover Maqloubi rice with the chicken and strips of eggplant. Use your hands to gently mash everything together until it is well incorporated and there are no big chunks of chicken or eggplant.

Combine Maqloubi rice and parmesan cheese in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper. On separate plates, prepare plain flour and breadcrumbs for flouring and crumbing.

Step 2.

Take a small amount of the risotto mixture and shape it into a ball. Use your finger to create a small hole in the center of the ball. Now take a small piece of diced mozzarella cheese and roll it in chili flakes, then insert it into the hole in the risotto ball.

Use your hands to shape the risotto ball back into a round shape, making sure the cheese is fully enclosed.

Dip the risotto ball in flour, then in beaten egg, and finally in breadcrumbs, making sure it is fully coated. Repeat.

Step 3.

Heat a large pot with oil over medium heat and fry the arancini balls until golden brown, turning occasionally. Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel before serving. Serve with a dollop of mayonnaise and toasted slivered almonds.

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Creating magic and happy memories with food are my gift for you!
xx Rouba

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