Air Fryer Frozen Arancini (Aldi Sweet Pea Rice Balls)

When it comes to Italian style appetizers, arancini rice balls are one of my favorites! Sometimes, though, I don’t want to go through all the hassle of making my own. That’s where Aldi comes to the rescue! I can make air fryer frozen arancini like Aldi’s Appetitos brand in way less time!

air fryer frozen arancini from aldi recipe dinners done quick featured image

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Aldi takes the hard work out of making your own arancini by creating a frozen pre-packaged version. Plus, this way you can have a tasty appetizer on hand for last minute company without having to stress!

If you do want to make your own at home, though, make sure to check out my homemade Air Fryer Arancini recipe for all the details on this delicious Italian favorite!

Currently Aldi offers two flavors of frozen arancini, mushroom and sweet pea, and sells them under their Appetito’s brand label as part of their rotating “finds” collection. They are perfect for your air fryer, cooking directly from frozen in minutes!

holding up a cross section of an air fried frozen arancini

Now, yes, Aldi does have air fryer directions on the box. However, I’ve learned that they are never accurate (at least for my air fryer) so I always test and record my results so that you can also share in the knowledge of what I learn in the process.

Ingredients List

aldi frozen arancini next to the box
  • 9 ounce box Aldi frozen arancini (any flavor) – 12 count
  • Dipping sauce (optional)

Ingredient Tips and Notes

  • Aldi (Appetitos) currently makes two flavors for frozen arancini – sweet pea and mushroom. This recipe works for either one (and they have been known to add other flavors from time to time!)
  • You can also use other brands of frozen arancini, such as Williams Sonoma, Stuffed Foods, Appetizers to Go, Costco, or Phillips brands
  • The Appetitos brand does not come with dipping sauce. If you want some (entirely optional), marinara is the recommended choice, but I also enjoy alfredo or garlic parmesan sauce as alternatives

How to Cook Frozen Arancini in an Air Fryer

  1. Remove frozen arancini from all packaging (including the plastic tray). Then, place your frozen arancini in your air fryer’s basket or rack in a single layer, allowing some air space between them for circulation
place aldi frozen arancini in air fryer basket
  1. Cook on the air fry setting at 350°F for 8-10 minutes, pausing halfway through to shake the basket and flip the arancini over (to make sure we heat the bottoms too). Aldi arancini are done when the interior reaches 165°F and they are browned and crispy outside (other brands may vary slightly in terms of cooking time depending on size). Note: Aldi recommends 300°F for 10-12 minutes, which does not get them as crispy, but they will burst open slightly less, so it’s your choice here
  2. Cool for a few minutes (they will be hot) and serve with dipping sauce if desired
overhead view of air fryer frozen arancini on a plate circling a dish of marinara

More Frozen Breaded Appetizers to Try

Recipe FAQs

Can You Cook Frozen Arancini in the Air Fryer?

Yes, you can cook frozen arancini in the air fryer.

It’s a convenient way to enjoy this delicious Italian snack without the need for thawing the arancini beforehand.

How Do You Cook Frozen Arancini in the Air Fryer?

To cook frozen arancini in the air fryer, preheat the air fryer to the recommended temperature (usually between 350°F and 375°F). If you do not preheat, add a couple extra minutes to the cooking time.

Then, place the frozen arancini in the air fryer basket in a single layer, making sure they are not touching. Cook the arancini for about 8-10 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking time for even crispiness.

Do You Need to Spray Oil on Frozen Arancini Before Air Frying?

It is not necessary to spray oil on frozen arancini before air frying, as they already contain some oil from the frying process prior to freezing.

However, if you prefer a crispier texture, you can lightly spray the frozen arancini with cooking spray before placing them in the air fryer.

How Do You Ensure Even Cooking of Frozen Arancini in the Air Fryer?

To ensure even cooking of frozen arancini in the air fryer, arrange them in a single layer in the air fryer basket, making sure there is some space between each arancini to allow air circulation.

Avoid overcrowding the basket, as this can result in uneven cooking and less crispy texture.

Can You Reheat Leftover Cooked Arancini in the Air Fryer?

Yes, you can reheat leftover cooked arancini in the air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C), then place the leftover arancini in the air fryer basket in a single layer.

Cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until heated through and crispy. Time can vary based on the size of your rice balls.

What Dipping Sauces Pair Well with Air Fryer Frozen Arancini?

Air fryer frozen arancini pair well with a variety of dipping sauces, including marinara sauce, arrabiata, pesto, garlic aioli, or even a simple balsamic glaze.

The tangy and savory flavors of these sauces complement the crispy exterior and creamy interior of the arancini.

Can You Cook Other Frozen Appetizers in the Air Fryer Alongside Arancini?

Yes, you can cook other frozen appetizers in the air fryer alongside arancini, as long as they require a similar cooking temperature and time.

Be sure to arrange them in a single layer in the air fryer basket and leave ample space between all the foods to ensure even cooking.

Are Air Fryer Frozen Arancini Healthier Than Traditional Fried Arancini?

Not really. Frozen arancini have already been fried before freezing, so they contain nearly the same amount of oil as a deep fried version.

The difference is really in the convenience, in that you only need to heat and enjoy instead of the rolling and breading associated with making your own.

Recipe Pro Tips

  • You do not need to add any oil before air frying these arancini, as it’s already present in the breading (you’ll see it as it warms up)
  • I did not preheat my air fryer for this, as I planned to flip them over anyway. If you do preheat, you can usually cut 1-2 minutes off of cooking time at this temperature. Mine were done (verified via thermometer) after 9 minutes in my Ninja air fryer (other brands and models may vary)
  • Note that nearly all of my Aldi arancini burst open during cooking. They still taste fine, but are less “pretty”. If you cook at the lower temperature (300°F) they recommend, they seem to burst less (but still do), but they are also less crispy so it’s a tradeoff. I prefer the crunchy yet slightly unsightly ones myself!
closeup view of air fryer frozen arancini on a plate with marinara and parsley

Storage and Reheating Tips

  • To store leftover arancini, cool completely and transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. I do not recommend refreezing once they have been cooked once
  • For reheating, air fry leftover Aldi arancini at 350°F for about 3 minutes, until the outside is re-crisped and the arancini are warmed through. Aldi brand is pretty small (only about 1”) so if you are reheating other brands of arancini, you’ll likely need longer to warm them through

More Aldi Recipes For the Air Fryer

Aldi Arancini Ingredients List

Here is the ingredients list for the sweet pea variety of Aldi’s Appetitos frozen arancini:

  • Cooked rice
  • Peas
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Onion
  • Canola and/or sunflower oil
  • Panko
  • Enriched wheat flour
  • Mirin
  • Eggs
  • Water 
  • Cornstarch
  • Chicken base
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

I was actually rather surprised to learn that these arancini are not vegetarian (I had incorrectly assumed due to the pea flavor that they would be)!

The allergen warnings on the box are for wheat, eggs, and milk. You can see the nutrition info down in my recipe card.

Appetitos Aldi Frozen Arancini Review (Sweet Pea)

Overall, I enjoyed the Aldi sweet pea frozen arancini. The air fryer cooked them up beautifully so they had a nice, crunchy crust on the outside.

You could taste the pea flavor for sure, so it definitely lived up to the promise of what to expect. I preferred the arancini on their own instead of dipped in marinara, as the flavors didn’t blend well in my opinion (I’d definitely do alfredo or something creamy next time).

They were ready to eat in under 10 minutes, and that’s after cooking directly from frozen, making them very quick and convenient – a perfect app to have on hand.

However, they are extremely prone to bursting open while cooking. While maybe too unsightly for company, they still taste fine! You can mitigate this by cooking at a lower temperature for longer, but they don’t get quite as crispy (and still burst a little, just not quite as much).

Lastly, I found the rice to be a little mushy texturally. Haven made my own arancini at home, I’m used to a more firm filling and for the rice to have some more structure still. You can taste the flavor of the rice so you know it’s there, but it feels more like rice paste.

Overall, I’d probably give them a 6 out of 10. They are crispy, flavorful, and easy to prepare. I’d get them again if I was short on time, but generally speaking I’d probably still prefer to make my own.

Final Thoughts

Making air fryer frozen arancini, whether you have Aldi or a different brand, is an easy way to prepare this Italian style appetizer or snack.

Instead of preparing rice, rolling, breading, and then cooking with the traditional preparation method, these rice balls are hot, crispy, and ready to eat in under 10 minutes.

They’re a great fast alternative to have on hand for appetizers or a snack, especially when the theme is Italian. Plus, the sweet pea flavor is perfect for Spring, so it’s something I enjoy serving for Easter as well!

air fryer frozen arancini from aldi recipe dinners done quick featured image

Air Fryer Frozen Arancini (Aldi)

These frozen arancini cook up crunchy and delicious in under 10 minutes in the air fryer! Whether you have Aldi or another brand, they’re a quick and easy Italian appetizer option to have on hand.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4
Calories 220 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 9 Ounce box Aldi frozen arancini, any flavor (12 count)
  • 3 Tbsp Dipping sauce (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Remove frozen arancini from all packaging (including the plastic tray). Then, place your frozen arancini in your air fryer’s basket or rack in a single layer, allowing some air space between them for circulation
  • Cook on the air fry setting at 350°F for 8-10 minutes, pausing halfway through to shake the basket and flip the arancini over (to make sure the bottom gets heated). Aldi arancini are done when the interior reaches 165°F and they are browned and crispy outside (other brands may vary slightly in terms of cooking time depending on size). Note: Aldi recommends 300°F for 10-12 minutes, which does not get them as crispy, but they will burst open slightly less, so it’s your choice here
  • Cool for a few minutes (they will be hot) and serve with dipping sauce if desired

Notes

  • Aldi currently makes two flavors for frozen arancini – sweet pea and mushroom. This recipe works for either one
  • You can also use other brands of frozen arancini, such as Williams Sonoma, Stuffed Foods, Appetizers to Go, Costco, or Phillips brands with the same directions
  • The Appetitos brand does not come with dipping sauce. If you want some (entirely optional), marinara is the recommended choice, but I also enjoy alfredo or garlic parmesan sauce as alternatives
  • You do not need to add any oil before air frying these arancini, as it’s already present in the breading (you’ll see it as it warms up)
  • I did not preheat my air fryer for this, as I planned to flip them over anyway. If you do preheat, you can usually cut 1-2 minutes off of cooking time at this temperature. Mine were done (verified via thermometer) after 9 minutes in my Ninja air fryer (other brands and models may vary)
  • Note that nearly all of my arancini burst open during cooking. They still taste fine, but are less “pretty”. If you cook at the lower temperature (300°F) Aldi recommends, they seem to burst less (but still do), but they are also less crispy so it’s a tradeoff. I prefer the crunchy yet slightly unsightly ones myself!
  • To store leftover arancini, cool completely and transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. I do not recommend refreezing once they have been cooked once
  • For reheating, air fry leftover Aldi arancini at 350°F for about 3 minutes, until the outside is re-crisped and the arancini are warmed through. Aldi brand is pretty small (only about 1”) so if you are reheating other brands of arancini, you’ll likely need longer to warm them through
  • Exact nutritional values will vary based on brand and flavor of ingredients, any sauces or sides added, and quantity consumed, so please consider this a guideline only

Nutrition

Serving: 85gCalories: 220kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 9gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 500mgPotassium: 53mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gCalcium: 147mgIron: 1mg
Keyword air fryer aldi products, air fryer frozen appetizers, air fryer frozen arancini, aldi arancini frozen, aldi arancini recipe, frozen arancini balls, frozen arancini rice, italian rice balls, ninja air fryer frozen arancini, rice balls air fryer
Tried this recipe?Mention @TheDinnersDoneQuick or tag #dinnersdonequick!
air fryer frozen arancini from aldi recipe dinners done quick pinterest
Katie Vine
5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating