Delicious Vegan African Cuisine

Jollof Rice Arancini – The Canadian African

Jollof rice and some spices are combined to make arancini, Italian fried rice balls.

Jollof Rice Arancini is a West African-Italian fusion product born out of a need to use up leftover Jollof Rice. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jollof Rice, but sometimes I need to switch it up. Enter Jolof Rice Arancini. This delicious bowl is stuffed with delicious, spicy and fragrant jollof rice, some herbs and spices, and vegan cheese. The perfect snack or appetizer for any occasion.

What you need for jollof rice arancini

This dish is highly customizable to your taste
  • Leftover jollof rice: You can use leftover jollof rice or failed jollof rice recipes that you have.
  • Add-ins: I used chopped onion, herbs and chopped pepper, but you can use any herbs or stick to just rice. No. Just thought I’d try something.
  • liquid: I used vegetable milk to soften the rice and make it easier to shape into a ball. If the rice is already soft, you don’t need to add more water.
  • spices: I used the jollof rice mix from Ekatera Add flavor to the rice, but feel free to use whatever spices you like
  • Crust: I used a combination of flour, vegetable milk, and bread crumbs to fry the arancini.

How to make jollof rice arancini

  1. Using a room temperature jollof, mix the spices and liquid until the rice can be comfortably formed into a ball
  2. Take a thumb-sized piece with wet hands, flatten it, add vegan cheese (if using), and place another thumb-sized piece of jollof on top.
  3. Mold into a ball.
  4. Sprinkle bread crumbs using the flour, milk, bread crumbs drench method.
  5. Fry until golden on both sides

What would you like to serve with this arancini?

You can actually combine this with some of your favorite recipes and put it as a small chop plate

Frequently Asked Questions and Alternatives

  • Can I use brown rice Jollof? Of course, we also have a recipe for brown rice jollof (click here).
  • Can these be air fried? Yes! I air-fried them at 380°F for 15-20 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
  • Can you make this gluten free? Yes, I can. Be sure to use gluten-free breadcrumbs and gluten-free flour for the breading process.


  • 2 cups room temperature stale jollof rice
  • 2 tbsp chopped onion *
  • 1 tablespoon chopped herbs (I used basil and thyme) *
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped paprika (I used leftover goat pepper recipe)*
  • Jollof rice spice mix 1 tsp *
  • 2-3 tablespoons of plant-based milk
  • 1 slice of vegan mozzarella cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable milk or water
  • 2 cups bread crumbs



This recipe is highly customizable, so these instructions serve as guidelines.


Add jollof rice, onion, herbs, pepper, spices and 1 tablespoon of bread crumbs in a bowl and mix well.


If the jollof rice mixture is very dry, add vegetable milk or water, tablespoon at a time, until everything is well mixed and can be comfortably formed into a ball.


Grasp a thumb-sized portion of rice with wet hands, flatten in a mold with palm, add mozzarella cheese (if using), and press thumb-sized rice mixture onto top. set aside.


Once all the arancini are shaped, place them in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to rest and prepare for the breading process.


To bread the arancini, dip them in flour first, then in a bowl of plant-based milk, then generously coat with breadcrumbs, making sure all sides are properly coated. Repeat this process for balls of


To fry, heat vegetable oil in a pan (not too hot) and fry the arancini until golden brown on both sides (about 3 minutes per side). While watching the situation so as not to burn.


Remove the arancini from the oil and place them on a paper towel to allow the oil to drip.


Serve hot with ranch dressing.


* Seasoning and spices of arancini are your preference

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