Recipe – Suppli’ (rice croquettes)

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Oh what I wouldn’t give for a doughnut.

And I am talking about a REAL doughnut.  Not  a bready, lightly sugared ciambella attempting to pass itself off as a doughnut.  No, I am talking about a full on, deep fried, drenched in glaze real life AMERICAN doughnut.  What can I say?  The Italians just can’t do the doughnut justice.  Their ciambella is WAY too delicate.  Italians cannot appreciate the art of deep frying and sugar the way Americans can.  (And yes – – there is an art to it.  If anyone has ever had a melt in your mouth Shipley’s doughnut they will know what I am talking about here.)

suppli', rice croquettes

So why am I going on and on and on about my cherished American donuts?  Well, because I miss specific foods from America, and Texas as well.    The good news is I have learned how to make a lot of the things I used to take for granted (apple pie, hash browns, etc…).   But the same was true for hubby when we were living in Texas.  One of his big cravings were suppli’.  Suppli’ are found in Rome and are often served as an appetizer (especially with pizza) or eaten as snack.  They are rice croquettes and are similar to the better known arancini, but are smaller and have an oval/egg shape as opposed to being round.  Most of the suppli‘ I have eaten contain only the rice and a melted mozzarella center, although generally they will also contain meat and maybe even mushrooms.

Back to hubby.  In an effort satisfy his craving and be a nice wife, I came up with this recipe.  I just kind of guessed at how they were made, so I am sure if there are any Romans out there reading this, they will put my “suppli’” right up there with my Italian “doughnut.”  I have looked at other suppli‘ recipes and again, mine is a bit different, but, ok they made hubby happy and that was the initial intent, and they are always a hit at any party.

Often in Italy, these balls will often be made from leftover risotto and are said to be even more flavorful this way.  Also, they can be made the day before and go straight from the fridge to frying.  But I have to say, that neither of these two methods work very well for me because they always come out  a little drier and I prefer a moist suppli‘.  I am sure the Italians have some secret I am not aware of, but for the moment, this way works for me.

This is a basic recipe, but feel free to experiment.  Mix it up by using other ingredients or even different cheeses for the center (it should be a cheese the melts well).  I have included some preparation photos because unlike some of my other recipes that are laughably easy, I think the photos really help get across how to prepare these little guys.


3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon of butter

1  medium onion, finely chopped

2 cups Arborio rice

4 cups vegetable broth

1/4 cup tomato puree

1/4 cup tomato paste

1/2 cup heavy cream

salt to taste

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

4 ounces mozzarella cheese

For breading and frying:

1/2 cup flour

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups bread crumbs seasoned to taste

oil for frying (peanut, canola, etc…)


1.  Finley chop onion, and saute in olive oil and butter over medium heat.

2.  When onion becomes translucent, add the rice, toasting until all the rice is coated in butter. (a few minutes).

3.  Stir the broth into the rice mixture little by little until the broth is completely absorbed, making to sure to continuously stir the rice.  (about 15 minutes).

4.  Add tomato puree, paste and cream to rice mixture and continue cooking until rice is tender (about 5-10 minutes).

5.  Mix in Parmesan cheese and stir rice well.

6.  Pour the risotto out on a flat plate allowing it to cool.

7.  Cut the mozzarella into 15 square pieces.

8.  Beat the eggs in a small bowl.

9.  Place flour onto a plate or piece of was paper.

10.  Place  breadcrumbs onto a plate or piece of wax paper.  (If desired, season breadcrumbs with a little salt and even parsley to add some color.)

11.  Take a spoonful of rice and make the form of an egg, leaving a cavity indentation.  Place a piece of mozzarella in the cavity and completely close the cheese.  Set aside and repeat with the rest of the rice.

12.  Pass the rice balls through the flour first, then the beaten egg mixture and lastly the breadcrumbs.  Set aside.

13.  In a large saucepan, pour in enough oil to fill the pan about a third from the bottom.  Heat oil over medium heat.  When oil is hot begin frying the rice balls, turning them until all sides are golden brown (3-5 minutes).  *Note:  cheese in the center should be melted after cooking.

14.  Remove from oil, drain on paper towels and serve.  If you are not able to serve right away, you can heat them up in the oven or keep them in a low temperature oven to keep them from getting cold.

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40 Comments on “Recipe – Suppli’ (rice croquettes)

  1. Oh boy! This is Britt’s FAVORITE thing that you make!! I am forwarding this onto him. I BET he will try to make them! He loves to experiment in the kitchen! Will keep you posted!! Yes–just drove past a Shipleys the other day!!! Will stop in next time and have a donut for you! What is your favorite??????? Love and kisses! Sheri

    • Hi Sheri!!!!!! Let me know how it goes for Britt!!! Gosh…..Shipleys….my fav?? Just the classic glazed….oh gosh…especially when they are WARM!!! COMPLETE HEAVEN! Y’all have a good Sunday!

  2. Those look really good, Diana – and far less intimidating than those ginormous arrancini. (I have a big food phobia, don’t ask..)

    • Ha, ha, ha…a big food phobia?!?! That is funny…..but yes…I admit these are much easier to handle….even the shape is more eater-friendly.

  3. I’m impressed at your creativity in the kitchen! Not sure if my taste buds are tempted though… but you did get me at donut! I’ve got a craving now😉

  4. I know what you mean about missing donuts! When I come back from Europe I can’t wait to eat a juicy, greasy, hamburger and fries! Usually I can get my fix by going to McD’s. And then I am good until I go back to Europe! I have even tried eating from McD’s in Rome, but it just wasn’t the same! Must be all in my head! The rice fritter looks good enough to eat!

    • I know….Americans just really know how to make the best “bad” food ever! I know that we use too much sugar and grease……but gollie…no one can deny the yuminess of Krispy Kreme…

  5. They sound delicious, but I have a feeling it is going to take some practice to get them to look as good as yours do. I will have to give them a try. I think the whole family would like them!

    • Hi Kath!!!! Awwww…how well do you know me?!?! I should have really included some “behind the scenes” pics….cause…well….these little guys can be a bit messy to make…I admit…but ohhhh…they are such a hit! Let me know how they come out…..have a good Sunday!

  6. I would try to bring you donuts but don’t think they would make it much past Newark!

  7. I can sometimes find donuts here in the grocery store, but they’re never anywhere as good as American donuts. We do know how to do sugar and frying very well.🙂

    Those suppli look delicious, but I tend to loose my temper when dealing with sticky stuff that I have to shape. And then there’s the whole frying thing. But cheese! So tempting!

  8. Italians don’t like deep fried food because our grandmas always told us that you could deep fry a used slipper and it would still taste good🙂 deep frying is the solution when someone doesn’t know how to cook, so that’s why we don’t like it! And yes, I don’t like donuts, I hate KFC and fish and chips😀 but I do like those donuts cooked in the oven!

    • Yes….your Nonna had it right…..for sure anything fried tastes great (to most people)….but too much oil and sugar is a big no-no in Italian cooking. It is all about balance and fresh ingredients. Still…..I do miss all the “bad” stuff in the States.

  9. Buoni i suppli! A gorgeous classic recipe, really good!!
    Oh I am sure you must miss American food. We all love what we grew up with. There are memories strongly attached to our childhood foods! Some of the foods you mentioned can be found in the UK but I never had the pleasure to try a proper American doughnut! I am sure one day I will.
    Fab post Diana!

    • Ciao Alida!! come stai? Le vacanze??? Spero bene. Comunque…hai ragione………the memories associated with our childhood foods just cannot be replicated with anything but the original. Anyway….thanks for the comment…..ciao….

  10. I’ve never tried them before, they look delicious!! And I do understand you about the donut thingy… here in Germany is the same, but worse than the Ciambella, here the put some veeery sweet syrup inside the donuts😦 I hate it! BUT, I have found a little store not so far from my house where the donuts are just perfect!!! Just like the Americans and Canadians…if you ever visit Munich let me know and I will take you there😀

  11. I’ve never heard of these and part of me wishes I still didn’t know! This looks simply amazing … I particularly love the tucking away of the cheese into each little ball … YUM!!

  12. Mmmmmm!!!!!! I can’t wait to try this recipe, Diana! I love arancini but have never heard of suppli before this. They look so yummy…And, I’m sure they’re calorie-free, too! Perfect!🙂

    • Thank you! Usually I do VERY simple recipes…but this one was a little more involved, so I used the photo to help explain the process. Thanks again!

    • Thank you Judit! Thank you for your comment…..and yes…for sure knowing you can’t have something makes you crave it all the more! Anyway…thanks for stopping by!

  13. I made these a long time ago and they were a crowd favorite. So great to have your recipe all written out!🙂

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