CHEESY MEXICAN RICE BITES make an awesome appetizer for Cinco De Mayo! They are spicy little bites of rice that are crispy on the outside and soft and cheesy on the inside.
Have you ever had Arancini at an Italian restaurant? You know those popular little Italian rice balls that are usually served as an appetizer? These Cheesy Mexican Rice Bites are a Mexican style version of that Italian appetizer. I thought these would be fun to make for a Cinco de Mayo party.
These Cheesy Mexican Rice Bites make a perfect party appetizer. They are bite-sized and perfect for dipping in enchilada sauce. If you have leftover Spanish or Mexican rice, these are a great way to use up those leftovers. The directions include making the Spanish rice, but if you already have some rice leftover, you could skip that step in the instructions.
What is it about Cinco de Mayo that makes it so popular in the US? I understand that it is not widely celebrated in Mexico as it is in the US. I think that is just because on this side of the border, we look for any reason to party! And you can’t have a party without food, especially party appetizers like these Cheesy Mexican Rice Bites!
This recipe is really easier to make that you think. Cooking the rice takes the most time. From there on, it is easy. Let the rice chill. Then add eggs and breadcrumbs. Roll the rice into bite-sized balls. Stuff each with a little piece of cheese. Roll them in more bread crumbs and fry them for just a few minutes. Then you will have these delicious, crispy on the outside, soft & cheesy on the inside, little bites of rice. Dip them in some enchilada sauce and you can’t ask for anything better.
What will you serve with these Cheesy Mexican Rice Bites for your Cinco de Mayo party/
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ½ onion sliced
- 1 jalapeno seeded and diced
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 10 ounce can diced tomatoes and chilis
- 1 cup short grain rice
- ½ cup Mexican Queso Quesadilla cheese cubed (Mozzarella could be used)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 ½ cups breadcrumbs
- 1 ½ teaspoons Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Vegetable oil for frying
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil and saute the onion and jalapeno for about 5 minutes and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the diced tomatoes and chilies and rice, reduce the heat to low and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Spread the rice on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let cool completely.
- Combine cheese and cilantro in a bowl; set aside.
- Beat the eggs in a large bowl, then stir in the cooled rice, onions, jalapenos, parmesan cheese and 2/3 cup breadcrumbs, chili powder and cumin. Shape the mixture into sixteen 1-1/2 inch balls. Push a small piece of Queso Quesadilla cheese in the center of each ball. Push the rice around the cheese and close the ball.
- Place the remaining breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Roll the rice balls in the breadcrumbs and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Loosely cover and refrigerate, at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Heat 1 inch of vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F. Working in batches, fry the rice balls, turning, until golden brown on all sides, about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
- Serve with enchilada sauce as a dipping sauce.
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