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January 05, 2023 3 min read

If one of your New Year's resolutions is to try new things, there’s no better way than to try some new foods. Sure, food is a basic requirement for living, but that doesn’t mean it has to be basic or taste boring. 

Bland food is so last year. This year, we are committed to spicing up our eating habits by trying a little kitchen experimentation. And there’s no better way to take your recipes to the next level than with Grandma Jones’ Pepper Jelly. 

You may already know that pepper jelly is a great way to flavor salad dressingscocktails, and even meatloaf. But did you also know that pepper jelly provides a great sweet heat twist to one of the most popular Italian snacks? Keep reading to learn how pepper jelly can completely transform traditional arancini! 

Spice Up Your Meal with this Pepper Jelly Arancini Recipe

Traditionally, arancini balls are Italian rice balls stuffed with a savory filling (often meat and cheese), coated in breadcrumbs, and fried until crispy. 

Arancini are popular for a reason: they’re delicious. But sometimes, you must turn tradition on its head a little bit in pursuit of delicious flavor combinations. 

If you’re looking for a new out-of-this-world appetizer recipe to celebrate game day, movie night, or just a Thursday at home, you need to try pepper jelly arancini. They’re a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, and filled with warm, gooey deliciousness that will leave you satisfied. 

They are also easy to make and incredibly customizable. Use your favorite flavor of Grandma Jones’ Pepper Jelly to fit your mood. Whether you prefer the classic sweet heat of our Traditional Pepper Jelly, or are looking for a festive alternative like our extra-hot Cranberry Habanero Pepper Jelly, you can’t go wrong. 

Grab your favorite sweet and spicy spread and prepare your taste buds for a unique journey!


Arancini are fried rice balls filled with a savory filling like cheese or ragu.

Pepper Jelly Arancini Recipe


  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided 
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature 
  • 2 oz shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 2 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 oz Grandma Jones’ Pepper Jelly
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1 1/2 cups seasoned Italian bread crumbs 
  • 2 eggs
  • Oil for frying 


  1. Bring broth and ¼ teaspoon salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in all of the rice and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the rice is tender, approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Spread cooked rice on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let it cool.  
  2. Prepare the arancini filling by combining the cream cheese, shredded cheese, pepper jelly, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Mix in a bowl until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.  
  3. Form the Italian rice balls by scooping about ¼ cup of the cold rice and forming it into a flat patty in your hand. 
  4. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the pepper jelly arancini filling into the center of your rice patty and roll into a tight ball. Set the rice ball onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat the process until you use up all of the rice and filling. This recipe yields approximately 24 arancini. 
  5. To bread the arancini, beat eggs in one bowl and pour breadcrumbs into a second bowl. First, coat the arancini balls in the egg wash, then transfer to the breadcrumbs and coat evenly. Transfer to the baking sheet and repeat the process with the remaining rice balls. 
  6. Heat the frying oil in a heavy skillet or pan to 350˚F. Fry the oil in batches of six so as not to overcrowd your pan. Fry on one side 2-3 minutes until it’s a nice golden brown, then carefully flip the arancini to fry the other side for 2-3 minutes. When the batch is done frying, transfer them to a cooling rack set over a baking sheet. Sprinkle them with salt while they’re still hot. 

Arancini Recipe Notes

  • These pepper jelly arancini are best served fresh and warm when the cheese center is still gooey.
  • Leftover arancini will keep for up to 3 days in a sealed container stored in the refrigerator. 
  • Serve these with a side of pepper jelly or your favorite sauce for dipping.

Pepper Jelly Transforms Arancini Recipes and Other Appetizers 

If you’re tired of the new year, same recipes mentality, it’s time to add more Grandma Jones’ Pepper Jelly to your life. It’s more than a condiment: it’s a sweet and spicy flavor enhancer that will take your meals to the next level. 

Browse our blog to find fun and unique ways you can transform your meals with one versatile ingredient. And when it comes time to kitchen experimentation, you can learn how to make your own homemade pepper jelly or shop our variety packs to find your favorite flavor.