Hot Cheeto Arancini

This was bound to happen. Balls of rice, cheese, and bacon are coated in Hot Cheetos crumbs and fried to perfection.


  • For the risotto:
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup grated mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese, cut in 1/2-inch cubes (about 20 pieces)
  • For the coating:
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons Buffalo hot sauce
  • 2 cups Hot Cheetos, crushed
  • 4 cups vegetable oil, for frying


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x9 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large rimmed skillet over medium heat, cook bacon pieces until crispy, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  3. To the bacon grease in the pan, add butter, garlic, onion and salt, and cook for 5 minutes until onions are soft.
  4. Add rice and stir until the grains become translucent. Add wine and turn up the heat to medium-high. Stirring constantly, cook until liquid is mostly absorbed, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add broth and and bring to a simmer while continuing to stir constantly.
  6. Transfer the mixture to prepared baking pan, cover with foil, and bake 30 minutes until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
  7. Once the rice is cooled, add the reserved bacon pieces, beaten egg, cheddar cheese, parsley and sour cream. Stir to combine, cover with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight.
  8. Place flour and garlic powder in a shallow dish and stir to combine. Add the eggs and hot sauce to another shallow bowl, and add the crushed Hot Cheetos to a third shallow bowl.
  9. Measure out 2 tablespoons of rice mixture and roll into a tight ball. Place one pepper jack cheese cube in the center and pinch to seal.
  10. Roll the risotto ball in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture and finally the Hot Cheeto mixture, pressing to coat. Repeat with remaining risotto balls.
  11. In a medium saucepan, heat about 4 inches of oil over medium-high heat.
  12. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer a few balls into the hot oil. Turn frequently to cook evenly until deep golden brown. Transfer cooked balls to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  13. Repeat with remaining balls. Serve warm with ranch dressing.