Mexican Rice Balls 22.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

Sep 4, 2016

These cheesy, lightly spiced snacks are good on their own or for dipping into salsa and guacamole.

Arborio or short-grain brown rice would be good to use here.

Make Ahead: The rice balls can be assembled and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. To reheat, microwave on LOW in brief increments.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 22 servings

  • 1 cup white or brown short-grain rice
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
  • About 5 1/2 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into 22 cubes (you can cut from 4 packaged cheese sticks; about 3/4 inch each)


Combine the rice, water, cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic powder and salt in a deep saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 45 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is cooked through. Taste, and add more salt as needed.

Cool, covered in the pot and off the heat, for about 20 minutes.

Use cool water to moisten your hands; use them to shape the mixture into 22 balls of equal size. Place a cheese cube at the center of each one, making sure it's completely covered. (If you're making these in advance, you can transfer them to an airtight container at this point.)

Microwave the rice balls on HIGH for 10 seconds to melt the cheese inside; or you can steam them in batches for 1 to 2 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe at

Tested by Danielle Newman and Clara Marks.

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