Chicken Shawarma Arancini with Jalapeno Cilantro Sauce

Arancini is a traditional Italian snack made up of a ball of rice which is deep fried and has a crispy bread crumb coating. This version brings a slight Middle Eastern twist to give you Chicken Shawarma Arancini.

Crescent Foods Executive Chef Luis Reyes



  • 1 cup Cooked Crescent Foods Ground Chicken
  • 2 cups Cooked Basmati Rice
  • 1 cup Plain Yogurt – Halal or Greek (whole milk)
  • ¼ cup Fresh ginger – chopped
  • 2 tbsp Jalapeno – seeded, chopped
  • ¾ cup Golden Raisins
  • ½ cup Green Onions – chopped
  • ½ cup Carrots – minced
  • Shawarma Seasoning (any brand)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Granulated Garlic
  • 3 cups Panko Bread Crumbs

Jalapeno-Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 Jalapeno, seeds, removed, chopped
  • 1 cup Plain Yogurt
  • ½ cup Cilantro, stems included
  • 2 tbsp Mint Leaves
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • White Pepper to taste



  1. Cook rice according to manufacturer instructions in chicken broth.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the ground chicken and add the shawarma seasoning.
  3. Once both items are cooked and while the rice and the chicken are warm measure both items to the indicated amount and place them in a mixing bowl.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, mix, and set aside to cool.
  5. While the mixture is cooling, using 3 different bowls, combine 4 whole eggs with ½ cup of water in bowl #1, in bowl #2 add 1 ½ cups of AP flour, 2 tsp salt and 2 tsp of granulated garlic, and in bowl #3 add 3 cups of panko crumbs.
  6. Once the rice mixture is cool, using an ice cream scoop or lightly wet hands, create 2 inch round balls
  7. Using your hands, dredge the outside of each rice balls into the seasoned flour until completely coated, then wet the outside of each rice ball with the egg wash and finish them by rolling them into the panko crumbs. Set them on a baking sheet.
  8. Heat vegetable oil in a large pot to 350*F. Without overcrowding the pot drop rice balls into the hot oil (they should fully submerge) and cook until the outside is golden brown, about 3 minutes. If your pot is wide, carefully roll the rice balls in the oil to ensure even cooking on all sides.
  9. Transfer to a baking sheet or rack coated with paper towel to drain. Repeat with remaining rice balls.
  10. Serve hot with a side of the Jalapeno-Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

Jalapeno-Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

  1. Place the ingredients in a food blender and puree until very smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper.


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Heifa's Bio

Heifa, is a Chicago based Middle Eastern Food Blogger. Her mission is to develop simple, and easy recipes infused with the Mediterranean flavors that she grew up eating. Her hope is for people to get back in the kitchen and make food that is beneficial for them and their families without lacking in flavor.

Zehra, The Fitnest

To Zehra, nourishing meals are more than just that – they are dishes that feed and nourish our bodies. Healthy eating, fitness and being a loving mother of two are Zehra’s greatest passions. With a Kinesiology and Health Sciences background, she uses this knowledge to encourage her followers to live a healthier life through nutritional eating and ongoing fitness. The recipes that Zehra will share will have you trying different tastes a flavors from around the world.