Old-fashioned Cheese and Rice Fritters

I’m always on the outlook for hundred-year-old snack and appetizer recipes. I recently found a recipe in a 1919 cookbook for Cheese and Rice Fritters.  They were crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, with a subtle cheese and tomato flavor. And, they were amazingly similar to  an hors d’oeuvre that I recently had at a catered event.

Here is the original recipe:

Recipe for Cheese and Rice Fritters
Source: Recipes for Everyday by Janet McKenzie Hill (1919)

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Cheese and Rice Fritters

  • Servings: 2 - 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

1/2 cup rice

1 4-ounce can tomato sauce


1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated

shortening or lard

Cook rice following package directions with the following substitution – replace half of the water called for on the package with tomato sauce. (Any remaining tomato sauce can be saved and used in another recipe.) Puree cooked rice. (Cook’s note:  I’m not sure how the rice was pureed a hundred years ago. I used a blender to puree the rice – and that did not work very well. I think that a food processor might work better.)

In a mixing bowl, combine approximately 1 cup of pureed rice, salt, paprika, baking powder, and flour; stir until thoroughly mixed. (There may be extra rice that can be eaten or used in another recipe.)  Add grated cheese and stir until the cheese is evenly distributed throughout the dough. If dough is too dry, add 1 – 2 tablespoons of water; if too moist, add 1 or tablespoons of additional flour.

Heat 1/2 inch of shortening or lard until hot in large frying pan. Drop heaping teaspoons of dough into hot shortening. Flip fritters and fry until golden brown on both sides. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.

I used more rice than called for in the original recipe because 1/4 cup did not seem like enough to end up with 1 cup of pureed rice.

26 thoughts on “Old-fashioned Cheese and Rice Fritters

  1. I can only think that they used a pestle and mortar to puree or I remember my mum having a metal something that had a handle for pureeing baby food maybe something like that.

    1. The hundred-year-old recipe just called for “grated cheese”, so I went with cheddar. Your comment makes me want to experiment with using ricotta and other soft cheeses.

  2. These look so delish. I would double the recipe; they would never last in my house. I think, if the rice were cooked enough, a ricer would do the trick. Do you know the tool I mean? I also have a food mill from the dawn of time; it would definitely do the trick.

    1. These are great suggestions. I know what a ricer is – though don’t own one. I do have a Foley food mill that I’ll have to try.

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