These marinated mozzarella balls are the easiest appetizer EVER! There's no cooking required, just a little bit of marinating time.
After marinating in a flavorful oil, you can serve the mozzarella balls with crostini or crackers for a delicious snack. Add to a charcuterie platter with olive tapenade or build a chicken Caprese sandwich.
- Fresh mozzarella - Ciliegine are cherry-sized mozzarella balls that are found in the gourmet cheese section of your local supermarket. You can also use Bocconcini which are slightly larger than Ciliegine, and Pearls which are smaller. BelGioioso is the brand most readily available at my local supermarket. If you can't find mozzarella balls, you can use a log of fresh mozzarella or a block of traditional mozzarella and cut it into cubes.
- Olive oil - Extra virgin olive oil or cold-pressed olive oils are best. Use your favorite go-to variety. California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin olive oil is my favorite.
- Garlic - Sliced garlic infuses the oil with a wonderful flavor. For a less intense garlic flavor, you can leave the garlic cloves whole. Just smash and add to the mixture. After marinating, you can discard the cloves.
- Red pepper flakes - These add great flavor with a bit of heat. You can add more or less depending on how much spice you like.
- Fresh parsley adds a wonderful fresh herby flavor. Basil and oregano are delicious as well.
Instructions for preparing
See the recipe card for complete instructions and ingredient amounts.
This recipe is as simple as mixing together the olive oil and seasonings and pouring it over the mozzarella balls to marinate.
I recommend marinating for at least 30-60 minutes at room temperature. If you wish to marinate longer, transfer the mozzarella to an airtight container and refrigerate.
These mozzarella balls should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. A glass container or mason jar works well. The cheese will keep for 4-5 days.
Marinated mozzarella balls are delicious straight out of the jar. I love popping these bite-sized gems right in my mouth as a quick snack. Try any of these great serving options:
- Serve in a shallow dish with crostini or crackers.
- Make Caprese skewers with olives.
- Add a small dish of mozzarella balls to a charcuterie board. Top with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, if desired.
- Use them as a topping on pizza or sandwiches.
- Toss them in salads.
- Add to baked pasta dishes or pasta salads.
Dried herbs work just fine in this marinated mozzarella recipe. Since dried herbs have a more intense flavor, you need less dried than fresh herbs. The general rule of thumb is a ratio of 1:3. Use ⅓ of the amount of fresh herbs called for in the recipe.
Olive oil will solidify when it is stored in the refrigerator. Simply bring the jar to room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Then toss and serve. The mozzarella is best when enjoyed at room temperature as well.
When the cheese is gone, use the marinade in salad dressings or sauces. When ready to marinate the next batch of cheese, it's best to start with fresh oil.
More easy appetizers
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Marinated Mozzarella Balls
- 8 ounces Ciliegine mozzarella balls (drained)
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 2 cloves garlic (sliced)
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- Put the drained mozzarella balls in a glass jar or shallow dish. Set aside.
- In a liquid measuring cup, add the olive oil, parsley, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Stir together.
- Pour the oil over the mozzarella and marinate, at room temperature, for 30 - 60 minutes. If marinating longer, store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
- Dried herbs work fine in this recipe. When using dried herbs, use ⅓ of the amount of fresh herbs called for in the recipe.
- Store the marinated mozzarella in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
- Olive oil solidifies when refrigerated, so before serving, allow the mozzarella to sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
- When the mozzarella is gone, use the remaining marinade for dressings or sauces. When you are ready to marinate more cheese, start with a fresh batch of olive oil.
Nutritional information is an estimate and will vary depending upon the exact amounts and specific ingredients used.