Need an easy appetizer recipe? These Marinated Mozzarella Balls are the perfect appetizer for the holiday season and beyond. Versatile and made with simple ingredients, they go great on a charcuterie board, salads, an antipasto platter, or with toast. They take less than 10 minutes of prep time!
We love a simple recipe that makes for an easy recipe to impress your guests. Gather your favorite fresh herbs and some little balls of mozzarella, you're in for a treat!
Looking for more yummy appetizers? Try this whipped ricotta, our tuna mousse appetizer, or these steak appetizers with blue cheese spread!
❤️Why we love this recipe
- Easy recipe - It takes less than 10 minutes of your time to prep these yummy morsels. Pop them in the fridge to let the flavors meld together, and savor the delicious result. It makes for a great appetizer to serve to guests during the holiday season, or any time!
- Versatile - Whether you want to serve these mozzarella balls with crusty bread, on a charcuterie board, in pasta salads, on an antipasto platter, with some cherry tomatoes, or in a salad, they will elevate anything you're eating to make it irresistible!
- Flavorful - These creamy mozzarella balls have so much flavor, they will elevate anything you're eating. The perfect bite-sized appetizer!
- Naturally gluten-free, low-carb, and vegetarian - Fits a variety of diets so you can serve lots of people with different dietary needs.
Here are the ingredients we used for this recipe. You can find more information for substitutions below.
- Fresh mozzarella balls - Ciliegine mozzarella or fresh mozzarella pearls, about half the size of a cherry or smaller.
- Herbs - Use your favorite fresh herbs. We used a mix of fresh parsley, fresh basil, fresh oregano, and fresh thyme.
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Red pepper flakes
- Extra virgin olive oil - Use the highest quality you can, as it will be a large part of the flavor.
- Lemon juice and zest - Organic if possible since you will be eating the lemon zest.
- Fresh garlic - Minced or grated.
Visit the recipe card for the full quantities and nutritional information.
✨Substitutions & variations
Here are a few suggestions on additional flavors to try, to elevate this simple recipe a little further.
- Add vinegar - For a little added zing and depth of flavor, try adding a little bit of red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, or balsamic vinegar.
- Sun-dried tomatoes - Finely mince some sun-dried tomatoes in oil and adding it to the mixture.
- Spicy - Add more red pepper flakes, or Calabrian chili paste (affiliate link) to taste.
- Roasted garlic - For a more sweet and subtle garlic flavor, use roasted garlic.
- Onion flavor - Add green onions or finely minced shallots for a hint of onion.
- Pesto - Add a few tablespoons of homemade walnut pesto to the marinade for more lovely basil flavor.
- Use dried herbs - If you don't have fresh herbs on hand, you can use dried instead. Please note that dried herbs are more pungent in flavor, so you will need to use about 1 teaspoon each of dried for every 1 tablespoon of fresh.
- Mince the herbs.
- Zest and juice the lemon.
- Mince or grate garlic.
- Measure out all remaining ingredients.
Add mozzarella balls to a large bowl with fresh minced herbs. (Image 1) Add olive oil. (Image 2)
Add freshly grated lemon zest, (Image 3) followed by freshly grated garlic or minced garlic. (Image 4)
Add salt, pepper, and chili flakes, (Image 5) and toss to combine. Cover, or store in an airtight storage container like a large mason jar or bowl covered with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge and marinate for up to 24 hours for best results. (Image 6)
✨Pro tip: You can eat the mozzarella right away, but it really tastes much better if you let it marinate for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer!
Serve and enjoy!
- Allow the mixture to sit out at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving if you marinate the ingredients over an extended period of time. The olive oil will solidify when it's cold.
- The marinade ingredients make a lovely flavored oil for dressing salads with, make sure to drizzle it overtop of salads, and enjoy with some crusty bread!
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- Add to a charcuterie board, like this Halloween charcuterie board or fall charcuterie board.
- Serve as a part of an antipasto platter.
- Add to this antipasto salad.
- Serve with confit cherry tomatoes on toast.
- Add to pasta salad, like this creamy pasta salad.
- Enjoy on this simple arugula and spinach salad.
💭Frequently Asked Questions
Store the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Do not freeze.
More Recipes To Consider
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Marinated Mozzarella Balls
- large bowl
- 16 ounces ciliegine mozzarella balls
- 6 ounces extra virgin olive oil (¾ cup)
- 1 - 2 cloves garlic, grated
- ½ - 1 medium lemon, juice and zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
- ½ - 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Add mozzarella balls to large bowl with olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and fresh herbs. Toss to combine.
- Grate in fresh garlic, then add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Adjust seasonings to taste. Cover, refrigerate, and marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving, if possible. Marinating for 24 hours will yield the best results.
- If the olive oil has had time to solidify in the fridge if stored for an extended period of time, allow the mozzarella to sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving, or until the olive oil has returned to its previous state.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Do not freeze.
- If making this recipe for the first time, add less of the additions, and taste as you go before adding more to make sure this recipe suits your taste.
- Fresh herbs are best for this recipe, but dried can be substituted for fresh. To substitute for dried ingredients, use about 1 teaspoon of each herb in place of 1 tablespoon of fresh.
- Use bocconcini, ciliegine, or mozzarella pearls for this recipe.
- Add fresh herbs to taste, seasoning, garlic, and lemon to taste.
- For best results, allow the mozzarella to marinate in the fridge overnight or for 24 hours for an amazing depth of flavor.
These nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy and are only estimates. We cannot guarantee the accuracy.
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