This easy 10 minute marinated mozzarella balls recipe combines fresh mozzarella, herbs, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes with extra-virgin olive oil for a flavorful pairing that’s as elegant as it is delicious.
It’s snacking season!
Between football games, Halloween festivities, Thanksgiving and all the holidays, when fall rolls around, it seems like snacks are in order.
When you have time to put together an elaborate spread, why not, right?!
But sometimes it’s just a small intimate gathering and you only need a couple delicious things to munch on.
I love having simple, yet impressive recipes up my sleeve for just such an occasion. This appetizer comes together quickly and easily, and is always a hit!
And even though this recipe requires minimal effort, it’s impressive and feels special. Pair it with crusty bread and a bottle of your favorite wine for an elevated experience.
Heads up, if you're looking for a delicious low carb or keto appetizer recipe, this one is it! To keep the carbs down, you can serve it with keto bread, olives, and sliced vegetables (such as broccoli, bell pepper, etc.).
The Best 10 Minute Marinated Mozzarella Balls Recipe
This recipe features the big, bold flavors of savory garlic, woodsy rosemary, spicy crushed red pepper flakes, and the peppery piquancy of extra-virgin olive oil.
- Garlic - for the best flavor, use fresh garlic (not the jarred stuff)
- Fresh rosemary, oregano, and Italian parsley - use fresh (not dried) herbs for the post pungent flavor to infuse our mozzarella
- Crushed red pepper flakes - the amount in this recipe doesn't make it spicy hot; instead, it adds depth of flavor and balance
- Coarse kosher salt - to enhance the other flavors
- Extra-virgin olive oil - use the good stuff here, you'll really be able to taste it
- Fresh mozzarella cheese balls - the star of the show; they'll take on the flavor of everything else
How to Make Marinated Mozzarella Cheese Balls
Step 1: Make the Marinate:
Stir the garlic, rosemary, oregano, parsley, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and oil together in a medium bowl.
Step 2: Coat the Cheese Balls:
Add the cheese balls and give them a gentle toss to coat.
Step 3: Give it Time:
Pour everything into a pint-sized (2 cup capacity) glass jar. Gently press the cheese balls down to submerge them in oil.
Cover the jar and transfer to the fridge. Let the cheese marinate for at least 1 hour.
Marinated Mozzarella Balls FAQs
How Do You Flavor Mozzarella?
On its own, fresh mozzarella has a mild, milky flavor, which means that it’s a great cheese to take on other flavors! I like to use robust, bold ingredients to flavor mozzarella cheese.
In this recipe, garlic and fresh herbs add complexity and savory flavor. Crushed red pepper flakes add spicy heat, and extra-virgin olive oil adds peppery pungency.
How Long Do Marinated Mozzarella Balls Last?
This will last for up to 1 week stored in a glass jar covered in the fridge.
After chilling in the fridge, the olive oil will likely harden. Simply let the jar sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving to let the oil soften.
What Are Bocconcini?
Bocconcini is the Italian word meaning "small bites" or "morsels". It refers to small fresh mozzarella cheese balls.
What Flavors Go Well with Mozzarella?
A few flavors that pair well with mozzarella include:
- Fresh basil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Roasted red pepper
- Grilled eggplant
- Crusty bread
- Great wine
What Wine Pairs Well with Mozzarella?
On its own, mozzarella cheese is milky and mild-flavored. However, once it’s marinated with bold ingredients it takes on those flavors.
Because of this, I recommend pairing this recipe with a deep red wine that has notes of berries and hints of sweet spices, such as pinot noir.
More Easy Cheese Appetizers to Try
- Cheddar Cheese Ball Appetizer (aka Cheddar Pub Spread)
- Czech Pickled Cheese (aka Nakládaný Hermelín)
- Baked Brie with Honeyed Grapes
- Garlic and Chive Cottage Cheese Dip
Marinated Mozzarella Balls Recipe
- 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano or fresh marjoram
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh Italian parsley aka flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ⅛ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese balls drained of water and patted dry with a paper towel
- Stir the garlic, rosemary, oregano, parsley, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and oil together in a medium bowl.
- Add the cheese balls and give them a gentle toss to coat.
- Pour everything into a pint-sized (2 cup capacity) glass jar. Gently press the cheese balls down to submerge them in oil.
- Cover the jar and transfer to the fridge. Let the cheese marinate for at least 1 hour before serving.
- Net Carbs: 1g per serving
- Storage: This will keep for up to 1 week stored covered in a glass jar in the fridge. After chilling in the fridge, the olive oil will likely harden. Simply let the jar sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving to let the oil soften.
- Customize It: Feel free to play with the fresh herbs to suit your tastes.
- Serve with Balsamic: These are delicious served with a splash of balsamic vinegar or drizzled with balsamic reduction.
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on October 9, 2020. I updated it with more information on December 30, 2022.