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Marinated Mozzarella Balls

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Marinated Mozzarella Balls are a delicious Italian appetizer of seasoned cheese marinated in olive oil. Enjoy alone or incorporated into a meal!

You can’t deny the delicious flavors of garlic, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes. This is not your average cheese! 

This quick and easy appetizer looks fancy but does not require much prep. Olive oil marinated mozzarella balls have so much flavor and I love to just pop them in my mouth. This is the perfect appetizer for cocktail parties and holidays.

Olive Oil Marinated Mozzarella Balls

Olive Oil Mozzarella Balls Ingredients

To make olive oil marinated mozzarella balls, you will need the following ingredients (see the recipe card below for exact amounts):

  • Mozzarella Pearls: fresh mozzarella balls can be found in the deli section of your grocery store or at your local Italian market. Get the regular, not the mini size.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Basil: You can also use dried herbs. If you use dried herbs, make sure to decrease the amount you use. Fresh herbs shrink when they are dried, so they cannot be measured 1 to 1.
  • Oregano
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt: You can use regular salt or Kosher salt
Marinated Mozzarella Ball Ingredients

How to Marinate Mozzarella Cheese

This perfect appetizer is quick and easy, and you only need a bowl, measuring cups and spoons, and a storage container. Follow these steps to make this easy appetizer:

  1. Make the marinade. In a small bowl combine the oil, garlic, finely chopped basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt.
  2. Add the mozzarella pearls and turn to fully coat.
  3. Marinate the mozzarella. Transfer to an airtight container and marinate the mozzarella in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
  4. Serve and enjoy! Allow a few minutes for the mozzarella to come to room temperature before serving.
Mozzarella Balls Marinated in Olive Oil

Storage Instructions

The olive oil marinated mozzarella needs to be kept in an airtight container in the fridge. I like to use mason jars. They will keep for up to 2 weeks. Use the leftover oil for cooking or as salad dressing!

Mozzarella Balls Recipe


  • Add fresh thyme to your collection of herbs.
  • Use flavored olive oils if you are low on herbs.


Can I Eat These Warm or Cold?

I recommend allowing them to come to room temperature before serving. I feel like more of the flavors come through when cheese is room temp or warm. The cold seems to dull the aromas. 

Where Do I Find Mozzarella Pearls?

Mozzarella Pearls can be found at most grocery stores. They are normally in the deli, by the special cheeses. You can also try your local Italian market for the best and freshest cheese. 

What is the Best Olive Oil to Use?

For this recipe, cold pressed olive oils or extra virgin olive oil are best. But not all EVOO is the same. Use your favorite. I look for oils that are organic. You could also use a flavored oil, such as a Tuscan herb infused oil, or rosemary oil. I have a local store that is dedicated to all types of oils and vinegars. Get creative!

My marinade solidified in the fridge. What should I do?

Most oils will solidify in cold temperatures. Just take it out about an hour before you plan on serving and let it come to room temperature. Shake it up and it should be good to go!

Olive Oil Mozzarella Balls Recipe

Serving Suggestions

Serve olive oil marinated mozzarella pearls on their own for a quick and easy appetizer, with crusty bread, or with an antipasto platter. Here are some of my favorite ways to eat seasoned mozzarella balls.

  • As a salad topping – these marinated cheese balls would go perfectly with a zesty Italian salad.
  • Add to a pasta dish – pair with a tomato sauce like a spaghetti or gnocchi dish and top with fresh parsley.
  • As an easy appetizer – add tomato, basil and balsamic vinegar, and you have caprese skewers.
  • As part of a charcuterie board – place in a bowl and serve with toothpicks.

This also makes a great Christmas gift for family, friends and teachers! Just double or triple the recipe, divide into mason jars and wrap with a ribbon and gift tag. Make sure to keep them refrigerated until you are ready to deliver. 

More Italian Recipes

Want to make a full Italian meal? Here are some more recipes to round out your menu:

Marinated Mozzarella Balls

Marinated Mozzarella Balls are a delicious Italian appetizer of seasoned cheese marinated in olive oil. Enjoy alone or incorporated into a meal!
4.42 from 53 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Marinade Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Course Appetizers
Cuisine Italian
Servings 22
Calories 70 kcal



  • In a small bowl combine the olive oil, garlic, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt.
  • Add the mozzarella pearls and turn to coat.
  • Transfer to an airtight container and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
  • Allow a few minutes for the mozzarella to come to room temperature before serving.



Serving: 1Calories: 70kcalCarbohydrates: 0.3gProtein: 2gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 34mgPotassium: 4mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.01gVitamin A: 13IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 0.1mg

The nutrition information is calculated using online nutrition calculators and may not be accurate. It is provided as a general guide only.

Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyenchantedfood or tag #emilyenchanted!

The recipe and photos contained herein are the property of Emily Enchanted© and may not be copied.

4.42 from 53 votes (51 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating

Emily Enchanted

Friday 5th of August 2022

I love this recipe because I put these on salads, eat as a snack, or as an appetizer, and I use the leftover oil for dressing!


Friday 22nd of April 2022

The author contradicts herself by listing fresh basil but stating she likes to use dry in her editorial. So...which is better? I haven't made this yet.

Emily Enchanted

Friday 22nd of April 2022

@Jan, sorry for the confusion. I like to list substitutions for those who may not have a certain ingredient on hand. I clarified to get my point across - dried and fresh herbs cannot be measured the same. I am not sure one is better than the other. I don't think it is contradicting...I do like using dried herbs. Chopping fresh herbs is a pain! haha! Honestly though, it is up to personal preference but the recipe calls for fresh basil. Also, "author" and "editorial" sound so professional - thank you!


Wednesday 9th of March 2022

Garlic cloves come in a range of sizes. Since the recipe does not specify size, I used small size cloves, and unfortunately for me and my household which loves garlic, we felt the garlic flavor overwhelmed the other lovely spices in this recipe. It's a good recipe, so I will make again and use two small cloves of garlic or 4 mini cloves...


Monday 23rd of August 2021

This is one of my favorite appetizers and/or snack. This recipes is perfect for anyone who loves cheese!