Marinated Mozzarella Balls are so simple to prepare and make an absolutely delicious, flavour-filled appetiser. Garlic, oregano, lemon and a little chilli combine with Extra Virgin Olive Oil to make a delicious marinade, which perfectly complements the creamy bocconcini. Served with slices of crusty bread, this easy appetiser will become a favourite!
Why we love this recipe:
A few simple ingredients transform delicious mozzarella balls into a really special appetiser. As with most food, homemade is best. When we make it, we are in control of the ingredients which we use and in the case of Marinated Mozzarella Balls, we can customise them to suit our taste. Just some of the reasons that we love this recipe are:
- This is a delicious, easily made, Mediterranean inspired appetiser, perfect to make ahead of time for relaxed entertaining.
- A container of cherry bocconcini is a fraction of the cost of a specialty cheese, making this an economical starter, ideal for entertaining.
- There are so many ways to use it. Serve it with crusty bread to enjoy the cheese and soak up the flavour-filled oil. As well, it is a great addition to a salad, on a pizza or crostini or toss through with my Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta.
- If you’re making the Marinated Mozzarella Balls for a crowd, it is easy to increase the quantities to suit.
- You can easily customise the flavours to suit your taste. If you don’t like chilli, leave it out, if you prefer other herbs, use those. If you don’t have lemon but have an orange, some strips of peel or zest would be a great addition.
Ingredients in this recipe:
Please see the recipe card further along in the post for exact quantities of ingredients and the full method.
Cherry bocconcini – also known as Ciliegine mozzarella, these bite-sized balls of mozzarella work perfectly for this appetiser.
Cayenne chilli/pepper – for a hit of spice and colour.
Garlic – a couple of fresh cloves add great flavour.
Lemon zest – adds a bright note.
Black peppercorns – they are used whole.
Dried oregano – adds to Mediterranean flavours.
Sea salt flakes – as the cheese is mild in taste, this helps the flavours come together.
Extra virgin olive oil – for its flavour and nutritional benefit.
Step by Step Instructions:
- Drain the mini bocconcini and place in a jar or small bowl.
- Peel and finely slice the garlic.
- Cut the chilli in half lengthways, remove the seeds and membrane. Finely slice the chilli and add as much or as little as you like to the mozzarella. Add to the jar or small bowl.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients, and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the flavours to develop. Serve with crusty bread.
Tips for Success and FAQs:
To prevent bacteria and the potential growth of botulism in fresh ingredients, such as garlic, herbs or spices which are packed in oil, the Marinated Mozzarella Balls must be stored in the refrigerator for no longer than two days. The cheese and the oil should be consumed within that time.
You can keep it refrigerated for up to 2 days. The oil will solidify slightly so you will need to bring it to room temperature to serve. Make a batch that you can enjoy within this time. Fresh ingredients, such as herbs and garlic, when stored in oil, cannot safely be kept for a long time as they have the potential to develop bacteria that can cause botulism.
The mini bocconcini, along with the herb and spice flavoured olive oil, are delicious served with crusty bread so the best oil to use is extra virgin olive oil. As the oil is such an important flavour component, use the best olive oil that you have.
Store the prepared mozzarella balls in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving to allow the flavours to develop. Bring to room temperature before serving.
More delicious recipes for you to try:
Easy recipes like our Marinated Mozzarella Balls are always popular. Here are some more of our favourites for you to try:
- Marinated Olives
- Roasted Capsicums
- Cannellini Bean Dip
- Marinated Feta Cheese
- Oven Baked Beef Meatballs
- Herbed Bread Dipping Oil
- Marinated Parmesan
Marinated Mozzarella Balls (Bocconcini) are a crowd-pleaser, and so easy to make, that it is certain to become one of your most popular appetisers. Serve with your favourite bread or toasts. After you have eaten all the cheese, if there is any oil leftover, use it for pasta, a salad or as a dip for crusty bread. Enjoy!
Marinated Mozzarella Balls
- 200 g (7 oz) cherry bocconcini See Note 1
- ⅔ cup (150 ml) extra virgin olive oil See Note 2
- 2 cloves garlic – peeled and cut into thin slices
- ½ long red cayenne chilli/pepper – finely sliced (seeds removed) – or more to taste See Note 3
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
For accuracy, we recommend weighing your ingredients. This will produce the best results.
- Drain the mini bocconcini and place them into a jar or small bowl.
- Peel and thinly slice the garlic.
- Cut the chilli in half lengthways, remove the seeds and membrane. Finely slice the chilli and add to the mozzarella. Adjust the amount of chilli used according to your taste.
- Zest the lemon.
- Add all of the ingredients together and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the flavours to develop.
- Use the mozzarella and oil within 2 days. See the note in the blog post regarding safety precautions.
- Cherry bocconcini are also known as Ciliegine mozzarella. These bite-sized balls of mozzarella work perfectly for this appetiser.
- As we serve the marinated mozzarella balls with crusty bread to mop up the flavoursome oil, we use extra virgin olive oil. Use the best quality olive oil that you have.
- Cayenne chillies are long, slender chillies/peppers. They are often mild in flavour, but the heat can vary. Add the amount of chilli according to your preference.
- Please note, the nutritional information is based on this appetiser serving 4, and the olive oil being enjoyed also. It does not include what the mozzarella is served with. The nutritional information is an estimate only.
The nutritional information is an estimate only, and is derived from online calculators. For accurate results, we recommend calculating the nutritional information based on the ingredients and brands you use.
I made these mozzarella balls as part of a huge charcurterie board and they were a big hit!
Hello Agnieszka, I am so pleased to hear that our Marinated Mozzarella Balls were a popular part of your charcuterie board. Thank you so much for letting me know. 🙂
These marinated mozzarella balls are so delicious! I loved all the flavors and it was the perfect appetizer!
Hi Kayla, thank you for your lovely comments on the Marinated Mozzarella Balls. I am so pleased that you enjoyed them. 🙂
Such a great appetizer! Yum!
Hi Addie, I am so pleased that you enjoy the Marinated Mozzarella Balls – it’s always good to have an easy, tasty appetiser. 🙂
We love bocconcini and this marinade really takes them to the next level. Perfect to add to salads, a cheese platter or charcuterie board. I’ll confess to just eating these right out of the jar!
Hi Lara, thank you for your lovely comments on the Marinated Mozzarella Balls. I am so pleased that you enjoy them and find many ways in which to use them. 🙂
What a great recipe. I absolutely loved these marinated mozzarella balls. The lemon with the spicy cayenne peppers were spot on.
Hi Oscar, thank you so much for your lovely comments on the Marinated Mozzarella Balls. I am so pleased that you enjoy them, thank you for letting me know. 🙂
There is something so delicious about a good mozzarella ball. This was full of delicious flavor from the marinade!
Hello Kayla, I do agree, marinating the Mozzarella Balls adds terrific flavour. I am so pleased you enjoyed them. 🙂