Marinated Mozzarella Balls

These marinated mozzarella balls are a quick and easy party appetizer! Coated in olive oil, lemon, garlic, and herbs, they're full of rich flavor.

Marinated mozzarella balls

These marinated mozzarella balls are quickly becoming a family favorite snack. I love them because they’re the perfect last-minute appetizer for gatherings—flavorful, elegant, and SO easy to throw together. Jack and Ollie love them…well…because they love anything with cheese.

The recipe is super simple. I marinate mini fresh mozzarella balls in olive oil with herbs, garlic, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. The bright, savory flavor of the fresh garlic, lemon, and herbs saturates the oil, which in turn soaks into the chewy balls of cheese.

I hope these marinated mozzarella balls become your go-to appetizer for parties and gatherings, or a go-to snack to keep on hand in your fridge. They’re easy, delicious, and a little decadent. Enjoy!

Ciliegine mozzarella balls, lemon, parsley, garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes

How to Make Marinated Mozzarella Balls

This recipe starts with 8 simple ingredients:


  • Fresh mozzarella, of course! I recommend using ciliegine mozzarella for this recipe. These “cherry-sized” balls are perfect for eating in one bite! If you can’t find them, you can use bocconcini mozzarella balls or larger balls of fresh mozzarella cut into bite-sized pieces. Drain the mozzarella and pat it dry with a paper towel or kitchen towel before you make this recipe.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – It creates the base of the marinade and adds rich, fruity flavor to the mozzarella.
  • Fresh herbs – For aromatic flavor! Fresh basil and parsley are my go-tos for this recipe. But for a fun twist, you could substitute half the amount of chopped fresh oregano or thyme.
  • Lemon juice and zest – They add bright, tangy flavor.
  • Garlic – For savory flavor.
  • Red pepper flakes – They add a kick of heat. Feel free to skip them if you’re sensitive to spice.
  • And sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

To make the marinated mozzarella balls, stir together the herbs, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and half the olive oil in a medium jar.

Add the cheese and top with the remaining oil, using more as needed to fully submerge the balls.

Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Finally, season to taste and serve!

Cheese balls in olive oil with red pepper flakes and herbs

How to Serve Marinated Mozzarella Balls

These marinated mozzarella balls are a flavorful, festive appetizer! Add a small bowl of them to your next antipasto platter, or serve them as part of a Mediterranean spread with snacks like these:

Enjoy them with your favorite wine or an Aperol spritz!

Here are a few more of my favorite ways to use these marinated mozzarella balls:

How do you like to serve them? Let me know in the comments!

How to Store

These marinated mozzarella balls keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

The oil will solidify in the fridge, but don’t worry—it’s totally normal! Just let the marinated mozzarella sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving. The oil will quickly return to its liquid state.

Marinated mozzarella balls recipe

More Easy Appetizer Recipes

If you love these marinated mozzarella balls, try one of these easy appetizer recipes next:

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Marinated Mozzarella Balls

rate this recipe:
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Serves 4 to 6
These marinated mozzarella balls are an easy, make-ahead appetizer for parties and gatherings. Olive oil, lemon, garlic, and herbs fill them with rich flavor.



  • In a medium jar, stir together the herbs, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and ⅓ cup of the olive oil.
  • Add the mozzarella and top with the remaining ⅓ cup olive oil, adding more as needed to cover the mozzarella.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Sara

    5 stars
    This came together super quick and turned out great! I used the link for the mozzarella balls as well!! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Elle Valera

    This recipe was amazing, delicious, and healthy. It took just 10 minutes to make, and it was incredibly satisfying. Spicy food is my all-time favorite, and this recipe was perfect..

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Elle, I’m so glad you loved the mozzarella!

  3. Gee

    These mozzarella balls sound delicious! Quick question: will the same marinade recipe work to marinate small button mushrooms in addition to the cheese?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Gee, we haven’t tried adding vegetables to this recipe, so I’m not sure how it would work. If you want to try it with mushrooms, I’d recommend boiling or roasting them before adding them to the marinade. If you try it, let us know how it goes!

  4. These are fabulous! And the leftover oil is fabulous as well!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      So glad you enjoyed them, Mimi! I used the leftover oil as a salad dressing earlier this week. It was delicious!

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.