Marinated Mozzarella Cheese Balls

10 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Marinate 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes

Marinated Mozzarella Cheese Balls are the perfect appetizer made in olive oil dressing with garlic, rosemary, and pepper flakes for flavor.

If you’re looking for a unique Appetizer for your next party, then look no further. These cheese balls are a simple recipe that packs so much flavor. For more party favorites, try our Roasted Shrimp and Pesto Cheesy Bread

Marinated Mozzarella Balls in jar

Marinated Mozzarella Balls are an easy way to prep mozzarella cheese to turn them into a flavorful appetizer. Just soak them in seasoned olive oil for a few hours before serving. They’re perfect to put out at a dinner party during the cooking time for your main course. 

You can also serve Marinated Mozzarella Cheese Balls as part of your entree over a simple pasta dish. Or, use them to add flavor to a side dish in our Easy Pasta Salad

Marinated Mozzarella Balls collage

Frequently Asked Questions About Marinated Mozzarella Cheese Balls

How should I serve Marinated Mozzarella Balls?

There are so many other amazing ways that you can serve Marinated Mozzarella Balls. Use them as a topping for a fresh salad with a light vinaigrette dressing. You can also put them out as a delish appetizer. Mozzarella Cheese balls are easy to put on toothpicks and serve up on a cheese board along with your other favorite kinds of cheese cubes. Enjoy the soft cheese with crusty bread, like Italian or French Bread, or crackers to add more textures to the appetizer.  

What type of olive oil should I use?

Because you use olive oil to marinate the cheese, it’s one of the most important flavors in the entire recipe. So, the higher the quality of oil, the better your recipe will taste. Organic extra-virgin olive oil tastes great, and you can find it at your local grocery stores. 

Why do I have to let the Mozzarella Cheese Balls marinate for so long?

The flavors from the herbs and seasonings need time to soak into the Cheese Balls so this recipe requires them to marinate for at least 4 hours, but you can soak them for a day or two to really let the flavors come to life.

More Serving Ideas  

  • Caprese Skewers: Caprese skewers are so delicious when you use Marinated Mozzarella Cheese Balls. If you’ve tried fresh Caprese Salad, this is an easy way to turn the classic Italian dish into a fun vegetarian appetizer. Add cherry tomatoes (or another kind of fresh tomatoes), mozzarella balls, and basil leaves to wooden skewers. Then you can drizzle balsamic dressing over the top before serving.
  • Charcuterie Board: These Marinated Mozzarella Cheese Balls would look beautiful and be a delicious addition to any Charcuterie Board. You can strain them, and set aside the seasoned oil. Then place the Cheese Balls in a small bowl on your board so you can drizzle one teaspoon of the oil and seasoning over the top for a fresh, tasty display.
  • Lunch: Serve these Mozzarella Cheese Balls alongside some cherry tomatoes, and roll up some slices of deli meat for a low-carb lunch. Try turkey, ham, salami, or roast beef to round out your meal. This is an easy lunch to make at home, or pack to take with you on the go.
Marinated Mozzarella Balls ingredients in mixing bowl

Key Ingredients

  • Mozzarella Cheese Balls: For this recipe, you’ll want to buy a 16-ounce container of mozzarella cheese balls or cheese pearls. Ciliegine cheese was used in this recipe, but other varieties are fine too. Just make sure you’re not picking up one that is already marinated. You want to start with a simple mozzarella base without any added flavor. That way, you can add your own fresh marinade to flavor the mozzarella. 
  • Oil: The olive oil adds a nice aromatic flavor to the Marinated Mozzarella Balls. So, make sure the cheese is entirely coated in the oil before you leave it to marinate. 
  • Seasonings: The cheese balls also soak up the flavor from the fresh herbs and spices mixed into the oil. We used fresh garlic, thyme, oregano, rosemary, pepper flakes, kosher salt, and black pepper. However, you can always swap out some flavors or add more depending on your taste. 

More Cheesy Appetizers

How to Make Marinated Mozzarella Cheese Balls

  • Prep Time: Start by draining the fresh mozzarella cheese balls. Then dry them with a clean cloth or a paper towel. Set the drained cheese to the side while you prep the marinade. 
  • Marinade Mixture: Add the olive oil, garlic, thyme, oregano, rosemary, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to a medium bowl. Then whisk the olive oil mixture together until nicely blended. 
  • Marinate: Stir the mozzarella balls into the oil, and make sure they’re coated. Then refrigerate in an airtight container for at least 4 hours before serving the Marinated Mozzarella Balls.
Marinated Mozzarella Balls in jar


  • Fresh Herbs: There are lots of other herbs that you can add to the marinade to change up the flavor of your Mozzarella Balls. Try adding fresh parsley, fresh basil leaves, or fresh sage to the oil. 
  • Spicy Mozzarella: You can also give the Marinated Mozzarella Balls a spicy kick by adding a dash of cayenne pepper to the mixture.
  • Balsamic Cheese Balls: For a tangy balsamic flavor, you can whisk ¼ cup balsamic vinegar into the marinade. Then add the Mozzarella Cheese Balls and let them soak up the flavor. Balsamic Marinated Mozzarella Cheese Balls are especially perfect if you’re using the cheese for a caprese salad. 
Marinated Mozzarella Balls in serving bowl

Italian Favorites

How to Store Marinated Mozzarella Cheese Balls

  • Serve: Don’t leave this Mozzarella Balls recipe at room temperature for more than an hour or two. 
  • Store: If there are any leftovers or are making the recipe in advance, you can keep the Marinated Mozzarella Balls in a covered mason jar or another air-tight container. Store the sealed recipe in the fridge for up to 1 week. 
  • Freeze: If you need to, you can take the cheese balls out of the marinade and freeze them in a sealed bag for up to 3 months. However, they won’t have as good of a texture when you thaw them out, so I’d definitely recommend enjoying this recipe fresh or a few days later from the fridge. 

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Marinated Mozzarella Cheese Balls

Marinated Mozzarella Cheese Balls are the perfect appetizer made in olive oil dressing with garlic, rosemary, and pepper flakes for flavor.
Yield 10 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 16 ounces ciliegine mozzarella cheese balls , drained
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme , minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano , minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary , minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper


  • Drain the mozzarella balls well, dry gently with clean cotton cloth or paper towels, then set aside.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the olive oil, garlic, thyme, oregano, rosemary, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the mozzarella balls to coat well then refrigerate in an airtight container a minimum of 4 hours before serving.


Calories: 212kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 92mg | Potassium: 14mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 57IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 174mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Marinated Mozzarella Cheese Balls
Marinated Mozzarella Balls collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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