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August 16, 2021

Marinated Mozzarella

Soaked in olive oil and a mix of garlic, lemon and herbs, marinated mozzarella balls are a great appetizer served with toasted bread. Or try them on pizzas and in salads or pastas.

Soaked in olive oil and a mix of garlic, lemon and herbs, marinated mozzarella balls are a great appetizer served with toasted bread. Or try them on pizzas and in salads or pastas.

Marinated Mozzarella Balls

There’s a reason why I come back to make-ahead recipes you can serve in multiple ways. That’s because they manage to be a special version of leftovers that taste new and exciting depending how you serve them.

And it’s even better if the prep only involves jazzing up store-bought ingredients in a matter of minutes. Please give me an A for this satisfyingly minimal amount of effort!

Marinating fresh mozzarella is one of my favorite examples of this kind of no-cook, minimal prep recipe.

Enhancing the flavor of mozzarella with a mix of citrus, garlic and herbs results in an appetizer, topping and feature ingredient all in one.

Marinated Mozzarella Balls with Toasted Bread

The Ingredients: Marinated Mozzarella

There are different ways you can go with marinating fresh mozzarella. But I think it’s most important to have fresh herbs, garlic and some sort of acid.

That acid can be vinegar like balsamic or white wine vinegar. But citrus can also provide much-needed sharpness and brightness to the milky and mellow cheese.

These are the ingredients you need for this marinated mozzarella balls recipe:

  • Fresh mozzarella: You can find multiple sizes of mozzarella at the grocery. Rather than going for big egg-sized ovoline, I prefer cherry-sized ciliegene. Then I know each bite of mozzarella will have made direct contact with the marinade.
  • Garlic: A little goes a long way when you slice a single garlic clove. Given time to soak in the marinade, it adds nice garlic flavor.
  • Lemon: I take my y-peeler and cut strips of the peel off the lemon and then halve it and squeeze out the juice.
  • Parsley & Basil: Chopped parsley and basil give the marinade something herby that works with the lemon and garlic.
  • Red pepper flakes: The heat is very subtle when you add just a quarter teaspoon of red pepper flakes, but don’t skip this ingredient.
  • Salt & pepper: To round out the marinade, I include salt and pepper.
Ingredients for marinated mozzarella

How To Make Marinated Mozzarella Balls

Before you get started with the marinade, it’s important to prep the mozzarella. All you have to do is drain the balls from the liquid in the container and pat them with a towel.

Then in a medium bowl you whisk together the olive oil, lemon peel and juice, garlic, parsley, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Next, you add the mozzarella and spoon the marinade all over the balls, so they are coated.

Marinade in bowl

How Long Do You Marinate Fresh Mozzarella?

Putting together the recipe is the quick part. Then comes the wait.

It’s best to marinate the mozzarella for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature.

If you are going to let them marinate longer, cover the bowl and store it in the fridge. Once you are ready to serve them, let the mozzarella balls sit at room temperature, so the olive oil becomes liquid again if it has hardened in the chill of the refrigerator.

Stirring mozzarella into marinade

How To Serve Fresh Mozzarella Balls

This is why I love marinated fresh mozzarella so much. It’s an appetizer and more. If you want to treat it like a starter, serve it with toasted bread. Then you can dip the bread into the oil as you enjoy it with the cheese.

Another option is to use the mozzarella in a salad. Pairing it with tomatoes and greens is always good. You can add avocado too.

This mozzarella can also be used for a pizza topping.

And finally, lemon, garlic, herbs and cheese work really well with pasta in any shape.

Marinated Mozzarella Balls

Try These Other Fresh Mozzarella Recipes

Tomato Chili Mozzarella Salad
Caprese Avocado Toast
Grilled Corn & Roasted Tomato Pizza
Zucchini Noodles and Cherry Tomatoes
Peach Tomato Salad
Caprese Salad
Stone Fruit Caprese Salad
Squash Blossom Pizza

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Marinated Mozzarella Balls

Marinated Mozzarella

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45-60 minutes marinating
  • Total Time: 50-65 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 46 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Marinate
  • Cuisine: Italian

Soaked in olive oil and a mix of garlic, lemon and herbs, marinated mozzarella balls are a great appetizer served with toasted bread. Or try them on pizzas and in salads or pastas.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces, fresh mozzarella balls, ciliegine size
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, peel and juice
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 23 tablespoons chopped parsley and basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Drain the mozzarella and pat off the excess moisture with a towel.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, lemon peel and juice, garlic, parsley, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add the mozzarella and spoon the marinade over the cheese.
  3. Marinate the mozzarella for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature before serving.

Notes

For the lemon, use a peeler to slice off the peel. Then cut the lemon in half and squeeze out the juice.

Store covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Serve the mozzarella with toasted bread as an appetizer. You also can use the marinated mozzarella in salads, on pizzas or in pastas.

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45-60 minutes marinating
  • Total Time: 50-65 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 46 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Marinate
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Fresh mozzarella, marinated mozzarella, marinated mozzarella balls

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