Marinated Baby Mozzarella Recipe

Marinated baby mozzarella

The Spruce

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Marinate: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
387 Calories
35g Fat
2g Carbs
17g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 387
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 12g 62%
Cholesterol 60mg 20%
Sodium 563mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 2mg 9%
Calcium 385mg 30%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 66mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Marinated baby mozzarella balls are a perfect no-cook appetizer as part of an Italian antipasti plate, to serve at a party, or bring to a potluck. You can pick up these little gems at supermarket delis at a premium price. Or, you can save money by making your own marinated baby mozzarella balls at home with this recipe. 

The preparation of this dish could not be simpler, all there is to do is marinate the mozzarella balls in olive oil, fresh parsley, basil, and oregano, lemon juice, and salt. The mozzarella balls need to marinate for 4 hours at room temperature, so plan accordingly. 

For this recipe you’ll need bocconcini or ciliegine. Bocconcini means bite-sized in Italian, which indicate their size, these mozzarella balls are about the size of a cherry tomato. Ciliegine are even smaller, about the size of a cherry. Both types of mozzarella were originally only made with the milk from water buffaloes but nowadays they are mainly made from cow milk. 

Instead of marinating the mozzarella balls in a zip-lock plastic bag, you can also use a shallow dish or container that fits the mozzarella balls snugly in a single layer. Toss them well to coat them evenly in the marinade and make sure you cover them well with cling wrap or a lid to prevent the mozzarella from drying out. 

Store leftover mozzarella balls in the fridge. The olive oil will solidify but the marinade will become liquid again if you let it sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.


  • 1 tablespoon coarsely minced fresh parsley

  • 1 tablespoon coarsely minced fresh basil

  • 1 tablespoon coarsely minced fresh oregano

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, good quality

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 pound fresh baby mozzarella cheese balls, bocconcini or ciliegine, drained

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Marinated baby mozzarella
    The Spruce
  2. Place parsley, basil, oregano, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt in a zip-top bag large enough to hold the mozzarella. Massage to combine.

    The Spruce
  3. Add the drained baby mozzarella cheese balls, seal, and toss bag to coat the cheese.

    Add the drained cheese balls
    The Spruce 
  4. Open the bag, squeeze out all the air, and reseal.

    Put in bag
    The Spruce
  5. Let mozzarella balls sit in the marinade at room temperature for 4 hours before serving.

    Marinated mozzarella balls
    The Spruce
  6. Serve and enjoy.

Mozzarella Varieties

Mozzarella cheese comes in many different varieties—fresh, smoked, cow's milk, buffalo milk (latte di bufala), and more. 

Creamy, milky fresh mozzarella is mild flavored and sold in different shapes. Regular mozzarella balls are about the size of a small orange. Bocconcini are slightly smaller balls (about the size of an egg), and ciliegine are smaller still, about the size of a cherry. 

They can be marinated or left plain and stored in whey—the drained liquid from the cheese-making process.