Pesto Marinated Mozzarella Balls

The ultimate easy appetizer or snack, Marinated Mozzarella Balls are little bites of fresh mozzarella bathed in an oil of herbs and spices. The perfect addition to that epic cheeseboard or simple pasta dish!

Marinated mozzarella balls in a white dish on a blue placemat.

We’ve been visiting a few friends this summer….small gatherings to keep our sanity and have the opportunity to see people other than the ones that live in our own house.

It’s been nice to get out and be somewhat social….plus, food in the form of small bites is normally served like small cheeseboards that are loaded with candied nuts and these Pesto Marinated Mozzarella balls!

Even if you’re not a foodie, you can get on this marinated mozzarella train because it’s one of the easiest things ever to make. And it’s the star of my Caprese Salad Skewers, too.

Marinated Mozzarella Balls in a jar with olive oil on a white background with basil leaves.


Mozzarella balls, also know as bocconcini or ciliegine, are just small balls of fresh mozzarella. You can buy them at just about any grocery store and they are packed in water to keep them fresh.

Costco sells tubs of marinated mozzarella balls but the bulk sizes are definitely way to much cheese for my family to finish (did I just say “too much cheese?”)

So, I like to make my own at home because it’s really simple to do in just a few minutes.

overhead shot of marinated mozzarella in a white dish with a bowl of balsamic reduction on a blue placemat.


Marinating mozzarella at home is really easy to do in a matter of minutes. These Pesto Marinated Mozzarella Balls are packed with flavor because it all starts with a spoonful of Basil Pesto!

I like to use my homemade Basil Pesto Sauce but you can use your favorite jarred pesto to save some time.

Here’s how to make it:

Drain the mozzarella balls.

Fill a mason jar with the mozzarella.

Whisk the olive oil, pesto, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and lemon zest in a small bowl.

bowl with marinade for mozzarella in it with a tiny whisk.

Pour the olive oil mixture over the mozzarella.

Seal with a lid and allow to sit for 1 hour.

marinade being poured over mozzarella balls in a jar on a blue kitchen towel.

You can make your marinated mozzarella balls up to 5 days in advance and store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them for your favorite recipes.


While you can definitely serve them on their own as a starter or an appetizer, they’re fantastic as part of a charcuterie board.

They’re also phenomenal on these easy Antipasto skewers adding another layer of Italian flavor to an already amazing snack!

Try them in your favorite Wedge Salad or add them to this easy Caprese salad to amp up the flavor.

Overhead shot of caprese Salad with cherry tomatoes on a white platter with basil leaves.


If you’re looking for more easy appetizer recipes, we also love this Proscuitto Wrapped Asparagus to go along with our mozzarella.

You may also like this easy cheesy crab dip or these amazingly simple Parmesan Cheese Crisps!

Marinated mozzarella in a jar on a blue kitchen towel.


Marinated Mozzarella Balls in a jar with olive oil on a white background with basil leaves.


A quick and easy appetizer, Pesto Marinated Mozzarella Balls are buttery bites of soft cheese packed in an herby, olive oil that's seriously irresistable.
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Marinating time: 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12
Calories 134 kcal


  • canning jar


  • 8 ounces Mozzarella Balls
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Basil Pesto
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon zest


  • Drain the mozzarella balls and transfer to a clean, dry canning jar.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, pesto, italian seasoning, parsley, red pepper and lemon zest.
  • Pour the olive oil mixture into the jar with the mozzarella filling to just below the top or until all the mozzarella is covered.
  • Seal the jar with the lid and allow to marinade for 1 hour at room temperature.


If preparing more than 1 hour in advance, store the mozzarella in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Remove the jar from the refrigerator 1 hour before serving to allow the cheese to come to room temperature. 


Calories: 134kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 4gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 32mgPotassium: 16mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 131IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 79mgIron: 1mg
Keyword marinated cheese, marinated mozzarella, mozzarella balls
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