Kalyn's Kitchen

Marinated Fresh Mozzarella with Herbs

Marinated Fresh Mozzarella with Herbs is easy to make ahead, and it will get gobbled up quickly whether you serve it as an appetizer or a salad! 

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Marinated Fresh Mozzarella with Herbs finished salad in serving bowl

Marinated Fresh Mozzarella with Herbs might be the easiest salad or appetizer you’ve ever whipped up, and I’m guessing it will impress your friends. After I discovered mozzarella pearls at Costco and loved it in Tomato, Olive, and Fresh Mozzarella Salad, I heard from a lot of readers who loved the little balls of fresh mozzarella, and I thought it might be fun to try another way of using them. And thanks to Joanne from Eats Well with Others who tells me these little balls of Mozzarella are called Bocconcini which means “little balls” in Italian. But if you can’t find little balls of Mozzarella like I used, just slice up fresh Mozzarella and cut it into small cubes.

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

  • fresh mozzarella pearls, or cut fresh mozzarella into small cubes if you can’t find the pearls
  • olive oil
  • chopped fresh herbs of your choice
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes

What if you can’t find Mozzarella Pearls?

For years I happily bought the mozzarella pearls at Costco, but now neither of the Costcos near me carries them. I can usually find them in the deli department at my favorite grocery store, but if you can’t find little balls of Mozzarella like I used, just slice up fresh Mozzarella and cut it into small cubes. It will still taste great!

What fresh herbs did I use?

I used mostly basil for the herbs, with just a tiny bit of oregano, but I’m thinking mint would be also great in this, and in fact you could probably use any type of fresh herbs that appeal to you.

Can this be made ahead?

One of the best things about this as a party salad or an impressive appetizer is that you can make it ahead and let it marinate at room temperature for a few hours while you’re preparing other parts of the meal!

Marinated Fresh Mozzarella with Herbs process shots collage

How to make this recipe:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Drain the mozzarella pearls, or if you’re using larger pieces of fresh mozzarella, slice and then cut them into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Wash the herbs and spin dry with salad spinner (affiliate link) or dry with a paper towel.
  3. Finely chop herbs with a chef’s knife.
  4. Mix olive oil, chopped herbs, salt, fresh ground black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  5. I used just 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, but you can bump it up a bit more if you’d like it spicy.
  6. Mix together the pieces of Mozzarella and herb mixture and marinate for 30-60 minutes at room temperature.
  7. Serve and wait for raves from your family or guests!

Marinated Fresh Mozzarella with Herbs found on KalynsKitchen.com

More Recipes Using Use Fresh Basil:

Summer Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese 
Crustless Three-Cheese Tomato Basil Quiche 
Cauliflower Rice with Basil, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts 

Marinated Fresh Mozzarella with Herbs finished salad in serving bowl

Marinated Fresh Mozzarella with Herbs

Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Marinated Fresh Mozzarella with Herbs is an easy-to-make salad or appetizer that will get gobbled up quickly!


  • 1 lb. fresh mozzarella pearls (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (see notes)
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)


  1. Drain mozzarella in a strainer placed in the sink while you wash and chop herbs.
  2. Be sure mozzarella is drained well, and pat dry with paper towels if needed.
  3. Wash herbs, spin dry in salad spinner or blot dry with paper towels, then finely chop enough fresh herbs to make 1/2 cup.
  4. Mix chopped herbs with olive oil and red pepper flakes, and season with a generous amount of salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  5. Put mozzarella pieces into a plastic or glass container with a tight-fitting lid, add olive oil mixture, and stir to combine.
  6. Put lid on container and marinate mozzarella at room temperature for 30-60 minutes, turning container over a few times so the mozzarella stays covered with the olive oil-herb mixture.
  7. Serve at room temperature.


Nutritional information is for four servings, when this is served as a side-dish salad. This would make about 8 servings if serving as an appetizer.

I used fresh mozzarella pearls for this recipe, but you can cup up mozzarella into small cubes if you don't find the pearls. Measure the 1/2 cup herbs after chopping; I used mostly basil with just a few tablespoons of chopped oregano but use any herbs you have on hand.

Recipe adapted from an idea in How to Cook Everything (affiliate link). 

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 518Total Fat: 48gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 724mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 21g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This is a great appetizer or salad for any phase of the original South Beach Diet, or for low-carb eating plans, including Keto. South Beach would recommend low-fat mozzarella, while other diets will prefer full fat cheese.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Appetizer Recipes or Salad Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2009. It was last updated in 2021.

Pinterest image of Marinated Fresh Mozzarella with Herbs

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    33 Comments on “Marinated Fresh Mozzarella with Herbs”

  1. Ill have to try this appetizer out. Thanks for sharing!

  2. What a perfect appetizer – Looks wonderful!

  3. Perfect! I still have some of these bocconcini in my fridge and plenty of herbs in my garden. I will be trying this!

  4. Love pearl mozz!! This really is a great delicious and quick app. With my huge Italian family and friends, they will for sure eat this right up – Thanks!

  5. Love fresh mozzarella and have some from a recent farmer's market trip – looks fabulous!

  6. Looks heavenly Kalyn!

  7. Another lovely salad with fresh mozzarella. I need to get those little balls of goodness!

  8. Love the suggestions. Love seeing how other people are using the little mozzarella balls, and I think marinating this in pesto is a brilliant idea for people who don't have fresh herbs, will try that for sure. And I love the idea of adding sun-dried tomatoes and olives too. Joanne, thanks for the Italian name. I'll add that to the post.

  9. I must admit that little mozzarella balls are quite addicting. It's probably, in part, the appeal of mini-food. The problem is, I'm not sure I could stop eating these …

  10. We call this bocconcini salad (little balls) in Italian. It's also great with some sun-dried tomatoes and olives. It's dangerously addictive though ;).

  11. My kind of dish to nibble on having a cold beer – delicious, Kalyn!

  12. I've been serving mozzarella balls in home made pesto for years and it's always a hit. But I guess I've gotten in a rut. You've given me a push to try different combinations of fresh herbs and seasonings.

  13. I have mozzarella in the fridge and little basil plants in the garden… I guess I will prepare this recipe today!
    Thank you for sharing this with WHB!

  14. Kalyn – mozzarella "cherries" (as they're known here, probably for their sizze) are great when marinated and then rolled up in a slice of zucchini (I've blogged about it here). And yes, basil and mozzarella are made for each other!

  15. Fantastic recipe, Kalyn. I will be making it once the weather gets warmer here.

  16. say…this is a break from the usual. What a great idea

  17. Time for a run to Costco — my herbs are ready for harvest, and this is just my kind of dish.

  18. This is such a good idea! Would be perfect with some fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes!


  19. that looks like it'd be a major hit as an appetizer!

  20. This is a fantastic appetizer! I can't wait to try it.