Fresh mozzarella gets a delicious upgrade with these Low Sodium Marinated Mozzarella Balls! They’re simple and full of flavor.
When you’re living a low sodium lifestyle, finding flavorful appetizers without an overload of sodium can be tricky. These Low Sodium Marinated Mozzarella Balls are the answer to all of our low sodium prayers! As a rule, my low sodium husband steers clear of cheese because most are high in sodium. There are a few lower sodium cheeses (You can check out my list of lower sodium cheeses here.)
Fresh mozzarella is typically lower in sodium than other cheeses, so it’s an excellent base for a low sodium bite. A soak in your favorite olive oil, herbs, and minced garlic enhances its mild, creamy flavor. I serve these as an appetizer with low sodium bread or crackers.
They’re one of the stars on my Ultimate Low Sodium Holiday Grazing Board. (Check back later this week for that post.) I love to skewer them with a cherry tomato for a simple and elegant hors d’oeuvre or use them in a Caprese salad.
They’re delicious with a quick marinade of an hour or so, but the flavor intensifies the longer they’re allowed to sit. If you’re serving these immediately, you can marinate them at room temperature. Cover the mozzarella entirely with oil, and toss them occasionally to redistribute the seasonings.
How to Store Marinated Mozzarella Balls
Store your marinated mozzarella in the fridge for up to four days. (Believe me, they won’t last that long!) Be sure to bring them to room temperature before serving, as the oil will thicken in the fridge.
All of the sodium content in this recipe comes from the fresh mozzarella. The BelGioioso brand Ciliegine contains 65 mg of sodium per ounce. I used my trusty kitchen scale to measure and found that about 12 of the small mozzarella balls equaled 1 ounce. This amounts to only about 5 mg of sodium per Ciliegine, so you can nibble these responsibly without worries about too much sodium.
Mise en Place
Olive Oil – I use pure olive oil in this recipe instead of extra virgin. Extra virgin olive oil has a strong flavor that can overpower the mozzarella.
Italian Seasoning – This is a blend of dried marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, oregano, and basil. Make sure this, and all of your spices, are sodium-free.
Minced Garlic – Use either fresh garlic or refrigerated minced garlic.
Fresh Mozzarella Balls – Ciliegine – Fresh mozzarella is typically sold in water, not the shredded mozzarella we use on pizzas. It comes in various sizes, from 1-lb balls to smaller ⅓-oz or cherry-sized balls known as Ciliegine or even smaller mozzarella pearls.
How to Make Low Sodium Marinated Mozzarella Balls
It doesn’t get any easier than this recipe!
Whisk olive oil and seasonings in a large bowl until well mixed. Add drained mozzarella and toss until cheese is evenly coated.
Transfer to an airtight container and marinate for 30-60 minutes. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Allow mozzarella to come to room temperature before serving.
Variations on a Delicious Theme
You can customize this recipe to suit your taste by substituting your favorite spice blends. Add more crushed red pepper or a pinch of cayenne for a spicier version.
Whisk in a tablespoon or two of balsamic vinegar for a flavor twist.
I love serving this as an appetizer with roasted tomatoes and low sodium bread or crackers. It’s also delicious tossed in salads, especially a Caprese made with halved cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or glaze.
Low Sodium Marinated Mozzarella Balls FAQs
Can I marinate a large ball of mozzarella?
Yes, you can marinate a larger ball of mozzarella. I recommend chopping it into small, bite-sized pieces or slices before marinating it for more flavor. Slices or smaller pieces give you more surface area per bite for the delicious herbs to cling to.
Can I purchase this already made?
Belgioioso sells marinated mozzarella balls that are only 45 mg sodium per ounce. It’s convenient but can be expensive. A 12-oz container can cost $8-$9. This version is less expensive and allows you to control the herbs and oil used to marinate it. Whatever brand you buy, check the label for sodium content before purchasing.
Can I use fresh herbs instead of dried?
Absolutely! I rely on dried herbs because of the convenience factor. They live happily in my pantry for weeks at a time with none of the Will-I-Use-Them-Before-They-Wilt worries of fresh herbs. When swapping fresh herbs for dried, you’ll need to use about three times more of the fresh variety. The drying process concentrates the herbs’ flavors, so you’ll need more fresh herbs to equal the taste of the dried version. For this recipe, ¼ teaspoon of dried chives would translate to ¾ teaspoon of fresh chives.