Herb marinated soft cheese balls are delicious spread on crackers or served as a dip. Usually, herb infused cheese is found in the fancy section of the deli, yet it is so easy to make. Impress your friends and family by serving marinated cheese at a party or giving it as a gift.
Most marinated cheese recipes use feta or mozzarella. However, this recipe is specifically for soft cheeses. The trick to making soft cheeses firm enough to marinade in olive oil is to dry them out ahead of time.
Simply form balls of cheese, lay them out on a plate (see below,) then leave them in the fridge uncovered until they have developed a firm exterior. The inside will still be soft and delicious.
Herb infused olive oil is what gives these cheese balls their delicious flavour. There are lots of different flavour options. Here are a few of my favourite combinations:
- Za’atar (affiliate link) is the traditional Mediterranean flavour.
- Garlic and rosemary
- Rosemary, thyme and bay
- Lemon zest
- Chili pepper flakes
- Cracked black pepper
Marinated Soft Cheese Balls
Olive oil and herb marinated soft cheese balls are so easy to make. This simple recipe is designed for yogurt cheese, kefir cheese or soft goat cheese. They make a perfect gift and a creamy and delicious appetizer.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 1 pint jar 1x
- Category: Cheese
- Method: Marinated
- Cuisine: Meditarranean
- 1 cup soft cheese (see notes)
- 1/4 cup olive oil, to cover
- 2 tbsp mixed herbs and spices (see section above for suggested flavour combinations)
- Make sure that the soft cheese is salted. If using homemade cheese use about 1/2 tsp of salt per cup of cheese.
- Make bite-sized balls of cheese. I usually roll my balls by hand, however, you could use a small melon baller (affiliate link.)
- Lay the balls of cheese out on a plate and put them in the fridge uncovered. Allow them to dry out for 3 to 12 hours (depending on how soft the cheese is.) The surface of the cheese balls should be dry to the touch.
- When the balls are dry enough to handle, place them in a 2 cup glass jar. They may stick together slightly.
- Add the herbs and spices.
- Cover with olive oil.
- Allow to marinate for at least 24 hours in the fridge. Use within 2 weeks.
- Warm to room temperature before serving.
- This recipe can be made with store-bought cream cheese or goat cheese. However, it is based on a traditional Mediterranean yogurt cheese recipe. It would also work with kefir cheese. Or use cashew cheese for a vegan alternative.
- Forming the balls by hand can be quite messy. Don’t worry about cleaning your hands between each ball, just get messy then lick your fingers afterwards.
Keywords: soft cheese, kefir cheese, labneh, cream cheese, goat cheese, chevre, keto, gift, snack, appetizer, bread, crackers, spread, holiday, party