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An easy marinated cheese balls recipe you can make at home in less than 5 minutes, in a Mason jar, and costs me a fraction of the store bought version. You guys, I may no longer have to hide the marinated cheese in the back of the fridge under the Brussell sprouts so no one eats them but me… maybe.
If you’ve ever purchased marinated cheese balls from the store, you know how expensive they can be. About $8 for a one little jar. Well, no more my friends, no more. Now, you can make them at home for a fraction of the cost. Score!
One of my other favorite things about this recipe is almost all of it can be grown at home. I used fresh sage and rosemary from my kitchen herb garden along with our home grown garlic. We don’t have our own dairy animal yet, but that makes almost half of the ingredients produced right here on the homestead.
These make fabulous gifts as well as easy a simple marinated cheese appetizer for holiday parties and events.
Of course, I had to share it with you, because good friends share.
Cheeses to use in homemade marinated cheese balls
Soft cheeses work best so you can form them into darling little balls. But you do have some options, for my hard core homestead and from scratch loving foodies:
Approximately 8 ounces of soft cheese (you can do marinated cream cheese if you don’t have the chevre or farmers cheese)
1/2 to 3/4 cup sunflower oil (see note on other oil choices below)
zest of 1 lemon or lime
1 to 2 cloves finely minced garlic, or use a garlic press for quick and easy (who are we kidding, one always doubles the amount of garlic, so double that up!)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Dash of black pepper
2 to 3 teaspoons herbs of choice, about 1/2 teaspoon of individual herbs if using combinations (sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil and dill are all favorites over here)
1 to 2 pint sized Mason jar (depends on how large you make your cheese balls)
How to Make Marinated Cheese Balls
Take approximately 1 Tablespoon of cheese and roll it into a ball with your hands (we know you washed your hands first). Place it into the jar and keep on rolling.
When jar is about two inches from the top (aka being full) place your zest, raw garlic, herbs, salt and pepper on top. Don’t pack the cheese balls tightly, we want all the flavors to surround them!
Pour your sunflower oil over top of the herbs and cheese balls until they’re fully submerged by about a 1/2 inch of oil.
Place a lid on and shake it up a bit so the oil and herbs get all swirled around in there. Doesn’t it look pretty?
Put it in the fridge and let it marinate for at least 2 days if possible, but up to a month for a stronger flavor.
Oil alternatives for marinated cheese
It’s best to pick an oil that doesn’t solidify when in the fridge and doesn’t have a strong flavor profile on its own. We want to taste those herbs and spices.
I don’t use Canola or vegetable oil in our home because they contain GMO ingredients and there are much healthier fats out there, so I don’t recommend using them.
However, if you’re allergic to Sunflower oil or don’t have it on hand and need to whip this up today, no worries, I’ve got you covered.
You can use olive oil, but know olive oil will solidify in the fridge. Here’s your work around, compile everything together and place it in the fridge. A few hours before serving, let it sit out at room temperature so the olive oil turns back to liquid, serve and enjoy!
How long does marinated cheese last
Marinated cheese will last for weeks in the fridge. I never have an opportunity to see how long it will last because, hello, it’s marinated cheese and we eat it up too fast.
For a nice strong flavor on it you can go up to 4 weeks without issue.
Do I have to store marinated cheese in the fridge
Yes, you do. It’s dairy, and dairy needs to be kept cold.
If you like to have hard copies of recipes, you can print out this easy marinated cheese recipe below
Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.