Fresh mozzarella & cherry tomato kabobs

When you’re planning a party, here’s an appetizer that’s simple, easy and delicious. One key to hosting a fun event is that you get to enjoy your guests instead of being stuck in the kitchen cooking and cleaning. This recipe will be a hit with everyone, and be ready in no time.

Marinated fresh mozzarella and cherry tomato kabobs are one of my favorite go-to appetizers. No cooking skills required. Really!


Every party or barbecue is better with irresistible appetizers. They set the tone for the food and event, while holding your hungry friends over until dinner is served. When I’m hosting, I want real, fresh food that tastes great without making me a slave to the kitchen.

My motto: with great appetizers, who needs dinner anyway?! Sometimes we have parties with rounds of appetizers and skip the sit down dinner. This recipe is nearly always on the menu.

Fresh mozzarella and cherry tomato kabobs fit the bill. Put together this colorful, irresistible appetizer in about 20 minutes. Make plenty, because these little apps on a stick disappear quickly.

These are the perfect appetizer. Whip up a quick marinade. Toss in the refrigerator for a little while to combine the flavors. They take just a few minutes to assemble. Bright and vibrant, they have beautiful visual appeal.

I’m too busy to make fussy appetizers that take hours of painstaking work, and I bet you are too. Skip the sink full of pots and pans. Keep your oven free for other dishes that require cooking. Simple and fresh is the way I work!

These kabobs also work well with different dietary needs. Guests who are gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian or soy-free will appreciate this.  

Someone will be bound to say “gluten-free? But they taste so good!” That will be a whole other blog post...because I’m all about healthy and gluten-free options that taste great.

Ideal for beginners or savvy cooks, this is nearly impossible to mess up. Here are a few tips  to keep in mind to make sure that yours come out terrific:

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  • Use the freshest ingredients you can find, organic whenever possible. You will taste every delicious ingredient, especially the olive oil.

  • Flat parsley makes a pretty and neat presentation in this dish.

  • Fresh mozzarella balls packed in water seem to hold up best in the marinade. 

  • Basil doesn’t like to get cold. Keep it out of the refrigerator or it will turn black overnight. Store it on the counter in a jar with water, or buy a plant to keep in a sunny window and clip just what you need anytime.

  • I use about ½ of a medium basil leaf to keep the flavor more subtle. Use more if you like. Tear the leaves, because a knife will turn the edges brown. 

Once you make this recipe, be adventurous and play around with the spices. Use this as a springboard. A tiny bit of oregano (go sparingly) or thyme works too. Sample the marinade before mixing it with the cheese to be sure you like the combination. Don’t like raw garlic? Try starting with ¼ tsp of garlic powder instead.

And if you’re in a really big hurry or run out of time, skip the skewers. Mix everything together in a bowl and serve.

If you read these directions and decide that this hardly qualifies as cooking, you may be right. In that case, call them Caprese Kabobs, which sounds a bit fancier. Either way, it’s all the same!

Fresh mozzarella and tomato kabobs (aka caprese kabobs)


  • Pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lb. fresh mozzarella Bocconcini (bite-sized) balls
  • 1/4 cup high quality EVOO
  • 2-3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 8-10 pieces of organic lemon zest (skip if not organic)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Handful of fresh, chopped flat parsley
  • 3/4 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • Dash of red pepper flakes
  • Basil leaves
  • Bamboo party skewers


  1. Mix olive oil, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper, garlic, parsley, rosemary and pepper flakes together in a bowl or a large mason jar with a lid. Gently combine mozzarella and cover.
  2. Refrigerate least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours.
  3. I don’t marinate the tomatoes. It keeps them from getting slippery when skewering them. They don’t really pick up the flavor of the marinade through the skin anyway.
  4. Assemble the skewers and arrange on a serving platter: cherry tomato first (so they don’t slide off) + 1/2 leaf of basil (torn not cut or it will brown) + mozzarella ball.


© 2017


Nothing beats freshly handmade mozzarella, warm and lightly salted. This is the heavenly kind that is best within a few hours after purchasing.

However, in this recipe I use supermarket purchased fresh mozzarella packed in water which seems to hold up to the marinade nicely and can be purchased several days in advance.

OVOLINE - egg-sized mozzarella, weighing in at about 4 ounces.

BOCCONCINI - bite-sized mozzarella balls, perfect for skewering or adding to pasta salads.

PERLINE - tiny mozzarella “pearls,” just the right size to scatter on top of a salad or dish. No cutting necessary. Try stuffing these into large olives or pickled cherry peppers.


Denise Fountain is a Life Transitions Specialist and Certified Professional Coach. She works with women going through transitions to rediscover themselves and create lives that are happy, healthy and whole again. Together with her clients, she explores the connection between stress, health and happiness, and guides her clients to move forward to make lasting and sustainable changes. She is passionate about helping women live their best lives. Sign up for updates while you’re on this site! Contact her at to learn more about how Denise can partner with you to create the life you dream of.