Mozzarella Bocconcini balls tossed with homemade basil pesto and sun-blushed tomatoes. This simple recipe makes a perfect light lunch, appetiser or antipasto served with crackers or chargrilled crostini.
Looking for a fun and delicious way to use mozzarella bocconcini? This recipe is SO easy, takes no more than 5 minutes and tastes incredible!
Two important tips; homemade pesto is a MUST, seriously the flavour is out of this world delicious and unlike anything you can buy in a jar (it also take no time to make).
Second tip, use good quality mozzarella bocconcini such as mozzarella di bufula. They should be soft and squidgy and not firm, perfectly round balls.
Ingredients - what you need
See the photo below that shows you everything you need to make this recipe plus some important tips on ingredients!
- Mozzarella bocconcini - use mozzarella di bufula or a high quality mozzarella if possible. It should be soft and creamy and not firm, perfectly round balls.
- Sunblushed tomatoes - also known as semi-dried tomatoes they're sweet, juicy and full of flavour. If you can't find them used sun-dried tomatoes in oil.
- Basil - fresh, un-bruised basil is a must, don't use any other herb.
- Pine nuts - pine nuts are used to make a classic pesto but you can use walnuts, cashews, almonds or pistachios.
- Parmesan - use parmigiano reggiano or pecorino romano cheese.
- Garlic - use a small clove of garlic or half of a large one.
Step by step photos and recipe instructions
Make the pesto - Put all the pesto ingredients in a bowl and blitz until smooth using a hand-held blender. You can also do this in a mortar and pestle (photos 1 & 2).
Toss everything together - Put the mozzarella and sun-blushed tomatoes in a mixing bowl. Add the pesto and toss to combine (photos 3 & 4).
Transfer into a serving bowl. Serve as a salad, side or antipasto with some crackers or toasted crostini.
Top tips and recipe FAQs
- Ways to make pesto - I like to use a immersion blender (hand-held) for making pesto because it's quick and easy. You can also use a mortor and pestle or a food processor but you'll need a small bowl processor because there are not enough ingredients to use a regular one.
- Take the mozzarella out of the fridge - mozzarella tastes so much better when it's not freezing cold. Take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.
No, you can use store-bought pesto but bear in mind that the taste is drastically different from homemade pesto so I highly recommend spending an extra 5 minutes to make it.
Yes, you can make the pesto a few hours in advance although it will darken slightly. Toss everything together just before serving.
If you are serving this as part of an appetizer or antipasti platter you could serve it alongside some Taralli (crunchy bread snacks), Farinata (chickpea flatbread) or marinated olives.
Try stuffing it into a Piadina (Italian Flatbread) or rosemary focaccia as a delicious sandwich filling.
You could also serve it with grilled meat or fish like our chicken spiedini or just grab a fork and dig in!
More Italian appetizers you might like
- Grissini - Italian Breadsticks
- Pizza Rustica (Italian Easter Pie)
- Easy Russian Salad - Insalata Russa
- Burrata with Crispy 'Nduja & Gremolata
- Mozzarella in Carrozza (Fried Mozzarella Sandwiches)
If you’ve tried this Mozzarella Bocconcini appetizer or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW US on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST or sign up to our NEWSLETTER to see more of our delicious food
📖 Full Recipe
Mozzarella Bocconcini, Pesto and Sun-Blushed Tomatoes
- 2 cups bocconcini mozzarella balls (480-500g)
- ½ cup sun-blushed tomatoes (90g)
- 2 cups fresh basil (30g)
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 1 small clove garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (45ml)
- ¼ cup grated parmigiano reggiano or pecorino romano cheese (25g)
- 1 pinch salt and pepper
- Put all the pesto ingredients in a bowl and blitz until smooth using a hand-held blender. You can also do this in a mortar and pestle.
- Put the mozzarella and sun-blushed tomatoes in a mixing bowl. Add the pesto and toss to combine.
- Transfer into a serving bowl. Serve as a salad, side or antipasto with some crackers or toasted crostini.
- Use good quality mozzarella balls such as mozzarella di bufula.
- If you can't find sun-blushed tomatoes you can use sundried tomatoes in oil.
- Making it in advance - if you want to prep it ahead of time you can make the pesto a couple of hours in advance. Toss everything together just before serving.
- I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
- When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use Cirio or Mutti brands for the best results and flavour.
- All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
- All recipes are tested and developed using a fan (convection) oven
- Find out more about how nutrition is calculated.
- Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples.
- You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking.
Delicious and so easy. Homemade pesto is a game changer!
I agree, homemade pesto is the best. Thanks Jess!