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Spinach and mozzarella balls

Updated: Fri, 2 February, 2024

Spinach and mozzarella oven baked balls, with crunchy breadcrumb coating and hearty garlicky seasoning - the signature dish of my favourite home chef!

spinach and mozzarella balls

The appeal of ball-shaped foods

Balls are not a bad way to have your food presented. There’s something comforting about round shapes on your plate, often smothered in tomato or gravy. A sphere of food is arguably more enticing than a square – unless we’re talking about pork belly or lasagne.

Bite-sized balls are particularly cute, the ones that will go in one. Truffles are hardly ever square, are they? Here's to the ball shaped snacks!

Dinner on the ball

So how about a dinner of meatballs with a side order of arancini or Mexican rice balls, followed by a cheese ball and crackers; with marzipan balls for sweets? And the vegetable side order will, of course, be spinach balls from this recipe!

oven baked spinach cheese balls

Spinach and cheese signature balls

It’s the signature dish of my favourite home chef and he often makes them for a starter on a special occasion, when he takes over the kitchen. His are fancier and frequently involve finely chopped bacon added to the mix, which is never a bad thing.

So his recipe is my inspiration, though I just mash everything up together much more messily and skip the bacon. But it works very well even the messy way.

They are super good as a side dish, being more spinachy than cheesy. And if you fancy them as a gooey, oozy snack or appetizer, add more cheese and then some.

You can make up a batch and freeze them cooked, then just defrost and warm up in the oven or even microwave, though the latter method will lose them their crunchiness.

baked spinach and cheese balls

Fresh or frozen spinach balls?

Both fresh and frozen spinach work absolutely fine. If using frozen spinach, make sure you thaw it completely and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. The upside of frozen spinach is that it needs no blanching.

If using fresh, you can use microwave to wilt rinsed leaves, or plunge them in freshly boiled water for a few seconds. Squeeze out the moisture, and in either case chop the spinach up roughly.

fresh spinach

How to make spinach and cheese balls?

The ingredients are spinach and diced mozzarella, the cooking type is better value here rather than fresh buffalo cheese. Apart from that, there’s an egg added to the mix, plus pressed garlic and seasoning. All is bound together with dry breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan.

spinach and mozzarella mix

The mix is best mashed together by hand: use your fingers to pulp the ingredients into well-combined mixture. Shape the mix into - guess what? - balls, about the size of a golf ball, then chill them well.

They can easily be made ahead, if planning for a party snack or starter. Shape them the day before, chill overnight and bake just before or some time before serving, because they are also delicious at room temperature.

shaping spinach cheese balls

Bake the balls

They need about 25-30 minutes in the oven, or until the breadcrumb coating colours lightly. They sometimes crack if not shaped tightly enough but ignore any imperfections: they will still be completely gorgeous.

oven baked spinach balls

More spinach recipes

How to cook spinach? Simply, with lots of butter and thinly sliced garlic. Buttered spinach is a perfect side dish, healthy and ready in minutes.

Fennel and spinach lasagne rolls, a pasta bake with gorgeously layered flavours of salty feta mixed into mild fennel, and creamy spinach sauce as a background to the rolled up, stuffed lasagne sheets.

Sea bass fillets baked in a creamy spinach sauce, delicious and ready in 15 minutes. This method keeps the fish succulent and flaky even if you use defrosted fillets.

More cheesy snack recipes

Cream cheese and Cheddar stuffed jalapeno peppers, baked in the oven for a delicious snack or appetiser. Much healthier than deep fried jalapeno poppers but none the less tasty.

Easy cheesy oregano cheese straws from homemade shortcrust pastry; flaky, buttery and melting in a mouth. Everyone’s all-time best ever favourite snack.

The best cheese biscuits with flaky, shortcrust pastry made from scratch, swirled around copious quantity of grated cheese. Much better with cream cheese pastry than puff pastry and not nearly as greasy.

mozzarella and spinach baked balls

Spinach and mozzarella balls

Servings: makes 10 ballsTime: 1 hour plus chilling
Rating: (1 reviews)


  • 300g (11oz.) fresh or frozen spinach
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 20g (4 tbsp) grated Parmesan plus 2 tbsp for coating
  • 120g (4½ oz.) mozzarella, diced
  • 50g (scant ½ cup) Panko breadcrumbs plus 2 tbsp for coating
  • 1 egg
  • salt and black pepper
  • a pinch of grated nutmeg


1. If using fresh spinach, wash it and blanch in boiling water or wilt in a microwave. Let it cool down and squeeze as much moisture out of it as you can. If using frozen, thaw it completely and again, squeeze the living daylights out of it. Chop it roughly in either case.

2. Mix all the ingredients very thoroughly in a bowl, except for the extra Parmesan and breadcrumbs for coating. Mix those in a separate bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper.

3. Scoop a tablespoon of the mix at a time and form tight balls. Roll them in the coating mix and place on a tray. When all are shaped, chill them for at least 30 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Brush a baking tray with cooking oil.

5. Place the chilled balls on the baking tray and bake for 25 minutes until the coating breadcrumbs turn golden brown.

6. Serve immediately as a side dish or starter; but the balls are also nice as finger food, at room temperature.

Originally published: Mon, 17 July, 2017

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Your comments

Anna @ CuisineFiend
Thanks Ange, hope you enjoy them. Sorry about the ads but a girl's gotta eat...
2 years ago
Hi, thanks! Much appreciated, I have spinach and mozzarella to use up… sounds perfect, making this evening. While your site is fairly eaten up by ads, at least it’s not the unusable kind SMOTHERED by them, and jumping ones to boot. if they are as fabulous as I think they’ll be (I do live spinach) I’ll come back and give it 5 ?? ??
2 years ago

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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