Cheesy Garlic Dough Balls Recipe

Cheesy garlic dough balls

  • serves 6 as a snack
  • Easy

Give our tear-and-share gooey cheese-filled dough balls a go at home with step-by-step help from the olive test kitchen. They'd make a great starter for the kids or something to kick off a laid back dinner party



  • mozzarella block 150g, cut into 1cm cubes


  • fast action yeast 2 tsp
  • olive oil
  • strong white bread flour 500g, plus more for dusting
  • fine salt 1tsp


  • unsalted butter 100g
  • garlic 2 cloves, crushed
  • flat-leaf parsley, rosemary and basil 1 tbsp, of each, finely chopped


  • garlic 1 clove, sliced
  • passata 200g
  • red wine vinegar 1/2 tsp
  • chilli flakes
  • basil leaves a few, chopped, plus a little more to serve


  • Step 1

    cheesy garlic dough balls step one

    Mix the yeast, 2 tbsp olive oil, and a pinch of sugar into 300ml warm water in a jug until the yeast has dissolved.

  • Step 2

    step 2

    Tip the flour and salt into a bowl, and pour over the liquid. Knead in the bowl until you form a rough ball, then knead on a floured worksurface until smooth and elastic. Put into an oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

  • Step 3

    step 3

    Knock the dough back into the bowl with your hands, and divide into 18 balls (weigh them to make them identical, if you like).

  • Step 4

    Cheesy garlic dough balls step 4

    Roll each piece into a smooth ball, pushing a cube of mozzarella into the centre of each. Pinch the dough to seal in the cheese.

  • Step 5


    Put the dough balls into an oiled ovenproof frying pan or baking dish (approx. 25cm diameter) leaving a small gap in between each to allow for proving. Cover with oiled clingfilm and leave again for 30 minutes.

  • Step 6

    Cheesy garlic dough balls step 6

    Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. To make the herb butter, melt the butter then add the crushed garlic and herbs off the heat. Season well.

  • Step 7

    Cheesy garlic dough balls step 7

    For the tomato dip, fry the sliced garlic in a drizzle of olive oil for a minute, then tip in the passata, vinegar, and a pinch of chilli flakes and sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes until saucy, then stir in the chopped basil and cool.

  • Step 8

    Cheesy garlic dough balls step 8

    Uncover the dough and brush the dough balls with 2/3 of the garlic butter. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and puffed.

  • Step 9


    Brush with the remaining butter and leave to cool for a few minutes. Serve with the tomato dip scattered with a few basil leaves, more chilli and a drizzle of olive oil.

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Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 545
  • Fat 23.6g
  • Saturates 12.9g
  • Carbs 65g
  • Sugars 2.1g
  • Fibre 3.3g
  • Protein 16.4g
  • Salt 1.1g