Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Mozzarella is a perennial favorite, whether adorning pizzas, summery Caprese salads, or cold-weather comfort food classics like lasagna and baked ziti. In this collection of mozzarella-packed favorites, you will find recipes that use the cheese in all its forms: fresh and firm, aged and melty, or fashioned with cream into a big oozy ball of burrata. For those whose love of mozzarella runs especially deep, we recommend trying your hand at making fresh mozzarella from scratch.

Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina (Baked Gnocchi With Tomato and Mozzarella)

Serious Eats / Daniel Gritzer

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina is a Southern Italian baked pasta starring plump potato gnocchi. The secret to success is getting each component right, from the tomato sauce to the torn pieces of fior di latte mozzarella, and to use homemade gnocchi that hold their shape but remain tender.

Marinated Mozzarella, Cherry Tomato, and Basil Salad

Serious Eats / Diana Chistruga

Here, cherry-sized mozzarella balls (ciliegine) are marinated in extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil, salt, and pepper, and then tossed with sweet cherry tomatoes and golden balsamic vinegar—a flavorful rendition of a classic (but sometimes bland) dish. Since this salad utilizes cherry tomatoes, it’s inherently more versatile than a classic Caprese, which really ought to be made with peak-summer slicing tomatoes.

Korean-Style Fire Chicken (Buldak) With Cheese

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Chargrilled chicken thighs, slathered in a spicy gochujang-spiked glaze and topped off with a layer of gooey, melted mozzarella is messy, greasy, bar-food perfection. 

Korean Corn Cheese

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

This sizzling skillet of sautéed onion, sweet corn kernels, and melted mozzarella is seasoned with a few spoonfuls of savory, funky doenjang paste and Chinese mustard powder. It’s perfect for enjoying straight out of the oven while the cheese is nice and gooey.

Baked Ziti With Two Mozzarellas and Parmesan Cream Sauce

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Two mozzarellas—low-moisture and fresh—deliver both the best melting properties and the best fresh milky flavor to this upgraded take on baked ziti. The parmesan cream sauce stands in for the usual ricotta or cottage cheese, which has a smoother, more luxurious texture. For a more traditional take, try Kenji’s recipe for no-boil baked ziti.

Rich and Creamy Saffron Arancini With Mozzarella

Serious Eats / Daniel Gritzer

Made with short-grain rice and a rich bechamel, these arancini fry up with a crispy crust, a tender, creamy filling, and a core of molten mozzarella.

Crostini With Blistered Cherry Tomatoes, Burrata and Chive Oil

Serious Eats / Emily and Matt Clifton

The building blocks of a classic Caprese salad are re-imagined in these summery toasts. First, cherry tomatoes are blistered in a skillet until bursting with juice. Then, creamy burrata takes the place of standard fresh mozzarella. Instead of basil leaves, a quick and easy chive oil is drizzled over the toasts.

Foolproof Pan Pizza

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Say the word “mozzarella” and most people automatically think of pizza. Obviously, listing favorite recipes from our vast archive of pizza recipes is beyond the scope of this round-up. However, we would be remiss not to add at least one recipe as a reminder of all the delicious applications for mozzarella. Enter Kenji‘s extremely popular recipe for pan pizza, which requires little more than a scale, a few bowls, and a cast iron skillet—no baking steel or fancy outdoor oven required.

Mozzarella-Stuffed Crispy Baked Onion Rings

Serious Eats / Morgan Eisenberg

If you’ve ever struggled to choose between mozzarella sticks and onion rings, you know how difficult ordering bar food can be. But what if there was an appetizer that combined them both, so you’d never have to face such a cruel and impossible decision again? Try this mash-up app and enter a brave new world.

Hasselbacked Melted-Mozzarella and Garlic-Butter Bagels

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Cutting a bagel vertically, like a Hasselback potato, makes more of its dense and tender crumb available to soak up garlic butter and hold gobs of melted mozzarella cheese.

Grilled Mozzarella Sandwiches With Mortadella, Pesto, and Artichokes

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

These crisp grilled cheese sandwiches are filled with melted mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced marinated artichoke hearts, pesto, and mortadella. A little anchovy punches up the savory flavor of each bite.

Baked Saffron Risotto With Mozzarella and Crispy Topping

Serious Eats / Daniel Gritzer

Risotto is not exactly a make-ahead food—no matter what tricks you use, it always requires last-minute finishing right before serving. But by using the tricks we developed for rice balls, it’s possible to turn a classically a-la-minute dish into a make-ahead baked casserole. Like baked mac and cheese, but with rice.!

The Best Chicken Parmesan

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

Kenji’s recipe for this Italian-American classic is made even better with a buttermilk brine for tender chicken, a flavorful breading, and slow-cooked red sauce. One of the highlights, of course, is a molten layer of mozzarella blanketing each tender, crispy cutlet. If you’re craving smothered fried eggplant instead, check out our recipe for eggplant parm.

Ultra-Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

Lasagna is another dish that we have covered extensively over the years at Serious Eats. This rich, hearty vegetarian lasagna recipe, stuffed with spinach and mushrooms, is particularly generous with the shredded whole milk mozzarella.

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