Although there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of Halloween appetizers to choose from, antipasto eyeballs are one of the most fun. Suitable for any Halloween party, this Halloween charcuterie board addition looks great and combines a variety of wonderful Italian flavours in every mouthful, including mozzarella, ham, fresh basil, sun-dried tomatoes, and more.
Creamy mini mozzarella balls pair with aromatic basil oil, salty deli ham, and a sweet balsamic glaze to make this extra-special mozzarella eyeballs recipe that’s one of the tastiest, easy Halloween appetizers of all.
Why You’ll Love These Halloween Appetizers
Simple to prepare: You can make these in just half an hour, freeing up more of your time to get the puff pastry mummy hot dogs, spinach dip and tortilla chips, and other Halloween appetizer done too. As well as treats for any trick or treaters!
Ideal for a charcuterie board: Charcuterie boards boast various deli meats and perhaps some cheese and other snacks too. These cute mozzarella Halloween appetizers are definitely in keeping with the theme.
A spooky look: If you’ve never made Halloween eyeballs, you’ll love few ingredients you need to make truly spooky looking appetizers, and you can get creative, adding all kinds of Halloween garnishes to the platter as well.
Ingredients for this Crafty Halloween Appetizer
Mozzarella balls, basil, olives, ham, a balsamic vinegar glaze, and sun dried tomatoes combine to make these cute and scary Halloween appetizers.
How to Make Eyeballs with Antipasto
For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.
Make the basil oil: Blend the basil, oil and a pinch of salt to make the basil oil for these Halloween appetizers.
Prepare the cheese: Trim off the bottom of each piece of mozzarella and cut a little circle in each cheese ball.
Prepare the olives: Cut the olives in half and push through a hole using a straw.
Assemble the eyeball antipasto bites: Fill the spooky eyeball holes with basil oil and then add a piece of olive to be the pupil.
Add the deli ham: Wrap the ham around the mozzarella eyeballs in as close to an eye shape as possible.
The finishing touches: Arrange the antipasto eyeballs on sun dried tomatoes on crumpled brown wax paper, then smear some balsamic glaze on the paper, add a little salt, and serve.
Substitutions and Variations
Prosciutto works in place of deli ham if you prefer that. About 25 prosciutto slices for every 10 mozzarella pearls will work. Green olives can be used rather than black, if that’s your preference.
You can omit the brown paper and/or the sun dried tomatoes if you want, or swap them for a little pizza sauce. These will still look great.
What to Serve with this Party Perfect Halloween Appetizer
How to Store Them
Store: Keep any Halloween charcuterie board leftovers covered and refrigerated and eat within 3 days at most. For some doughy deliciousness, you can pop the leftovers in bread and make toasties or panini, or else serve on pumpernickel bread or your favourite kind.
Freeze: These aren’t really good for freezing.
Antipasto Eyeballs FAQs
Even though these ingredients are similar, they aren’t the same. Balsamic vinegar is the consistency of water while balsamic glaze is thick and sweet, and the correct option for this Halloween appetizer recipe.
Arranged on crumpled brown paper and sun dried tomatoes, these look gruesome and great. But you can add anything else you want to the platter, such as plastic spiders, gummy bats or worms, or even a couple of pairs of broken eyeglasses!
Mozzarella Eyeballs Recipe
Halloween Antipasto Eyeballs Appetizer
- ¼ Cup olive oil
- 8 basil leaves fresh
- Pinch salt
- 10 Pieces mozzarella balls bocconcini, ciliegine, “cherry sized”
- 5 black olives whole pitted, medium or large sized
- ½ Pounds ham sliced thinly
- 1.5 Ounces balsamic glaze
- 8.5 Ounces sun dried tomatoes in oil, julienne cut
- 1 Pinch flake salt
- Place the olive oil in a blender with the fresh basil and a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth, then pour into a small container and set aside.
- Place the ciliegine “cherry sized” mozzarella balls on a cutting board. Look at each one and determine the best side to be the “top”, the top should be slightly rounded and wide. Slice small amounts of the “bottom” to make sure it sits flat on the table if needed. Use a sharp paring knife to cut a small circle in the top of the mozzarella balls, but do not cut all the way through to the bottom, only cut about ¼” or less deep. This circle will be the “iris” of the eyeball, it should be larger than the opening of a wide mouthed straw, but small enough that you can see plenty of the white of the mozzarella around it. Set aside.
- Slice each of the black olives in half, lengthwise. With the inside of the halved olive facing up, use a wide mouth straw to punch a hole in the middle of the olive, just like a cookie cutter. Save the small circle of olive and discard the rest, this will become the “pupil” of the eyeball.
- To assemble. Use a small spoon to stir the basil oil, then fill each of the holes in the mozzarella balls with the basil oil, filling them almost to the top.
- Place one of the olive “pupils” smooth side up in the center of the basil oil in the mozzarella balls. Add additional basil oil if needed to fill the cavity in the mozzarella ball to the top.
- Take one of the thin slices of deli ham and fold in half lengthwise. Wrap the outside of the mozzarella ball with the ham, add additional pieces as needed. Form the ham so that it is in an eye shape.
- Crumple up a sheet of brown parchment paper, the size of your serving platter, then uncrumple it and place it onto your serving platter.
- Drizzle the balsamic glaze in a few lines on the wrinkled parchment, then smear around with a spoon. Place sundried tomatoes all around on top of the glaze and sprinkle with flake salt.
- Arrange the eyeballs on top of the sun dried tomatoes.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
These Halloween appetizers are a spooky take on charcuterie boards and the beloved cheese ball, and also include basil and black olives. Whether you’re hosting a Halloween costume party or you just want something deliciously different from the usual deviled eggs and bowls of candy eyes, this is a winning Halloween idea.
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Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.