This recipe was actually inspired by a recent trip to Costco, where I saw a giant jar (we are talking Costco, after all) of Castelvetrano olives.  A pretty large jar, really.  Because I go into some kind of trance-like state when entering the doors of Costco, I naturally succumbed and purchased the olives.  When I got home, I thought, hey, what I am going to do with that incredibly giant jar of olives?  I adore olives and snack on them straight-up, but I already had other assorted types of olives hanging around.  So, I decided to make a meal-worthy olive.  You have probably seen plenty of recipes for olives wrapped in cheese pastry, and this is not a new idea.  Adapting it to make it grain free was harder than I thought it would be, however, and it took three different technique attempts before I got a result that did not end up looking like pastry blobs.

Cheese-wrapped Olives

I have to say, these are freaking delicious if you are an olive-lover.  It was fun to eat the batches that were sort of ugly blobs, because they were very tasty ugly blobs.  These are wonderful straight out of the oven, while hot and extra-cheesy, and they are also great later as a room-temperature snack.  This is seriously one of my favorite new things.

Cheese-wrapped Olives

Of course you can use any kind of olive you like, or use assorted olives for even more interest, and stuffed olives would be great prepared this way.  Castelvetranos are a really meaty, firm-textured olive that stands up well to baking, but I also tossed in some other varieties with success.  For a party, you could bake this in advance, store in an air-tight container, and then just briefly re-warm them in a moderate oven to serve them hot. I found that the addition of the egg white, plus chilling the dough, really helps keep the almond-based dough from spreading too much–so don’t skip the chilling step unless you want them to turn out blobby so you have an excuse to make another batch.

Cheese-wrapped Olives (grain free)
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12
  • About two dozen of your favorite olives
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar (4 ounces)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 egg white
  1. Place your olives on some paper toweling to let them dry out while you prepare your dough. You want them fairly dry so the dough will stick.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, mash together the butter, chipotle, cheddar, and almond flour until the butter is blended in. Stir in the egg white. Refrigerate the dough for about 20 minutes (this will help keep the dough from spreading too much).
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Wrap a thin layer of the dough around each olive, rolling between your hands to form a ball. Do this until you run out of dough. Depending on the size of your olives, you will end up with about two dozen. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until light browned. Remove from the oven and serve.

Cheese-wrapped Olives

I suppose it goes without saying that you should use pitted olives for this recipe, lest you risk being sued by an unsuspecting guest who loses a crown.  Consider that my little legal disclaimer.  At any rate, I think you will like these, and while I have called this an “appetizer” out of respect for social conventions, I had them for lunch the past three days.  They are really good.

Thanks for reading,


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  1. You have me wanting to reinstate my Costco membership and buy a big jar of olives. I would absolutely love a couple of dozen for supper.

    1. I don’t think I could ever give up my Costco membership, locavore that I try to be. Those giant jars of olives beckon…

  2. Okay, so I HAVE to try these, being the olive fiend I am. The boys love ripe olives. I am guessing those will be good as well… I am going to find out! Awesome recipe, especially for having around for a quick snack!

    1. I did a half batch with ripe olives and they were fabulous. I think they would like these.

  3. I love olives…I have to have these! What a great idea! I don’t shop at Costco (there isn’t one near me) but I may have to take a road trip to get them for this recipe! 🙂

    1. Kristen, I have seen them in smaller jars at the regular grocery store…you know, if you don’t want the giant size. I have to say I have worked my way almost through that whole jar now.

  4. Hi Angela – Those are my FAVORITE olives!! Yum!! I love what you’ve done with them – must try!!! Thank you!!!

    1. They are *so* good, aren’t they? I love the texture.

  5. I love these olives, but last week I found out that my Costco has deleted them from their stock, and will not be selling them any longer. What a disappointment that was. Now, I’ll have to buy them from the olive bar at Whole Foods, which costs more. Anyone know where I can purchase the large jars like Costco sold? They were the Mezzetta Castelvetrano olives, and that’s what I’d like to find.

    1. Jo, I was at Costco a few days ago and bought their last three jars they had–I know you can buy them direct from Mezzetta, and I suspect you could get them at places like Whole Foods. I was disappointed that they Costco decided to stop carrying them.

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