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white bowl filled with green olives and chunks of cheese with a red-handled spoon set in the bowl

Citrus Marinated Olives and Manchego

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings (4 cups) 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Italian/Spanish
  • Diet: Gluten Free


An easy, elegant, and flavor-packed marinated olive recipe featuring Castelvetrano olives, Manchego cheese, orange, garlic, and red pepper flakes.


  • 2 oranges 
  • ¾ cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil*
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 
  • 1 clove garlic, peed and crushed 
  • 1 pound pitted castelvetrano olives*
  • 8 ounces Manchego cheese, broken into large pieces (1 ¾ cup)
  • Toasted crusty bread or baguette, lightly toasted 


Using a vegetable peeler, peel large strips of zest from oranges; halve oranges. 

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium. Add orange peels, orange halves, pepper flakes, and garlic; bring to a low simmer and cook 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, squeeze juice from orange halves into oil. 

Meanwhile, drain olives and transfer to a cutting board. Using the heel of your hand, lightly smash olives to slightly flatten (optional).

Add olives to oil, reduce heat to low, and let olives steep/slightly sizzle at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour. The mixture should not come to a significant simmer. 

Meanwhile, break Manchego into ½-inch chunks and transfer to serving dish.

Pour warm olives over manchego and serve as is, or with bread. 


Olive oil: I recommend using a robust extra-virgin olive oil—Spanish olive oil is great in this recipe.

Olives: Smashing the olives is optional, but I find this step makes them easier to smash onto a piece of crusty bread. If you’re looking to serve the marinated olives on their own, without bread, feel free to skip this step. 

This recipe is versatile! Play around with flavors, and be sure to check out the variations I share in the post above the recipe. 


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 347
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Sodium: 1387mg
  • Fat: 33g
  • Saturated Fat: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 2.5g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 23mg

Keywords: marinated olives, marinated olives recipe, marinated olives and cheese

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