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Cheese and Olive Appetizers (Baked, 20 Minutes)

Cheese and olive appetizers are a fabulous, quick and easy “can I have the recipe?” recipe. The briny, cheesy crowd-pleasing appetizer is perfect for any occasion.

Just 6 ingredients – a mixture of cheese, olives, green onions, curry powder and mayo – baked onto English muffins in about 20 minutes.

baked olive cheese appetizers on white plate with parsley.

Many years ago when I was living in Montreal, a nutritionist brought these vegetarian olive cheese appetizers to a work party. We all inhaled them and promptly asked for the recipe.  

Not upscale, not fancy, not foodie-esque. Just a tasty easy party appetizer. I’m a big sucker for fast, easy, good and pretty on the plate.

The appetizers are perfect for making ahead – great for the holidays and brunch. The blend of salty tangy olives with the cheddar, onions and curry works really well. Even non-olive lovers like this cheesy appetizer.

Ingredients – tailored to your taste

grated cheese, chopped olives, chopped green onions, curry powder, mayonnaise, 4 English muffins.

English muffins: These are an easy foundation for these appetizers, but you can use other crusty bread such as ciabatta or French bread as the base instead.

Cheese: I use white cheddar or gruyere. Emmental, fontina or provolone will work well too. Even mozzarella if you prefer mild. Freshly shredded cheese is best, but in a pinch, you can use pre-shredded cheese.

Olives: These are a matter of taste. I prefer black olives or Kalamata olives but tangy green olives are fine too. The only thing I suggest is to test the saltiness of the olives. The salt can be quite prominent.

Seasonings: The recipe calls for a pinch of curry powder. Other options are cumin, turmeric, masala, coriander or oregano. The green onions boost the flavor as well.

Step by step instructions

olive-cheese mixture ingredients in bowl.
Add all mixture ingredients to a bowl.
olive-cheese mixture in bowl.
Mix well with a spoon.
olive-cheese mixture spread on English muffin halves on cutting board.
Cut English muffins in half and divide the mixture between each half. Spread to cover the muffins.
olive-cheese appetizers on english muffins halves cut into quarters on cutting board.
Cut each muffin half into quarters.
baked olive cheese appetizers on parchment lined pan.
Bake for about 10 minutes until bubbly and light brown.
baked olive cheese appetizers on white plate.
Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley to serve.

Tip

Olives can be extremely salty because of the brine they sit in. To reduce the saltiness, rinse the olives well.

Shortcut

  • Buy pitted olives so you don’t have to remove the pits yourself
  • Use a food processor to blend the olive cheese mixture together (and hide the olives if you have fussy eaters)
  • Use pre-shredded cheese (although freshly grated cheese melts better).

Make Ahead

  • Just flash-freeze the unbaked pieces for 45 minutes, pile them into plastic freezer bags and freeze them for up to a month.
  • Pull them out and bake as many as you need for a last-minute appetizer. No need to defrost.

Serving Suggestion

This is technically a delicious appetizer for a cocktail party or any gathering, but you can also serve the olive cheese toasts with a hearty soup for a great weeknight meal or lunch. Think alternative to grilled cheese and soup 🙂 In this case, you can leave the English muffin halves whole instead of cutting them into quarters.

Some great soups to serve alongside are vegetarian pea soup, vegetable barley soup, creamy homemade tomato soup (20 minutes), or a red lentil vegetable soup.

Another option is to add this tasty appetizer to cheese boards or charcuterie boards.

baked olive cheese appetizers on white plate with parsley.
These use black olives instead of Kalamata

If you like this recipe, please leave a 5 star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟in the recipe card below. And if you REALLY like it, consider a review in the comments. Thanks very much!

baked olive cheese appetizers on white plate with parsley.
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4.75 from 24 votes

Cheese and Olive Appetizers (Baked, 10 Minutes)

Cheese and olive appetizers are a fabulous, quick and easy "can I have the recipe?" recipe. The briny, cheesy bites are perfect for any occasion. Just 6 ingredients – a mixture of cheese, olives, green onions, curry powder and mayo – baked onto English muffins in about 20 minutes.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 64 pieces

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh chopped pitted olives (rinsed to reduce saltiness), Note 1
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped green onions (green and white part)
  • 1 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese, Note 1 (about 6 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (light is fine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • salt and black pepper to taste (don't use salt if olives are salty)
  • 8 English muffins, cut in half
  • Garnish (optional): chopped fresh herbs like parsley or fresh thyme

Instructions

  • HEAT OVEN to 400F/204C.
  • PREPARE OLIVE-CHEESE MIXTURE: Place all ingredients in a large bowl (except muffins) and mix with a spoon until well combined.
  • ASSEMBLE: Divide mixture onto the 16 muffin halves and spread evenly to cover. Cut each muffin half into 4 quarters to make 64 pieces in all.
  • BAKE: Lay appetizer pieces on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper or an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Best served hot, but also good at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

  1. Type of olives: black or green are both fine. For a shorcut, buy pitted ones. Rinse well as some olives are very salty. 
  2. Cheese options: Use cheddar (I use white), gruyere, fontina, emmental, provolone. Mozzarella is ok too if you prefer mild cheese.
  3. Curry power substitutes: cumin, turmeric, masala, coriander or oregano.
  4. Variation: Add some finely chopped red peppers or sun-dried tomatoes to the olive cheese mixture for color. 
  5. Make ahead:
    • To freeze (before baking): Place pieces on a baking sheet and put in freezer for 45 minutes until frozen. Pile pieces into a ziploc bag, then put back in freezer to use when needed. No need to defrost before baking.
    • Store leftovers in airtight container and reheat in moderate 350 degrees f (177C) oven for 5-7 minutes until cheese is melted.
 
Nutrition values are estimates using black olives cured in oil and cheddar cheese. 

Nutrition

Calories: 35kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 116mg | Potassium: 14mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 41IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 0.1mg
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6 Comments

  1. I USE the same Recipe EXCEPT the Bread NOT English Muffins INSTEAD use RYE Rounds. TOAST one side ONLY, the side that is not Toasted put the Black Olives, Shredded Cheddar Cheese,chpped scallions, and Mayo Mixture, Bake at 350* TILL BUBBly. ENJOY.