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Olive Cheese Bites

Nothing quite says party time around here like a platter full of olive cheese bites.  We pretty much equate football season with olive cheese bite season, but you really don’t need a party to make up a batch of these, just a nice glass of wine and a comfy chair.


This recipe comes to us via my dear, sweet Mother-in-Law, whose olive cheese bites are legendary.  We who make them with her recipe can never quite seem to exactly duplicate hers.  Until now that is.  With her help, I’ve gone through each step with painstaking exactitude, and after many trial batches, finally produced THE olive cheese bite.   That was a happy moment, I must tell you.

What we have here is a cheese-y, biscuit-y coating that surrounds a delectable little green olive, and together they create a joyful mouthful of deliciousness.  Sometimes I like to add cayenne pepper which adds a little kick, but that’s a personal decision better left to your own preferences.


In any case, come party time, I suggest you fill a platter with these and time how long it takes for them to disappear.  Of course, it depends on who you invite to your party...

(and how large your cheese bites are), but given the addictive nature of these little things, there’s no doubt they’ll not last long.

Here’s the recipe….

Olive Cheese Bites

After making these for several years, I've discovered that you really can't use sharp cheddar cheese - it's gotta be a mild or medium cheddar, which tend to be creamier.  A really sharp cheddar won't melt properly, causing them to be on the dry side.

Click here for a printable recipe
½ c flour
1 ¼ cup grated cheddar (mild or medium)
1/8 t dry mustard (optional)
3 tsp milk
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/8 tsp salt
35-40 pitted green olives such as manzanilla

Mix all of the ingredients together (except the olives).  Mold a rounded teaspoon of the dough around each olive.  Bake on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 12-13 min.  Serve warm.

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    Response: Cheese Bites
    [...] l have to try that. They are great to freeze as well before baking and then you [...]

Reader Comments (58)

Love these! We have been making them for years, although never with cayenne, we will have to try that. They are great to freeze as well before baking and then you can take them right from the freezer into the oven. Yummy!

October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTherese

Thanks, Therese! I should have mentioned that in my post. They do freeze beautifully and are so great to keep on hand. Yup, freezer to oven to mouth.

October 15, 2010 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Haha, I love the Lego, I think I might have to copy that to some of our photo's too. Very cute !!

October 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterandes heie

Love how you used the toys in your photographs. Besides lending color and interest, it gives me an idea how big the little balls are in real life.

October 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPaula

LOL! I love the use of the Leggo guys!

October 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPeabody

If you do freeze them before baking, how do you adjust the baking time? Assume they have to stay in the oven for longer than 13 minutes....

October 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

You really only have to add a couple of minutes to the cooking time if they're frozen, Carol. So much depends on your oven that you really need to start checking them at 10 minutes, or they could take as long as 15 or 16 minutes. They're done when they're just golden - you will really be able to smell them too. Heavenly.

October 21, 2010 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Do you freeze them before or after cooking? Either way, how long to thaw/cook?

October 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErica

You can freeze them either before or after cooking them, but it's nice to make a double batch and freeze some (before cooking). You don't have to thaw those out before cooking them, just pop them in the oven and give them an extra few minutes to cook. If you freeze them already cooked, just thaw them out on the counter and reheat them in a 325 degree oven for 5-8 minutes.

October 27, 2010 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I made two batches of these tonight for a Halloween party. Each batch was enough for about 20 olives (one was 20 one was 19). They were just normal sized olives. I thought I mis-read the quantities, but I double checked. Are you supposed to roll out the dough first? They were delicious and not doughy, but the quantity was really off when I made it (I'm not at some strange sea level or anything).

October 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErica

The first couple of times I made these, that's exactly how many I got out of them too, Erica. But I was trying to duplicate my Mother-in-law's, and she gets closer to about 35 out of each batch. I realized that it's because she uses a minimal amount of dough (a teaspoon) for each olive. It doesn't really matter how many you get out of each batch if you like how they came out. Hope you liked them! Thanks for the feedback.

October 31, 2010 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

My mother used to make these, back in the 60's, but the recipe called for "a jar of English cheese", which you can't get any more!!! I'll be making Olive Puffs again thus year, for sure. Thanks for the memory.

December 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhomegoddess

You're so welcome, Homegoddess (love your name!) These are part of our family tradition too.

December 20, 2010 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Great idea. It seems like I need to use olives more, they are such an underrated ingredient. Great work with the legos too.

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMark

Is a capital T a tablespoon and small t a teaspoon?

Yes. You're right. Capital T is tablespoon and small t is teaspoon. I should write those out, but it's sort of like shorthand for me. Thanks for asking!

July 5, 2011 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Thanks for posting this and other amazing recipes.. I can't wait to try this one... like right now. Even though it's so hot outside.

Our family has enjoyed these for years as well but the recipe I have does not call for milk or dry mustard. It has worcestershire sauce and paprika instead. (I have also used smoked paprika sometimes). My husband and his brother enjoy olives stuffed with jalapenos so I make several balls with those types of olives instead of the regular pimento stuffed olives. If you decide to do that, though, just make sure you keep those separate from the other balls so those who can't take the jalapeno heat won't eat them by mistake. :)
Nice blog, by the way!

July 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLindy

LOVE the lego pics!!! my kids thought these were a riot! we love olives here, so what a fun little treat these will be :)
This blog has been added to my top. THank U!

August 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWisconsinMomof4

What an incredible recipe! I made these over the weekend and they lasted about 10 minutes! I did use the big stuffed olives (garlic and jalepeno) and ended up having to double the dough ingredients. Are you using the smaller olives for yours? Without increasing the dough, I was only able to make 22 using the larger olives.

November 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

So glad you liked these Shannon. Yes, I use the smaller olives for these. They're sometimes called Manzanilla olives, but they're just the small pimiento-stuffed ones. So addicting!

November 28, 2011 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Came to this blog in a round about way and my jaw dropped when I saw your Olive Cheese Bites! I grew up eating these and it wasn't Christmas without them. I just wrote a piece for Remedy Quarterly and included was my recipe for these little bites of wonderful. Great to see so many others with such affection for this quirky little hors d'oeuvre!
Love the addition of the Lego guys.....

January 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

That's so great, Jennifer. It's definitely not Christmas (or any other family gathering) without the olive cheese bites. So glad you found us... welcome!

January 5, 2012 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

What a great recipe!!! I came across this recipe last night on pinterest and actually dreamed about them!!! I made them first thing this morning and they were so delicious!!!! Can't wait to make them again with jalapeño olives. Great blog:)

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShelly Pohlel

So glad you liked them, Shelly. We love em too! And I love the idea of using jalapeno olives! great idea!

January 11, 2012 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

How in the blue blazes have I been on earth this long (52 yrs) and never heard of these delectable little morsels?
I , like most women , love a good carb. Add one of my favorite items on a relish tray. OLIVES and my snacking world is complete ! Oh.My.Goodness. I am going to find a reason to make these, this week.
One of the benifits of living single......I think I will call them dinner :)

April 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeth R

The little lego men are hilarious! Love it, and love the recipe!

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulia

Can I make these a couple of day ahead and reheat?

May 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Absolutely, Jen. They'll keep in the fridge for a couple of days or you can make them way ahead, freeze them on a cookie sheet and then throw them into a ziploc bag. On the day you want to cook them off, just thaw them out on a cookie sheet and bake away!

May 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I made these for a BBQ that we'll be attending later today. They bring me right back to my childhood and my parents dinner parties. My mother would make them for company and I was told to limit my intake b/c they weren't for me (I adored them)....what a great way to relive my childhood and pass the tradition to my own kids. My almost 9 year old helped me roll them into balls. Thanks for posting this!

May 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSue

You're so welcome, Sue. It seems that quite a few people remember these from their childhood. So glad you enjoyed them and thanks for letting us know!

May 27, 2012 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I have made these 3 times since reading them on your website...they are AMAZING!! It took a while to get the hang of spreading the right amount of dough so that I could make roughly 30+ olives, but they get better and better every time! I also like to sprinkle a little bit of cheese on top of the olive bites, which gives it a nice crisp. Thank you!!!

June 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCassandra

So great to hear from you, Cassandra! And really happy to hear that you're liking the olive cheese bites. You're right... the trick is getting the hang of how much dough to put around each olive... you don't need much. I like the idea of sprinkling a little cheese on top too. Nice touch!

June 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

These look amazing. I want to try them with blue cheese stuffed olives. My local Fry's grocery store has an olive bar so I may have to get a few varieties. Yum!

June 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

That's such a great idea, Brenda! I'd love to hear how they turn out!

June 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I just tried these and love them. I can think of so many more things I want try instead of the olives.. can't wait to try it out!

July 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSupriya

I made these and got exactly 35 ... used one teaspoon for each ... flattened the one teaspoon of dough and wrapped around a dry (laid out ahead of time to get dry and patted with paper towel) olive. Was a hit with friends!

December 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

So great to hear that, Sharon!. I like your method of drying the olives first. That really helps!! Thanks for letting us know!

December 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

MY mom has made these for years! I have never seen a recipe for them anywhere! She used a cheese straw recipe from the Joy of Cooking or somewhere classic. They ARE incedrible! I could eat them three times a day! Yummy! You MUST try these, using this recipe or a classic cheese straw dough. They can be frozen and baked for maybe 3 minutes longer. Yum!!

January 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

Omg, these little delectables I could just nibble up all day! Love em, love em, love em! I found if u use a pickle or a hot dog it feels more like the real thing, bursting with flavor in my mouth... just like we use to do it in the south. Da da delicious, props for da deep south

April 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterfatrisha

Sooo.. I followed this recipe exactly, and they turned out really flat and not puffed up at all (like doughy cheesy pancakes with an olive in the middle haha) Shouldn't there be maybe baking soda and eggs in this? I also only could make 16 and that's using the small manzanilla olives :c I'm not sure why I'm the only one out of the comments that had issues with this. Anybody have any advice?

January 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I'm so sorry these didn't come out for you, Sarah. But the recipe really does work as written. I had trouble for years getting these to come out right and I finally had to watch my 90-year-old Mother-in-law put them together to really get the hang of it. It really does take very little dough (a teaspoon) to cover each olive. I've even gotten 45 out of a batch before. The trick is working the dough around the olive until it's just covered. Too much dough and they will just melt out like you experienced. Make sure your olives are good and dry so the dough will stick to them. I hope you'll give these another chance and let us know how you do. I think I might need to take some photos of the process. Believe me, I really did have trouble getting this to work at first too. Thanks for writing in, Sarah!

January 27, 2015 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I've been making these for years, after getting the recipe from a friend. I've used hot sauce or paprika in the dough, but I really like the dry mustard idea, and somehow I've never thought of wrapping the dough around anything other than green or black olives. I am looking forward to trying it with cocktail weiners.

February 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSean

Let us know how that turns out, Sean!

February 18, 2015 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

My aunt had me make these for a family reunion many many years ago like 39. I have wanted to make them again but never found a recipe. Brings back good memories cooking in the kitchen with her. Thanks for posting this recipe.

June 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh S.

You're so welcome, Leigh! Kitchen memories with our family are the best... hope you enjoy these as much as we have!

June 11, 2015 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Thank you for this recipe, it's absolutely wonderful.

July 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAudrey

You're so welcome, Audrey! Aren't they good?

July 18, 2015 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

These look fantastic! I'm curious if they need to be served fresh from the oven or if they're good room temp? Either way, looking forward to trying them, thanks for sharing the recipe!

July 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

These are best after they sit for a bit, Beth because they'll be too hot to eat right out of the oven. And they hold up for a good hour or more after they bake. You're so welcome! Enjoy!

July 22, 2015 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

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