Infused Olive Oils

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A large part of keeping simple meals tasting incredible is using the best ingredients possible. Not that you have to hit the specialty store for every carrot and potato, but it will benefit you to choose items to splurge on that will make the most impact on the flavor of your cooking. Keeping your pantry stocked with good quality oils and spices that can be used in a variety of dishes will make cooking fabulous meals a breeze every single time.

One thing we love to keep in our kitchens at all times is infused olive oil. Olive oil is essential in most everything we cook and oils that are already full of vibrant flavors are the best way to add new zest to a dish with minimal effort. Store bought infused oils are great, but costly, and the prolonged shelf life means that the flavor is not always as fresh as it could be. Luckily, infusing oil is devastatingly easy and incredibly fun to customize. We present here four different flavored olive oils that we hope become as indispensable to your life as they are to ours.


A few things to remember for your oil infusing session:

  • Infused oils take ten days to two weeks of resting to reach their best flavor potential- you can use them before the whole two weeks, but they won’t be as strong.
  • The smaller you chop your ingredients, the less time the oil will take to infuse.
  • Start with the best olive oil you can- store brand EVOO just won’t do here. Our favorites are Marca Verde il Classico from Sur La Table and Colavita brand Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Both oils are a gorgeous shade of green and have distinct flavors that will compliment the spices and herbs you use.
  • Your container choice is important to the process: you are going to want to choose something that it tall rather than wide (it helps with the infusion), and something that has an air tight seal. We used little 12 ounce glass bottles with stoppers that we found at Sur La Table.
  • Finally, have fun with your flavors. Don’t like something we use in our recipe? Change it! Use your own creativity and favorite recipes to guide your infusions.


Cilantro and Cotija Cheese Infused Olive Oil

This spicy and flavorful oil is great in rice, seafood, and in Mexican food. Toss quartered corn tortillas in the oil and course sea salt then throw into the over for heavenly baked tortilla chips!


  • ¼ cup firmly packed cilantro leaves, whole, stems removed
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 heaping Tbsp cotija cheese, grated
  • Pinch salt and pepper, to taste
  • Good quality olive oil

Rinse your cilantro and allow to dry on a towel, or use a salad spinner. It is important that there is as little moisture as possible left on the greens because moisture can cause the oil to go bad. Strip the leaves from the stems until you have 1/4 cup, packed, of cilantro leaves. Be careful not to add stems- they are bitter and will affect the taste of the final product. Add to your washed and dried cilantro to your container.


Finely chop two large cloves of fresh garlic and add to your container.


Grate about two tablespoons of your cotija cheese and add. If you are having trouble getting everything into the bottle you can use the back of a kitchen utensil to help it in.


Finally, add a pinch of salt and pepper then fill the glass up with your olive oil, leaving a bit of empty space to make the mixture easy to shake up.


Gorgeous colors, layers, and flavor! Let this sit in a cool, dry place while it infuses.

Fresh Shallot and Chive Infused Olive Oil

This sweet, savory, and spicy oil is amazing mixed into pastas, baked onto garlic bread, and used to cook red meat. Marinade some prawns in the oil and throw on the grill then use the oil while searing your steak to create the best surf-and-turf you have ever tasted!


  • ½ cup fresh chives, halved
  • ¼ cup (about 1 bulb) rough chopped shallots
  • ½ tsp spicy chili garlic sauce
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Pinch course pepper
  • Good olive oil


Rinse your fresh chives and let dry on a towel until completely dry. Cut about ½ cup of them into small pieces and add to your container. You do not need to be super precise with your measurements here- just eyeball it.

Remove the paper from your shallot and chop into rough, small pieces. Add about ¼ cup of the shallots to your container.


Measure out ½ tsp spicy chili garlic sauce into your mixture. This gives the oil a nice sweetness and spice that really compliments the onion flavor.


Add a pinch of course sea salt and course ground black pepper then fill the rest of the bottle with olive oil, leaving space at the top to allow mixing. Stick in a cool, dry place for 10 days to 2 weeks before use.

Garlic, Basil, and Parmigiano Reggiano Infused Olive Oil

When you need an easy chicken marinade, pasta sauce, or salad dressing you can turn to this Italian inspired oil. Mix with balsamic or white wine vinegar for an instant salad dressing or toss your spaghetti with it and top with the rest of your cheese. This powerhouse will be your everyday go-to olive oil!


  • 15 large basil leaves, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • ¼ cup grated fresh Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Pinch salt and pepper, to taste
  • Good quality olive oil


Stack about 15 leaves of fresh basil and roll them up into a little burrito. Chiffonade with a knife or with scissors to that you have small strips of basil. Add to container. We like to use basil from fresh basil plants rather than from packaged basil because the leaves are more flavorful, last longer, and are less expensive.


Crush and chop 3 large fresh garlic cloves into fine pieces and add to basil. Crushing the garlic helps release the flavors from the clove.

Grate about ¼ cup, packed, of a fresh block of Parmigiano Reggiano and add to your other ingredients. You definitely want to use fresh grated cheese    for your infusion because it will provide the most impactful taste. This is one of those items that would be good to splurge on- it tastes amazing, can be used in many other recipes, and it lasts a long time.


Add your salt and pepper, then your olive oil. Although the cheese has ample saltiness already, you will still want to add salt to enhance the flavors. Shake it up and put it away.

Lemon, Rosemary, and Sea Salt Olive Oil


  • ¼ cup chopped fresh rosemary and one whole stem
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (about 2 medium lemons)
  • 2 pinches pepper
  • 1 Tbsp course sea salt
  • Good quality olive oil


Strip the leaves off of 2-3 large fresh rosemary stems and chop. Add about ¼ cup of the rosemary to your container

Wash your lemons thoroughly and allow to dry. Zest both lemons until you have two tablespoons of fresh lemon zest and add to your container.


Add a couple of healthy pinches of pepper and a full tablespoon of course sea salt. You really want to taste the salt in this olive oil. Make it beautiful by sticking a whole stem of rosemary into the glass and fill the rest of the container with your olive oil and set aside.


 The combination of the sharp sea salt, tart lemon zest, and floral rosemary is heavenly.

There is a reason we keep these infused olive oils in our pantries at all times: we use them constantly. Whenever we are at a loss for what we want to cook we simply pull a bottle of olive oil out and allow the flavors to drive us. We hope that these recipes have inspired you to try your hand at infusions and allow you to expand your creativity in the kitchen!



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