Manchego & Chorizo Tapas with Saffron Alioli #SundaySupper

Manchego & Chorizo Tapas with Saffron Alioli | Hardly A Goddess

Ummmm. What is a “tapa”?

A “tapa” was (and still is) a small portion of any kind of Spanish cuisine. The premise of serving tapas, is to have lots of little tastes of small plates of things, that you can enjoy while enjoying conversation-  so that you are less focused upon eating an entire meal than of enjoying the company around you- the Spanish version of a cocktail party, but better!

Now my recipe today, is essentially just cheese and meat on a stick. Except it’s really good cheese and unbelievable meat, and an amazing dip. Let’s break it down:

  • Manchego cheese is a hard-cheese from Spain, made from sheeps-milk  that has been aged for different lengths of time (mine was for 4 months) and is quite possibly my favorite eating cheese. That is to say, I don’t ever cook with it, but for a cheese platter it is the best.
  • Chorizo is a portuguese sausage that can be spicy and has tons of flavor. Together they are wonderful.
  • And then of course, you can serve this with a beautiful and traditionally spanish sauce: Saffron Alioli.  Saffron threads can be hard to find, but thankfully my Mother-in-Law buys it by the bushel and can spare a bit here and there!

Saffron Alioli | Hardly A Goddess

And if you aren’t familiar with it, Alioli, according to the website, “comes from the Catalan words for the two main ingredients all (garlic), i (and), and oli (oil).”  It is a major condiment and ingredient in Spanish cooking. Making it is very similar to making homemade mayonnaise- of which I have tried numerous times, and maybe since I always have 4 kiddos running underfoot, I can never keep it emulsified. So…while making alioli makes this a traditional spanish recipe, I  instead, use store bought mayo as my base and go from there. It’s an acceptable shortcut, and honestly the only way I would ever make it! Even Jamie Oliver thinks so (he made Saffron Alioli for topping a fish stew), and his recipe is so simple, that it’s the one I used, and will forever use. It is adaptable in so many ways and is a fantastic condiment for sandwiches and dips. You will use it over and over once you try it-delicious!

Manchego & Chorizo Tapas with Saffron Alioli #SundaySupper

The spicy chorizo and garlicky alioli is balanced with the nuttiness of the cheese in this easy to make appetizer perfect for your next Tapas Party!


  • 1 slice of manchego cheese
  • 1 medium chorizo - spicy or mild
  • For the Alioli
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 generous squeeze fresh lemon juice
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • dash salt
  • dash pepper
  • 1/3 cup real mayonaisse


Step 1: Slice your cheese into bite size pieces. Set aside.
Step 2: Cook your chorizo: Slice into rounds and fry in a bit of oil until browned on both sides. Drain.Set aside.
Step 3: Make the Alioli

Press the garlic through a press and into a bowl. Add the lemon and the salt. Press this with the back of a spoon until it is nice and mushed together. (If you have a mortar and pestle you can use that instead.)

Add the saffron and the mayo and mix together. Taste. If you think it needs more lemon or another bit of salt or pepper, adjust it.

To assemble: You have two options.

1. You can serve on a platter and let everyone skewer and dip as they wish.

2. You can toothpick them ahead of time and serve a drizzle of the alioli on top.


You can serve this any way that you think is easiest and prettiest for your guests!

So…If you are up for the party, we are sharing some awesome tapas over at the #SundaySupper site!  A big thank you to Caroline of Caroline’s Cooking who is hosting this event, and also to Tapa Toro Restaurant, where several #SundaySupper Bloggers are enjoying a real, tapas feast!

Tapa Toro is sponsoring our LIVE! Twitter chat for this event { } This Central Florida restaurant combines contemporary Spanish cuisine with a vibrant, energetic atmosphere – bringing a fresh dining experience to the I-Drive 360 area in Orlando, FL. Their unique paella pit, vibrant tapas menu, and extensive selection of imported wines will guide you through a culinary journey of Spanish flavors and culture in the heart of Central Florida.

Here is their info. If you are planning an Orlando trip, this looks like a place to visit for sure!

Check out all of these fun Tapas recipes to try for your next Tapas-party! Enjoy!
Para Empezar, Las Tapas (Appetizers/tapas) –

Postres (Desserts) –

Bebidas (Drinks) –

Plus Alcachofas al Ajillo – Garlicky Artichokes – and Spanish Tapas Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board

Let me know in the comments: Have you ever made alioli? Was it a certain flavor? Do you love it as much as I do? What do you use it on/with?

Linking with What’d You Do This Weekend, Full Plate Thursday, and Sugar & Spice

22 thoughts on “Manchego & Chorizo Tapas with Saffron Alioli #SundaySupper

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  11. luciepalka

    Another tasty recipe. I agree with the aioli, I make it with store bought mayo too. A great short cut, and if Jamie Oliver says it’s OK, then who’s to argue (I love him). I don’t know if I have access to real saffron but looks really good.

  12. AJ

    This sounds so good. Living in the land of manchego definitely has its perks. Did you know that the English word, alioli has its roots in Catalunya and comes from three Catalan words strung together? all (garlic -pronounced eye-) i (and) oli (oil).

    all i oli = garlic and oil.
    Ok, now if it wasn’t nearly 1am, I might end my lesson with a snack. 😉 Going to try this one!

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