If you love olives, then you are going to love these Marinated Olives. They are delicious, flavourful, and incredibly versatile. Whether you are enjoying them on their own as a snack, using them as a topping for a salad or pizza, or incorporating them into a pasta dish, marinated olives are a fantastic addition to any meal and ready in just a couple of minutes.
One of the best things about marinated olives is that they can be made so many different ways. From simple garlic and herb marinades to more complex combinations featuring chillies, citrus, and other spices - something to suit all tastes. This is our favourite simple flavour combination, after a lot of testing.
Marinated olives are a popular Mediterranean appetiser made from olives that have been marinated in a mixture of herbs, spices, and oil. The marinade can vary depending on the recipe and this is our go-to recipe that features at any party we host.
If you are looking for more olive recipes, why not try our Spanish Olives?
Ingredients and substitutions
- Green olives - We used Gordal Olives, which is a Spanish olive.
- Kalamata Olives - These are a type of Greek olive that are often marinated in a mixture of olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, and herbs such as oregano and thyme. They are known for their rich, fruity flavour and are often used in Mediterranean dishes such as Greek salads and tapenades.
- Marinated garlic - If you want to take your marinated olive recipe to the next level, then you need to use these. We used store bought and they just have the most intense sweet flavour.
- Oil - Use the best quality olive oil you can, as you really will taste the difference.
- Coriander (cilantro) - Fresh coriander to add a nice freshness to the olives.
- Chilli - This is optional, but we love some fresh chilli with our olives. We only used a little, for taste rather than spice and even the kids liked it. You could use red chilli flakes too.
- Lime - A little bit of citrus really lightens up the olives. We would usually have used lemon, but lime is all we had an actually it worked really well and was a nice change. You could add some zest too for an extra citrus flavour.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make marinated olives - Step by step
One: Put the olives and garlic into a mixing bowl.
Two: Add the oil, lime juice, coriander and chilli (if using).
Three: Mix well and refrigerate.
But, these are so much more than a side dish. This makes a pretty big portion, so if you have leftovers then they are a delicious addition to so many meals.
Salads - I love adding marinated olives to my salads. They add a tangy and salty flavour that pairs perfectly with fresh greens. I usually mix them with chopped tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese, and a simple vinaigrette dressing.
Marinated olives also work well in potato salads and pasta salads, giving them a Mediterranean twist. Why not add them to our Roasted Vegetable Salad, Mediterranean Rice Salad or Mediterranean Potato Salad?
Pasta - These a great addition to pasta dishes, especially those with tomato-based sauces. They add a depth of flavour and a salty kick that complements the sweetness of the tomatoes. I like to mix them with capers and anchovies for a classic puttanesca sauce. Why not try them in our Tuna Spaghetti, White Bean Pasta or Cherry Tomato Pasta?
Pizza - I often use marinated olives as a pizza topping. They add a burst of flavour to the pizza and pair well with other toppings such as mushrooms, onions, and peppers. Why not put them on our Garlic Mushroom Pizza, Easy Naan Pizza or Greek Pizza?
The great thing about this marinated olive recipe is how adaptable it is. We have used a simple recipe, but there is lots of room for other ingredients.
We love the combination of lemon and thyme or feta cheese and oregano.
You could use orange juice rather than lime juice and add some big chunks of orange peel too.
Other flavours that work well are cumin and fennel seeds, fresh rosemary and small chunks of roasted red pepper.
Frequently Asked Questions
Marinated olives are high in healthy fats, specifically monounsaturated fats, which can help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. These fats also promote healthy brain function and can help to reduce inflammation in the body.
Read more about the health benefits of olives.
If you put these in an air tight jar, they will be good for a couple of weeks. So why not make a big batch and keep them to add to meals, or something easy to put out when you have unexpected guests.
When they come out of the fridge, the oil will have solidified a little, but that is totally normal. 5-10 minutes at room temperature and they will be back to normal.
As long as you make sure there is no cross contamination, then these can be gluten free.
More easy appetiser recipes
- 100 g (0.75 cups) Green olives - pitted
- 60 g (0.5 cups) Kalamata olives - pitted
- 100 g (0.75 cups) Marinated garlic
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil - extra virgin
- 0.5 Lime - juice only
- 5 g (0.33 cups) Coriander (cilantro) - finely chopped
- 0.5 teaspoon Red chilli - finely chopped
- Put 100 g Green olives, 60 g Kalamata olives and 100 g Marinated garlic into a mixing bowl.
- Add 2 tablespoon Olive oil, juice of 0.5 Lime, 5 g Coriander (cilantro) and 0.5 teaspoon Red chilli (if using).
- Mix well and refrigerate.
- I let the olives marinate in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before serving. The longer they marinate, the more flavourful they will become
- You can bulk these out a little by adding some skinned almonds.
- Try to use the best quality olive oil you can, as you really will be able to taste the difference.
- These make a really nice gift if you are going to a dinner party too. Put them in a nice jar with some ribbon wrapped round it.
- Always use pitted olives, as they make it much easier to eat.
- Jarred olives are already quite salty, so there is no need to season this recipe.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.