International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Olive Marinate

A bowl of marinated olives

(Italian marinated olive appetizer)

Image Creative Commons by Ofer Deshe

Average: 3.9 (24 votes)

Marinated olives are a popular snack and antipasto in Italy. Olives are popular all around the Mediterranean coast. They make a great addition to any Spanish, Italian, North African, Greek or Provençal meal.

Marinated olives will stay fresh for 1 to 2 months if stored in the refrigerator.

Makes about 4 cups


  • Cracked green olives -- 2 cups
  • Black olives -- 2 cups
  • Olive oil -- 1/2 cup
  • Red wine vinegar -- 1/4 cup
  • Garlic, minced -- 2 tablespoons
  • Herbs and seasonings (see variations)


  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours to let the flavors mingle.
  2. Serve chilled or at room temperature as an appetizer or accompaniment to cocktails.

Marinated Olive Variations

  • French (Olives marinées): Use black niçoise olives, thyme and a little lavender.
  • Greek: Use black Kalamata olives and dried oregano and thyme.
  • Italian (Olive marinate): Use chopped rosemary, thyme and peppercorns.
  • North African (Mslalla): Use oil-cured black olives and substitute lemon juice for the red wine vinegar. Stir in cumin seeds, coriander seeds, lemon and orange zest and crushed red pepper.
  • Spanish (Aceitunas aliñadas): Use paprika, cumin seeds and peppercorns.
  • If you like, you can use all green or all black olives.
  • Here is a list of the most popular herbs and seasonings mixed with marinated olives. Mix and match to suit your own taste.
    • Bay leaves
    • Cardamom seed
    • Cracked black pepper
    • Crushed red pepper
    • Cumin seed
    • Fennel seed
    • Lavender
    • Lemon, lime or orange zest
    • Oregano
    • Paprika
    • Rosemary
    • Sun-dried tomatoes
    • Thyme

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