Fried Olives with Spicy Yogurt ~ are you ready for a new taste sensation?  The olives are crispy on the outside, warm and juicy inside, the yogurt is cool and creamy, and the herb sauce is zesty.  It’s a party in the mouth and you’re invited!

Fried Olives with Spicy Yogurt ~ are you ready for a new taste sensation? The olives are crispy on the outside, warm and juicy inside, the yogurt is cool and creamy, and the herb sauce is zesty. It's a party in the mouth and you’re going to love it!

Oh gosh, where to start?  Should I start with the fried olives?  Because fried olives are the food of the gods…if you haven’t tried them you need to get to it asap.  Or should I mention that the spicy herb sauce mingles with the creamy yogurt and simultaneously burns and cools the palate?  OR that this is a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Plenty More, by the great Ottolenghi?  Any one of these factors should make you want to run to your kitchen.

Warm Fried Olives with Spicy Yogurt ~ a wonderfully unique appetizer! ~

Don’t be afraid of frying the olives, you can do it with a couple of inches of oil in a small saucepan, it’s not a big deal.

Even though they’re fried, the olives don’t really absorb much oil, and there’s no heavy batter to soak it in either, so they’re not so bad as far as fried food goes.  Once you try this you’re going to want to make them all the time

Fried Olives with Spciy Yogurt appetizer ~

It’s always fun to offer friends and family something they’ve never had before, and you can be guaranteed of that with this wonderful appetizer.

Fried Olives with Spicy Yogurt is a unique savory yogurt appetizer that will win everybody over! ~

This recipe is super simple.  It’s basically just yogurt swirled with a simple herb salsa, and topped off with the warm fried olives.  Be sure to use a thick Greek style yogurt for the best texture.

TIP: The original recipe calls for preserved lemons…I didn’t have any so I substituted simple lemon juice.  But if you like the idea, you can make your own with my recipe for preserved lemons.

Fried Olives with Spicy Yogurt is a gorgeous and unexpected appetizer that will wow everybody! ~

I like to make the olives and the sauce in the morning.  I reheat the olives and assemble the yogurt just before serving.  DO NOT assemble the dish until ready to serve, or the olives will not be crisp and the yogurt will get watery.  When you’re ready to eat you can just go in with your hands or serve this with some torn flatbread or pita.

*Recipe slightly adapted from Plenty More

Fried Olives with Spicy Yogurt

Yield: serves 4-6

Fried Olives with Spicy Yogurt


  • 1 hot green chile pepper, cut in several pieces, seeds and all (I used a large jalapeno)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 large handful fresh cilantro leaves (a heaping cup)
  • 1 large handful fresh parsley leaves (a heaping cup)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
    fried olives
  • 14 ounce can of pitted green olives, drained
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used half regular and half panko)
  • vegetable oil for frying


  1. To make the spicy herb sauce, put the chile, cardamom, cloves, sugar, cilantro, parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. The herbs will just about fill the canister. Pulse until you get a chunky salsa.
  2. Put about 2 inches of oil in a small saucepan.
  3. Set up a breading station for your olives. Put the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs into 3 bowls. Dry the olives on a clean kitchen towel.
  4. Dredge the olives, one by one, in the flour, then into the eggs, and finally into the breadcrumbs. make sure they get well coated. Set aside on a plate.
  5. Heat the oil on medium to medium high heat until hot. Drop a test olive in ~ it should fry to golden in a minute or slightly less. If it gets too dark too quickly, or takes too long to get brown, adjust the heat accordingly.
  6. Fry the olives, 6 or so at a time, until golden brown. Flip them around in the oil gently so they cook evenly. Set on a paper towel to drain.
  7. Put the yogurt into a shallow serving bowl. Add the salsa and swirl together. Top with the warm fried olives and serve with pita bread or flatbread.


  • Be sure to use pitted olives.  Don’t use stuffed olives, the stuffing will protrude in a gross way when the olives are fried, just saying.
  • You can make the olives ahead.  If you want to reheat them, put them on a baking sheet in a 350F oven until warmed through.  Don’t reheat in the microwave or they will not be crisp.


don’t forget to pin it!

Fried Olives with Spicy Yogurt ~ are you ready for a new taste sensation? The olives are crispy on the outside, warm and juicy inside, the yogurt is cool and creamy, and the herb sauce is zesty. It's a party in the mouth and you’re going to love it!

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23 Responses to Fried Olives with Spicy Yogurt

  1. These looks great!

    Do you think they could be made ahead of time?

    • Sue says:

      Theoretically you can make these ahead and reheat them in the oven, Shellie. They aren’t quite the same as if you scooped them right out of the pan, but you can do it.

  2. Oh my heavenly!! These fried olives look incredible!! My family has always loved fried pickles and this is the PERFECT variation, since the hubster loves olives. I cannot wait to try this!

  3. How did I miss this one? How fabulous are these?! My olive-loving family would be over the moon if I made up a batch of these. Next weekend, for sure :)

  4. manu says:

    Ohh these olives look so yummy and perfect for an aperitivo!!!
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Haven’t had fried olives in ages! Love that spicy yogurt dip too.

  6. The fried olives look irresistible, of course, but it’s the yogurt sauce I’m swooning over – I want to spoon it over everything! :)

  7. mary says:

    Yum! I’ve never heard of fried olives before! So delicious – love the flavors and also love the sound of the yogurt sauce:)

  8. Oh my goodness, I love this idea, Sue. I’m a big fan of deep fried pickles and I know I’d love these with that tasty yogurt sauce. Thanks for a very tasty treat!

  9. Emily says:

    Fried olives?!? What a genius idea, it looks delicious!

  10. Revathi says:

    Yes I am ready for the new taste sensation. I usually like most kinds of fried food. But this one sounds to be more flavorful and delicious. Gorgeous clicks too :-)

  11. I love olives but I must admit I;ve never heard of fried olives. I bet this must taste amazing. Pinned so I can try it soon. Thanks

  12. I love olives so I know I would adore this dish! What a wonderful combination – with all that great lemon and spicy yogurt and the briny olives – oh yes please! I bet your guests love you!

  13. Oh geez, I’m so drooling right now. :)

  14. Susan says:

    I have really mixed feelings about this recipe (I have saved it), and it’s about olives. I haven’t found too many olives I really like. The best I’ve had were some huge green ones in Venice, Italy, and second in line were Kalamata olives in Greece. Not sure what I’d find in a can here…

    • Sue says:

      You don’t need to use canned olives, Susan, just as long as they’re pitted. I love those giant green ones, too, but I never can find them without pits!

  15. Absolutely sinful in a very healthy way! I LOVE fried olives too, so salty and crunchy, a real favourite here. Karen

  16. Oh my word! Wow! Amazing! These sound crazy delicious, can’t wait to try them!

  17. These will be perfect with my Bruschetta Bar party I have planned! My friends are gonna flip!

  18. I’ve never had fried olives before, and they sound amazing! Why am I looking at this on an empty stomach?! I need to get me some olives to fry, ASAP.

    Also, I’m totally making a riff on your blood orange trout recipe later today! I’m one of those people who can’t make anything without putting my own spin on it (I’m so sorry) but I was so inspired by your recipe and photos, and had to share. :)

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