Fried Olives

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Fried Olives are the best little appetizers in the world ~ they’re crisp on the outside, warm and juicy on the inside ~ dip them in a little garlicky aioli and you’ll be in heaven, guaranteed!

Fried Olives appetizer

VINTAGE VIEW ~ these Fried Olives are from TVFGI archives, first published in 2012. As part of a series on the blog I’m reviving some of the best recipes that you may have missed over the years ~ I’ve updated my notes and taken new photos.  These fried olives are without doubt one of the best things I’ve ever made, and ever tasted ~ you’ve got to try them!

My husband is a people watcher.  Me, not so much.  So when we go out for the occasional date night or drink, I always look for a cozy booth in the corner, while he’ll go right for the table in the middle of it all, especially when it’s a hot new place like the one we were at last night.  This is the man who spent the better part of one of our anniversary dinners with his eyes riveted on the next table over… at Marlon Brando.  It’s an occupational hazard of living in Los Angeles. and it has played out over and over again throughout the years, with sightings from the sublime to the ridiculous.   But I digress…my point was that we had these fried olives last night and they are AMAZING.  Definitely worth the all-caps effect there, trust me.


These little fried olives have to be the food of the gods.  They’re crunchy on the outside, soft and smoldering on the inside.   Dip them in a fresh garlic aioli and you’ll swear you’ve died and gone to heaven.  There wasn’t any people watching going on after these babies hit the table, I can tell you.

Fried Olives with a lemony garlic aioli
This wonderful appetizer is put together straight from pantry staples.   You’ll need a jar of small pitted olives, you can use stuffed or unstuffed.   I’ve made both, but I think I prefer the stuffed, it adds a little extra flavor dimension.  The olives get dredged in flour, then doused in a buttermilk or a beaten egg, and then dredged a second time in breadcrumbs.  This double dunking is a little messy, but insures a perfect crisp crust.

Something transformative happens to an olive when you fry it.  No kidding, these will surprise you, they are fabulous.  They make the perfect cocktail nibbles, and I think it’s always nice to serve people something they haven’t necessarily had a million times before.

Unlike most fried foods, these olives reheat beautifully in a 350F oven — that’s HUGE!  That means you can make them ahead and easily reheat as friends arrive.   And, if you can salvage any leftovers, you can enjoy them the next day, I even microwaved them and they were great.

Fried Olives with Lemon Aioli Dip

Delicious and delicate Fried Olives are a crowd pleaser!

Fried Olives
Rate this recipe
18 ratings

Servings: technically this should be enough for 4 as a snack, but my husband and I ate them all, so judge for yourself

Fried Olives appetizer


  • 1 5 1/2 oz jar of small pitted green olives (or pimento stuffed olives)
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg, well beaten, or 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • Parmesan cheese for garnishing (optional)
    aioli dip
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a heavy bottomed pot heat a couple of inches of vegetable oil until it reaches 325-350 degrees on a thermometer.
  2. While it is heating, set out the flour in a pie plate or shallow dish, and the breadcrumbs in another. Put the beaten egg or the buttermilk in a small bowl
  3. Dredge the olives in the flour, and then into the beaten egg or buttermilk.
  4. Toss them into the breadcrumbs and make sure they get evenly coated.
  5. Fry the olives in the hot oil until they are golden, this will take about a minute and a half. Do this in batches so the oil doesn't cool down when you add the olives.
  6. Drain the olives on a paper towel, and serve hot. Toothpicks help with the dipping.
  7. To make the aioli whisk together all the ingredients.
  8. The olives can be reheated by putting in a 350F oven for a few minutes. They can even be briefly microwaved.


  • Can you use any kind of olive?  Probably, as long as they’re pitted, but I think a small green olive works best because it gives you just the right size bite and the flavor isn’t overpowering.  Stuffed or unstuffed works.
  • Can you bake these?  I suppose it’s possible, I haven’t tried.  Let me know if you try. If you don’t like fried foods you might check out one of my healtheir roasted olive recipes instead, here, and here.
  • Can you make these ahead?  Yes!  Make them earlier in the day and right before you want to serve them pop them into a 350F oven for a few minutes until they’re sizzling.
  • I don’t have a thermometer, can I still make these?  Yes, but the oil has to be hot enough.  To test it, drop an olive in, it should sizzle right away and fry to golden in about a minute to a minute and a half.  And get an oven thermometer, they are really cheap.


Don’t forget to pin these amazing Fried Olives!

Fried Olives are the best little appetizers in the world ~ they're crisp on the outside, warm and juicy on the inside ~ dip them in a little garlicky aioli and you'll be in heaven, guaranteed! #appetizer #olives #fingerfood #superbowl #gameday #holidayappetizer #partyfood #cocktailparty



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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    November 25, 2018 at 12:42 am

    These look SO good, but I’ve been searching for something like these but the olive was diced and there was cheese inside. We dipped them in ranch. The restaurant called them Olivinos. Do you know how I could make those changes? Thanks!

    • Reply
      November 25, 2018 at 5:27 am

      It sounds delicious but without a visual or more details I’m not sure what you’re describing, Beth.

  • Reply
    July 13, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    Have you tried to make these in an air fryer?

    • Reply
      July 13, 2018 at 6:24 pm

      I have not, but I’d be fascinated to know how it might work!

  • Reply
    February 4, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    What about pitted castelvetrano olives?

    • Reply
      February 5, 2018 at 6:36 am

      You can do that, but be careful!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2018 at 12:19 am

    Hi Sue can these be frozen and reheated if they are made in large batches

    • Reply
      January 31, 2018 at 6:25 am

      Hmmm, not sure I’ve ever frozen an olive! I can’t really say, but it might be worth a try. It would be quite a luxury to have these in the freezer :)

  • Reply
    Patty Miller
    November 16, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    I love this. Has anyone tried doing this in an air fryer?

    • Reply
      November 16, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      Interesting question, I’ve been tempted to get one to try, I love fried food but not so much the mess, etc. I hear that they only work with things that don’t involve a batter, and I think that it might work with these olives since they aren’t overly wet or coated.

      • Reply
        Patty Miller
        November 16, 2017 at 1:07 pm

        Hmm. mine has a recipe book. One is fish fillets, it says to dip in flour and then eggs. Also an onion ring recipe with same process. So maybe I will try it. I am not in love with greasy mess either.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    They look so good, but when I made them they taste like fried olives, lol..

  • Reply
    March 28, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    I’m sure it’s ok to use a deep fat fryer right?

    • Reply
      March 28, 2017 at 4:44 pm

      Yes, that would be fine for these, Nick.

      • Reply
        March 31, 2017 at 5:16 pm

        Well my wife and kids love em! We are green olives fans anyways so they didn’t last too long. I made 3 batches lol!

        • Reply
          March 31, 2017 at 5:18 pm

          Oh my gosh, I could eat these every day of my life…I haven’t tried to fry black olives…I’m going to give that a try next :)

  • Reply
    November 27, 2016 at 9:55 am

    This sound delicious. I think I will try with a cheese stuffed olive or garlic stuffed olive. Both should be very good with the garlic aioli. Thanks for this great idea.

    • Reply
      November 27, 2016 at 10:18 am

      You can fry stuffed olives, Dolores, but be aware that the stuffing can sort of pop out during the frying process, so make sure you get the olives well coated beforehand, and don’t let them spend too much time in the oil. Good luck!

  • Reply
    December 26, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Thank you for the recipes, I find your recipe very interesting.

  • Reply
    nicole (
    November 18, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Oh my goodness, what an incredible idea! I never would have thought of frying olives. Sounds phenomenal. :)

    • Reply
      November 18, 2015 at 11:48 am

      You’ve got to try it Nicole, they’re a great surprise :)

  • Reply
    November 10, 2015 at 5:25 am

    These olives and a glass of red wine is my dream dinner. Yum!

    • Reply
      November 10, 2015 at 6:42 am

      Come on over!

  • Reply
    November 8, 2015 at 6:41 am

    I just (15 minutes ago) made your olives and they are great. Yes, for breakfast as last minute we out last night and did not make as planned. I also just found your honey connection and placed an order. I must have been away when you posted that this summer. Thanks again.


    • Reply
      November 8, 2015 at 7:10 am

      I love to hear feedback on these olives, I’m a huge fan of them. And I’m excited that you are getting the honey, I’m sure you’ll find lots to make with it this season. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment Charlotte <3

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House KItchen
    November 4, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Never thought of frying olives Sue! I’m a HUGE olive fan, so I will definitely be giving this recipe a go!! YUM!

  • Reply
    November 4, 2015 at 6:17 am

    I love these little nibbles. I live in a family of “people watchers.” I eavesdrop. But when it comes to delectable food such as this – we’re all about the eating. Loving that make-ahead tip!

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    November 3, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Wow, they look amazing Sue. I have to laugh at you going right home and recreating them. Only because I would totally do that! I love that you can make them ahead.

  • Reply
    Rosemary Wolbert | Sprigs of Rosemary
    November 3, 2015 at 3:20 am

    I needed a new snack/appetizer recipe. Never thought of olives. Should have, though.

  • Reply
    November 2, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Hi Sue, love these olives, they look amazing. Marlon Brando that’s pretty cool.

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    November 2, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    These are the perfect bite for appetizer hour! Is it 5:00 yet?! ;)

  • Reply
    November 2, 2015 at 11:32 am

    I am a fan of fried olives…it has been ages since I last had some. Thanks for sharing, Sue.

  • Reply
    Abbe @ This is How I Cook
    November 2, 2015 at 10:32 am

    Love these! I’m an olive lover even though I hated them as kid. I do baked olives with a cheese pastry for appetizers, that are good. These sound better. Bur they are fried-and who doesn’t love fried anything? I wouldn’t be people watching with these in front of me!

    • Reply
      November 2, 2015 at 10:42 am

      I didn’t like olives as a kid either, but I do find that the stuff I hate first and then eventually learn to love become my biggest cravings!

  • Reply
    November 2, 2015 at 10:23 am

    These are now on my “to do-NOW!” list but I have no doubt that you didn’t check out Brando too.
    C’mon now, share with us: what did he eat, who was he with, how drunk? Time to dish.

    • Reply
      November 2, 2015 at 10:40 am

      Hah! Grant remembers every detail, I’ve blocked it out!

  • Reply
    Holly N @ Spend With Pennies
    November 2, 2015 at 10:16 am

    I need these in my life! I feel like I could eat a whole bowl full myself! Can’t wait to give these a try!

    • Reply
      November 2, 2015 at 10:37 am

      I predict these will be your new foodie obsession Holly :)

  • Reply
    November 2, 2015 at 7:47 am

    When I first saw the picture, I thought “what-is-that-i-want-it.” And then when I read what they were, I changed “want” to “need.” I’ve always tried to make crispy olives, but have always failed because I never breaded them, like you did here. This is so so so perfect. Thank you!

    • Reply
      November 2, 2015 at 8:11 am

      If they sound good to you then you will be in heaven when you make them, let me know!

  • Reply
    Debby Foodiewife
    May 7, 2013 at 1:10 am

    Here’s what’s weird. I really don’t care for kalamata olives. But, there’s a popular restaurant that serves them just this way. I absolutely love them! I vote for the panko crumbs, and you can bet that I’ll make these for Happy Hour at home. Lovely!

  • Reply
    April 14, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    I’ve made these with large ripe black olives stuffed with mozzarella. Soooooo good too!!

  • Reply
    January 25, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    These look so awesome. There’s a restaurant near my parents house that puts these on the table along with their bread basket. I legitimately try to eat as many as possible before anyone else can get to them. I’m definitely going to try your recipe at home!

  • Reply
    Sandy Erwin
    December 30, 2012 at 12:33 am

    These look amazing. I can’t wait to try them. I may also try the garlic stuffed and jalapeno stuffed olives as well.Mmmm!

  • Reply
    October 23, 2012 at 12:59 am

    YES YES YES. Had these on our anniversary at a little harborside restaurant and I’ve been dying to go back. I think it would be lovely to see you tackle Devils on Horseback next. Mmmm…

  • Reply
    October 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    These sound so interesting. I adore olives – really, really love them. This sounds perfect for me :)

    • Reply
      Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
      November 2, 2015 at 8:01 am

      I can’t believe I haven’t made these yet – they are gorgeous and sound absolutely wonderful! I could hurt myself on these :) Thanks! Beautiful photos too!

      • Reply
        November 2, 2015 at 8:12 am

        The key is to make them for a group, then you definitely won’t get enough to do any damage ;)

  • Reply
    From Beyond My Kitchen Window
    October 22, 2012 at 9:24 am

    I have never had a fried olive, but boy do they look good.

  • Reply
    October 20, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    In Italy, these are called Olive Ascolane (because they are originally from the town of Ascoli Piceno in Le Marche). However, those use larger green olives and they are always stuffed with ground meat (a combination), veggies (carrot, celery, onion) and spices before breading/frying. They have become a popular appetizer snack throughout Italy. So yes, they can indeed be stuffed. If you think these are good, look up a recipe for olive ascolane!! Soooo delicious!

  • Reply
    belleau kitchen
    October 20, 2012 at 7:36 am

    These are just bloody genius! Again your Friday cocktail hour is excellent!! I love LA. where abouts are you? Think we may be coming out for NYE!!

  • Reply
    October 20, 2012 at 11:17 am

    They sound delicious! and beautiful pictures.
    I must try this recipe.

  • Reply
    Bites from life with the barking lot
    October 20, 2012 at 1:48 am

    Can’t wait to try these. They look and sound amazing!!

  • Reply
    October 19, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    I have never heard of fried olives, Sue. I NEED to know what I am missing though, so I have just added olives to my shopping list. I love finding new foods this way!

  • Reply
    Nantucket Daffodil
    October 19, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    These look sooooo good…a delicious blending of salty and yum! I feel a bit out of touch…somehow I missed the big move. I am sad you are no longer close by. I have decided you are my cookbook…so thanks!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      October 19, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      I can see how you missed our move, I’m still dizzy thinking about criss-crossing the country twice in 18 months! I hope you try these, they are really special.

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    October 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    I need to pop a few of these babies…they look so good and perfectly pop-able! And love how crunchy they got. Perfect!

  • Reply
    Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
    October 19, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    I’m a people watcher, too =) And I’m positive that two people could polish these babies off in no time flat. YUM!