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!

Fried Olives appetizer

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 appetizer
3.84 from 43 votes

Fried Olives

Author Sue Moran


  • 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


  • In a heavy bottomed pot heat a couple of inches of vegetable oil until it reaches 325-350 degrees on a thermometer.
  • 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
  • Dredge the olives in the flour, and then into the beaten egg or buttermilk.
  • Toss them into the breadcrumbs and make sure they get evenly coated.
  • 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.
  • Drain the olives on a paper towel, and serve hot. Toothpicks help with the dipping.
  • To make the aioli whisk together all the ingredients.
  • The olives can be reheated by putting in a 350F oven for a few minutes. They can even be briefly microwaved.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


  • 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.

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  • Reply
    Sandy Stephens
    February 8, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    WOW! These look Amazing! We love fried okra and that is what I thought it looked like. Got a question…. can these be done in an Air Fryer instead of oil? I haven’t fried in oil in years since getting an air fryer. Much healthier too! Can’t wait to try these!!

    • Reply
      February 8, 2020 at 1:15 pm

      I don’t have an air fryer so I’m not sure if they can accommodate food that’s been dipped in any sort of batter, but if so, then give this a try, I’d love to know how it works out!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    Can I make these with black olives?

    • Reply
      January 30, 2020 at 1:03 pm

      Great question, you definitely could, but I haven’t tried. Let me know how they turn out if you do!

  • 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

        5 stars
        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!

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