Antipasti and Light Bites

Easy Marinated Olives – Ready In 5 Minutes

December 29, 2017 (Last Updated: August 1, 2018) by Emily

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These easy marinated olives are a great addition to an antipasto platter or as a simple and delicious appetizer. Made with basic herbs and spices, they are ready to eat in 5 minutes and it couldn’t be easier!

There’s no simpler way to impress your guests than with an elegant antipasto spread. These marinated olives are a great addition along with meats, cheeses, fruit and vegetables. Pick up your favourites from a deli and whip up these quick marinated olives for the easiest yet incredibly delicious appetizer.

Marinated olives on a ramekin on an antipasto platter

I first had these marinated olives during the summer when I was visiting my boyfriend’s family. His sister quickly whipped them up as a little nibble to go with drinks and they were so delicious!

Olives are a popular aperitivo (appetizer) in Italy and you can find all sorts of delicious, marinated kinds behind the deli counters in supermarkets or little family run stores.

And although incredibly delicious they can end up being quite costly especially after shelling out for the irresistible cheeses and thinly sliced prosciutto.

A close up of marinated olives in a ramekin

The thing is it’s SO easy to make your own gourmet marinated olives and it literally takes 5 minutes. What’s better is that you can tweak it with your favourite herbs, spices and citrus flavours to make your very own favourite olives.

They are great as they are along with cocktails or if you’re going all out they make a perfect addition to an antipasto platter with some cheeses, cold cuts, fresh fruit and marinated vegetables.

How To Make Marinated Olives – Step By Step

Put the lemon zest, fennel seeds, chilli flakes (red pepper flakes), garlic, dried oregano and pepper in a mixing bowl. This is where you can choose your own flavourings, try different chopped fresh and dried herbs and spices.

Finely chop some parsley and add it to the bowl with some olive oil.

Step by step photos for making marinated olives

Drain the jarred olives (I prefer unpitted olives they have so much more flavour) and add them to the marinade. Toss to combine the olives in the marinade until they are thoroughly coated and serve.

Tip: Jarred olives can already be quite salty so I don’t add any additional seasoning. Taste one once you have drained them, they probably won’t need any additional salt.

Enjoy, Oh, and I hope you have a wonderful, happy New Year wherever you are!

More Easy Appetizers To Try;

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5 from 7 votes

Marinated Olives

These instant marinated olives are a great addition to an antipasto platter or as a simple and delicious appetizer. Made with basic herbs and spices, they are ready to eat in 5 minutes and it couldn't be easier!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 6 -8 people
Calories 177kcal
Author Emily Kemp


  • 11.6 oz (330g) unpitted jarred olives
  • 1/2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 clove garlic , minced or grated
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 1/4 cup (3 tbsp) olive oil


  • Put everything in a mixing bowl except from the parsley, olives and olive oil.
  • Finely chop the parsley and add it to the bowl with the olive oil, mix everything together.
  • Drain the olives and add them to the marinade, toss everything together until the olive are thoroughly coated then transfer to a serving bowl or ramekins. Serve.


  • Use unpitted olives for extra flavour


Calories: 177kcal
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan (convection) oven
  • Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
  • Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
  • You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here
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  • Reply
    Paul Tickner
    July 25, 2020 at 11:41 am

    Recipe looks lovely. I think i’ll use pitted olives so all that lovely marinade can steep through the middle!

    How long do they keep for?

  • Reply
    Katie D
    January 2, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    I just made a cheese board this weekend for NYE and was thinking how it was missing olives. I definitely could have used this recipe!

  • Reply
    January 2, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Those olives look so tasty. Something really easy to whip up when you have guests over.5 stars

  • Reply
    Lisa Bynum
    January 2, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    My husband is an olive fiend — he would LOVE this!5 stars

  • Reply
    Ben Myhre
    January 2, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    I love olives and wish these were in my fridge right now.5 stars

  • Reply
    December 31, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    What a great, quick recipe. I love marinated olives. Saving this for later.5 stars

  • Reply
    December 31, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    I absolutely love marinated olives like this — my recipe uses orange zest, but I know lemon would give it a light citrusy note as well. Perfect for nibbling with a cocktail.5 stars

  • Reply
    Jessica Robinson
    December 31, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Love the idea of marinating your own olives! They would be a perfect addition to a cheese platter for New Year’s Eve or any party!

  • Reply
    Monica | Nourish & Fete
    December 31, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    I always love getting little plates of these at restaurants, yet have never tried making them myself at home! Going to fix that ASAP! Thanks for this great guide and showing us just how simple these are to make!5 stars

  • Reply
    December 31, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    YUM! I love olives and this looks like such a great and delicious snack. So easy to make too! Can’t wait to try it soon 🙂5 stars

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