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Finger Food/ Summer Lovin'

The Most DELICIOUS Marinated Olives

July 29, 2022 by Chris Collins

Olives are great, but olives wrapped in a tasty marinade are even better!!

As a young kid, I couldn’t stand the sight of olives. But now, give me a bucket of olives and I’d gladly plough through the entire thing. I’ve played around with different ways of serving them in the past, but nothing comes close to this marinade. Follow me…

close up shot of large white dish with marinated olives and two slices of toasted ciabatta

Marinated Olives

The great thing about this recipe is you only need a handful of ingredients, some of which you’ll hopefully already have on hand!

Marinated Olives Ingredients

  • Olives – Go for whatever kind of olives you fancy. You can use all the same, or a mix as I’ve done here.
  • Garlic – I recommend slicing it instead of finely dicing, just so you get a nice gentle infusion of garlic, as opposed to having it all up in your face with every olive.
  • Red Wine Vinegar – Adds a gentle tangy background flavour.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Creates the base of the marinade. Try and use good quality oil, just because it makes up the bulk of the marinade.
  • Orange – You’ll just need the peel. This adds a gorgeous, warm and zesty undertone of flavour which binds all the ingredients.
  • Chilli Flakes – Even if you’re not too good with spice, I recommend just a small amount to add a little heat.
  • Parsley & Oregano – Dried oregano is fine, but you’ll definitely want fresh parsley.

What are the best olives to use?

I typically used jarred olives in brine or olives fresh from the Deli. Just make sure they’re not stuffed or already marinated!

overhead shot of marinated olives ingredients with text labels

How to Marinate Olives

As you can imagine, it’s a fairly straightforward process. I recommend using a large shallow dish, just so the olives will marinate evenly. You can marinate them in a jar, however, I find a lot of the marinade fall to the bottom, unless you fill the jar right up with oil; which in turn dilutes the flavour slightly.

How long should I marinate olives?

I recommend an absolute minimum of an hour, but the longer the better!

Process shots: add oil, vinegar, parsley, oregano and chilli flakes to a large shallow dish (photo 1), whisk to combine (photo 2), add olives, garlic and orange peel (photo 3), toss then marinate (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to marinate olives

Marinated Olives FAQ

Should I use pitted or unpitted olives?

I highly recommend using pitted olives when marinating, just so the marinade can get in and around the olive.

How do you store marinated olives?

If you’re marinating the olives for longer than an hour or so, I’d store them tightly covered in the fridge.

Marinated olives should last just as long as jarred olives, so around 2 weeks tightly stored in the fridge.

close up shot of marinated olives in small brown dish with hand poking toothpick into one

Serving Marinated Olives

Always serve marinated olives at room temp, just to loosen up the oil (it can solidify in the fridge). You can serve as an appetizer or snack with toothpicks, or you can do as I’ve done below and serve with baked feta and toasted ciabatta as a starter or light lunch!

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for these marinated olives shall we?!

overhead shot of plate with baked feta and marinated olives surrounded by toasted ciabatta

How to Marinate Olives (Full Recipe & Video)

close up shot of large white dish with marinated olives and two slices of toasted ciabatta

The most DELICIOUS Marinated Olives

Olives are great, but olives wrapped in a tasty marinade are even better!!
5 from 2 votes
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Servings (click & slide): 6 big portions
Course: Appetizer / Snack
Cuisine: Italian / Mediterranean
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Marinating Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Calories per serving: 199kcal
Cost per serving: £1.50 / $2


  • Large Shallow Dish
  • Whisk (or can just use a fork)
  • Vegetable Peeler (for zest)
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Baking Dish & Parchment Paper (if serving with baked feta)

Ingredients (check list):

  • 14oz / 400g pitted Olives (see notes)
  • 1/3 cup / 80ml good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus a drizzle extra if you need to loosen up the marinade a little
  • 1/4 cup / 20g very finely diced Fresh Parsley
  • 4 fat cloves of Garlic, peeled & thinly sliced (around 4 slithers per clove)
  • 1 small Orange, peeled into strips with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Dried Chilli Flakes (can reduce if not good with spice)
  • block of Feta and slices of toasted Ciabatta, to serve (optional)


  • In a large shallow dish whisk together extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, parsley, oregano and chilli flakes. Toss in olives, orange peel and garlic.
  • Cover and marinate at room temp for at least an hour, tossing every now and then if you can. If you're marinating longer than an hour, marinate in the fridge. Bring to room temp before serving so the oil loosens up. See notes for serving with feta.

Quick 1 min demo!


a) Olives - Go for whatever kind of olives you fancy. You can use all the same, or a mix as I've done here. I tend to use pitted olives, just for the marinade can work its way in and around the olive. Also just make sure you get fresh or brined olives, not ones that are already marinated. If using brined olives just drain away the brine first.
b) Orange Peel - A lot of recipes use lemon, but I personally love the warm tones of the orange. If you prefer lemon, you can use that, or even a mix of both. Either way I recommend slicing the peel, instead of zesting. Adding grated zest is a little too overpowering in my opinion, whereas the peel just infuses a nice subtle undertone of flavour.
c) Storage - The longer you marinate the better. An hour is bare minimum. I find these usually stay good for up to 2 weeks tightly covered in the fridge. Always bring back to room temp before serving, just so the oil loosens up again.
d) Baked Feta - Place a 7oz/200g block of feta on parchment paper in a baking dish. Drizzle over some of the marinade then bake for 15-20mins at 200C/390F, or until the edges turn golden and it is very soft to touch. Remove feta using parchment paper, then serve on a plate surrounded by olives. Serve with toasted slices of ciabatta (or bread of choice).
e) Calories - Whole recipe divided by 6.

Your Private Notes:


Nutrition Facts
The most DELICIOUS Marinated Olives
Amount Per Serving
Calories 199 Calories from Fat 199
% Daily Value*
Fat 22.06g34%
Saturated Fat 2.991g15%
Trans Fat 0.006g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.126g
Monounsaturated Fat 16.164g
Sodium 1032mg43%
Potassium 56mg2%
Carbohydrates 3.88g1%
Fiber 2.5g10%
Sugar 0.41g0%
Protein 0.92g2%
Vitamin A 480IU10%
Vitamin C 6.1mg7%
Calcium 47mg5%
Iron 0.66mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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Recipe Rating


  • Reply
    Rose McMurray
    November 22, 2023 at 3:13 pm

    I sent my husband to the grocery store for olives. He brought back kalamatas with a big clump of oregano in the jar if I take the oregano out and rinse the olives will it still be a problem? I worried it will be too much oregano even with rinsing. He also brought me green olives stuffed with pimento. Can I just pull that out of the olives. Next time I need to give better instructions to him.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 23, 2023 at 10:22 am

      Hey Rose! I wouldn’t worry too much – I personally think the stuffed olives will be delicious. I wouldn’t rinse the olives, but you could reduce the oregano in the recipe is you’re wary and add a few more pinches at the end if needed. C.

  • Reply
    November 17, 2023 at 3:18 am

    Would it ok to add cubed cojack cheese to the olive mixture while marinating?

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 18, 2023 at 12:44 pm

      I haven’t tried myself but you could certainly give it a go if you like cojack with your olives 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    Theresa Hanniford Camlin
    July 9, 2023 at 3:39 am

    Made this today and loved it!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      July 10, 2023 at 2:56 pm

      Great to hear! C.

  • Reply
    Susan McCarthy
    April 10, 2023 at 3:07 pm

    5 stars
    Divine! Served with goat cheese on Easter. I cut kalamata olives in half to reduce the rolling factor. I might have to quarter them next time for my husband!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      April 11, 2023 at 10:18 am

      Thanks so much for the review, Susan! Love the idea of goat cheese! C.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2022 at 1:15 pm

    5 stars
    These were SO GOOD. I didn’t serve with feta, but next tell I will. Everyone loved these. Thanks for the recipe!!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      August 25, 2022 at 1:28 pm

      Thanks for the review, Dan! 🙂