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Easy, Spanish-Style Marinated Olives

Marinated olives are a great party nibble.  They are best when made ahead, which makes life a little easier when you are hosting the gathering.

Marinated Olives
I like to take homemade (food) gifts with me when I am a guest at a party, especially during this time of the year.   

New Year’s Eve is only days away and I’m sure if you showed up to a shindig with these in hand, the host/hostess would be very happy. 

The olives are ready to serve, all that needs to be done is pour them into a bowl.  And who wouldn’t appreciate an extra appetizer that arrives ready to serve?

Marinated Olives are one of the easiest and tastiest things to make.  It will take you less than 10 minutes from start to finish.

When I host a party or any type of gathering at our house, I try to have little dishes of these olives and other “pick upon” type of nibbles placed around the room so no one is ever far away from a tasty morsel.

Perhaps I’m a bit obsessed with food, but there is nothing worse than wanting a little something and realizing there is a mob in front of the food table.

I usually set up 3 smaller areas with different snacks on each, because I don’t want to push my way through a dozen people to get a chip.

On the flip side of this scenario, if you are attending a New Year’s Eve shindig, or any party at someone’s home, bringing a jar of homemade marinated olives will certainly earn you some points.

Everyone enjoys a bottle of wine or flowers, but if you show up with something that the host/hostess can serve immediately and they don’t have to do anything except pour it into a bowl, you’ll be the star guest.

Marinated Olives in Spanish Dish
I’ve always been a fan of olives, even as a kid.   I couldn’t wait for that can of black olives to be opened so I could place 10 gloriously plump, little black globes on the tips of my fingers and relish them one by one.  Fast forward 20 years to my first trip to Spain.

I was introduced to varieties of olives that I’d never heard of before, much less eaten.  Then, I started working in restaurants in NYC and gained an appreciation for the differences in the (many) dozens of varieties of olives.  I settled on arbequina and niçoise as two of my favorites.

Try this recipe with whatever olives you can find, pick up a jar of something new to you, mix green and black, whatever makes your olive-loving heart sing and if you like a little heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes to these olives – it’s terrific.

Pin Marinated Olives:

Easy, Spanish-Style Marinated Olives | Pook's Pantry

Spanish-Style Marinated Olives

Cheryl Bennett
Easy, Spanish-Style Marinated Olives make an excellent party nibble, perfect for New Year's Eve. They also make a wonderful homemade or hostess gift.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 12


  • 1 pound imported pitted olives (kalamata, arbequina, calvestrano, etc)
  • 6 cloves garlic lightly crushed
  • 1 orange rind only
  • 1 lemon rind only
  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. Spanish smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 quart Spanish extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. aged Spanish sherry vinegar


  • In a small sauce pot - combine the oil, vinegar, garlic, bay leaf, paprika and pepper flakes over medium heat. When it is almost at a simmer, turn off and remove from heat.
  • Place olives, rosemary sprigs, lemon and orange rinds in a glass jar and pour olive oil mixture over the olives.
  • Let cool, then store in refrigerator. Let olives marinate at least 1 hour before serving.


I prefer to wait at least 24 hours before serving, but if you're in a pinch, wait at least an hour.
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