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Mediterranean Marinated Olives

Mediterranean Marinated Olives

Garlic, rosemary, and lemon infused olives are easy to throw together but somehow feel very fancy at the same time.

You can serve warm as a light appetizer with cocktails, or add them to salads, sandwiches, pastas, pizzas, or wraps.

Salty, savory, rich, and intensely flavorful, this recipe transforms a jar of store bought olives into something special.

I hope you enjoy!


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Mediterranean Marinated Olives

Nicole Vranjican
Garlic, rosemary, and lemon insfused olives. Served warm or chilled, this easy recipe transforms a jar of store bought olives into something speical.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 1 cup


  • 1 – 2 cloves of garlic, minced I start with one and add another if needed
  • ½ tsp minced rosemary fresh
  • 1 lemon
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • cup Kalamata olives pitted
  • cup green olives pitted


  • Wash and dry the lemon, then use a vegetable peeler to peel off 3 large strips of lemon zest. Set aside and cut the lemon into wedges for easy juicing. You'll porbbaly need two wedges for this. Set aside.
  • Next, mince the garlic and rosemary and add to a mixing bowl, along with the the red pepper flakes, black pepper, and lemon zest. I like to twist the lemon zest over the bowl to release the natural, flavorful citrus oils into the marinade.
  • Then add in the olive oil and the olives and toss to combine.
  • Then squeeze one wedge of lemon on top and add a few extra sprigs of rosemary for added flavor and presentation. I usually take one sprig and break it into 3-4 large peices to scatter around the dish. This provides additional flavor while the olives marinate and acts as garnish for serving. The rosemary sprigs should be disgarded before eating.
  • Taste and see if you'd like to add salt, more red pepper flakes, more lemon juice or garlic, etc and adjust as you see fit. Remember the flavors will develop and intensify as the olives marinate.
  • You can serve immiately but it's better to cover and let the olives rest/ marinate for a few hours or a few days in the fridge. It just gets better with time.
    To serve warm, simply transfer to a saucepan on medium heat and gently warm through for a few minutes, then serve as a light appetizer with evening cocktails and enjoy!


I like the combination of pitted green olives and Kalamata olives for this but feel free to shake things up and add whatever variety of olives you like.
I find that pitted olives make this a lot more convenient and enjoyable to eat, but if you only have the un-pitted kind, that works too! I find that sometimes there’s a greater variety of un-pitted olives available at the market than pitted, so if you’re looking to change up the combination of olives, un-pitted may be the way to go. 
I recommend salting after tasting, because jarred olives tend to be pretty salty already. I find that they often don’t need additional salt but sometimes a pinch of kosher or flakey sea salt can really make the flavors pop. Do what tastes best to you 🙂
A sprig or two of fresh thyme is also delicious in this recipe. 
Keyword Easy Appetizers, healthy side dishes, Vegan Appetizers, Vegan Snacks
Nicole Vranjican

Hey! I’m Nicole and I make practical vegan recipes for REAL life. I cook with simple, easy to find ingredients and I’m passionate about creating delicious plant-based meals that everyone will love!

I hope you enjoy my recipes and videos :) Happy Cooking!

Find me on: Instagram

1 Comment

  1. james p. spatz
    December 31, 2023 / 1:49 pm

    thank you! Have you tried this “brine” with other things? (cauliflower, etc)

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