Let’s be honest, shall we? Most store-bought marinated olives, despite their exorbitant price tag, just aren’t that sexy. The flavors tend to be flat, tired, drab. And yet those same simple marinade ingredients, when consumed fresh and not packaged as in these warm olives, lend a vibrancy that’s inspired, impressive, and downright impossible to stop noshing. Here’s a homemade alternative that takes less time to toss together than it would to drive to the store.Renee Schettler Rossi

A metal skillet filled with warm olives, rosemary, and lemon zest.

Warm Olives

5 / 5 votes
These warm olives constitute a simple yet savvy appetizer with just citrus, rosemary or thyme, olive oil, and chiles. Ready in less time than it takes to run and buy marinated olives from the store.
David Leite
Servings6 servings
Calories304 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes


  • 2 cups assorted olives, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 thin strips orange or lemon zest, preferably orange
  • 2 small sprigs rosemary or thyme
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Feta, for serving (optional)
  • Almonds, for serving (optional)


  • Toss the olives, oil, orange or lemon zest, and rosemary or thyme in a large skillet. Season with red pepper flakes.
  • Bring to a gentle simmer and keep over the heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the olives and seasonings to a bowl. (Reserve the oil for another use such as whisking it into a vinaigrette or drizzling it over roasted vegetables, fish, chicken, or pork.) Serve the olives warm alone or, if desired, alongside feta or almonds.


What You Need To Know About Choosing Olives

There’s no one particular kind of olives that’s best for this warm olives recipe. Actually, choosing an array of olives in varying shapes and sizes and colors makes this exponentially more enticing than if you’d just grabbed a jar of Kalamatas. Shown in the photo above are the Cerignola, Castelvetrano, Kalamata, and Niçoise, which we consider a lovely and pleasing mix, although opt for whichever olives you fancy.
Martha Stewart's Appetizers Cookbook

Adapted From

Martha Stewart’s Appetizers

Buy On Amazon


Calories: 304 kcalCarbohydrates: 2 gProtein: 1 gFat: 34 gSaturated Fat: 5 gMonounsaturated Fat: 25 gSodium: 701 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 1 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2015 Martha Stewart Living. Photo © 2015 David Malosh. All rights reserved.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Made this last night for our Greek night! Greek recipe – even the non “olive” fans went back for seconds. Definitely going to be our go to recipe!