Are you a big fan of olives? This muffaletta olive salad will have you coming back for seconds. I promise it won't last long, and it's the key ingredient in a Muffaletta sandwich.
If you love Mardi Gras food, you'll want to try our muffaletta bread recipe and our king cake recipe.
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All of these ingredients are easy to find at larger grocery stores, with most of them being shelf stable ingredients, so you can stock up for when you want to make your next muffaletta sandwich.
- Canned Vegetables: castelvetrano and kalamata olives, giardiniera, peperoncini, roasted red peppers, and capers
- Aromatics: garlic, onion, or shallot
- Vinegar: red wine vinegar
- Fat: olive oil
- Fresh Spices: parsley, oregano, and thyme
How to Make
- Cut the salad ingredients small enough to be used as a spread. Get a mixing bowl and place all the ingredients in it.
2. Mix it well with a large spoon.
3. In a smaller mixing bowl, pour in the dressing ingredients.
4. Whisk until well combined.
5. Pour the dressing over the olive mixture.
6. Stir, cover, and refrigerate this for 8 hours or overnight to give it time to marinate.
There you have it! A super tasty recipe that will knock your next muffaletta sandwich out of the ball park. Trust me, it's that good.
The main difference is muffaletta olive salad has olives in it along with giardiniera. Giardiniera's main ingredients are cauliflower, carrots, and celery, and it doesn't contain olives.
Our personal favorite is in a muffaletta sandwich, but it can also be mixed with lettuce, provolone, and salami for a salad. Use it as a pizza topping, or mix it with cream cheese and Parmesan cheese for a savory palmier filling. It can also be used as a crostini with goat cheese and prosciutto. You can also use it as a dip with a piece of warm, soft fresh bread.
Central Grocery is famous for their muffaletta sandwich, so their olive salad is in high demand with tourists. Central Grocery's olive salad has two kinds of olives: green pimento-stuffed olives and kalamata. It also has cauliflower, carrots, celery, red bell peppers, capers, and peperonici. A blend of soybean and olive oil along with water, vinegar, salt, garlic, and other spices makes up their dressing. To give it a long shelf life, it also has preservatives and food dye.
Olives are a good source of dietary fiber which helps you fill full. Olives are also low in cholesterol and are heavily used in Mediterranean diets. Olives are high in vitamin E, iron, copper, and antioxidants. Our muffaletta olive salad is low in carbs and is also high in vitamin A. For more nutritional information, please scroll to the end of the recipe card.
Make Ahead: This recipe is best if you make it ahead, as the ingredients need to marinate in the dressing for at least 8 hours.
Leftovers: Store any leftovers in a tightly sealed jar. This can keep for up to one month in the fridge.
Freeze: This recipe wouldn't taste the same once it was frozen and thawed. It's best to eat it all up.
- Use the best olive oil you can find.
- Have a 2:1 ratio of green to black olives.
- Use the cauliflower, carrots, and celery from a jar of giardiniera (Italian pickled veggies).
- In a hurry? Use a food processor to chop the veggies.
- Chill for 8 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to meld.
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Muffaletta Olive Salad
For the Salad
- 1 cup Castelvetrano olives, chopped
- ½ cup Kalamata olives, chopped
- 1 cup giardiniera, pickled cauliflower, carrots, celery, finely chopped
- ½ cup peperoncini, sliced
- ½ cup roasted red peppers, chopped
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 2 tablespoons shallots
For the Dressing
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
- 1/16 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Whisk the oil, vinegar, garlic, and spices together until they are well blended.
- Chop the olives, capers, and peppers so they're similar in size.
- Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss until well blended.
- Pour the dressing over the other ingredients and mix well, then refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
- Stir to coat the veggies in the dressing before serving or using in a muffaletta sandwich. Serve cold.
- Use good quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Have twice as many green olives to black.
- Use the cauliflower, carrots, and celery from a jar of homemade giardiniera.
- Use a food processor to chop the veggies to speed things up.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.
This post was originally published on August 9, 2018 and was republished on January 28, 2022 with refreshed photos and updated, reformatted content.
This may be a silly question but when the ingredient list for example, half cup kalamata olives chopped, does that mean to measure a half cup of whole olives and then chop them or did it mean to chip enough olives to make a half a cup? Thanks
Pamela, Thanks for asking! It means chopped not whole. Hope this helps!
I believe in most recipes, if it states “1/2 cup chopped olives,” you chop the olives and then measure. If it states
“1/2 cup olives, chopped,” you would measure the whole olives, then chop them. But since the author specifically told you to measure the CHOPPED olives for this recipe, do it the way she advised.
You have got all these delicious flavors coming on at once in this olive salad. You’ve got the salty olives, and the peppers and onions. This is so yummy!
Thank you, Alex! I'm glad you enjoyed it!
What is the red things that look like tomatoes?
They are roasted red peppers.
I love the different colors and flavors in this scrumptious olive salad. This is by far my favorite olive salad that I have ever had.
I agree! Olive salad for muffaletta is so tasty.