Olive Salad for Muffaletta

Are you a big fan of olives?  This olive salad will have you coming back for seconds.  I promise it won’t last long.

How do you eat olive salad?

  • In a muffaletta sandwich (my personal favorite)
  • Mixed with lettuce, provolone, and salami
  • As a dip with warm, fresh bread
  • As a crostini with goat cheese and prosciutto
  • As a pizza topping
  • With cream cheese and Parmesan cheese in a savory palmier

holding a bowl of olive salad for muffaletta

What ingredients are used in an olive salad?

  • Green and black olives
  • Pickled cauliflower, carrots and celery (from a jar of giardiniera)
  • Peperoncini
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Garlic
  • Onion or shallot
  • Capers
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh parsley, oregano, and thyme
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

bowl of olive salad for muffaletta with spoons

How to Make Olive Salad

First, prepare all the ingredients for the salad and the dressing.  Coarsely chop the olives, parsley, and oregano, then mince the garlic and shallot, and finely chop the pickled vegetables.  Cut the ingredients small enough to be used as a spread.

ingredients for olive salad for muffaletta

Get a mixing bowl and place all the salad ingredients in it.

veggies for olive salad for muffaletta

Mix it well with a large spoon.

stirring olive salad for muffaletta

In a smaller mixing bowl, pour in the salad dressing ingredients.

sprinkling seasoning into dressing for olive salad for muffaletta

Whisk until well combined.

whisking dressing for olive salad for muffaletta

Pour the salad dressing over the olive salad mixture, then stir well.  Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight to give it time to marinate.

pouring dressing on olive salad for muffaletta

Pro Tips for Making Olive Salad

  1. Use the best olive oil you can find.
  2. Have a ratio of 2:1  green and black olives.
  3. Use the cauliflower, carrots and celery from a jar of giardiniara (Italian pickled veggies).
  4. Add a signature ingredient such as chickpeas, pickled potatoes, canned artichokes, or cocktail onions.
  5. To change it up, add some olive or pepper brine or lemon juice.
  6. In a hurry?  Use a food processor to chop the veggies.
  7. Chill for 8 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to meld.

spoonful of olive salad for muffaletta

There you have it!  A super tasty olive salad recipe that will knock your next muffaletta sandwich out of the ball park.  Trust me.

Make an amazing muffaletta sandwich with these other recipes!

white plate of antipasto salad with two black spoons, pine cones, and greenery

  • Muffaletta Bread: coming soon!
  • How to Make Muffaletta: coming soon!
  • Antipasto Salad: a delicious Italian salad that’s very similar to olive salad.

Did you make this olive salad?  Share how you enjoyed it by leaving a recipe rating below.

spoonful of olive salad for muffaletta

Olive Salad for Muffaletta

  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Chopping
  • Cuisine: American


Olive salad is commonly used in a muffaletta sandwich, which originated in New Orleans at Central Grocery.  Green and black Kalamata olives, giardiniera, vinegar, oil, garlic, and other goodies round out this family sized dish that is great for picnic lunches or the Super Bowl.


For the Salad

  • 1 cup Castelvetrano olives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 cup pickled veggies (giardiniera: cauliflower, carrots, celery), finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup peperoncini, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 2 tablespoons shallots

For the Dressing

  • 3/4 cup 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 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


Making the Dressing

  1. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic, and spices.

Making the Salad

  1. Chop up the olives, capers, peppers, and fresh herbs.
  2. Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and mix well together.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well, then refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Stir to coat the veggies in the dressing just before serving or using in a muffaletta sandwich.  Serve cold.


  • Olive salad can also be served in a muffaletta sandwich, mixed with lettuce and provolone cheese for a muffaletta salad, as a crostini along with goat cheese and prosciutto, or with cream cheese and parmesan cheese in a savory palmier.
  • If you’re in a hurry, use a food processor to chop up the ingredients.

Keywords: olive salad, muffaletta sandwich

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