Muffuletta Olive Salad

Packed with a mix of olives, pickled vegetables, and savory herbs, this zesty muffuletta olive salad is a delightful addition to sandwiches and salads, or as a flavorful topping for crackers.

Glass jar of muffuletta olive salad with a serving spoon on a cutting board.

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Muffulettas, a classic New Orleans Sandwich, are without a doubt my all-time favorite sandwich. Since I don’t always have the opportunity to travel to The Big Easy every time I get a craving, I’ve learned how to make muffuletta sandwiches at home. One key ingredient in building the perfect muffaletta sandwich is olive salad. However, it can be hit or miss when it comes to finding a jar of olive salad in the store. That’s why I decided to develop my own homemade olive salad recipe.

When developing this recipe, I decided to use Central Grocery in the French Quarter in New Orleans as my inspiration. I pulled my list of ingredients directly from the back of one of their jars of olive salad and started tweaking from there. I’ve eaten enough of their muffulettas to know if I’m on the right track and I think I’ve come up with a winner.

Ingredients and tools you will need

Most of these items I found in or around the same aisle as the olives in the grocery store. To make muffuletta olive salad recipe, you will need:

  • 1/2 cup green olives with pimentos, chopped
  • 1/4 cup black olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup diced Giardiniera mix
  • 1/4 cup chopped pepperoncini peppers (this amounts to roughly 3-4 large peppers)
  • 1/4 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Food processor or mini chopper, optional – it does make the process go a lot quicker, but you can also chop everything by hand.
Collage of ingredients needed to make Muffuletta Olive Salad.

How to make muffuletta olive salad

You’re only three steps away from homemade muffuletta olive salad. Once everything is chopped, simply combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir all the ingredients until they are evenly mixed. Then cover the bowl and store the olive salad in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Chopped muffuletta olive salad ingredients in a glass mixing bowl.

Storage and freezing instructions

Store the olive spread in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consume within two weeks. The salad can also be frozen for up to three months. Thaw completely before using. Please note that if freezing, the texture of the salad may differ slightly from fresh and it could contain more liquid.

Canning instructions

Muffaletta Olive salad can be stored for long-term use through the water bath canning method. Transfer the salad to clean half-pint or pint jars leaving 1/4-inch of headspace. Use a chopstick or spoon handle to remove any trapped air. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth. Center a lid on each jar and screw on bands to hold them in place.

Add enough water to a large pot to cover the jars by about two inches. Do not add the jars to the water just yet. The longer they boil, the softer the contents will become, so we want to wait until the last minute to begin processing. Bring the water to a boil, then carefully add the jars. Process for 10 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and allow the jars to remain in the canner for five minutes, then remove the jars and allow them to sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Remove the rings and check the lids to make sure they don’t flex up and down. If they do, the seal did not take and you will need to store that jar in the refrigerator.

Frequently asked questions


Is this spicy?


No. The pepperoncini peppers and roasted red bell peppers do not add any heat. If you prefer it spicy, try adding some chopped pickled jalapenos to suit your taste.


Can I use dried parsley?


Yes. Since dried herbs are more concentrated than fresh, you will need to use 1/2 a teaspoon of dried parsley.


Can I skip refrigerating for 24 hours?


You can, but allowing the salad to chill for several hours first really allows the flavors to build. If you can’t give it a full 24 hours, at least give it 2-8 hours.


I’m allergic to one of the ingredients. Can I leave it out?


As long as the ingredient you’re allergic to isn’t olives, absolutely!


If one of my jars didn’t seal can I recan it?


I don’t recommend it. Canning a second time could negatively affect the texture of the salad.


What else can I use olive salad for?


While it is a delicious addition to just about any sandwich, you can also use muffuletta olive salad as a topping for crackers and crostini, as a pizza topping, on charcuterie boards, in your favorite pasta dishes or pasta salad, or part of a delicious vegetable salad.

Looking down into an open jar of muffuletta olive salad setting on a wooden cutting board.

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Glass jar of muffuletta olive salad with a serving spoon on a cutting board.
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5 from 1 vote

Muffuletta Olive Salad

Packed with a mix of olives, pickled vegetables, and savory herbs, this zesty muffuletta olive salad is a delightful addition to sandwiches and salads, or as a flavorful topping for crackers.
Course Appetizer, Condiments
Cuisine American, Cajun, Creole
Prep Time 0 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Chill time 1 day
Servings 1.5 cups
Calories 50kcal
Author Lisa B.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup green olives with pimentos chopped
  • 1/4 cup black olives chopped
  • 1/4 cup diced Giardiniera mix
  • 1/4 cup chopped pepperoncini peppers
  • 1/4 cup roasted red bell peppers chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

  • Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • Stir until everything is evenly mixed.
  • Cover and let the olive salad chill in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Video

Notes

Storage and freezing instructions
Store olive salad for muffulettas in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consume within two weeks. The salad can also be frozen for up to three months. Thaw completely before using. Please note that if freezing, the texture of the salad may differ slightly from fresh and it could contain more liquid.
Canning instructions
Olive salad can be stored for long-term use through the water bath canning method. Transfer the salad to clean half-pint or pint jars leaving 1/4-inch of headspace. Use a chopstick or spoon handle to remove any trapped air. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth. Center a lid on each jar and screw on bands to hold them in place.
Add enough water to a large pot to cover the jars by about two inches. Do not add the jars to the water just yet. The longer they boil, the softer the contents will become, so we want to wait until the last minute to begin processing. Bring the water to a boil, then carefully add the jars. Process for 10 minutes. 
Remove the pot from the heat and allow the jars to remain in the canner for five minutes, then remove the jars and allow them to sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Remove the rings and check the lids to make sure they don’t flex up and down. If they do, the seal did not take and you will need to store that jar in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Serving: 3tablespoons | Calories: 50kcal | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Sodium: 510mg | Potassium: 30mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 0.2mg

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2 Comments

  1. On the visual ingredient list with the thumbnail pictures, the pepperocinis in the upper right corner are labeled as garlic.

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