This post may contain affiliate links, please see the privacy policy for details.

This muffaletta olive salad is a zesty, flavor-packed Italian olive salad that’s as versatile as it is delicious. This muffaletta spread boasts the distinct flavors of both green and black olives, tangy pepperoncini, and a blend of herbs and spices. Use this olive tapenade to make authentic muffuletta sandwiches, or try it as a pizza topping with deli meats.

A round jar containing homemade olive salad sandwich spread.

A great olive salad recipe is well worth knowing if you are looking for the best sandwich topping for a classic New Orleans sandwich. This olive sandwich spread boasts a combo of piquant flavors for that classic Mardi Gras food taste.

You might also want to try other Italian recipes like Italian rice salad, Italian tuna white bean salad, and a chopped Italian sandwich. They’re packed with flavor and incredibly easy to make, too! And another fresh and tasty meal is baked salmon sushi cups.

Scooping olive salad spread out of a jar.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Authentic: Italian olive salad, or muffuletta olive salad, is a traditional recipe that pairs with all kinds of tasty recipes, from pizza to the most epic sandwich you ever tried.
Delicious:  If you love green olives and black olives, you are definitely going to be wowed by this recipe, as they’re the key ingredient in the mixture.
Simple to make:  Once you’ve finely chopped and combined all the ingredients, your olive spread just needs to sit so the flavors can meld, and then it’s ready to enjoy.

Overhead view of a round jar containing homemade olive salad sandwich spread.

Olive Salad Muffaletta Spread Ingredients

A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

Green olives: The star of the show, green olives bring a tangy, slightly bitter flavor to the olive salad. Make sure to use pitted olives to avoid any dental disasters while enjoying the dish!
Black olives: For a rich, earthy contrast to the green olives, black olives come in to save the day. They add a savory depth of flavor that helps balance out the tangy
giardiniera and peperoncini.
Giardiniera: This Italian pickled vegetable adds a crunchy, tangy element to the olive salad. It usually includes a mix of cauliflower, bell peppers, celery, and carrots and is something you can enjoy on its own as a snack!
Pepperoncini: These banana peppers are a bit sweeter and less spicy than other
chillies. They add a subtle heat and a lot of tangy flavor to the olive salad.
Garlic: No Italian dish would be complete without garlic. In this recipe, it adds a
robust, aromatic flavor that compliments the olives and pepperoncini beautifully.
Oregano: This Italian herb brings a robust, savory flavor to the olive salad. It’s a classic pair with olives and garlic and really makes the flavors pop.
Pickled onions: These are a sweet and tangy addition to the olive salad that helps balance out the briny olives and spicy pepperoncini.
Pepperoncini juice: This is from the jar of pepperoncini and adds even more of that
tangy flavor to the olive salad. It is not something you want to skip!
White wine vinegar: It adds a bit of acidity to the olive salad and helps to balance out the richness of the olive oil.

Ingredients for an olive salad recipe.
A jar of homemade olive salad spread for sandwiches and a condiment.

How to Make a Muffaletta Olive Salad Recipe

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Prepare the ingredients:  Chop or mince all the ingredients and combine them in a mason jar, starting with the finely chopped, dry ingredients.
Add the liquids:  Add the liquid ingredients to the mason jar, then cover and refrigerate overnight before using.

Overhead view of making olive salad in a jar.

Substitutions and Variations

Different olives: Feel free to use any type of olives you have on hand. You can choose from kalamata olives, Sicilian olives, Greek olives, or whichever type you prefer. Just make sure they’re pitted, or else you’ll need to remove the pits yourself.
Spicier: If you like things hot, add a pinch of celery seed or a few dashes of hot sauce to the mix.
Additional veggies: You can also add other antipasto-type ingredients, such as roasted red peppers or minced artichoke hearts.
Different vinegar: If you don’t have white wine vinegar, don’t worry. You can easily substitute it with red wine vinegar or even apple cider vinegar.

Looking inside a round jar containing homemade olive salad sandwich spread.

Serving Suggestions

As a sandwich spread: The traditional way to enjoy this olive salad is on a muffaletta sandwich. Just spread it on the bread before adding your meats and cheeses for a burst of flavor.
On everything: Okay, maybe not everything, but this olive salad is delicious on chicken, eggs, beef or fish. It adds a tangy, Mediterranean flair to your weeknight dinners. It’s also great as a pizza sauce or pizza topping. Consider serving it with an Italian frittata, hot Italian sliders, pressed Italian picnic sandwiches or Italian beef.
Snacks and appetizers: For a quick and easy appetizer, simply spread this olive salad over crackers and top with cheese. Or, use it as a dip for your next party. The possibilities are endless!

Close view of homemade olive salad sandwich spread.

How to Store Muffaletta Spread

Store:  Keep the olive spread refrigerated and in a covered airtight container, and use it within a week.
Freeze:  Freeze it in a covered container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before use.

Top Tips 

Choose your olives wisely: For this muffaletta olive salad, try to use good quality, firm olives. The texture and flavor of the olives can really make a difference in the final result.
Don’t skip the refrigerating step: Allowing the flavors to marinate overnight is crucial. It’s what transforms this simple salad into a flavor-packed condiment.

Close view of homemade olive salad sandwich spread in a jar.

Muffuletta Olive Salad Recipe FAQs

Do you need to combine the ingredients in a food processor?

A food processor certainly saves time, especially if you’re adding optional ingredients like Greek peppers, red peppers, artichoke hearts and so on. Otherwise, you will have to chop them finely by hand. If you want to use a food processor, I recommend you pulse the ingredients a few times because it’s nice to have a little texture in the olive spread.

What’s the difference between olive salad and giardiniera?

While olive salad is a tangy spread made primarily with olives, giardiniera is pickled vegetables. The best muffaletta is made using both!

Can I use dried oregano instead of fresh ones, and if yes, how much should I use?

Yes, you can use dried oregano instead of fresh. The general rule of thumb is to use 1/3 of the amount of dried herbs compared to fresh. So, in this case, you would use about 2/3 teaspoon of dried oregano. Just remember to give it a little crush between your fingers to release its flavor before adding it to the salad.

A jar containing homemade olive salad spread.

Muffaletta Olive Salad Recipe

5 from 68 votes

Olive Salad Muffaletta Spread

By: Bella Bucchiotti
Authentic Muffaletta olive salad spread – bold flavors of black & green olives. Perfect for sandwiches, pizzas, or grilled chicken.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8


  • ½ Cup green olives, pitted
  • ¼ Cup black olives
  • ¼ Cup giardiniera
  • 3 pepperoncini
  • 3 Cloves garlic
  • 2 Teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 pickled onions
  • ½ Teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 Tablespoon pepperoncini juice, from jar
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar


  • Finely chop ingredients and add to mason jar.
  • Add the lemon juice, pepperoncini juice, olive oil, and white wine vinegar.
  • Seal and refrigerate overnight.


Calories: 64kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 677mg | Potassium: 30mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 61IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

The best muffaletta olive salad spread is a mouth-watering combination of different kinds of olives, peppers, garlic, and seasonings. It’s perfect served on a sandwich but can also work as a pizza sauce, dip for chips, or topping for crackers.

Other Recipes To Try

Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.


You Might Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I love this and usually make a nice batch because it’s so versatile. I love it in sandwiches and it’s also good with a meaty fish such as cod or hake, or even with chicken or turkey to add some pizzazz.

  2. 5 stars
    We are olive lovers in this house and this spread was super yummy! It will be made on repeat in my kitchen. Thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    Oh boy!! This was quite delicious! I may have gone Bridget jones on it and eaten it straight from the jar with a spoon!!!
    I couldn’t get enough.
    I made some pressed sandwiches with the rest, which were okay but could have done with more of this olive salad but I had already scarfed too much of it 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️

    So delicious and I’ll be making it again for sure….maybe in double batches….. 😊😊😊

  4. 5 stars
    Hi there! I just wanted to leave a comment here to say how amazing this Olive Salad Muffaletta Spread recipe is! I love how unique the flavors are and how easy it is to make. I must admit, I made double the recipe so I could have leftovers to add to my charcuterie board for entertaining.

    The combination of olives, pickled vegetables, and fresh herbs creates a delicious and tangy spread that pairs perfectly with cured meats and cheeses. I also appreciate how versatile this spread is – it can be used as a dip, spread on sandwiches, or even tossed with pasta.