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Can You Freeze Olives?

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By Ross Young

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Olives are a favourite among those who love Mediterranean dishes. But is it possible to store them for the long-term?

Can You Freeze Olives?

Yes, you can freeze olives for up to 6 months. There are a few methods for freezing olives. You can freeze fresh olives in an airtight container or, to improve their texture once frozen, you can brine them beforehand.

Do Olives Freeze Well? Sometimes

Can You Refreeze Olives? No

How to Freeze Olives

Fresh olives are pretty easy to freeze, and you are only a few simple steps away from having frozen olives ready in the freezer for when you next need them:

Wash Olives

1) Wash Olives: Pop the olives into a colander and run them under cool water for a few minutes. Leave them to drain in the colander and then let them dry. You can use a paper towel if necessary, to dry them.

Add to Container

2) Store in a Container: Grab yourself a sturdy freezer-safe container with an airtight lid. Put the olives in the container, ensuring you leave about half an inch gap at the top. The olives may expand when they freeze, and you need to leave space for this.

Freeze Olives

3) Freeze Olives: Label and date the container and pop it into the freezer. After 30 minutes, give the container a little shake to prevent all the olives from freezing together.

This method will work for any olives. You can freeze black olives, green olives, stuffed olives and nocellara olives using this method.

How to Freeze Brined Olives

You can also put the olives in a saltwater bath before freezing. This will help them to keep the texture you know and love when they thaw out.

  1. Make Brining Liquid: Make yourself some brine using water boiled with four ounces of salt to every gallon of water or 120g of salt for every 4 litres. 
  2. Brine Olives: Put the olives in a pan and pour the brine solution over them. Boil this for ten to fifteen minutes.
  3. Rinse: Remove the brine from the olives, put the olives in cold water, then remove the olives from the water and dry.
  4. Store: Put the olives in a container suitable for the freezer and freeze.
  5. Freeze: Make sure you have labelled and dated the olives before freezing.

3 Tips for Freezing Olives

Now you know how to freeze olives, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing them to have the best results:

Brine to Improve Texture
Brining olives before freezing or buying them pre-brined can help improve their texture. Frozen olives can become a little soft, but brine reduces the impact of freezing on the texture.

Best Used in Cooking
As with many frozen products, you can mask the textural changes that occur by using them in cooked dishes. The same applies to olives. If you want to use them atop a pizza or stirred in pasta sauces such as Puttanesca, you won’t notice the texture change.

Flash Freeze
If you want to make it easier to grab a portion at a time then flash freezing will prevent olives from sticking together once frozen. It is a little time-consuming, however.

How Long Can You Freeze Olives?

Olives have a pretty impressive shelf life in general, and this is true for frozen olives too. You can keep frozen olives fresh in the freezer for up to six months, but we are betting they won’t last that long! They are just too tempting.

How Do You Defrost Olives?

When it comes to defrosting olives, the process couldn’t be any more straightforward. You need to take out your olives and pop them into the fridge for a few hours.

You should allow them to defrost overnight as this ensures that they will be fully thawed out and ready to use.

Can You Refreeze Olives?

We would strongly advise against refreezing olives. This can have a drastic impact on the overall texture of the olives. No one wants mushy, bland olives and that’s exactly what you can end up with when you refreeze olives.

Instead, try to freeze them in a way that allows you to easy defrost a portion at a time.

Do Olives Freeze Well?

You get mixed reviews when it comes to freezing olives. Some people don’t mind the slight texture change, and others hate it.

If you want to avoid the texture change, then it is best to try the brined olives version as this should help avoid too much texture change.

However, if you plan to use your frozen olives in sauces or blended, then you don’t need to worry about any texture change and can freeze them using the more straightforward method.

If you’ve still got questions about freezing olives or olives in general, then these may help:

How Long Do Olives Last in the Fridge?

Once opened, olives that are kept submerged in brine will keep for around 3 weeks in the fridge. However, if they’re not submerged, they will only keep for a few days.

Can You Freeze Stuffed Olives?

Stuffed olives can be frozen using the method above. But think about what your olive is stuffed with before you freeze. If it contains cheese, then the texture can become dry and spongy, so it’s not the best idea to freeze them. If, however, they’re stuffed with pimento or anchovies, then they will freeze okay.

Can You Freeze Chopped Black Olives?

Yes, it’s possible to freeze chopped black olives. They should be portioned out into airtight containers or good-quality freezer bags that can be sealed tightly.

Can You Freeze Marinated Olives?

Yes, marinated olives can be frozen for around 6 months. You may find some of the subtle herby and garlicky flavours degrade a little but they will still be safe to eat and enjoy.

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5 thoughts on “Can You Freeze Olives?”

    • Yes, I would crack them and soak them in water for around 7 days, changing the water twice a day. Towards the end of the week, taste one to see if the bitterness is gone. If not, continue soaking and tasting till you like the flavor.


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