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Castelvetrano olives will make an olive lover out of anyone! Their rich, buttery flavor and crisp texture make them uniquely delicious.

Castelvetrano Olives

Think you don’t like olives? Try Castelvetrano Olives, a unique variety that will make an olive lover out of anyone. For years, I was olive wary: they were too pungent, briny, and salty for me. But Castelvetranos: they’re in a category all of their own. This is the type of olive to marinade as an appetizer or add to a fresh hummus bowl. Here’s the skinny on this brilliant green orb and why it’s ideal for snacking and cheese boards.

What are Castelvetrano olives?

Castelvetrano olives are a green olive variety grown in Sicily with a signature rich, buttery flavor and crisp texture. They have a mild and fruity flavor, making them suitable for people who shy away from very strong and briny varieties.

Castelvetranos are grown in the Belice Valley in Sicily, so another name for the variety is Nocellara del Belice. They are harvested young and unlike other olives, they’re not cured: they’re simply washed in lye and water for a few weeks until the bitter flavor is removed.

Castelvetrano Olives

Why everyone loves them

There’s something about the buttery, mild flavor of Castelvetranos that’s unlike any other type, like the ultra salty Kalamata or the briny pimento stuffed variety. We’ve served these to people who claim not to like olives, only to have them park themselves in front of the bowl. It’s a great mild olive to snack on, or especially to add a pop of flair to a salad. They’re just that good!

Ways to use Castelvetrano olives

The flavor of Castelvetrano olives is so rich and buttery, they’re perfect for snacking! Add them to a cheese plate or charcuterie board, or simply nibble them out of a bowl. They’re great in salads, bowl meals, on pizza, or in pasta. Make a bowl of marinated olives for a crowd-pleasing party appetizer.

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Castelvetrano Olives

Marinated Castelvetrano Olives

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes hands on, 2 hours hands off
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 22 minute
  • Yield: 6 to 8 1x


Marinated olives are a stunning appetizer or side! Flavored with garlic and lemon, they’re a great finger food for cheese boards or parties.


  • 2 6-ounce dry weight jars or cans pitted ripe Castelvetrano olives packed in water 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Scant ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 rosemary or tarragon sprigs, plus additional for serving if desired


  1. Drain the olives. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Cut 4 strips from the lemon peel, then squeeze out 1 tablespoon of the juice.
  2. In a 1 quart jar or covered container, combine all ingredients and shake gently to combine.
  3. Marinate for 2 to 4 hours at room temperature, shaking occasionally. Serve immediately, garnishing with additional rosemary sprigs if desired. Stores refrigerated for several weeks; allow to come to room temperature prior to serving.
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Marinaded
  • Cuisine: Italian inspired
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Castelvetrano Olives

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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