Who doesn’t love a good olive snack? These delightful morsels are a taste explosion and are full of healthy fats that make them great for you too.
Originating from the Mediterranean, olives are a firm favourite among those who love the Mediterranean style of cooking and eating.
You can throw a handful of olives into a salad, add them to pizza or just eat them by themselves as a snack or aperitif. But, can you freeze olives?
Yes, you can freeze olives for around 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.
Can You Freeze Olives? Yes
Can You Refreeze Olives? No
Do Olives Freeze Well? Sometimes
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:
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- Brine Olives
Put the olives in a pan and pour the brine solution over them. Boil this for ten to fifteen minutes.
Remove the brine from the olives, put the olives in cold water, then remove the olives from the water and dry.
Put the olives in a container suitable for the freezer and 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.
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.
You Can Freeze Olives for up to 6 Months
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:
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 Olive Oil?
You certainly can. One of the most popular ways of freezing olive oil is in an ice cube tray stuffed with herbs to give yourself a little flavour bomb you can toss into a sauce, soup or stew. We’ve actually used this exact method here with rosemary.
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