Skip to Content

Olive Salad – New Orleans Muffuletta Olive Salad

Muffuletta olive salad is a mixture of garlic, olives, peppers, tossed in a light olive oil and vinegar. Use it to top a cracker, jazz up your boring chicken, or make an authentic New Orleans Muffuletta sandwich!

Use this olive salad to make this Cheesy Olive Bread, this Muffuletta Cheese Ball and these Mardi Gras Deviled Eggs!

tray of olive salad and chips

If you’d rather skip my (very helpful, I think) tips and tricks, essential cooking info, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to this delicious easy Olive Salad recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.

I went all the way to New Orleans and I only brought one thing back!

My first Low- Country experience.

Have you ever been to New Orleans? I had the pleasure of going three times and each time I ate way too much. Anyone else relate?

When you are traveling somewhere new, what is the first thing you plan? For us, it’s food.

What cool restaurants are there, are there any that have been on the Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives show, any authentic, local hangouts that are a must for all tourists?  

I would stay in a tent on the sidewalk if it meant that I would be able to visit all the food joints that I wanted to try.

Right before Brooks and I got married we traveled to New Orleans to visit one of his college friends.We experienced Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street (from a balcony where I got to throw beads and see some things I didn’t want to see!!), watch the parades, eat beignets at Cafe du Monde, and even manage to steal a manhole cover from the Garden District.

Keep that on the down low!

Central Grocery Treasure

One of the foods that New Orleans is famous for is the Muffuletta sandwich. They are served in just about every restaurant in the city but one thing is the same. The olive salad that was invented at the Central Grocery.

The biggest sandwich around, I only ordered 1/4 of one. When the 1/4 Muffuletta showed up, it was bigger than my head. I couldn’t finish it!

I was defeated by a sandwich and it wasn’t even a cool eating competition with people cheering you on!

I no longer have the souvenir in my possession morality police so calm down. It stayed in NOLA just not in its original location as it wouldn’t fit in my suitcase.

Despite all our shenanigans, my favorite memory of the whole trip was eating a classic Muffuletta sandwich.

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy here.

labeled picture of olive salad ingredients

Ingredients for Olive Salad

  • capers
  • spanish olives
  • Castelvetrano olives
  • cherry peppers
  • black olives
  • roasted Piquillo peppers (roasted red peppers)
  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • spices, salt and pepper *optional

Olives – I love the Castelvetrano olives the best but if you can’t find them then just use all large green olives.

Cherry Peppers – You can find these in a jar in the pickle section. If you can’t find these then use banana peppers. They are the closest.

Piquillo Peppers – These are also in the pickle section but you can use roasted red peppers if you need to. Peppadew peppers are also a great substitute!

Capers – Drain them first but do not rinse!

Garlic – Fresh is best and chopped fine but feel free to use jarred minced garlic if you have it on hand.

Why doesn’t it contain cauliflower?

I wanted to highlight mostly olives and peppers. I have included cauliflower in my Giardiniera but you can also add cauliflower to this, just cook it or let it sit longer.

For more insider tips & tricks, and a candid behind the scenes look follow me on social media! Check use out on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter (yes, people still use Twitter, LOL!)

How to make muffuletta salad

STEP ONE: Chop all the olives and peppers into small uniform pieces. Make sure all the ingredients are roughly the same size.

STEP TWO: Combine the olives and peppers with the olive oil, vinegar, and spices.

STEP THREE: Store in the refrigerator until ready to use on your next muffuletta salad or on a dip.

Keep this stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. But I find that I love it on just about everything so mine doesn’t last very long. Try it with your eggs in the morning!

overhead of bowl of olives and spoon

How long does olive salad last?

If you just make it fresh it will last up to a week in the fridge. If you want to keep it longer I recommend processing it with traditional canning techniques.

What if I am missing or can’t find one specific ingredient?

Don’t fret, just leave it out and add more of on of the others:)

Do I have to use this on a muffuletta?

Nope, feel free to use this on just about anything!

close up of spoon of salad

Is the Muffuletta just a sandwich?

I beg to differ! As a frequent eater of Italian sub sandwiches, I was happy to see that the Muffuletta contained the traditional Italian meats, Capicola, salami, and mortadella.

But there was something else to it that made it special, aside from the sheer size of the sandwich. It’s the olive salad!

The Muffuletta is more than a mouthful!

But I gratefully lost to the Muffuletta because of the one special condiment that adorned it: the olive salad. A mixture a few olive types, some pickled vegetables, a hint of garlic, some vinegar, and peppers for good measure.  

Tangy, briny, and filled with so many different flavors, I wanted to buy a jar of it!

I wanted to rub it on my face! I would have rubbed it on Brooks’ face and kissed him but I didn’t want to waste any!

We sat there for quite a while and dissected out all the pieces of the olive salad so I could try and recreate it later.

While not an exact replica due to all the local variations, this recipe is the product of our detective work. I like to think this is pretty darn close.

While we did shop for souvenirs, I wanted the one thing I brought back from NOLA to be a recipe. This olive salad recipe!

If you love this Muffuletta Olive Salad Recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

spoon of olive salad with text "muffuletta olive salad"

Other condiments to try

Easy New Orleans Olive Salad Recipe

bowl of olives

Chopped Olive Salad

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This salad is a mixture of garlic, maybe an olive or two, and vinegar with some peppers thrown in there too. Use it to top a cracker, hang out with your boring chicken, or make an authentic New Orleans Muffuletta sandwich!


  • 5 sweet cherry peppers (sliced and seeded)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup Castelvetrano olives (pitted and chopped)
  • 3/4 cup Spanish olives (pimento removed)
  • 1/2 cup roasted piquillo peppers/red pepper (diced)
  • 3/4 cup black olives (chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons capers (drained)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Make sure all items are chopped fine and combine.
  2. Store in the fridge until ready to use. Because the olive oil solidifies in the fridge, set out about 5 minutes before you plan on serving!


*If you like this recipe, please leave me a comment and rate it with some stars.  Thank you!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 67Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 261mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

Did you make this recipe?

Follow me on Pinterest for more fun recipes!

{Originally Published 10/13/16 – photos and recipe notes updated 02/25/21} Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.

Muffuletta Olive Salad up close in a spoon!
New Orleans Olive Salad in a white bowl.
Homemade Peppermint Hot Cocoa {from cocoa mix}
← Previous
Taco Ring - Crescent Roll Taco Bake
Next →
Skip to Recipe