The Best Olive Salad for a Muffuletta Sandwich

The Best Olive Salad for a Muffuletta Sandwich

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Refrigerate: 12 hrs
Total: 12 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
60 Calories
6g Fat
2g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 60
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 498mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 10mg 51%
Calcium 16mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 40mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

New Orleans is known for many delicious food items, including sandwiches. One of its most famous is the muffuletta which was invented at Central Grocery. The sandwich can include various Italian meats including mortadella, capicola, ham and/or salami, along with provolone and/or mozzarella cheeses. However, as if those ingredients weren't enough, there are two things that make this sandwich original and memorable: fresh-baked muffuletta bread and made-from-scratch olive salad.

This recipe is a take on Central Grocery's olive salad mix and is an essential element of any muffuletta sandwich. The olive salad easily comes together in a food processor and, in the end, you will have plenty of olive salad for days to come. It is the ideal companion for the Italian sandwich for which it was developed.

If you tire of making muffuletta sandwiches but still have olive salad to spare, you can add it to a cheese plate, put it on other types of sandwiches, spread it on crostini, or mix it with mayonnaise for a creamier spread or dip.


  • 3/4 cup pimento-stuffed green olives

  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives

  • 1/4 cup jarred Italian giardiniera

  • 2 large pepperoncini

  • 3 to 4 small pickled onions

  • 2 tablespoons capers

  • 1 medium clove garlic, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more to taste

  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for the best olive salad for a muffaletta

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Drain the green olives, kalamata olives, giardiniera, pepperoncini, pickled onions, and capers.

    Drain the green olives, kalamata olives, giardiniera, pepperoncini, pickled onions, and capers

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Place the drained ingredients in a food processor along with the garlic, oregano, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil.

    Drained ingredients in a food processor along with garlic, oregano, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Pulse until coarsely chopped.

    Olive salad ingredients pulsed in food processor until coarsely chopped

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

    Olive salad for a muffuletta sandwich in a jar

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

How to Store Olive Salad

Ideally, the olive salad should be made a day in advance to give the flavors time to meld. If stored in a jar with a good seal, it will keep in the refrigerator for months.

If you would like to, you can freeze olive salad in an airtight container for even longer storage, but in most cases, refigeration should suffice.


Many of the ingredients in this olive salad may be familiar, but a couple may not.

Giardiniera: This is an Italian-style pickled vegetable mixture. It takes about two weeks to pickle this assortment of vegetables in the traditional way. The process is very easy to make at home; you will need cauliflower, onions, carrots, and celery. If you don't want to go through the hassle, giardiniera also can be purchased at many markets near the aisle with pickles, or in Italian delis.

Pepperoncini: These are very mild chile peppers that also come from Italy. They are similar in appearance and flavor to green banana peppers. The pepperoncino is slightly sweet and has a great tang that really adds a zip to the olive salad.

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