Olives add a distinct tangy flavor and delicious texture to any savory dishes. You can also use fresh olives to jazz up your salads and pizza pies! Because it’s one versatile fruit, you can buy a large batch of olives, keep them frozen in the fridge, and simply defrost them whenever you’re whipping up your favorite Mediterranean dish!

Image used under Creative Commons from Rene Schwietzke

If you’re thinking about freezing olives, it’s worth noting that these fruits are prone to flavor loss when they are not stored properly. And there’s nothing worst tasting than watered down olives on your fresh salad!  When properly stored, frozen olives will keep for up to six months and up to three weeks when thawed in the fridge.

How to Freeze Olives?

To freeze fresh or brined olives, start by placing the fruit in a colander and let cool water run to remove any impurity. Let the fruit drip dry for 10 to 15 minutes. You don’t want excess water getting in there because moisture will lead to flavor loss and sliminess. To speed things up, you can always use napkins to dry the fruits off.

Then, get a clean, rigid freezer-safe container and put the cleaned olives. You want to leave at least ¼ inch of space between the olives and the lid as the fruit freezes. Finally, close the lid, make sure it’s airtight and then stick it in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from CeresB

How to Defrost Frozen Olives?

The best way to defrost olives is to transfer the frozen container in the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. Once completely frozen, you want to check for signs of spoilage, including strong odors, sliminess, color change and so on.

Discard olives that show these signs of spoilage. If some of the olives are freezer burnt, you can still use them for purees, sauces, and marinades. We recommend consuming thawed olives within 3 weeks, any longer and the fruit will lose flavors.

Summary

Freezing olives is a very straightforward process, one that does not require special tools or know-how. Now that you know how to freeze olives, you can go right ahead and keep larger batches in the freezer and use them for soups, stews, barbecues, and sauces whenever!