Can You Freeze Olives? (And Defrost Frozen Olives?)

With olives, you can embrace the Mediterranean style of cooking and eating. Add delicious textures to your savory dishes, and Jazz up your sauces and salads. 

Olives don’t just improve the tastes of dishes. They offer high nutritional benefits and healthy fat. Thus, they can be a significant loss when excluded from meals. 

However, no health-conscious person would like to exclude olives from their dishes, given a chance to use them. But being a fruit, olives can’t remain fresh for long. You may have to preserve them to extend their shelf-life. 

Now the question is, can you freeze olives? Let’s dissect this question and talk more about freezing olives. 

Do Olives Freeze Well?

You might receive mixed reviews in this case. There could be a slight change in flavor when you freeze directly in an airtight container.

But then, while most people might accept slight flavor change, others might frown at it. 

So it is better to brine your olives before freezing them. That way, you won’t suffer any change in flavor change. 

In other words, your olives will taste as good as the first day you acquire them. 

It is essential to freeze olives properly. Otherwise, they may go bad, and all the effort you have channeled into the process would be a waste.   

Keep in mind that you can freeze olives in two ways. You can put them in airtight containers before sending them into the freezer (no brine), while the second method is to brine the olives before freezing them

How To Freeze Olives?

We have shed some light on how to freeze olives before now. But here, we’re going to go deeper. 

Now, let’s assume your olives are appropriately washed and ready for preservation. You have also sorted them out at this point to ensure only the fresh ones make it into the freezer. 

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How do you get your olives in the freezer? That is the question. Again, there are two ways to freeze olives. 

  • Preserve olives in an airtight container
  • Preserve olives in a brine solution

Let’s discuss both points. 

Freezing olives in an airtight container:  

Please bear in mind that this freezing method is effective for any olive. These include green olives, black olives, nocellara olives, and stuffed ones.

Follow the steps below. 

Step #1: Prepare your olives: 

The first step is to wash up the olives. It is not advisable to store olives riddled with dirt. 

Now here’s how you wash olives in preparation for freezing. Pour them into a colander, and run clean, cool water over them. 

Leave the olives in the colander so the moisture can drain out. You can also pat the fruits dry with a paper towel if you need to do so. 

Step#2: Use airtight containers:

Here is where you need an airtight, freezer-safe container. Having an airtight lid is necessary to prevent air from entering the container. 

Now, transfer the olives from the colander into the airtight container. And remember not to overfill the containers. Why? Olives expand when they start freezing. 

So, leave an inch or half at the top of the containers after moving the fruits into them.

Step#3: Start freezing:

Now that your olives are in airtight containers, it’s time to transfer them into the freezer to start cooling off. 

However, remember to label the containers before putting them in the freeze. Write down the storage date.

A Handy Tip: You have to shake up the container to prevent the olives from sticking together upon freezing. However, wait 30 to 40 minutes before doing this.   

Freezing brined olives:

The brine solution is saltwater. You have to pour the olives into the brine solution before sending them into the freezer. 

This method is quite helpful in keeping the olives’ flavor that you love, know, and cherish intact. 

Now follow the steps below to freeze brined olives. 

Step#1: Prepare your brine solution:

Here’s how to make your brine solution. First, heat the water, as you would require boiled water. 

Now, put four ounces of salt into a gallon of water. Let’s explain it this way. Add 120g salt to make your brine solution for every four gallons of water. 

Step#2: Get your olives brined:

This process is simple. Place the olives you wish to preserve in a pan and start pouring the brine solution over it. After that, boil it for 10 to 15 minutes. 

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Step#3: Rinse and store brined olives:

Your next step is to separate the olives from the brine solution. After that, transfer the olives into cold water, then dry them. 

Once the olives are dry, get them into a freezer-safe container and freeze. 

A Handy Tip: It is always important to label items before freezing them. Write the date on the label.  

How Long Can You Freeze Olives?

You can freeze your olives for 6 months, whether in an airtight container or after you brine them. 

Most people prefer to bring their olives before freezing them, as it helps to improve flavor. 

How To Defrost Frozen Olives?

Defrosting frozen olives isn’t a complicated process but a time-consuming one. You have to wait long hours for them to thaw. 

How’s this done? Transfer the frozen olives to the refrigerator and let them remain there overnight. Your olives should thaw within a couple of hours.

It is essential to use thawed olives within three weeks, as anything above this can lead to loss of flavor and spoilage. 

A Handy Tip: Observe your olives for visible signs of spoilage before using them. Signs to consider include sliminess, pungent odor, and color change. 

There’s also a possibility of freezer burn, but that shouldn’t deter you from using the olives. Freezer burnt olives are great in marinades, sauces, and purees. They’re safe to eat.  

Can You Refreeze Olives?

You can, but please don’t. We don’t recommend thawing and then refreezing olives. By so doing, you’ll change the overall texture of the fruits drastically to something undesirable. 

The result of refreezing olives is a bland and mushy product. You won’t enjoy consuming such olives. 

What’s the best way to freeze olives to avoid refreezing? Freeze olives in smaller portions you can use entirely once removed from the freezer to thaw. 

Can You Freeze Stuffed Olives?

Yes, you can! But before you get right into it, here are the other details you need to know about freezing stuffed olives. 

What you stuffed your olives with determines if you can freeze it or not. 

For example, if you had the olives stuffed with cheese, forget about freezing them. Why? You’ll have a super spongy and dry olive, not what you desire

But if you stuffed using anchovies or pimento, you’re good to go. Your olives should freeze fine. 

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Can You Freeze Olive Oil?

Yes, physically, it is possible. At 54 degrees Fahrenheit, olive oil preserved in the freezer will start to solidify. But at 10 degrees Fahrenheit, it will start freezing. 

It is also best to put the olive oil in an ice cube tray and have them stuffed with herbs. Rosemary is quite an excellent herb to incorporate in olive oil. It will help improve flavor a bit. 

Do Black Olives Freeze Well? 

Yes, black olives do. Just follow the methods of freezing explained here. After washing, you can put the olives in an airtight container then freeze them. 

As we rightly explained, another way to freeze olives is to put them in a brine solution before freezing. That way, your black olives would retain their flavor. 

If appropriately preserved, keep in mind that your black olives can last for approximately six months. 

Can Olives Go Bad?

Of course, they do. You can also determine if your olives have gone bad via visible signs.

One way to find out is via the lid. Has the cover of an unopened bottle of olives popped? If yes, then something isn’t right. The lid is supposed to be flat, not popped. 

In this case, you can open the bottle and observe the olives for signs like molds. Mold buildup signifies the olives aren’t safe for consumption. 

However, if you open a bottle containing brined olives and discover some white floaties, don’t be quick to discard the olives. Remove the white floaties and eat the olives. They’re safe. 

A Handy Tip: Before consuming olives stored in a bottle, check if the brine still smells fresh. If yes, you can go ahead and eat the fruits. If it smells bad, toss the entire olive away. 

Conclusion: Can you freeze olives?

Yes, you can. Your frozen olives can last for six months, though proper preservation is essential. If you don’t preserve properly, the shelf-life of your stored olives might be cut short. 

You can freeze olives by throwing them into an airtight container and then the freezer. But placing them in brine solution appears to be more effective in helping the fruits to retain their flavor. 

Further, never consider refreezing olives. After thawing, please make an effort to finish the olives or do whatever you wish with them. Just don’t refreeze. 

About Sylvette Brown

Sylvette is a homemaker and is passionate about cooking and other kitchen-related stuff. She also loves to do home improvement related tasks and keeps on writing about food and cookware on her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her 2 little kids. :)