Pan-Roasted Olives and Lemon 

Turn olives into zesty, melt-in-your-mouth flavor bombs with just a quick spin in the skillet.

Pan roasted olives and lemon
Photo: Victor Protasio
Hands On Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
15 mins

All you need is 15 minutes to turn olives into a stellar party appetizer. Start by caramelizing thinly sliced lemon in a skillet coated with oil, until the lemon is deeply-golden brown. Then the olives go in the skillet and get tossed with garlic and rosemary for a lovely infusion of flavor. The flesh of the olives will soften and turn meltingly tender, and pair perfectly with any wine or cocktail. For maximum eye candy, shop for a colorful mix of olives that vary from bright green, like Cerignola, to deep brown or black, like kalamata, and include some red in there as well. Hot tip: this irresistible mixture also goes well with roasted chicken.


  • 2 large lemons

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 cup mixed pitted olives (such as Castelvetrano, Cerignola, and kalamata), patted dry

  • 3 cloves garlic, lightly smashed

  • 1 6-in. sprig rosemary


  1. Thinly slice 1 lemon crosswise; remove seeds. Stack slices; cut into quarters.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium. Add lemon quarters to skillet in an even layer. Cook, undisturbed, until golden brown around edges, 4 to 5 minutes. Toss gently; cook for 1 minute. Transfer to a medium bowl using a slotted spoon. Season with salt.

  3. Add olives, garlic, rosemary, and remaining 3 tablespoons oil to skillet. Cook, stirring often, until olives soften and are blistered in spots, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove rosemary sprig; reserve. Juice remaining lemon to total 2 tablespoons. Add olive mixture to caramelized lemons and stir in lemon juice. Crush reserved rosemary leaves on olive mixture; stir gently. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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