Hi there,

Today I am sharing with you a tradition that came to me from my daughter-in-law, Hillary. It has been a Christmas Tradition for several years to make these fried olives from the Marche region of Italy. And the tradition continues. This year my granddaughter, Maya, was enlisted. She pitched right in and was a big help. Hopefully, this will become a future tradition at Christmasfor her.

The original recipe, albeit very delicious, is very heavy. I am sharing with you a lightened version that is more in line with the diet and health concerns of a modern cook.

Although this recipe is somewhat time consuming, the results are delicious and well worth the effort.


  • 1/2 small onion finely chopped
  • 4 oz ground beef
  • 4 oz fennel sausage removed from casing
  • 4 oz ground chicken
  • 2 oz white wine
  • 4 oz marinara sauce
  • 4 oz ground pecorino cheese
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 dozen eggs
  • wondra flour
  • large container of breadcrumbs
  • large container of panko
  • olive oil
  • 2 21 oz jars of queen size (very large) olives


  • brown the onion is some olives oil until wilted
  • add the meat, sausage and chicken to the pan and cook on medium heat. The meat does not need to brown.
  • add the wine, marinara sauce and the pinch of nutmeg to the pan and reduce the liquid until it is almost completely absorbed by the meat
  • stir in the ground pecorino cheese
  • at this point take the mixture and put it into your food processor and process until it forms a rough paste
  • refrigerate this mixture and work on your olives
  • take a jar and a half of the olives, slice long ways and remove the pimento (save the pimento for future use)
  • stuff the meat mixture into the olives. It is ok to have some of the mixture on the outside of the olive, just form into a round.
  • at this point you will set up a breading station. Scramble about 6 eggs at a time, have one dish with the breadcrumbs and one with the panko and a cookie sheet for the finished olives.
  • dip the stuffed olives into the eggs
  • cover with breadcrumbs and dip into eggs again
  • dip into the panko and place on the cookie sheet
  • at this point you will probably have about 75 breaded olives
  • allow olives to set up for about an hour and then spray with olive oil on top and bottom of the olive
  • put into an air fryer set at 425 and keep an eye on them. The olives will probably be brown in about 3 minutes and should be turned over until browned on the other side.
  • You can enjoy these hot or served a room temperature. DO NOT REHEAT IN A MICROWAVE,

Special Note: You can always fry these olives in olive oil on the stove top. I set aside what I am going to serve and freeze the remaining olives uncooked. The olives freeze beautifully if put in a bag and allowed to lie flat until solidly frozen. Then for future use cook the olives straight from the freezer.

I hope that you will try this recipe. It makes a very impressive appetizer to serve with drinks. Although the directions are rather long, the process is very easy. It is a fun thing to make with friends or even get your children in the act.


  1. They are worth the effort. I am starting a new feature on Thursday called 3 things to cook this weekend. I am going to use your post called Charlotte’s Ole Dip. I will of course attribute it to you. I hope this is ok.

  2. These are fabulous! Years ago at a wine tasting event I had these and because of them bought a little electric deep fryer. I have yet to make them!!! Now i will.

  3. I remember these delectable bites from last year, and I love that Maya has gotten in on the action! Les won’t be home until late tonight, so I promised him some heavy hors d’oeuvres with cocktails in place of dinner. I’m going to pick up some sausage and give these a try! What time is Maya free to come over and teach me? 🥰 she is cute as a button, that one!

  4. I’ve had these once at a food and wine festival although they were spanish. I can’t wait to make them finally! thanks for the recipe!

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated. If you like this recipe, please give it to your friends.

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