Anchovy-stuffed Olives Recipe - Vegetarian Food from Spain

Anchovy-stuffed Olives

Anchovy-stuffed Olives Recipe - Vegetarian Food from Spain
Region / culture: Spain | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Servings: 10-12 | Vegetarian diet


Anchovy-stuffed Olives
Anchovy-stuffed Olives

Anchovy-stuffed olives are a classic appetizer that combines the bold flavors of anchovies with the briny taste of olives, creating a delightful and sophisticated dish. This recipe is perfect for those who appreciate the intricate balance of flavors that can be achieved by combining simple ingredients. Whether you're hosting a dinner party, looking for a unique addition to a charcuterie board, or simply craving a savory snack, these anchovy-stuffed olives are sure to impress.


The tradition of stuffing olives dates back centuries, originating in the Mediterranean region where olives are a staple. The practice likely began as a way to enhance the flavor of olives and make use of the abundant anchovy catches. Over time, this culinary technique spread across Europe and eventually the world, evolving into various forms and incorporating different stuffing ingredients. The anchovy-stuffed olive, however, remains a classic, beloved for its simplicity and depth of flavor.


How to prepare

  1. Whip the cheese and anchovy paste until smooth.
  2. Stuff the mixture into well-drained, pitted olives (ripe or green) using a pastry tube or the tip of a spoon.
  3. Serve the stuffed olives plain with other appetizers.

Other Stuffing Suggestions

  1. Use walnut halves as stuffing.
  2. Use pecan halves as stuffing.
  3. Use water chestnuts as stuffing.
  4. Use small whole shrimp as stuffing.
  5. Use wiener sticks as stuffing.
  6. Use mushrooms as stuffing.
  7. Use zucchini as stuffing.
  8. Use small cauliflowers as stuffing.


  • While the classic anchovy-stuffed olive is a timeless favorite, there are many variations to explore:
  • Mix herbs such as dill or parsley into the cream cheese for added flavor.
  • Incorporate a small amount of lemon zest or capers into the filling for a tangy twist.
  • For a spicier version, add a dash of hot sauce or minced jalapeño to the cream cheese mixture.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your anchovy-stuffed olives turn out perfectly, consider the following tips:

- Choose high-quality, firm olives for the best texture.

- Drain the olives well to prevent the stuffing from becoming too watery.

- If using a pastry tube to stuff the olives, choose a nozzle with a wide opening to ease the process.

- For a smoother filling, process the cream cheese and anchovy paste in a food processor before stuffing.

- Chill the stuffed olives before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.

Serving Suggestions

Anchovy-stuffed olives can be served on their own as a part of an appetizer spread or added to salads for a burst of flavor. They also pair well with a variety of cheeses, cured meats, and crusty bread for a Mediterranean-inspired charcuterie board.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in this recipe is stuffing the olives, which can be done using a pastry tube for precision or a spoon for a more rustic approach. Whipping the cream cheese and anchovy paste together until smooth ensures a creamy, flavorful filling.

Ingredient Substitutions

If cream cheese is not available, goat cheese or ricotta can be used as alternatives.

- For a vegetarian version, substitute the anchovy paste with a tapenade or pesto.

Make Ahead Tips

Anchovy-stuffed olives can be made up to two days in advance and stored in the refrigerator, covered. This allows the flavors to develop further, enhancing the overall taste of the appetizer.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the anchovy-stuffed olives on a beautiful platter, garnished with fresh herbs or lemon slices for an elegant presentation. They can also be skewered with toothpicks for easy serving at parties.

Pairing Recommendations

These olives pair wonderfully with dry white wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, which complement the salty, savory flavors. For a non-alcoholic option, serve with sparkling water garnished with a slice of lemon or lime.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Anchovy-stuffed olives are best served chilled and do not require reheating. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of anchovy-stuffed olives contains approximately 60-80 calories, making it a relatively low-calorie option for an appetizer or snack.


Anchovy-stuffed olives are low in carbohydrates, making them a suitable option for those following low-carb diets. The primary source of carbs in this recipe comes from the olives, which are naturally low in carbohydrates. A serving of anchovy-stuffed olives contains approximately 1-2 grams of carbohydrates.


The fats in this recipe come primarily from the cream cheese and the olives themselves. Olives are a source of healthy monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid, which has been linked to several health benefits. Cream cheese, on the other hand, contributes saturated fats. A serving of anchovy-stuffed olives contains about 5-7 grams of fat, with a mix of saturated and monounsaturated fats.


Anchovy-stuffed olives offer a modest amount of protein, primarily from the anchovy paste. Anchovies are a good source of high-quality protein and essential amino acids. A serving of this appetizer provides approximately 2-3 grams of protein.

Vitamins and minerals

This appetizer is a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin E from the olives, and various B vitamins and iron from the anchovies. Olives are also rich in antioxidants, which offer numerous health benefits.


The main allergens in this recipe are fish (anchovies) and dairy (cream cheese). Individuals with allergies to these ingredients should avoid this dish.


Overall, anchovy-stuffed olives are a nutritious and flavorful option, offering healthy fats, proteins, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. They are low in carbohydrates and calories, making them a great choice for those monitoring their intake.


Anchovy-stuffed olives are a versatile and flavorful appetizer that combines the rich taste of anchovies with the briny goodness of olives. This recipe is not only delicious but also offers nutritional benefits, making it a great addition to any meal or gathering. With various serving suggestions and the possibility for customization, anchovy-stuffed olives are sure to become a favorite.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was drawn to it like a magnet. It was a warm summer day, and I was browsing through a quaint little bookstore in a small coastal town. As I flipped through the pages of an old cookbook, a recipe for anchovy-stuffed olives caught my eye. The combination of briny olives and salty anchovies intrigued me, and I knew I had to try it.

I asked the shopkeeper about the recipe, and she smiled knowingly. "Ah, anchovy-stuffed olives," she said. "That's a classic dish from the Mediterranean. It's a bit of an acquired taste, but once you try it, you'll be hooked."

She went on to tell me about how the recipe had been passed down through generations in her family, originating from her great-grandmother who had learned it from a friend who had traveled to Italy. The recipe had since been tweaked and perfected over the years, becoming a beloved family tradition.

I left the bookstore that day with a copy of the cookbook and a newfound curiosity for anchovy-stuffed olives. I couldn't wait to try my hand at making them myself.

Back at home, I gathered all the ingredients I would need: large green olives, anchovy fillets, garlic, parsley, olive oil, and a splash of lemon juice. As I carefully prepared each ingredient, I couldn't help but think about the history and tradition behind this recipe. I felt a connection to the generations of women who had come before me, sharing their love of cooking and good food.

The process of stuffing the olives with anchovies was a bit tricky at first, but with practice, I soon got the hang of it. I stuffed each olive delicately, making sure to pack in as much flavor as possible. The combination of the salty anchovies and briny olives was truly a match made in culinary heaven.

As I popped the first anchovy-stuffed olive into my mouth, I was immediately transported to a sun-drenched terrace overlooking the Mediterranean sea. The flavors danced on my tongue, each bite a perfect balance of salty and savory. I savored each olive, enjoying every moment of the culinary journey I had embarked on.

I couldn't wait to share my newfound recipe with my family and friends. The next time we gathered for a meal, I proudly presented a platter of anchovy-stuffed olives, garnished with fresh parsley and lemon wedges. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with everyone raving about the unique and delicious flavor combination.

Over the years, anchovy-stuffed olives became a staple at family gatherings and special occasions. I continued to perfect the recipe, adding my own twist here and there to make it truly my own. Each time I made a batch of anchovy-stuffed olives, I felt a sense of pride and connection to the generations of women who had come before me.

As I passed the recipe down to my own children and grandchildren, I knew that it would continue to be a cherished tradition in our family for years to come. The story of how I learned to make anchovy-stuffed olives would be told and retold, adding to the rich tapestry of our family history.

And so, with each bite of a perfectly stuffed olive, I am reminded of the love, tradition, and culinary heritage that has been passed down through the generations. The recipe for anchovy-stuffed olives may have come from a chance encounter in a small bookstore, but it has since become a beloved part of our family's culinary legacy.


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