Fried Olives with Blue Cheese Aïoli

This appetizer might just disappear before you turn back around.

Fried Olives with Blue Cheese Aïoli
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Christina Daley
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
35 mins

These fried olives will be the underrated star of the appetizer spread. They make an easy, poppable snack—paired with a tangy Blue Cheese Aioli, these fried bites simply can't be beat. A coating of corn flour and cornmeal gives these fried olives an extra-crunchy texture, while smoked paprika and cayenne pepper spice up the shell. To make things extra-Southern, we're using pimiento-stuffed green olives. The olives themselves are buttery and salty, so there's no need to season the fried olives after they come out of the oil.

You can even recycle the frying oil night after night to make more of our favorite Hannukah treats, like Mini Sweet Potato Latkes or Cheesy Potato Croquettes.


Blue Cheese Aïoli

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • ¼ cup sour cream

  • 2 medium garlic cloves, grated (½ tsp.)

  • 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (about ½ cup)

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • Thinly sliced chives

Fried Olives

  • Canola oil

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided

  • ½ cup whole buttermilk

  • ½ cup corn flour 

  • ½ cup medium-ground cornmeal 

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 (19-oz.) jar pimiento-stuffed green olives, drained and thoroughly patted dry (about 32 olives)


  1. Prepare the Blue Cheese Aïoli: Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, blue cheese, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a food processor, and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Chill until ready to serve. (Blue Cheese Aïoli can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.)

  2. Prepare the Fried Olives: Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches in a large Dutch oven; heat oil over medium to 350°F. Place ½ cup of the all-purpose flour in a medium bowl. Pour buttermilk into a separate medium bowl. Stir together corn flour, cornmeal, salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, and remaining ½ cup all-purpose flour in a third medium bowl. Working in batches, toss olives in all-purpose flour until well coated. Transfer olives to buttermilk, and toss to coat. Place olives in cornmeal mixture, and toss again to coat; transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  3. Working in 3 batches, fry olives in hot oil, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 1 minute and 30 seconds; drain on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Keep warm in a 200°F oven. Allow oil to return to 350°F between batches. Sprinkle chives over Blue Cheese Aïoli. Serve with hot olives.

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