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My Dirty Martini Olive Spread is a copycat recipe of a popular dip recipe. It’s super cheap (in a good way) and quick to whip up. It makes the perfect sandwich spread or party appetizer for the holidays or football parties. 

brown crock with olive dip on plate with pieces of pita

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I was introduced to this olive dip/spread when I worked for a kitchen store some years ago (Okay, like 15 years ago now. Say what?!) It was one of the more popular items especially around the holidays. Creamy, olive-y salty goodness. What’s not to love? I mean, as long as you like olives. 

The one thing I didn’t (and still don’t like) about that olive spread is the price. You guys, it’s $7-$10 for a jar of it. Or, you can check out this crazy price*. So I made my own. I’ll let you in on a little secret. You can make a whole batch of it for $2-$3.

What’s in it?

You just need 3 ingredients – perhaps 4 if you want to thin it out to a more dip-like consistency rather than a spread. Cream cheese. Green olives (with pimientos). Red pepper powder or cayenne. Milk (optional).

What kind of cream cheese should you use?

You need whipped cream cheese but don’t buy it that way. You want to buy it by the block and let it soften to room temperature. Like rich and creamy softened so you can beat it yourself. Just don’t buy it that way. It’s a complete waste of your money in this case and whipped cream cheese doesn’t taste quite the same.

What kind of olives should you use?

You might be tempted to go fancy and gourmet here but don’t. Just don’t. You want to get the cheap green olives with the little red pimientos here. This is what will make it taste as close to the original as possible. I made this mistake and learned for you.

What’s the hint of spice in it?

The store-bought version has jalapeños in it. However, I swapped them out for red pepper powder and made things easier. Plus, I really like the bit of heat red pepper powder adds without being too in your face. You could also use cayenne if you want.

It’s really thick. Can I thin it?

Yes. if you want to thin it out a bit you can add milk one tablespoon at a time until it’s the thickness you prefer. 

Can I prepare it ahead of time?

Yes. You’ll want to make the spread at least a few hours ahead of time so the flavors can meld together nicely. You can make it several days ahead of time. 

Okay, done. Grab a spoon, grab some pita, grab a cracker, whatever floats your boat. But make sure you take a sample taste or 2. It’s your duty as head chef.


    Dirty Martini Olive Spread

    This is a copycat recipe of a popular dip recipe. It’s super cheap and quick to whip up and makes the perfect sandwich spread or party appetizer.

    • Author: Heather L McCurdy
    • Prep Time: 5 minutes
    • Total Time: 5 minutes
    • Yield: 1 cup 1x
    • Category: Dips and Spreads
    • Method: No Cook
    • Cuisine: American


    • 8 oz. jar green olives with pimientos, drained, divided
    • (1) 8 oz. bar cream cheese, softened
    • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper powder
    • 12 Tbsp. milk (optional)


    1. Chop olives finely, keeping aside 5-6 olives whole to be sliced for garnish.
    2. Whip cream cheese until light and fluffy.
    3. Beat in red pepper.
    4. Add milk, one tablespoon at a time to thin as desired.
    5. Fold in chopped olives.
    6. Chill for 3 hours-a couple days.
    7. Garnish with remaining olives just before serving.

    Keywords: olives, spread recipe, appetizer recipe

    brown crock with olive spread in it garnished with sliced olives; pita on plate and yellow cloth under plate

    Originally published with these images 10/3/2013
    make your own dirty martini spread for date night or a holiday party. A fraction of the price when you make it yourself
    olive jar
    Make your own dirty martini spread for a fraction of the price

    Thank me later. After every one loves it. Because how can they not?

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