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How To Infuse Olive Oil

olive oils infused with herbs and spices

Unlike regular oils, infused oils should be used mainly for drizzling over soups or as a dip for good bread, and shouldn’t be used for frying or cooking. This is the main reason why olive oil, with its buttery decadent flavor, is perfect for infusing.

You’ll want to use olive oil, or something similar that has a flavor on its own for infusing, instead of neutral oils with high smoke points, like canola oil that are normally used for cooking.

How to Make Garlic Infused Olive Oil

garlic cloves and olive oil ready to make an infusion

Garlic-infused olive oil is a favorite because of its versatility and subtle garlic flavor. Garlic infused olive oil can be used in vinaigrettes, for salad dressings and even just drizzled over pasta or mashed potatoes.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Small saucepan
  • Fine sieve or cloth strainer
  • Small oil dispenser


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic


  1. Pour the olive oil into the saucepan along with the 4 garlic cloves. Heat olive oil on low, monitoring it after 15 minutes so the garlic cloves don’t burn
  2. Simmer for 30-35 minutes until the garlic is lightly browned
  3. Remove oil from heat and smash garlic cloves with the back of a spoon
  4. Let oil cool with the smashed garlic cloves for 30 minutes
  5. Strain the olive oil through a fine sieve and then funnel it into your glass jar of choice
  6. Store in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to one month

How to Infuse Oil With Herbs

olive oil and herbs like rosemary ready to infuse

When infusing oil with herbs, the amount of herbs and oil you’ll need depends on the size of the jar that you will be infusing the oil in. Olive oil can more quickly be infused with herbs using heat like in this herb-infused olive oil recipe, but the folk method, found here, is the traditional way to do so, and is found to last longer than other methods.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Small saucepan
  • Fine sieve or cloth strainer
  • Glass canning jar, or any jar with a lid
  • Ensure your jar is clean and very dry. Any water in the jar can lead to spoilage
  • Oil storage bottles


  • Dried, chopped herbs
  • Fresh oil
  • Olive oil and sunflower oil both work well because of their rich flavor


  1. Fill your jar with dried chopped herbs
  2. Slowly pour your oil over the dried herbs and ensure all air pockets are filled with oil
  3. Cover the jar and give it a good shake
  4. Store in a cool place for 3-6 weeks, shaking occasionally
  5. After 3-6 weeks, strain your oil into storage bottles. Give the herbs a squeeze when straining to get all of the herb flavor into your oil
  6. Store at room temperature for up to a year


Sherry Lyons on November 30th, 2021

Would this work as well with dried peppers or dried garlic?


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