Zebbug Mimli (Maltese Stuffed Olives)

This recipe takes us south to the Mediterranean island nation of Malta. In an effort to dabble in the culinary traditions of the other half beyond pastizzi, a delicious Maltese cheese pastry, I present a version of zebbug memli. If you can’t be anywhere near the turquoise blue Maltese water, then have some of these tuna stuffed green olives, close your eyes, and just pretend.

Stuffing olives isn’t easy work, so I cheated and cut halfway down each olive as you can see in the photo. Also, my Maltese kitchen wizard source tells me you can also add breadcrumbs and/or capers to the tuna mix—yum! The results of your labor will be delicious appetizer.

l-ikla t-tajba!

*Makes about 30 stuffed olives*


  • 8 oz large green pitted olives
  • 4 oz canned tuna, drained
  • 1 tsp finely chopped green parsley
  • 1 tsp harissa (or any hot chili pepper paste or few punches red pepper flakes)
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or pressed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


Mix together tuna, harissa, grated garlic, and parsley together with a fork or in a food processor until tuna chunks break apart. Add in olive oil until you get a smooth consistency.

Take olives and cut lengthwise up to the middle, then rotate and cut the halves lengthwise again, until you have a wider opening.

Using a small spoon or a piping bag (or the corner of a plastic sandwich bag with the tip cut off) fill each olive.

Add to a platter and serve!


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