Infused Olive Oil

Homemade Gift Idea - Infused Olive Oils

Last week I shared my first round of DIY holiday gifts (homemade seasoning mixes). This week, I tried homemade infused olive oils for the first time. It was a MAJOR success!

I love olive oil and flavored olive oils are even better. 

Homemade Pantry Staples

Homemade Infused Olive Oil

Olive Oil Uses

Now that I have these homemade infused olive oils, I’m discovering just how delicious and versatile they really are. As displayed here, these homemade infused olive oils are great food gift ideas for hosts as well as thoughtful gifts for friends and family.

I may or may not have gone to town with the chili and garlic oil and just a loaf of bread. No judgement!!

While the oils are tasty alone, they have so many other uses. They’re great on pasta dishes – either as the sauce (mix with some pasta water to make it less oily and more palatable) or just drizzled over the top.

They make delicious marinades for meat and veggies. It’s so easy too. Just let the meat or veggies sit in the infused oil for at least 30 minutes before grilling or roasting!

I also love them drizzled on salads and atop soups. They’re great ‘finishers’ for just about any dish!

Chili infused olive oil

I don’t have a recipe titled “chili infused olive oil” below, but it’s really the same recipe as how to make garlic infused olive oil – you can omit the garlic if you like.

I personally love the spicy-garlic infused olive oil with bread or pizza, but it’s entirely up to you! And of course the herb infused olive oil is good on bread and pizza too!!

Homemade Gift Idea

Homemade Food Gifts

These olive oils are simple to make and these cute hermetic glass jars are the perfect size for a homemade gift.

I went easy with the decorations, wrapping twine around the necks of the bottle 8-10 times and tying a bow; and I let the ingredients speak for themselves. If you want to jazz up this gift, give it with a loaf of bread and a saucer to serve the oil.

Also, make sure to use a higher quality olive oil. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just make sure it’s extra virgin and in a dark or opaque container. You can buy in bulk to cut back on prices.

A note about timing. These oils are only good for about one week, so you want to make these fairly last minute. The great part is you can make one gift or as many as you need when the time comes!


Delicious recipes to enjoy FALL & WINTER produce to its fullest. Simple and delicious recipes made from scratch for your family and your guests THROUGHOUT THE COOLER MONTHS!


Homemade Gift Idea - Infused Olive Oils

Other Homemade Food Gifts

Homemade Seasoning Mixes
Honey Peanut Butter
Mixed Nut + Seed Butter
Homemade Salad Dressings
Sugared Mixed Nuts 

Homemade Gift Idea - Infused Olive Oils

How to Serve Infused Olive Oils

If you aren’t giving these away, at least share these tasty mixes with your guests.

Since the oils can look similar in small plates or bowls, I like to include the main flavoring ingredient in the dish. For the garlic/chili, just let the bits come out of the bottle. For the rosemary, I like to use a fresh piece of rosemary – same for the lemon with a piece of the skin!

P.S. You can see this recipe on Refinery29’s YouTube Channel!

infused olive oil
Print Recipe
5 from 35 votes


I’ve never met anyone who didn’t love infused olive oils but so few people have ever made them. These oils come together and minutes and are great drizzled over a soup or salad or just served with some good bread.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Cooling Time20 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Dressing
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: appetizers, basics, dressings
Servings: 16
Calories: 122kcal
Author: Luci Petlack


How do you make lemon infused olive oil?

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • peel from 2 lemons

How do you make garlic infused olive oil (spicy option)?

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves peeled
  • teaspoons chili flakes*

How do you make rosemary infused olive oil?

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 washed and completely dried rosemary sprigs** about five inches long


Lemon Olive Oil

  • Warm lemon peel and olive oil together over very low heat for twenty minutes. Cool half-hour. Break lemon peel into jar. Pour olive oil into bottle with funnel. Seal.

Garlic Chili Olive Oil

  • Warm olive oil, garlic, and chili flakes if using over low heat for eight to ten minutes until garlic is lightly brown. Remove from heat. Let cool.
  • Remove garlic and slice. Place garlic in bottle.
  • Pour olive oil and chili flakes into bottle with funnel. Seal.

Rosemary Olive Oil

  • Warm rosemary and olive oil together over very low heat for five to seven minutes. Cool half-hour.
  • Place rosemary in jar. Pour olive oil into bottle with funnel. Seal.


Olive oils can be refrigerated for up to one week. To enjoy, simply remove olive oil from refrigerator and let sit for 15-20 minutes to return to a pourable consistency.
*This amount of chili flakes gives off a hint of spice when eaten with bread but nothing super spicy (to me). Add more or less, depending on taste.
**It’s important that your rosemary is completely dry. Wet rosemary (from washing) can quickly lead bacteria growth.
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Calories: 122kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.5g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 8mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.03g | Vitamin A: 56IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.1mg

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  1. 5 stars
    These sound yummy, and the process seems simple. I’m wondering if it’s all right to add clean herbs directly to a small bottle of oil, say a sprig of thyme or rosemary into a bottle of virgin olive oil. Thank you.

    1. Hi Julia! Do you mean adding a fresh sprig to the bottle of infused olive oil after you’ve cooked in like the recipe here shows? If so, then, yes, but it needs to be COMPLETELY dry. If you mean just adding herbs to uncooked olive oil to infuse – that is certainly an option. It takes a few weeks, stored in a cool dark place, to make it. Let me know if you have any other questions. xo, Luci

  2. 5 stars
    I made the infused olive oils as Christmas gifts according to the directions and they came out perfectly!! Thank you for the recipe!!!🎄🎄

    1. Hi Belinda! It certainly wouldn’t hurt to ensure they’re so definitely dry. I have also heard about citric acid soaks beforehand, but I haven’t had a chance to try those yet. Let me know if you have any more questions! xo Luci

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  4. 5 stars
    That spicy garlic option is absolutely calling my name! I’ve never infused olive oil before but this looks so easy to do, so I can’t wait to try it!

  5. 5 stars
    There was a farm near my childhood home that made different olive oils like this, and they cost a fortune. So pretty, too! I always wanted to buy one for my mom but couldn’t afford one. Definitely making it now!

  6. 5 stars
    Oh how I wish I had a big crusty loaf of bread to sop in these oils right now! These look amazing and will make a lovely gift. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. 5 stars
    LOVE your ideas! Do you mind sharing where I can find these darling bottles? I’m planning on making some of these for party favors for my daughter’s baby shower whose name is going to be Olive!

  9. 5 stars
    That was absolutely delicious not only myself but my two youngest children horked down every drop!!! Yumbo 😋

  10. 5 stars
    Have you tried infusing with roasted chiles – like Hatch? They’re already soft so I’m thinking the longer, uncooked process might be better? Same for carmelized garlic? And should I strain the oil? I love this idea – I’m a bread baker as well and these would be the perfect pair. But I should would like a longer shelf life.

    1. Hi Mauri,
      I haven’t tried doing this with roasted chiles, but I bet it would be delicious! I’m not sure the method used would matter regarding the softness of the chiles.

      For chiles or the caramelized you could always strain it or I often like little bits of the flavor that’s infusing the oil. If you’re worried about cloudiness, that might be unavoidable – something we’ll have to try to know.

      And, yes, the shelf-time is the only thing. I will say that I often keep my oils a bit longer than stated, but I have to be upfront about the botulism concern.

      If you get to trying any of these combinations before me, i would LOVE to hear how it goes! I’m always looking to update the post with more recipe attempts.



  11. 5 stars
    Im looking to give these out as favors for my daughter’s bridal shower. If I simmer rosemary in the oil for 20 minutes, cool completely, then add rosemary to jar and pour oil over it, is that the correct way? Do I need to use different fresh, dry sprigs of rosemary in the jars, of I can use what was heated up? Also, what is the procedure for using fresh basil?

    1. What a sweet idea, Lorraine! Yes, you have the procedure correct. You could use the same sprig if you wanted, but I might recommend using different sprigs, so you aren’t dealing with dripping, oily rosemary as you’re trying to put it in the jar. You’ll also be able to get just the right size.

      This heated infused olive oil recipe isn’t as long lasting as a typical store-bought version. Because you’ll want to give these away as gifts, I’d look into the longer practice of just letting the herbs sit in the olive oil in a dark place for about 2 weeks.

      I actually haven’t tried doing basil-infused olive oil. I just looked up some recipes, however, and most of them suggest either blanched the basil and/or blending it into the oil.

      Happy to answer any more questions you have.

    1. Hi Karen! Those oils likely haven’t been cooked (or they contain a preservative). You can make a longer lasting (shelf-stable) infused olive oil, but you combine the ingredients, seal it up, and let it sit in a cool, dark place. It’s just not as quick as most DIY gift needs are – but absolutely delicious!

  12. 5 stars
    How much does this make using the same bottles you have linked? Is it 1 cup of EVOO and the peel of 2 lemons for one bottle?

    1. Hi Lindsay,
      Those exact jars are 8.5oz which is just barely over 1 cup. So, yes, it’s one cup of oil, but if you plan to put in all of the peels, then it won’t quite fit in that glass.

  13. 5 stars
    Hi Luci,

    I’ve seen on other sites that you can dehydrate your rosemary. Would that be safer as far as botulism goes?


    1. Hi Jody! You could dehydrate your rosemary to avoid botulism, but that seems like more work than necessary to me. If your rosemary is totally dry, it should be fine. Alternatively, you can just leave out the sprig of rosemary and just label the bottle very clearly!

  14. 5 stars
    Hi, do I need to heat the herbs with the oil? Could I just combine
    them and let them sit for a few days ? Would that be safe?

    1. Hi Irene! If you want to infuse the oil with the herb flavor, you’ll want to heat them together. If you want to skip heating all together, you can combine herbs and oil to sit on the shelf (in a dark space). The flavors will take about 2 weeks to infuse, however, but the oil should last longer than this faster, heating method.

    1. Lovely! I hope you and your gift recipients love it! I don’t think the oil will last longer in darker bottles, but it’s very likely that the flavors will be better and stronger with the darker bottles. I haven’t experimented with this yet. If you do, I’d love to hear what you think of the alternative! Let me know if you have any other questions! xo Luci

  15. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe! Do the glass bottles have to be completely dry? I used all dry ingredients but realized after making my own oils, I may not have dried out the mason jars completely. Will this be a problem?

    1. I’m so glad you like the recipes! You know, I’m not entirely sure, but I fear it might be. I’d eat it up fast or try a new batch. I think the garlic and rosemary batches would have a bigger problem than the lemon or chili flake based on some internet research!

    1. Hi Eva! I’m so sorry I missed your comment last week. I think these are best stored in the refrigerator. They might be shelf stable for a few days, but the flavors and color for the olive oil itself is better in a cool/dark place. Please let me know if you have any more questions!

  16. 5 stars
    Hi there! I Just made these to pass around to family this weekend for Christmas. The garlic and chili one looks good, but the lemon one looks cloudy already. Will it settle once its fully cooled, or should I scrap that batch? 🙁

    1. Hi there! I didn’t have any cloudiness problems when I made these, so I had to look it up online. If it has settled, then it should be fine. The cloudiness can just be from sediment. If it hasn’t settled, I’m tempted to say that somehow moisture for in and it will spoil very quickly. I’d love to hear what happens though!

  17. 5 stars
    I’m planning to make these for holiday gifts. Why do they only last a week? When I buy infused olive oils they have a normal olive oil shelf life. I’m really excited about the recipes.

    1. Each of the oils lasts a different amount of time. The garlic can start to develop botulism rather quickly. And if the rosemary is wet, the same is true.

      When I’ve made these in the past, they’ve actually lasted fine for me longer than one week, but just to be safe, it’s best to make, gift, and enjoy the oils as soon as possible after making them.

      I would guess that store-bought varieties likely have some sort of stabilizer or preservative in them to help them last longer.

  18. 5 stars
    Will it still have a good flavor if I don’t put the garlic/lemon peel/rosemary into the bottle with the oil? I reuse narrow neck bottles and find these pieces hard to remove.

    1. Yes, it will! The flavor infusion happens during the “cooking process.” Getting all the stuff out of reusable bottles can be a headache, I understand all too well! 🙂

  19. 5 stars
    The infused olive oil was very easy but the next day the oil was cloudy… what did I did I do wrong???
    Could it be that the Rosemary I put in the jar was wet??

    1. Hi Sara! Yes, it probably was because the rosemary used was wet. Infused olive oil can be temperamental, especially with”wet” ingredients. Sadly, I think you may have some unsafe olive oil on your hands now. I’ll add a note to the recipe now to make sure to use only dry ingredients. I’m so sorry you had this experience and that you don’t have tasty infused olive oil to enjoy right now! Please let me know if you have any other questions. xo Luci

      1. 5 stars
        Is this just from the Rosemary being surface wet from washing? Or will this happen when using fresh herbs that are surface dry?

        1. Hi there! The wetness refers to washing it, so if you let it air dry on a towel or rack for an hour, it should then be totally fine!!

  20. 5 stars
    Can I just say that I JUST LOVE this idea SO MUCH? Yes, they would make perfect gifts but I’m probably gonna make them for myself, to be honest! I grow lemons and herbs but never thought about infusing olive oil with them. GREAT IDEA – I’ve pinned this for later 😉

    1. YES! Definitely make it for yourself – I do the same thing. The best part is you can make a lot or a little. And you can start experimenting with flavor combos too!! Enjoy!

  21. 5 stars
    Such a great idea! I love infused oils and they give so much flavor to simple sauteed chicken and fish.

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