Vanilla-Infused Olive Oil

by Dorothy Reinhold on March 11, 2014

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While browsing a new cookbook, I stumbled across this life-changing recipe.

Yes, recipes can change lives. You don’t believe that?

Let me describe it: Vanilla-Infused Olive Oil, in which you soak a fresh, pliant vanilla bean and some extra-virgin olive oil until the oil smells of vanilla perfume.

I did it, and am using it on everything, from salads to baked goods (subbing the oil in place of butter when the recipe can handle it). Vanilla beans aren’t sweet, so this oil doesn’t ruin savory things. It’s simple and fantastic.

Vanilla-Infused Olive Oil | www.ShockinglyDelicious.comTry it and change your life, too.

Recipe: Vanilla-Infused Olive Oil

Summary: A vanilla bean infuses and perfumes super-premium extra-virgin olive oil to make a life-changing elixir.


  • 1 vanila bean (I used a Heilala vanilla bean, but use what you can find)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Slice the vanilla bean open lengthwise and scrape the seeds into a small jar. Cut the vanilla bean into 1/2-inch pieces, add them to the jar, and add the olive oil.
  2. Put the lid on the jar, shake it vigorously and set it aside at room temperature to infuse for a day or two.
  3. The oil will be ready the next day, but continues to improve as it sits on your shelf. When you use the oil, be sure to get some vanilla seeds, but leave the tough bean pieces behind in the jar. (I replenish the oil and keep the jar going for awhile.)

Stone Edge Farm CookbookRecipe source

Lightly adapted from “Stone Edge Farm Cookbook,” by John McReynolds (2013; $60)

How to use Vanilla-Infused Olive Oil?
Drizzled over:

  • strawberries or a fruit salad
  • diced avocado
  • a freshly grilled steak
  • shrimp quickly cooked in a skillet
  • caprese salad

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Diet type: Vegan, vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 8
Culinary tradition: USA (Nouveau)
My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 


{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine February 11, 2023 at 2:17 am

What a great idea!! I use vanilla bean in my lip balm, however, I used to cook it to bring out the flavour. Regarding botulism, if it’s a concern, simply freeze your beans beforehand.


Olivia May 31, 2021 at 6:53 am

Dorothy — I made it and it’s fantastic! One thing I was hoping you could tell me, though — how long does it last before going rancid / bad? The internet is giving me a lot of different opinions on the shelf life of home infused oils. I’ve got it in an opaque container, well-sealed, kept it away from any water… thoughts?


Dorothy Reinhold May 31, 2021 at 2:20 pm

Yahoo, I am so glad you made it and liked it! I truly don’t have an expert opinion about it. I believe I had it in my refrigerator for more than a month. Ordinarily, I don’t keep olive oil in the refrigerator because I go through it pretty quickly, and it gets semi solid in the refrig. But to err on the side of safety, I kept it in the refrig in a jar and just took it out and let it come to room temp before I wanted to use it again.


Jay March 7, 2018 at 7:40 am

Just wondering what type of olive oil would you us for this. some of your more expensive oils are fruity or spicy. I’d think you would want a non characteristic oil…? Suggestion please!


Dorothy Reinhold March 7, 2018 at 6:18 pm

Great question! Honestly, the first time I made it, I used a very fruity oil, and I thought it was assertive and worked well! (I just tend to use whatever I have on hand in recipes. I don’t stand on ceremony.) If you are scared of that idea, a more lightly flavored oil would be just fine. I do think you should use an extra-virgin variety.


Kara May 6, 2017 at 5:20 am

I made this about a month ago, but haven’t yet tried it. I’ve been reading a lot of recipes that talk about the risk of botulism from home infused oils; would there be any risk regarding this? Thank you!!


Dorothy Reinhold May 6, 2017 at 5:56 am

I am not a physician so I can’t give you medical advice. I think the main issue with other infused oils is when the surface is breached by protruding branches and twigs of herbs and whatever you have put in. As with all things food, you must follow your own guidance. I can say I have never had any problem.


Jill April 1, 2014 at 9:10 pm

I have been wondering how to do this! But I want to add citrus (ie. orange) to it as well. Do you have any suggestions on how to do this?


Dorothy Reinhold April 2, 2014 at 5:31 am

Steep the orange peel in the oil. You can heat the oil first, take it off the heat and steep the orange peel in it.


Jill April 10, 2014 at 11:56 pm

Thank you!!


Trevor aka The Burger Nerd March 28, 2014 at 7:46 am

Wow, I would have never in a million years thought about infusing olive oil with vanilla but I can see how this would totally be a good pairing of flavors…I think it would work extremely well with certain seafood. It makes me feel like grilling some octopus or shrimp and giving it a nice light drizzle of vanilla olive oil. Very cool idea, thanks for sharing it. Cheers!


Dorothy Reinhold March 28, 2014 at 10:04 am

Or, or, or…how about some lobstah with the vanilla olive oil? Lobster and vanilla are sort of a classic.


Priscilla | ShesCookin March 19, 2014 at 9:22 am

I’m intrigued and can’t resist something life changing 🙂


Dorothy Reinhold March 19, 2014 at 10:34 am

You must.


Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living March 14, 2014 at 11:46 am

I would never think to make this – can’t wait to try it – I can only start to think about what I could drizzle this in!


Dorothy Reinhold March 14, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Once you have it in the cabinet, I predict you will find lots of uses!


Sandra March 12, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Vanilla olive oil sounded so divine that I immediately went to the kitchen and made a batch.


Dorothy Reinhold March 13, 2014 at 5:46 am

Well done! Thatta girl!


Oakley @ Friedas March 12, 2014 at 9:23 am



Laura @ Family Spice March 11, 2014 at 3:22 pm

You know how to win my heart over! I haven’t tried vanilla olive oil yet, but now you got my attention!


Dorothy Reinhold March 12, 2014 at 10:23 am

Get some going, right now!


Christy March 11, 2014 at 3:09 pm

This is life changing! Thanks for sharing, doing this tonight when I get home.


Dorothy Reinhold March 12, 2014 at 10:24 am

Come back and tell me how YOU are using it!


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