Olive Oil Rosemary Shortbread

4.79 from 14 votes

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A tender Olive Oil Rosemary Shortbread that melts in your mouth with a sweet and savory flavor.

Soft and tender Olive Oil Rosemary Shortbread are a sweet and savory combo!

Close up of three Olive Oil Rosemary Shortbread on a plate with rosemary branch

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Oh my LORD these shortbread cookies are ridiculously good!

I appreciate good desserts but typically have no problem putting them down. And I also tend to prefer chocolate and berry desserts.

But these Olive Oil Rosemary Shortbread are amazingly addicting!

Olive Oil Rosemary Shortbread on a wood board
I must admit, when I was working on this recipe, I thought something went seriously wrong.

When making shortbread with butter like our Coffee Shortbread cookies, the dough is rather dry and crumbly.

This dough, because of the oil, was pretty wet. But it WORKS.

The oil brings a delicious, savory richness to the dough but is not too strong.

Olive Oil Rosemary Shortbread on a small plate with a rosemary branch

I prefer shortbread to be soft, so I use powdered sugar.

I am a strong fan of Team Soft Cookies!

If you want the cookies crisper or firmer, substitute the same amount of granulated sugar for the powdered sugar.

The addition of lemon zest brings just a hint of brightness without an obvious lemon flavor.

If you do want the lemon to be noticeable, use the zest of two lemons (or even three) instead of one.

Close up of a stack of Olive Oil Rosemary Shortbread

Olive Oil Rosemary Shortbread are sweet and savory, so don’t expect them to be traditional sweet cookies.

The use of olive oil, rosemary, and salt balanced with the sugar brings a chocolate-pretzel-vibe to the cookies.

And I just love it.

Cross section of cookies

The olive oil shortbread dough looks very wet compared to traditional shortbread dough. And I was skeptical about it.

But it worked beautifully and still has an amazing and light texture.

Shortbread on a board

The savory shortbread are very, very fragile. Be sure to cut them when warm while they still cooperate with being cut.

And if worried about their appearance, such as for an event or a gift, use gentle touch.

Even trying to brush off crumbs with your fingers can damage the cookies! Try blowing on them or fanning them instead of clean them of crumbs.

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Olive Oil Rosemary Shortbread

A tender Olive Oil Rosemary Shortbread that melts in your mouth with a sweet and savory flavor.
4.79 from 14 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 18 pieces
Calories: 149kcal


  • Square pan



  • Preheat oven to 325F with the rack in the middle position.
  • Line an 8 or 9 inch square baking dish with parchment paper, with at least two edges hanging over the dish (this will make it much easier to remove the cookies later).
  • In a food processor, add the flour, sugar, salt, zest of one lemon, and rosemary. Pulse together a few times to mix.
  • Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the dough and pulse until just combined and incorporated. The dough will look wet.
  • Press the dough across the bottom of the baking dish inn an even layer. Prick the dough all over with a fork. If desired, press some additional rosemary leaves into the top of the dough. Sprinkle with a little additional salt across the dough.
  • Bake until the cookies are just golden brown, approximately 35-40 minutes. (An 8 inch pan may take 5-10 minutes longer as the dough is thicker).
  • Place the baking dish on a wire rack to cool. While still warm but not hot, remove the bars from the dish using the edges of the parchment paper. Cut into squares, triangles, or rectangles as desired.


To get a firmer, crisper shortbread, use granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar.
The lemon is n not obvious in this recipe. If you want to taste the lemon, increase to zest from 2 or 3 lemons.
It is important to cut while still warm to minimize breaking and crumbling as the dough is very tender.


Serving: 1cookie (1/18) | Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 130mg | Potassium: 23mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg


By on September 24th, 2020

About Kim

Kim has grown up with a passion for cooking good food! You can find her in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, making dog treats, and eating Italian food!

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7 thoughts on “Olive Oil Rosemary Shortbread”

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing shortbread recipe! Will surely have this again! It’s really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly recommended!

  2. 5 stars
    I wanted to make something savory and with good olive oil. This recipe is fantastico! Making again today for some holiday gifts. Thank you for the deliziosa recipe!

  3. 2 stars
    Can these cookies be made ahead of time and frozen? How many days ahead can I make these cookies? Looking at serving them for Christmas.

    • Hi Debbie,
      Yes, shortbread can be frozen either as dough or fully baked up to three months.
      If not freezing I would say these taste best within a week when stored in an airtight container.


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