Crispy Fried Capers (You NEED These in Your Life!)

Delightfully crunchy Fried Capers add a pop of briny, crispy goodness when sprinkled over salads, pasta, fish, chicken, and more! It’s a 2-ingredient garnish you’ll want in your kitchen at all times.

Capers are an integral part of many Italian recipes, like chicken piccata and spaghetti alla puttanesca, although their briny and salty flavors can jazz up all kinds of meals. Frying capers in oil, however, takes this to an entirely different level!

In this Fried Capers recipe, the salty, olive-like flower buds are drained, then quickly deep fried in vegetable oil until they’re light, crispy, and golden. Their strong pungent flavor quickly disappears, leaving you with a nutty and briny garnish that’s perfect for all kinds of meals! 

Crispy fried capers are a must-have topping on lamb lettuce wraps and Greek nachos, as well as a long list of other Mediterranean-style meals. They can also enhance the simplest of dishes, like lox and bagels for breakfast. You’ll discover endless uses for them, as well as how easy they are to fry and store. 

Jarred capers in small bowl.

What are capers?

Capers (capparis spinosaare) are the edible flower buds of the caper bush. This bush thrives in hot, dry climates, often along rocky coastlines in countries like Italy, Spain, France, and Greece. 

The flower buds are harvested and cured in vinegar, brine, or salt. From there, these tiny flavor bombs are commonly used as a zesty, lemony seasoning or garnish on a wide range of Mediterranean and Italian recipes. 

What do fried capers taste like?

Fried capers offer a punch of elevated flavor compared to their raw, cured counterparts. The frying process tones down their natural pungency while maintaining the briny, tangy dimension. Frying also adds a subtle nuttiness and nice crunch to add more texture and dimension to all kinds of dishes!


  • Small capers – Jarred capers are readily available in the condiment or pickle aisle at most grocery stores and specialty food stores. 
  • Oil – You need to use oil with a high smoke point, such as canola, vegetable, sunflower, and avocado oil. 

How to fry capers

First, drain and pat the capers completely dry with paper towels. 

Pour the fryer oil into a small saucepan and heat it over high heat until it shimmers.

Once the oil is hot enough, add half of the capers to the saucepan and fry until they’re golden and crispy. 

Transfer the first batch of fried capers to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining capers, and you’re done!

Capers draining on paper towels.

Tips and tricks

  • Always pat the capers dry before frying. If you skip this part, the excess moisture can cause the capers to pop and splatter when they make contact with the hot oil. 
  • To test if the oil is hot enough, drop one caper into the saucepan. If it sizzles right away, the oil is ready.
  • Frying the capers in small batches will help them fry evenly and crisp up.
  • The capers will infuse the fryer oil with a bold, briny flavor, so don’t toss it! Instead, you can use it in salad dressings, as a finishing oil for pasta and seafood, or as a dipping sauce for crusty bread. 

How to use crispy capers

Deep fried capers come with plenty of uses and will always kick your meals up a notch! These are just a few ways to use them:

Close up of crispy Fried capers draining on paper towels.


Allow the fried capers to cool to room temperature, then transfer them to an airtight container or ziplock bag. Store the crispy capers at room temperature in a cool, dry place for up to 3 days.

Frequently asked questions

Can you fry capers in an air fryer?

Yes! To air fry the capers, pat them dry and toss them in 1 to 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil until they’re coated. Cook them in a 400°F air fryer for 5 to 7 minutes or until they’re crispy and golden, shaking the basket halfway through.

What is the liquid in a jar of capers?

The liquid is typically brine or a mixture of vinegar and brine. It’s used to preserve the capers and retain their unique tanginess and salty flavor profile. 

Are you supposed to rinse capers before frying them?

It’s up to you. Rinsing the capers can help control their saltiness and acidity. However, rinsing isn’t always necessary because the frying process helps remove the excess brine and offsets the intense flavor. 

Capers on plate with paper towels.

More must-try condiments and garnishes

​​​​Did you make fried capers?

If you used this recipe to fry a batch of capers, I would appreciate it if you gave it a starred review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

For more great Platings and Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on  Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and Facebook.

Close up of crispy Fried capers draining on paper towels.

Easy Fried Capers Recipe

Delightfully crunchy Fried Capers add a pop of briny, crispy goodness when sprinkled over salads, pasta, fish, chicken, and more! It’s a 2-ingredient garnish you’ll want in your kitchen at all times.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6 people


  • cup small capers (drained and patted dry)
  • Vegetable (canola or avocado oil, to fill a small saucepan ¼ inch deep)


  • Be sure to pat the capers dry well with paper towels, otherwise they will pop and explode when added to the hot oil.
  • Add the oil to a small saucepan until it is ¼ inch deep.
  • Heat the oil over high heat, until shimmering. To test if the oil is ready, add a caper. It should sizzle immediately. If it doesn’t, the oil isn’t hot enough.
  • Add half the capers to the pan and fry until golden and crispy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove the capers with a slotted spoon and spread on a paper towel lined plate.
  • Repeat with the remaining capers.
  • Capers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


Frying Pan


Calories: 2kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.5g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 269mg | Potassium: 4mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.04g | Vitamin A: 13IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.2mg

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.