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18 Best Olives Substitutes To Get Your Hands On

Olives have a strong flavor in food, which makes them suitable for mixing into salads or pasta dishes. But if you want to avoid the strong taste and still enjoy the benefits of olives, there are plenty of alternatives.

Some substitutes might even be better because they have certain nutrients you might not get from olives and are easier to find.

There are people out there who love olives. And then some understandably don’t. Regardless of your olive stance, you can still enjoy a delicious dish without them by using one of the eleven substitutes we’ve listed below!

Whether you’re an olive lover or not, these substitutes will come in handy for various dishes. The next time you need an ingredient and all that’s in your fridge is celery – try one of these substitutes instead!

Quick Table: Olives Substitutes

Dried Cranberries123
Parmesan Cheese111
Sunflower Seeds207
Sesame Seeds206
Sun-Dried Tomatoes258
Pine Nuts191
Sesame Paste110
Artichoke Hearts64
Pickled Carrot 30
Green Peppercorns15
Blue Cheese353
Lemon Juice22

1. Capers


Capers are small, tangy pickled flower buds from the Mediterranean. If you want a less pungent taste, capers make a good substitute for black olives in your food. You can flavor your food with them and still enjoy the benefits of olives.

One benefit is that capers have more Vitamin C than black olives do. They can even make you feel fuller if you use them as a substitute in dishes that need moisture, such as pasta sauce.

How To Substitute

You can substitute capers for black olives as much as you want. For example, you can put them in pasta sauce and salad dressings, just like you would your black olives.

2. Dried Cranberries

Dried Cranberries

Cranberries are tart and tangy fruit that has plenty of antioxidants. Dried cranberries will give your food a lot more taste than dried cherries or raisins, making them a great substitute for black olives.

They taste sweet and tangy, which makes them perfect for recipes such as salads or pasta dishes where you need some moisture but not a strong flavor. The best thing is that they taste great and have plenty of health benefits.

How To Substitute

Cranberries can be substituted with black olives throughout your food. They are great in pasta sauce or even on burgers if you want to make them healthier.

You can also put them in salads, dressings, and other recipes that need moisture but not flavor, just like you would with olives. You can even use them by themselves as a snack, especially if you want a fast pick-me-up.

3. Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan cheese is easy to find and tastes great on almost anything. It has a stronger taste than some of the other cheeses you can use as an olive substitute, but it has all of the good benefits of olives.

If you want to make your food taste better without using olives, consider using this cheese instead.

How To Substitute

Parmesan cheese is a great way to create a dish with olives if you don’t want them in your dish. You can use it in pasta dishes, salad dressings, or even sandwiches or pizzas. You can also buy it by itself and add it to different recipes like pizza or pasta sauce, just like you would do with black olives.

4. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are tiny, flavorful, and filled with linoleic acid. They are a great source of this acid, which is healthy and easy to find.

They also have plenty of healthy nutrients you can’t get from olives, such as vitamin E. If you need something to add flavor to your food without the strong taste of olives, consider using sunflower seeds instead.

The best thing about sunflowers is that they aren’t high in calories or fat at all. You can use them on any diet and lose weight easily. They are also full of omega-6, which is a very healthy fat that your body needs.

In any recipe, these nutrients make sunflower seeds a great substitute for black olives.

How To Substitute

You can substitute sunflower seeds for olives as much as you want in any recipe. For example, you can use them in pasta sauce or salads instead of black olives. You can even eat them alone if you want an excellent healthy snack between meals.

5. Walnuts


If you need something to add flavor to your food that isn’t strong, like olives, consider using walnuts. They are very flavorful with plenty of health benefits.

They are also full of omega-3, which is a nutrient that helps you lose weight or maintain weight. You can use walnuts in almost any dish without adding extra flavor.

How To Substitute

Walnuts can be substituted for olives in any dish as much as you want. They are great on salads and practically anything that calls for olives. You can also use them by themselves to snack on and add some extra flavor to your food.

6. Sesame Seeds

Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds are great for adding some extra flavor and nutrients to your food, even if you aren’t adding strong tastes like olives to it.

If you aren’t a fan of olives’ strong flavor and want something to give your food extra flavor, try using sesame seeds instead.

How To Substitute

You can use sesame seeds in any dish just as much as you would use black olives. They are also very cheap, making them a great alternative to black olives. You can use them on salads and pasta dishes or even add them to regular foods such as burgers and sandwiches.

7. Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-Dried Tomatoes

If you like black olives but you don’t want to taste the strong flavor of capers, sun-dried tomatoes make a good substitute.

These tomatoes are made by soaking them in olive oil and have a slightly milder flavor than capers. They can be added to any dish that calls for olives and gives it depth without overpowering other flavors.

You can also use them in place of capers as a garnish on your dishes.

How To Substitute

Sun-dried tomatoes are milder than capers, but they still give your food a ton of flavor. They can be used in any recipe that calls for black olives, or you can also cook with them if you’re not worried about the taste.

If you want to add some extra color to your dish, try adding them to pasta sauce or salad dressings instead of black olives.

8. Pine Nuts

Pine Nuts

Pine nuts are tiny seeds from pine trees and have a very strong flavor. They have a significant number of healthy fats and nutrients that make them perfect for use as an olive substitute in many recipes.

How To Substitute

Pine nuts can be used as an alternative to black olives in many recipes. They have a very strong and nutty flavor, so you don’t need many of them to give your food that taste.

You can use them on a salad or by adding them to any pasta dish, or even on pizza. They are very cheap, which makes them an excellent substitute for black olives if you want something easy and affordable to find.

9. Sesame Paste

Sesame Paste

Sesame paste or tahini is a great way to add extra flavor to most dishes. It’s a mix of sesame seeds, salt, and water that gives your food that rich, nutty taste.

It’s perfect for making hummus, which can be used as an alternative to black olives in any recipe.

It can be made at home by combining 1 cup of sesame seeds with 1 cup of water with 1 tbsp. of salt and bringing it to a boil before cooling it down.

How To Substitute

You can use sesame paste in most recipes that call for black olives because they have the same taste as olives. They are also very cheap, making them an excellent substitute if you prefer homemade food.

You can use them on salads, sandwiches, or pasta sauce. People often eat sesame paste straight from the bottle, although this is not recommended.

10. Sriracha


Sriracha is a sauce made of chili peppers and garlic that gives your dish some heat but contains no calories.

It makes a great alternative to black olives in any recipe since it can be used for a lot of different dishes. You can use sriracha on pizzas, burgers, or even pasta sauces.

How To Substitute

You can substitute sriracha for any kind of olive as much as you want, using it as an alternative to black olives. It’s perfect for pasta dishes or even as a dip for breadsticks.

If you want to give your food a nice little kick, try using sriracha instead of black olives the next time you cook something.

11. Artichoke Hearts

Artichoke Hearts

Artichoke hearts replace green olives in the same way that they do when it comes to taste and flavor. Artichoke hearts are very tasty, not only because of their texture and taste but also because they have many health benefits.

Artichokes have a very refreshing sizzle that keeps the taste fresh. Furthermore, they contain no cholesterol or fat making them suitable for people who are watching their fat intake as well as those who are diabetic.

Artichoke hearts are high in fiber and vitamin C making them highly recommended for anyone who is looking for a snack filled with vitamins and nutrients.

How To Substitute

Use the same amount of artichoke hearts for a recipe that calls for green olives.

12. Pickled Carrot 

Pickled Carrots

Pickled carrots can be used as a substitute for green olives. They have a tangy taste and are considered to be healthier than most other types of pickles. They are a very popular food that is often used in Asian cuisines.

Pickled carrots have the same texture and consistency as green olives and can be used in many different ways such as: added to sandwiches or seafood dishes or eaten on their own. 

How To Substitute

Use the same amount of pickled carrots for a recipe that calls for olives.

13. Green Peppercorns

Green Peppercorns

Green peppercorns are often used as a substitute for olives in certain recipes. Green peppercorns have a very unique taste and can be used just like green olives.

A good example of when to use green peppercorn is when making a salad dressing.

Peppercorns can take the place of both olives and capers. It is mostly used in different types of food such as soups, sandwiches, and sauces. 

How To Substitute

Use the same amount of green peppercorn for a recipe that calls for olives.

14. Gherkins

Gherkins are pickles made with cucumbers and vinegar-based brine. They are often eaten as a side dish, often with a meal of meat or cheese.

People enjoy gherkins for their taste and for their tangy, sweet, and crunchy flavor. 

These are round pickled cucumbers and are also sometimes called cornichons. 

It is used as a condiment or side dish in many different cuisines worldwide.

These tasty treats are filled with a spicy, tangy flavor that is perfect for snacking or adding to a meal.

How To Substitute

Gherkins are an excellent substitute for olives in a recipe that calls for olives. When preparing a recipe for olives, use two or three tablespoons of gherkins instead of one cup of olives.

15. Blue Cheese

Blue cheese is a complex, crumbly cheese made from cow’s milk-covered with a mold coating. 

The cheese is generally made from curdled milk left to mature for a week or two and then coated with a thin layer of white mold.

Blue cheese is a type of cheese made from cow’s milk. The most famous blue cheese is called Roquefort, but there are wide other varieties of blue cheese. 

Blue cheese is typically aged in caves or a cheese press. This aging process gives blue cheese its distinctive flavor.

This type of cheese is often found on a cheeseboard or in a sandwich.

How To Substitute

In a pinch, olives can be substituted with a chunk of blue cheese. For example, if you need a recipe for 2 cups of olives, use 1 cup of blue cheese instead.

16. Lemon Juice 

Lemon Juice is a bright yellow, fresh citrus juice made from the juice of lemon peels. It is the most common citrus juice and is available in different flavors.

It is a key ingredient in many dishes, but it’s most popularly used as a salad dressing.

Also, it is a refreshing drink used for many different purposes. For example, it is often mixed with iced tea to make lemonade and is often combined with water to make lemon water. 

Lemon juice is a popular citrus fruit with a sour taste. In addition, it has a tart, acidic flavor often used in recipes to complement sweet foods. 

Lemon juice is also used in cooking, often as a marinade or in sauces.

How To Substitute

Lemon juice can be substituted for olives in a recipe, but it will change the dish’s taste. It’s best to use the juice of two lemons, but it can also be made with one lemon. The juice should be mixed with olive oil, salt, and pepper to make a dressing.

17. Caperberry

Caperberries are tart berries that are common in many Mediterranean dishes. They are also used to flavor sauces and drinks. 

The berries have thin skin and a slightly juicy interior. It is bright red with a sour taste and a hint of sweetness and is a hybrid between a berry and a cherry.

The fruit can be found growing on the edges of forests. It has a tart, slightly sweet flavor and is often used in jams and pies. They are traditionally eaten as a snack, either raw or cooked.

How To Substitute

Using 1/2 cup of caper berries instead of the two tablespoons of olives in a recipe is recommended.

18. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are edible and widely consumed worldwide. They are the perfect food source for those looking to get their recommended daily allowance of vegetables.

There are many ways to prepare mushrooms, which can be used in various dishes.

Mushrooms are a fun and tasty food that humans usually enjoy in a variety of ways. 

Whether in a bowl of soup, on a pizza, or in a salad, mushrooms are a great addition to any meal. 

They also have many health benefits that make them ideal food.

How To Substitute

Mushrooms are the perfect substitution for olives in various recipes. With the ability to easily substitute in various dishes, mushrooms are an excellent option for people looking to make their recipes healthier.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use Dried Apricots As An Olive Substitute?

Yes, you could try using dried apricots as an olive substitute. Remember to reduce the quantity by half and rinse off most of the moisture before use.

This is a good substitute for extra-large olives, but get it just right, or your recipe may turn out to be too sweet!

I Need A Substitute For Pitted Black Olives. Can I Use Fresh Green Ones Instead?

Fresh Green Olives are utterly different from Black ones. The taste of Green Olives is much stronger, and the texture is firmer and mushier.

This makes them unsuitable for many recipes, but you could use them in cooking if you’re making a stew or casserole, which will cook (or re-cook) the olives enough to remove their strong flavor.

Can You Use Pickled Pepperoncini Peppers As An Olive Substitute?

Pickled pepperoncini peppers are perfect when looking for a substitute for olives to top pizzas or garnish sandwiches or salads. They taste great on pizzas and with Italian foods, but not so much with Greek food.

They have the same salty tang as black olives but without the bitter aftertaste. Thanks to the brine in which they’re pickled, pepperoncini are usually not pitted, and you don’t have to remove any flesh before using them in recipes.

Is Cilantro An Acceptable Replacement For Olives?

Yes, it is. Cilantro is a great way to make a dish taste similar to an olive dish without actually using any olives. It has a similar texture and can also be used in other dishes, such as salsas.

Many people use cilantro in place of olives because it has a great taste and the same number of calories. Cucumber is another popular replacement for olives.

People enjoy cucumber salads and antipasto dishes because they have a similar flavor to olives.

18 Olives Substitutes To Get Your Hands On

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Cooking time


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Olives Substitute is a ready-to-use product that allows you to create your own delicious and healthy olives.


  • Capers

  • Dried Cranberries

  • Parmesan Cheese

  • Sunflower Seeds

  • Walnuts

  • Sesame Seeds

  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes

  • Pine Nuts

  •  Sesame Paste

  • Sriracha

  • Artichoke Hearts

  • Pickled Carrot

  • Green Peppercorns

  • Gherkins

  • Blue Cheese

  • Lemon Juice

  • Caperberry

  • Mushrooms


  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio

Recipe Video

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Tuesday 27th of February 2024

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