7 Best Substitutes For Olives


Some people just downright hate olives. For some people, olives are great with a cocktail, as bar food, or a special dish. But to others, they are a total nightmare. If you’re one of those people that just can’t enjoy olives, then no worries – there’s always an alternative out there!

The best substitutes for Olives are capers, pickled peppers, mushrooms, pickled tomatoes, pickled onions, blue cheese, and pickled carrot.

Olives Substitutes

No need to stick with those olives that you hate, because you can enjoy the following substitutes instead.

1. Capers


Capers might be a game changer, both for people who love olives and people who don’t. They look remarkably like olives, with the same briny taste, which is a bit sour lemony, salty and meaty. Capers are a perfect substitute, and are very similar to olives if you don’t want to compromise on flavor.

2. Pickled Peppers

If you prefer a more spicy substitute, then pickled peppers are your best pick. They have the same salty, sour and savory taste but with a spicy kick. Enjoy them with salads, pasta, or even pizzas. They are also good as appetizers or finger foods. You can pick more mellow peppers or more spicy ones, depending on what you prefer.

3. Mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms

If you can’t stand brined vegetables, then mushrooms are a perfect option for olive-haters. Mushrooms have the same fleshy, juicy bite to them, but with a more mellow aroma and taste, meaning more people will like them. If you like a briny taste, you can always look for pickled mushrooms in the store. Perfect for pizzas, pasta, and salads.

4. Pickled Tomato


Running out of olives or having a guest that can’t handle them might be challenging, but don’t panic – you can use pickled tomatoes instead. Instead of sour, salty olives, you’ll enjoy a more umami, fleshy, sweet bite from the tomatoes.

Eating them on their own is fine – and they are especially good when added to sandwiches. Not only that, they work with your favorite pasta and pizza and can be used to make a sauce from scratch. They also work as appetizers for special parties or just as a regular snack.

5. Pickled Onion

Looking for an extra punch of heat alongside saltiness and sourness? Try pickled onions, and enjoy an unexpected result. Since they are pickled, they have a pungent, tear-jerking hit.

Eat them with crusty French bread, topped with your choice of cheese, then voila! It’s a perfect appetizer for your special party. For greater flavor, you can also use them for stir-fried dishes, too. But they are best eaten on their own, and are particularly good when added to salads and in burgers.

6. Blue Cheese

Blue Cheese

This might not be a vegetable, and it might not be pickled, but blue cheese is one of the best substitutes for olives. Just be wary though because the aging process can bring a surprising degree of pungency!

Don’t be intimidated though, because the taste will surprise you. It’s meaty, savory, salty but not sour. You can use it in sandwiches, salads, appetizers, and even for pizzas. Experiment with your dishes by trying out blue cheese in place of olives.

7. Pickled Carrot

Our last entry for pickled vegetables is pickled carrot. It may surprise you, but pickled carrots might just be a great substitute for olives. You can pick the larger or smaller variants according to your own preference.

Pickled carrots are packed with health benefits, and are perfect for healthy meals. Other than salads, I like mixing them with stir-fries and using them as a topping for soups and stews.


Is it okay to eat a lot of olives?

While olives are a vegetable, you might like to be careful with your intake, because of their high salt and fat content. They are good to have occasionally or in moderation as this avoids the risk of taking in too much fat and salt. It’s generally true that taking most things in moderation is a good idea.

Which are healthier, green, or black olives?

It doesn’t matter whether they are green or black olives. Both have the same flavor profile and healthy nutrients. You can pick either of them, color is the only difference between them.

What health benefits can you get from olives?

Although it’s not good to eat too many olives, it’s good to note that olives have some health benefits. They are high in Vitamin E and a good source of antioxidants. When taken in moderation, olives are good for the heart and can help fight cancer and osteoporosis.

Can you eat olives straight from the tree?

Yes, you can eat olives straight from the tree. But know that fresh olives can be very bitter and might surprise your taste buds. That’s why it’s better to have them brined, as this gets rid of the bitterness.

How long can you store olives in the fridge?

After opening your jarred olives, make sure to refrigerate them. They will last up to 3 weeks and can be consumed with just about everything. Discard them once the taste changes and they are spoiled.

You either love olives or hate them. But either way, give our substitutes a try, and let us know how they worked in your dishes by leaving a comment below.

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