10 Ways to Use Olives

Sure, you could just eat olives straight from the jar, or you could turn them into something truly tasty, like one of these creative recipes

So the party guests came and went and you still have half a tub of wrinkly black olives in your fridge. Sure, they make a good “single girl supper” on their own with that leftover heel of cheese and the remaining half bottle of wine, but there’s more filling options out there, like our favorites below.

And here’s a fun fact for your next cocktail party: all olives are green at the beginning of their pungent little lives. Black olives are picked when ripe, and in the canned version, they’re ripened and cooked to speed up the process. But no matter which one you prefer, they’re nutritionally identical.

Focaccia
Even if bread baking scares the heck out of you, give this truly easy olive focaccia recipe a go. It’s meant for the novice baker, with a salty olive reward in each pillowy bite.

Veggie Patties
Cooked grains like quinoa form the base of a versatile pan-fried patty that gives falafel a run for its money, like this version with olives and lemon.

Tapenade
Imagine fields of sunflowers and Provencal linens blowing in the breeze as you pile this traditional French olive, caper and anchovy spread onto a toasty slice of baguette.

Puttanesca Sauce
The classic Italian sauce, so quick and easy that even the ladies of the night had time to make it between clients, as the legend goes, gets a briny punch from chopped olives. Saucy in so many senses of the word!

Potato Salad
Soft, creamy potatoes and sharp, pungent olives team up for a one-two punch in this mayo-free potato salad that’s hearty enough to be a full lunch.

Antipasto Salad
If your leftover olives are sitting in the fridge next to the leftover salami and cheese, guess what? You’ve got an Italian antipasto salad ready to go. Just add a few handfuls of lettuce!

Gnocchi Sauce
Count this as one of the most unusual sauces out there, but also one of the most intriguing: a blended green olive sauce for gnocchi courtesy of 101 Cookbooks’ Heidi Swanson.

Bagel Schmear
Minced green olives mixed with cream cheese makes a less-traditional but no less tasty topping for toasted bagels. Add a few capers and a translucent slice of lox, and you’re in business.

Tuna Topper
With black olives, balsamic vinegar and roasted red peppers, tuna gets a sun-kissed makeover. Best of all? There’s no need to turn on the oven with this recipe.

With Chicken
Of course your basic chicken breast is going to do a happy dance when you stew it with a few olives! Their salty richness permeates any slow-cooked sauce, so feel free to add a few to your next Crock Pot meal.

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