Are Olives Healthy? The Answer Plus 10 Olive Recipes!

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Mother Project

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Mother Project

are olives healthy

Are olives healthy? How healthy are they? Are some better than others? Should you add olives to a heart-healthy meal plan?

First things first, are olives healthy? Yes, they are!

While olives differ slightly in fat grams, calories, and sodium content (as well as the way they taste), all olives are similar nutritionally.

The choice of which olives to eat (black, green, Greek, etc.) depends on your taste preferences.

However, if you must reduce sodium based on a doctor's recommendations for your health, choose olives with lower amounts of sodium (look for “reduced-sodium” on nutrition labels).

Here's how to add olives to a variety of main courses, soups, salads, and dips to increase your heart-healthy fat intake!

Find out what the 10 BEST sources of healthy fats are and add them to your diet today!


Nutrition Facts for Olives

The nutrition facts breakdown for different types of olives are as follows:

Black Olives (1 ounce)

  • Calories: 30
  • Protein: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 2 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Fat: 3 grams

Green Olives (1 ounce)

  • Calories: 41 calories
  • Protein: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 1 gram
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Fat: 4 grams

Greek Olives (1 ounce)

  • Calories: 30 calories
  • Protein: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 2 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Fat: 3 grams

Olives are an excellent source of heart-healthy fats, which when eaten in place of animal fats, can reduce your risk of high cholesterol and heart disease.

Olives are rich in vitamin E and antioxidants and contain some calcium, iron, and vitamin A.

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Are Olives Healthy?

As with many foods and drinks, possible benefits and drawbacks may exist when choosing olives.


The main benefits of adding olives to healthy meal plans include:


Olives are loaded with flavor and can enhance the taste of just about any entrée or side dish.

You can add olives to chili, soups, salads, omelets, hummus, wraps, casseroles, and more!

Heart-Healthy Fats

Olives are loaded with nutritious, monounsaturated fats that are beneficial for a healthy heart – especially when eaten in place of saturated fat from animal sources.

Heart-healthy plant fats in olives can help reduce the risk of high cholesterol and heart disease.


Olives can help fill you up without extra calories, due to the fiber and fat content of olives.

A 1-ounce serving of olives often contains just 30-40 calories but is satiating nonetheless.


The fiber content of olives is beneficial for several reasons.

Fiber helps fill you up without extra calories, which aids in healthy weight management.

Fiber is known to help reduce high cholesterol and heart disease risks.


Are olives healthy? Yes, they are! But there a possible drawbacks to consider, including:

Higher Sodium

Olives are a source of sodium, which when eaten in excess can increase your risk of high blood pressure or heart problems.

A 1-ounce serving of green olives contains about 440 milligrams of sodium, while the same portion of black or Greek olives provides about 250 milligrams of sodium.

The American Heart Association recommends most adults limit their daily sodium intake to 1,500-2,300 milligrams per day to maintain exceptional heart health.

Choose reduced-sodium olives if you're concerned about your sodium intake.

Lower Protein Content

While olives are packed with heart-healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, they are lower in protein.

If you're looking for a food that's packed with good fats AND protein to maximize satiety, you might choose nuts, seeds, or nut butter. You can also check out certain protein bars and shakes.

You could also pair olives with cheese, meat, fish, poultry, or eggs!


While olives are a source of fiber, they aren't as high in fiber as many other whole foods.

A 1-ounce serving of olives contains just 1 gram of fiber.

General fiber recommendations for women are 21-25 grams daily, while men should aim for 30-38 grams of fiber each day to maximize health and wellness.

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Ways to Add Olives to Meal Plans

There are many ways to add olives to healthy meal plans for you and your family.

You can eat olives on their own as a snack between meals, or add them to:

  • Soups
  • Salads
  • Chili
  • Rice dishes
  • Pasta dishes
  • Hummus
  • Tacos
  • Burritos
  • Wraps
  • Omelets

You can add olives to just about any main meal or side dish, as they blend in perfectly with a variety of recipes!

Recipes Containing Olives

Some of the following nutritious recipes contain olives as ingredients!

Marinated Green Beans, Olives, Feta, and Tomatoes

This flavorful recipe is simple to make, tastes delicious, and is loaded with nutrients!


  • 2 pounds of trimmed green beans
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup of kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 8 ounces of crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 bunch of fresh oregano sprigs


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium heat. Place green beans in the water and cook them until slightly tender (about 8-10 minutes).
  • Drain the beans and place them in ice water. Drain the beans again and place them in a shallow serving dish.
  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the garlic in oil for about 30 seconds. Remove the skillet from heat.
  • Stir in the olives, tomatoes, vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  • Pour the mixture over the green beans and toss together until the beans get evenly coated.
  • Sprinkle feta cheese over the top of the bean mixture and garnish it with oregano sprigs.
  • Chill the mixture for at least 3 hours.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Servings: 10

Olive Salsa

Replace traditional salsa with this satiating, nutrient-dense olive salsa recipe instead!


  • 1 1/2 (5-ounce) jars of green olives
  • 1 (6-ounce) can of pitted black olives
  • 1 (4-ounce) can of chopped green chiles
  • 1 large white onion, cut into chunks
  • 2 tomatoes, cored
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • Hot pepper sauce to taste


  • Drain the green olives, black olives, and green chiles in a colander.
  • Chop the onion in a food processor, pulsing several times.
  • Add the olives, chiles, tomatoes, olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, and hot sauce to the food processor.
  • Pulse several more times to mix and process until chunky (about 20-30 seconds).
  • Serve the olive salsa with grilled meats, veggie or turkey burgers, whole-grain crackers, or sliced veggies, and enjoy!

Servings: 25

Skillet Chicken with Olives

Add olives to this delicious chicken entrée recipe to enhance its nutrition and flavor!


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 pound)
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of pimiento-stuffed olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon of drained capers (optional)


  • Sprinkle the chicken with rosemary, pepper, and salt.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  • Brown the chicken on both sides.
  • Add olives, wine, and capers.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 2-3 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the chicken reads 170° Fahrenheit.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Servings: 4

Feta Olive Spread

Dip whole-grain crackers or fresh vegetables in this savory, nutrient-dense, feta olive spread recipe!


  • 6-ounce package of crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 2 ounces of softened sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped black olives, drained


  • Place feta cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and oregano in a food processor.
  • Using the “pulse” setting, blend the mixture until smooth.
  • Transfer it to a medium bowl and mix in the olives using a spoon.
  • Refrigerate the mixture until you're ready to serve it. Enjoy!

Servings: 12

Turkey Mushroom Feta Olive Burgers

Consider a healthy, mouth-watering turkey burger and olive recipe for friends and family the next time you grill out!


  • 1 pound of lean ground turkey
  • 2 cups of ground mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons of sliced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons of crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 tablespoons of chopped black olives
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 toasted whole-grain rolls or lettuce wraps
  • Lettuce
  • Sliced green onions


  • Sauté the mushrooms in olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Combine sautéed mushrooms with turkey, tomatoes, cheese, and olives. Form the mixture into 4 patties.
  • Spray a skillet with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Cook the patties over medium heat until they're golden brown and reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also grill the patties.
  • Serve the olive burgers on toasted buns with lettuce and onion, or on lettuce wraps for a lower-carb option.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Servings: 4

Greek Omelets with Olives

Try this satiating Greek omelet recipe for breakfast or any time of the day! Your entire family will love it.


  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup of diced cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup of diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons of sliced sundried tomatoes
  • 4-5 kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste


  • Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat.
  • Add eggs and cook for one minute or until the edges are set.
  • Lift the edges carefully so the liquid flows underneath.
  • When the eggs are cooked, add the remaining ingredients and fold the omelet in half.
  • Heat it through, serve, and enjoy!

Servings: 1

Salmon with Green Olives and Capers

You can't go wrong when choosing a flavorful salmon recipe with green olives and capers as a heart-healthy main dish for your family!


  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat your oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
  • On a baking sheet lined with foil, arrange fish with the skin-side down.
  • Season the salmon with salt and pepper and drizzle it with olive oil.
  • Roast the fish in the oven until just opaque (about 15 minutes).
  • Mix together 1/3 cup of oil, parsley, olives, shallots, capers and brine, lemon zest, lemon juice, and garlic in a bowl and season with pepper if you'd like.
  • Serve the olive mixture with cooked salmon and enjoy!

Servings: 4

Italian Olive Salad

Consider a delicious Italian olive salad recipe as a favorite side dish for any occasion!


  • 1 (10-ounce) jar of olives
  • 1 (16-ounce) can of pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 (8 1/2-ounce) jar of marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 (3-ounce) bottle of capers
  • 1/2 bunch of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil


  • Drain the olives, capers, and artichokes and coarsely chop them.
  • Place them in a bowl and add parsley, celery, garlic, oregano, and olive oil.
  • Stir the olive mixture and place it in the refrigerator for 2 days.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Servings: 8-10

Hearty Chili with Olives

When the weather gets chilly, warm up with this toasty chili recipe containing olives and grass-fed beef!


  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 pound of organic, grass-fed, lean ground beef (or very lean ground turkey)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans of diced tomatoes
  • 8-ounce can of tomato sauce or tomato soup
  • 1 cup of sliced black olives
  • 15-ounce can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • Cheddar cheese (optional for a garnish)
  • Sliced green onions (optional for a garnish)
  • Full-fat Greek yogurt (optional for a garnish)


  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • When the oil gets hot, add the onion and cook until tender.
  • Add ground beef and cook until browned.
  • Add bell peppers, garlic, and spices. Stir well.
  • Cook the mixture for about 10 minutes or until the bell peppers are tender.
  • Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce or tomato soup, olives, and pinto beans. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Simmer it over medium heat, cover, and cook for an additional 10 minutes (stirring occasionally).
  • Serve the chili with garnishes of your choice and enjoy!

Servings: 6

Olive and Artichoke Hummus

This satiating olive artichoke hummus recipe works well with sliced veggies, whole-grain crackers, whole-grain pita bread, wraps, and sandwiches!


  • 1 1/2 cups of canned chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon of liquid from the chickpeas
  • 3 artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/2 cup of pitted kalamata olives, drained
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of tahini
  • Pinch of salt
  • Drizzle of olive oil (optional)
  • A handful of freshly chopped chives (optional)
  • A sprinkle of feta cheese (optional)


  • In a food processor or blender, blend the chickpeas, chickpea liquid, artichoke hearts, olives, garlic, lemon juice, and tahini until smooth. Add salt if needed.
  • Place the hummus in a serving dish.
  • Drizzle it with olive oil, chopped chives, and feta cheese if you'd like.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Servings: 8

Erin Coleman
B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Mother Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on are olives healthy.

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