22 Jarred Olive Brands, Ranked Worst To Best

Despite their small size, olives have a large impact on the global food scene. The briny little orbs are a snack that people seem to either love or hate, whether served in a dirty martini or charcuterie spread. But even if you're not a fan of eating olives straight from the jar, it's hard to deny their appeal in mouthwatering dishes like pizza, pasta salad, and, of course, the muffuletta sandwich. It's not unusual for olive-obsessed folks (myself included) to pop by their grocery store's olive bar for a quick and filling meal to-go. That said, finding fresh olives on-demand isn't always a simple task.

Canned olives are an easy swap, but jarred olives may be even better. With dozens of varieties lining the shelves, from buttery Italian Castelvetrano olives to tangy Kalamata, choosing a few favorites for your pantry can feel overwhelming. In an effort to unearth the best olives around, I tasted many types of jarred olives, carefully rating each contender on factors like taste, value, and more. Whether you're looking for the best budget olives or a sophisticated late-night snack, you'll find every type you can dream of in this ranking — plus, you'll learn which ones to avoid on your next grocery shopping trip. Prices may vary based on location.

Some recommendations are based on first-hand impressions of promotional materials and products provided by the manufacturer/distributor/etc.

22. Litaly Whole Black Olives

I know what you're thinking: "How could black olives possibly be in last place?" As much as I adore black olives, I was disappointed by Litaly's jarred variety. They looked promising, and I snagged them at a reasonable price ($3.49) from my local Ocean State Job Lot. However, they were nothing like the squeaky, salty black olives from cans. Nor were they similar to chewy, fancy oil-cured black olives. If anything, Litaly's black olives were a watered-down whisper of what good olives should be.

In addition to being bland, the deceptively glossy olives tasted tough and dry, with a tannic aftertaste. Considering their many faults, it's no surprise that Litaly's black olives bounced to the bottom of this ranking.

21. Della Natura Olive Medley Mediterranean Recipe

These days, it's increasingly tough to buy olives for under a buck. Though they ring in at $1.25, Della Natura's Olive Medley is one of the most affordable jars of olives you'll find on the market. I purchased them from Dollar Tree, though dollar stores can be hit or miss with food. Unfortunately, Della Natura's olives fell in the latter category.

The olives left a bad taste in my mouth. From their pale, sickly appearance to their excessively salty brine, these discount olives didn't have much going for them. Kalamata "style" is inaccurate, as the flavorless fruits barely held a candle to their namesake. Making matters worse, both olives in the medley had a strange, metallic aftertaste.

20. Pearls Specialties Pitted Medley

Pearls' Specialties line features a range of unique selections, like martini vermouth, blue cheese-stuffed, and the colorful Pitted Medley Greek Olives. Yet, despite being a long-time fan of Pearls' famous black olives, I wasn't impressed with this jarred olive variety from the brand, retailing for about $4 per jar.

Pearls Pitted Medley are easily some of the most gorgeous olives, with shimmering olives coated in herbs. While there are plenty of recipes where herbs de Provence work magic, I can't say they did the Pitted Medley any justice. Sadly, the olives' earthy, bitter flavor proved to be a huge letdown.

19. Market Pantry Manzanilla Olives

Spanish manzanilla olives are among the most popular types of olives, often stuffed with chunks of pimento pepper, a sweet complement to their salty brine. At Target, you can find manzanilla olives with pimento under the retailer's Market Pantry label for just $1.99 per 5.75-ounce jar.

These olives were more or less visually indistinguishable from other manzanilla olives on the list. There's only one attribute that sets them apart: Their shockingly high sodium content at 330 milligrams of sodium for five little orbs. With their one-note, super-salty flavor, I was left with no choice but to deem them the worst of the manzanillas.

18. DeLallo Stuffed Manzanilla Olives

The best part of being an olive fanatic is finding your favorite treat in the most unexpected places, as evidenced by the vast selection at my local Ocean State Job Lot store. Tucked there was DeLallo's Stuffed Manzanilla Olives. At $2, the pimento-studded snack was quite the steal, and I couldn't wait to try them out.

DeLallo's olives weren't quite as disappointing as Market Pantry's, but they barely outperformed them. Like Dollar Tree's Della Natura Olive Medley, the DeLallo Manzanilla Olives had an odd, coppery aftertaste that felt unusual for olives from a jar. This could be due to their use of preservatives like sodium alginate, guar gum, and calcium chloride, just to name a few.

17. Bono Spicy Italian Pitted Mix

The Bono Spicy Italian Pitted Mix was one of the more difficult jarred olives to track down in brick-and-mortar shops. Nonetheless, I found this unusual mix at a local Price Chopper store. At $5.99, Bono's olives were definitely one of the costlier options on the list — but it proved that a higher price tag doesn't always ensure a better-tasting olive.

While there's nothing jarring about these olives from a textural standpoint, their taste left something to be desired. The ingredient list sure sounded promising, with hints of fennel and garlic cloves, but the spices barely surfaced, and the olives carried little, if any, heat. Due to their all-around average attributes, Bono's passable but poorly-named Spicy Italian Pitted Mix joined the middle of the olive pack.

16. Good & Gather Greek Kalamata Pitted Olives

Over the years, Target has grown its food department with Tabitha Brown's vegan grocery line and the Market Pantry and Good & Gather labels. Upon close inspection of the Good & Gather Greek Kalamata Olives' label, I realized that four olives have 380 milligrams of sodium, making them one of the saltiest jarred olives on paper.

In spite of this, the olives didn't taste particularly salty. If anything, I felt they were a bit bland, though they did seem slightly richer-tasting than the other Kalamatas in the group. Ultimately, $3.69 feels like too much to pay for something so basic — though they're certainly passable as far as grocery store jarred olives go.

15. Mezzetta Pitted Greek Kalamata Olives

Mezzetta Pitted Greek Kalamata Olives incorporate distilled and red wine vinegars for a taste that's all their own. Retailing for roughly $5 per jar, these Kalamata olives appear much darker in color, leading me to believe that they may have had a longer curing time — or perhaps it's all that red wine vinegar.

The sharp, zingy taste isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea, but I felt the vinegar suited them well. The biggest issue was their crumbly flesh. Whether they'd been cured too long or I received an off batch is anyone's guess, but the disintegrating texture and excessive saltiness reminded me of anchovy paste. While I enjoyed them, I imagine their extreme saltiness would be difficult to incorporate in certain recipes, and could be disagreeable to some olive eaters' palates.

14. Specially Selected Kalamata Pitted Olives

Between its low prices and unique selection of foods, it's no wonder why many shoppers flock to Aldi. Case in point: Specially Selected Kalamata Pitted Olives, one of several jarred olives available from the chain, is priced at $2.49 and won't put a dent in your wallet — but how do they taste?

Kalamata's tart and tangy flavor isn't for everyone. But Aldi's Specially Selected Kalamata Olives are the perfect choice for those on the fence about the traditional Greek olive: It has all the qualities of a classic, briny Kalamata, yet they taste balanced and mild enough to be enjoyed as a snack. Considering their mellow disposition, they might not be the best option for recipes.

13. Pearls Pimiento Stuffed Manzanilla Olives

Pearls Pitted Medley scored dismal marks, but the popular olive brand wasn't going down without a fight. Amongst a sea of competitors, its pimiento-stuffed manzanilla olives stood out. From their picturesque appearance to their crisp, firm texture, the small Spanish olives earned top marks across the board. They cost slightly more than their generic counterparts at roughly $2.50 per jar, but their well-balanced flavor is a force to be reckoned with.

Some pimiento-stuffed olives have hardly any cherry pepper flavor, but not Pearls. You can truly taste the sweetness of chopped pimiento against the olive's smooth, salty flesh. Pearls' manzanillas are a reliable choice if you're looking for a classic pimiento-stuffed olive for a snack or recipe — but you can find equally delicious manzanilla olives for less.

12. Gaea Pimento Stuffed Green Olives

While perusing the shelves of Ocean State Job Lot, a lone jar of Gaea olives peeked out. Trusting that the last item on the shelf was an indication of quality, I hurriedly added them to my ever-growing pile of jarred olives. The brand's pimento stuffed green olives are unbelievably large and brightly colored, making them an obvious choice for standout charcuterie boards or martinis.

Beyond their stunning packaging and physical appearance, their ingredients are also rather impressive. Whereas other olive companies turn to citric acid or sodium benzoate, Gaea opts for real lemon juice to preserve its jarred olives. The resulting taste is far milder and smoother, but I felt that they could use a little more acidity to bring out their natural flavors.

11. Lindsay Organic Green Olives Stuffed With Garlic

If you're the type to chuck an extra clove (or six) in your signature tomato sauce recipe, chances are you'll appreciate this garlic-heavy product from Lindsay. Each gigantic green olive is filled with a chunk of pungent bulb, and the "crisp & savory" proclamation on its label is spot-on.

Although the price is slightly higher than average at $5.99 per jar, Lindsay Organic Green Olives Stuffed With Garlic are a solid purchase. The plump, snappy fruits are a fantastic snack, and real garlic provides a warm, savory boost of flavor. Their punchy taste won't offend avid garlic lovers, but it's still a good idea to pop a mint after consuming them in the company of others.

10. Barbiero Bella di Cerignola

Perhaps you haven't had a chance to sample bella di Cerignola olives, a large, oblong cultivar hailing from Puglia, Italy. The kidney-shaped snacks aren't the easiest to find at your local grocer, but I located them at Ocean State Job Lot on a whim, and they ended up being one of my favorite jarred olives.

Bella di Cerignola olives aren't quite as buttery as Castelvetrano olives, another scrumptious Italian favorite, but they bear a striking resemblance in many ways, from their rich, tender flesh to their smooth, taut skins. What's more, their elongated shape and eye-catching chartreuse color make them a must-have for entertaining. So if you're searching for a fun new olive to try, look no further than the lovely bella di Cerignola.

9. Trader Joe's Organic Conversation Olive Trio

I won't lie: I'd already polished off an entire jar of Trader Joe's Organic Conversation Olive Trio somewhat recently prior to undertaking this olive ranking. What I didn't realize the first time was just how good these olives are compared to others in their class.

Trader Joe's has a tendency to get things right; the Organic Conversation Olive Trio is yet another hit for the beloved chain, providing a taste of imported Italian olives for only $3.49 per jar. Featuring a handsome trio of nocellara, bella di Cerignola, and leccino olives, the chewy, richly-flavored olives are a must-try Trader Joe's pick.

8. Bell's Pitted Spanish Olives

Available at Dollar Tree stores, the $1.25 jar of Bell's contains some of the best Spanish olives that I tried. Considering one of the worst olives on the list came from the same Dollar Tree shelf, I was doubly impressed that Bell's fared so well.

The ingredient list is remarkably short, the flavor is perfectly balanced, and they're not bad to look at, either. Bell's glossy green olives have a pleasing, oily taste, a fair amount of brininess, and firm, chewy flesh. They aren't the fanciest olives on the block, but they're a truly exceptional value.

7. Pics Manzanilla Olives

The low price and generic label didn't give me high hopes for Pics Manzanilla Olives, but the Price Chopper house brand has surprised me in the past with high-quality products. Pics Manzanilla Olives are yet another triumph. Though I purchased them for just under $2 at Price Chopper, they outperformed more expensive manzanilla olives by a long shot.

If you enjoy the taste of pimiento, you'll surely want to try these. While several other brands failed to showcase the piquant red pepper, Price Chopper made the ingredient sing. Its manzanilla olives have a smoky, sweet flavor that works especially well against their saltiness. Their firm texture is yet another selling point, with both the pimiento pepper and olives holding their shape while competitors turned to mush.

6. Great Value Stuffed Jalapeño Green Olives

A food-obsessed friend led me in the direction of Great Value Stuffed Jalapeño Green Olives. Since his snack recommendations have always knocked it out of the park, I skimmed over other olive options at Walmart in favor of something much hotter.

After sampling the toothsome flavor duo together, I realized my foodie friend was onto something with this pick. Not only are these flashy green olives spectacular to look at, but they're incredibly tasty to boot. Though the slow burn of diced jalapeño peppers may be too hot for some to handle, these are a fun change of pace if you don't mind a little spice in your snack.

5. Nature's Promise Organic Kalamata Olives

Only at Hannaford, the Maine-based supermarket chain, will you find its house brand, Nature's Promise, known for its natural and organic products. And yes, that includes olives. For around $3, I picked up a jar of Nature's Promise Organic Kalamata Olives.

It was love at first bite with these gorgeous, ruddy olives. Though I typically only enjoy Kalamata olives in recipes, like watermelon and feta salad, Nature's Promise made me realize their snacking appeal. Their snappy skins and chewy flesh make them a joy to eat, similar to popping boba or caviar. On top of that, they even have a subtle, sweet fruitiness that wasn't detectable in other Kalamata varieties that I tried.

4. Trader Joe's Grilled Pitted Chalkidiki Green Olives

If you haven't tried grilled olives yet, what are you waiting for? The smoky, savory taste associated with grilling is a match made in heaven for olives, and Trader Joe's Grilled Pitted Chalkidiki Variety Green Olives in Oil goes at $3.99 per jar. Just beware of the oil getting everywhere once you twist off the cap.

Trader Joe's claims that grilling olives enhances their meatier attributes. Greek Chalkidiki olives are a dense, chewy olive cultivar that can definitely benefit from this cooking hack. I've had grilled olives in the past, but none tasted quite as memorable as Trader Joe's. They have just the right amount of fresh-off-the-grill flavor paired with fresh, juicy green olive brininess.

3. Mezzetta Pitted Italian Castelvetrano Olives

Bright green Italian Castelvetrano olives are one of my favorite types of olives, though they aren't always available at mainstream grocery stores. But whether you're upgrading your next charcuterie board or crafting a dirty martini pasta, Castelvetranos will do the job with their brilliant chartreuse green skins and sumptuous, buttery flesh.

These oversized olives are so delectable, you can easily justify the price of about $6.50 — after all, their meaty, juicy flesh is almost as good as tucking into a nice steak. Their only flaw is the lack of some light, citrusy notes found in their competitor, Partanna.

2. Partanna Pitted Castelvetrano Green Olives

Though I love the distinctively briny, umami flavor of olives, there's just something so charming about Castelvetranos. Their bright, nutty green flavor and creamy flesh are virtually unmatched, and Partanna's Pitted Castelvetrano Green Olives are a stunning example of how well they stand up to preservation methods. Ringing up at just under $6 at Walmart, Partanna's enormous 9-ounce jar is practically a steal.

Partanna's Castelvetrano Green Olives don't just look incredible, either. They're also one of the most palatable jarred olives I tried — a grand feat considering there were over 20 different types in the running. They have a juicy exterior bursting with hints of lemony brightness, and their rich, velvety flesh is downright delicious.

1. Kosterina Coriander & Pink Pepper Green Olives

Coming in first place is Kosterina Coriander & Pink Pepper Green Olives, an alluring jar of perfectly preserved green olives. Kosterina puts a unique spin on the traditional Greek olive, combining flavors of ground coriander — that's the seeds of the cilantro plant — and bright pink pepper. As the only raw and unpasteurized olives in the ranking, they have a noticeably lighter and fresher taste. Their tangy flavor is irresistible, and they even tricked a lifelong cilantro-hater into enjoying the fragrant herb. They're also easy on the eyes, with a sprinkling of crushed herbs accenting their shiny green skins.

The only downside is they're not as widely available, though you can find them at Whole Foods Market, Crate & Barrel, and the online Kosterina storefront, where a three-pack is available for $25 at the time of writing.


Determining the best and worst olives required extensive research, shopping, and taste testing. Olives showcased in this ranking were selected based on previous experiences as a lifelong olive enthusiast, as well as online reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations. The olives chosen were then scored on factors like affordability, appearance, flavor, and texture.

Only the most exceptional olives were awarded top-tier positions, for everything from their impeccable taste to their overall value. While there's nothing quite like the taste of fresh olives, you can rest assured that the best jarred olives in this roundup are terrific for snacking, serving, and recipe purposes.