5-minute green olive pasta sauce recipe! Amazing herby, briny, green olive sauce for pasta or as a spread. Easy and delicious!
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Hi, Rhubarbarians! We are making green olive pasta sauce together today!
It's briny, it's herby, it's garlicky, it's green, it's absolutely perfect on pasta. As a green olive lover, this is one of my all-time favorite pasta sauces to make. I know you'll love it as much as I do!
Why you'll love this
If you're an olive lover looking for a new vegetarian (vegan) way to make pasta sauce, this is for you! It's perfect for a delicious, vegetarian pasta recipe.
This sauce combines the briny and buttery flavor of castelvetrano olives with fragrant fresh herbs to make a really yummy and flavorful pesto. Switch out that tomato sauce and give this one a try!
Thanks to your handy dandy food processor, it all comes together in just 5 minutes. Like a green olive pesto. Huzzah!
Have you tried this asparagus pasta with caramelized onion sauce yet?
Ingredients and equipment
Here's everything you need to make perfect olive pasta sauce at home! Full ingredients and instructions are listed in the recipe card at the bottom of this article
- Green olives. I recommend castelvetrano olives, as they have amazing flavor and a buttery texture.
- Herbs. Fresh parsley, dill, and basil.
- Garlic. I like 2-3 cloves, but feel free to add as much garlic as you'd like.
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Food processor. If you don't have one you can use a high speed blender. I have the Ninja blender with food processor attachment and love it!
- Cutting board. For chopping herbs.
- Sharp chef's knife. For chopping herbs.
- Spoon or spatula. For removing the sauce from the food processor. I use my spoonula for everything!
More sauces you'll love:
Castelvetrano olives are medium sized, bright green olives from Sicily. They are known for their buttery flavor and meaty texture.
I recommend buttery castelvetrano olives for this green olive pasta sauce because they have a rich, yet mild green olive flavor that isn't overpowering with the herbs and garlic.
You can find castelvetrano olives with the rest of the canned or jarred olives at your local grocery store. Be sure to buy pitted and unstuffed!
Can't find castelvetrano olives? That's okay! Go ahead and swap for your favorite pitted, unstuffed green olive.
Step by step instructions
Here's a brief, visual guide to making green olive sauce at home! Full instructions are listed in the recipe card at the bottom of this article
- Place the olives with brine, parsley, dill, basil, and garlic in a food processor.
- Add a pinch of salt and black pepper. Each.
- Blend until smooth like a pesto.
- Add to pasta along with a cup of the pasta water to use as a pasta sauce like green olive pesto. This is also great as a dip or spread!
Although this green olive sauce is intended to be tossed with pasta, it's great as a spread or a dip as well!
To use as a pasta sauce: Toss with cooked noodles along with reserved pasta water until you reach your desired sauce to noodle ratio. It is wonderful in this green olive pasta recipe!
To use as a spread: Try it on avocado or tomato toast, or as a spread on a veggie sandwich!
To use as a dip: Serve alongside baguette slices or vegetables.
Recipes to serve with green olive sauce pasta:
- Use it as the sauce for this caprese pasta salad
- Add it to your avocado toast
- Use it as the sauce on this pesto pizza
Recipe tips and substitutions
- I recommend castelvetrano olives, but any pitted and unstuffed green olive will work. Kalamata olives would be great too!
- If you're not a fan of dill, try swapping for tarragon.
- For a cheesy flavor, add some parmesan cheese (vegan if desired).
- If you don't have a food processor, go ahead and use a high speed blender.
- If the sauce is too thick, thin it out with some extra olive oil or water. Add just a little bit at a time and pulse until you reach your desired consistency. (I also like to combine the sauce with starchy pasta water when using for pasta, so remember to reserve some before you drain pasta)
- If the sauce is too thin, add more green olives and/or herbs until you reach your desired consistency.
Storing and freezing
Storing: store any leftover sauce in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It will thicken as it chills, but will thin out a bit when heated. If it looks dry, stir in a bit of olive oil to moisten it.
Freezing: This green olive sauce freezes very well! Freeze a batch in a tightly sealed freezer safe container for up to 6 months.
Pro tip: try freezing the sauce in an ice cube tray, then transferring the cubes to a tightly sealed freezer safe container. You can use the sauce in smaller portions this way!
I don't recommend it. The texture of the sauce will be off and the flavor will be very different.
Sure! The flavor will be different, but still delicious.
This green olive pasta sauce is vegan.
The sauce itself is gluten free. Use your favorite gluten free noodles for pasta.
Did you make this recipe? Leave us a review and star rating in the comments below! We read every single review and appreciate your feedback.
Green olive pasta sauce
- 2 cups pitted castelvetrano olives with brine jarred or canned in brine
- ½ cup packed fresh parsley
- 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped dill leaves
- ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 2-3 medium garlic cloves
- 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Place the olives in a food processor along with 6 Tablespoons of the olive brine.2 cups pitted castelvetrano olives with brine
- Add the parsley, dill, basil, garlic, and oil to the food processor. Add a pinch each of salt and pepper.½ cup packed fresh parsley, 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped dill leaves, ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves, 2-3 medium garlic cloves, 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, Salt and pepper
- Process until smooth like a pesto.
- Taste and add more salt and/or pepper to your desired seasoning.Salt and pepper
- Add to pasta, use as a spread, or use as a dip. Enjoy!
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