There are so many incredible ways to repurpose olive juice. Don’t toss out all that salty goodness! Step away from the trash can and find out why olive brine just might become your new secret weapon in the kitchen.

woman holding a jar of green olives with olive juice, from Shelf Cooking

By now, you probably know better than to throw out your leftover pickle juice. But did you know that olive juice is just as amazing?

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While there are infinite ways to use olive brine in the kitchen, we’ve rounded up nine of our favorites. Prepare to be amazed and impressed by the magical powers of olive juice!

WHAT IS OLIVE JUICE?

Before we go any further, let’s cover some basics. Olive juice, aka olive brine, is a mixture of water, vinegar, salt, and olives.

Most typically, the ratio for an olive brine looks something like this:

  • 2 cups olives
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar (any kind will do)
  • 2 Tbsp salt

While that doesn’t look like a ton of salt, keep in mind that olives are naturally pretty high in sodium. If you’re following a heart-healthy diet or trying to cut back on your sodium intake, you may want to use this salty liquid a little more sparingly.

On the flip side, if you’re looking for ways to boost your sodium intake or need an electrolyte boost, drinking a tablespoon or two of olive juice just might be incredibly beneficial.

BLACK VS. GREEN OLIVE BRINE: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

A wooden counter with a black slab , green olives and salt, from Shelf Cooking

When it comes to olive juice, is it all created equal? Here’s a fun and quick science lesson for you! If you ever go on Jeopardy, you’ll thank us.

  • The Difference Between Green and Black – If you eat olives, you know that green ones taste pretty different from black olives. The color is influenced by when the olives were picked. Just like bananas, green olives are unripe, while black olives are ripe. Green olives are usually more bitter than black.
  • Nutritionally, Green and Black Olives are Similar – While high in sodium, they both contain healthy fats that are rich in vitamin E!
  • Why the Olive Jar vs the Olive Can – More often than not, you’ll find green olives in a jar and black olives in a can. This is because black olives are artificially ripened. If they were stored in glass jars, those jars wouldn’t hold up to the heat during the cooking process; thus, the metal can.
  • Green Olive Brine is Better – While you can use the leftover juice from canned olives, the brine from the green olives is just a bit more flavorful since the olives are less ripe. So that’s what we’ll focus on for the purposes of this post!

Pro Tip: Don’t confuse your olives! Black ripe olives are very different from Greek kalamata olives. Learn more about the various olive types at Lindsay’s Olives!

HOW TO USE OLIVE JUICE IN MAIN DISHES

Want to kick your dinner recipes up a notch? Green olive juice may be the missing ingredient you never knew you needed. Try one of these clever uses for the yummy, juicy goodness!

  • Turkey Brine – Whether you’re prepping for Thanksgiving or just cooking a turkey feast on an average Sunday, try this brine on for size! It’s easy, it’s delicious, and it’s such a genius way to keep your olive juice from going to waste. Get all the deets in this Girls Can Grill recipe.
  • Pork Chop Seasoning – Skip the salt and pepper and let your pork chops marinate in olive brine in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. They’ll come out juicy and full of flavor! A ½ cup should do the trick.
  • Pizza Sauce – Take pizza night up a notch with homemade sauce. Rather than using water, sub in olive brine. The Pizzamaking.com forum has an awesome recipe.
  • Steak Kabob Marinade – Toss 2 tablespoons of green olive juice into this marinade from McCormick and we guarantee your family will be asking for seconds!

When adding olive brine to recipes, it’s best to be light-handed. Remember, as food cooks, the sodium becomes more concentrated. Be careful not to over-salt your dishes! Taste as you go.

SPICE UP SIDES AND STARTERS WITH OLIVE BRINE

A small glass jar of salad dressing near a salad, from Shelf Cooking

You may not be shocked to learn that olive juice goes well in hummus, but using olive brine in bread? Sounds weird, but it’s totally swoon-worthy. Olive it. (You knew we couldn’t resist an olive pun, right?!)

  • Hummus – Have some plain hummus on hand? Give it a shot of flavor by mixing in two tablespoons of olive brine. It’s the perfect easy, healthy appetizer or snack.
  • Homemade Bread – You know we love a good bread recipe! We’re loving this oh-so-simple olive bread recipe from HuffPost. Even novice bakers can whip this up, and if you’re an olive fan you must try this! The flavor is on point.
  • Salad Dressing – Store-bought dressings are never as good as homemade dressings. The next time you’re making salad dressing, try adding a bit of olive brine to the mixture.

You can also mix a few drops of olive juice into a bit of olive oil to make a tasty dip for your bread! If you like a little heat, toss in some crushed red pepper flakes.

SUBSTITUTE OLIVE JUICE FOR BROTH TO AMP UP THE FLAVOR

Cooking with broth is a great way to infuse flavor into ordinary dishes. To take the taste to the next level, try swapping broth for olive brine! Here are two ways to use olive juice instead of broth:

  • Sauté Veggies – Kale is healthy but it can be pretty bland. Adding a bit of broth to your pan while cooking can make the dish more flavorful. That said, why not try a few tablespoons of olive juice next time?
  • Give Chili Extra Oomph – If you normally use veggie broth in your chili, try scaling back the amount and subbing in some olive brine. Start small because ⅛ cup will go a long way. You can always add more to suit your tastes.

Pro Tip: If you’re not going to use your brine immediately, it’s best to store it in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator, where it will last a week. In the freezer, you can store it for up to two months.

CAN YOU BUY OLIVE BRINE?

YES! While you know we’re big fans of using what you’ve got (and making what you can), you can also buy green olive juice from Walmart or Amazon! Check out the Dirty Sue’s two-pack. The shelf life on the store-bought standalone olive juice is usually around six months. Just be sure to store in a cool, dark place.

And there you have it. Everything you never knew you needed to know about olive juice. Pretty cool, huh? But enough about us. We’d love to hear how you use olive juice! Leave us a comment below to share your favorite tips and tricks.

Hands holding jar of olives with text that reads "completely genius ways to use up olive juice" from ShelfCooking.com

Looking for more clever ways to use your leftovers?

Happy brining and dining!