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4 Easy Kalamata Olives Substitutes: Punch up Flavors

We get it; olives aren’t everyone’s favorite. We have all been there, making a recipe and realizing we are out of Kalamata olives.

What now? No panic, we’ve got some solid alternatives. Whether you’re whipping up a salad, a pasta dish, or just need that salty, briny flavor, we’re here to help.

These substitutions will punch up your meals without missing a beat. Let’s talk about what to use when those precious purples are missing.

From tangy capers to rich black olives, we have options that’ll keep your dishes tasty. Ready for a quick swap? Let’s go!

4 Easy Substitutes for Kalamata Olives

As mentioned, these alternatives will bring a similar flavor profile to your dishes. Here are our top picks for Kalamata olive substitutes:

1 – Black Olives

Our first pick, black olives, are a solid substitute for Kalamata olives in a pinch. The flavor is milder and less tangy. They have a slight sweetness which complements many dishes well.

We love using these in salads and pastas. They might not have the briny punch of Kalamatas, but they bring a decent depth of flavor. You can use them in a 1:1 ratio as a substitute for Kalamata olives. We’ve tried it ourselves and found them to be a reliable backup without overpowering other ingredients.

2 – Capers

As much as we love Kalamata olives, capers pick up the slack in our dishes. These tiny green buds have a tangy, lemony flavor. This makes them a brilliant stand-in.

Capers bring a stronger punch than black olives. We’ve noticed they add a lovely zing to salads and pasta. Their sharp taste balances out the richness of sauces. Keep in mind, capers are smaller, so you might need to adjust the quantity. Use about half the amount of capers as you would Kalamata olives.

For more tips about capers, check out our capers substitutes article.

3 – Green Olives

The flavor of green olives is more savory and less sweet than Kalamata. They give your recipes a nice salty kick.

We find them perfect for replacing Kalamata olives in Mediterranean dishes. Toss them into a salad or pasta for an extra burst of taste.

Their briny essence is similar, but they lack the depth of sweetness found in Kalamatas. For quantity, use a 1:1 ratio in any dish calling for Kalamata olives.

Check out our green olive substitutes article for more ideas.

4 – Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Last, sun-dried tomatoes are a delicious Kalamata olive stand-in. These bad boys have a deep, intense flavor. They’re check full of umami and slightly tangy, giving your dish a perfect kick.

We tried them in pasta and they rocked. The chewy texture adds a nice contrast to dishes. For optimal results, use them in a 1:1 ratio against Kalamata olives. You’ll get a sweet-savory taste without missing that briny punch.

Want more on sun-dried tomatoes? Check our sun-dried tomato substitutes article.