The 6 Best Substitutes For Cerignola Olives

What can I use instead of Cerignola olives? Castelvetrano, Manzanilla, Gordal, and Picholine olives are the best green olive substitutes for Cerignolas. Barnea olives are the best dark purple olive replacement for Cerignolas, lending a buttery texture and mild, nutty flavor. Lastly, capers are the best non-olive substitute for Cerignolas.

Bella di Cerignola olives – black, red, and green – are an Italian delight from the town of Cerignola. These olives are the largest worldwide, lending a mild, buttery, seductive flavor. Cerginola olives are perfect for appetizers, cheese platters, antipasto garnishes, dirty martinis, and more. Here are the closest alternatives if you can’t find these monstrous delights at your local grocery store.

The Best Cerignola Olives Substitutes

Castelvetrano Olives

Castelvetrano olives are bright green olives grown in Sicily.

They are harvested prematurely and are washed in lye and water instead of curing like most olives. As a result, they are a better-suited option for those who shy away from intense, briny olive varieties.

Castelvetrano olives lend a signature crisp texture and mild, buttery flavor. You can add them to antipasti, salads, pasta dishes, pizzas, and dirty martinis, or simply enjoy them as a healthy snack.

Castelvetrano olives weigh about 5g compared to Cerignola olives, which weigh over 9g. You can use the two varieties interchangeably and add more Castelvetrano olives if necessary.

Manzanilla Olives

Manzanilla olives are straw-green olives from Sevilla, Spain. These olives are plump, meaty, and mostly stuffed with bright red pimentos. Manzanilla olives are crisp with a slightly smoky, nutty flavor.

Like Cerignola olives, Manzanilla olives are delicious in dirty martinis. You can also complement Manzanilla olives with aged Swiss cheese, spicy sausage, and white wine for a mouth-watering appetizer.

You can use Cerignola olives and Manzanilla olives interchangeably. However, Manzanilla olives only weigh between 3 to 4g compared to Cerignola olives, which weigh over 9g.

You may want to use more Manzanilla olives during substitution.

Gordal Olives

Gordal olives are a cult favorite grown in the heartlands of Seville, Andalusia. These bright green olives are plump, crisp, and prized for their large size – hence the name Gordal, meaning “the fat one.”

Gordal olives are versatile and mild, making them a standard table olive. You can stuff these olives with garlic and peppers or serve them with tapas, salads, and cheese platters.

You can use Cerignola and Gordal olives interchangeably. Both varieties are large – 9g and 7g, respectively – so you won’t have to compensate for the size.

Picholine Olives

Picholine olives are crisp, oblong French olives with a light green hue and tart, nutty flavor. It is mainly known as a cocktail olive, but its mature counterpart can be used to make olive oil once ripe.

Picholine olives are a delicious addition to dirty martinis. However, you can add them to an antipasto, salad, and gourmet seafood dish.

Picholine olives weigh around 3 to 5g compared to Cerignola olives, which weigh over 9g. You can use the olives interchangeably, but you may want to use more Picholine olives during substitution.

Barnea Olives

Barnea olives are a newly bred Israeli cultivar originally from Kadesh-Barnea. These dark purple olives boast a buttery texture and mild, nutty flavor, making them a suitable replacement for green Cerignola olives.

The best Barnea olives are used to make extra virgin olive oil.

Incorporate Barnea olives into cheese boards, pasta dishes, and pizzas to take them to a new level.

You can use Cerignola olives and Barnea olives interchangeably.

However, Barnea olives only weigh between 3 to 5g compared to Cerignola olives which weigh over 9g. So, consider using more Barnea olives during substitution.


Capers are the immature, green flower buds of the caper bush. Brined or dried, they are prized for adding a burst of flavor to dishes.

Capers are ideal alternative to Cerignola olives if you want to add a similar flavor profile to your dish without using olives.

Capers are famous in Mediterranean cuisines. However, you can incorporate them into a recipe to add texture and tanginess. They are ideal pairings with pasta, seafood, salad, and garnishing.

Caper buds range from the size of a petite green pea to a small olive.

We recommend using smaller capers when replacing Cerignola olives as they lend a more delicate texture and mild flavor compared to acidic large capers. Also, use less capers when replacing Cerignola olives.