Olive Oil & Pistachio Brownies with Cacao Nibs and Sea Salt

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you simply swapped the butter in a basic brownie recipe for olive oil?

Amazing things, that’s what.

Olive Oil Brownies with Pistachios, Cacao Nibs and Sea Salt

Honestly, I’m surprised I haven’t made olive oil brownies before. For a blog called Love & Olive Oil, I feel like I’ve failed you (and myself) in that respect.

Luckily, these here brownies more than make up for the delay. Seriously. You should stop what you’re doing and make them, immediately.

Olive Oil Brownies with Pistachios, Cacao Nibs and Sea Salt

The olive oil flavor is an amazing twist to an otherwise basic brownie. It shines through, subtly, at first, but with a nutty undertone that compliments the rich dark chocolate perfectly. You may not be able to identify this secret ingredient after your first bite, all you’ll know is that this is unlike any brownie you’ve ever had before.

Nutty, fudgy, dairy-free perfection.

Olive Oil & Pistachio Brownies with Cocoa Nibs and Sea Salt

I added some chocolate chunks (duh) and chopped pistachios (olive oil is green, pistachios are green… it just seemed logical to me) and topped them with cacao nibs for crunch and a sprinkle of flake sea salt (my favorite finishing touch for any brownie recipe).

Olive Oil Brownies with Pistachios, Cacao Nibs and Sea Salt

Replacing the butter in your favorite brownie recipe with extra virgin olive oil produces amazing results.

As far as what olive oil to use here… I’d suggest a solid everyday extra virgin olive oil. Don’t use your top-shelf stuff here, save that for drizzling on salads and dipping your bread, as the heat of the oven will break down some of the more refined flavor notes that distinguishes a good olive oil from a mediocre one. Plus you need like 1/3 cup of it for one batch and, well, that’s too rich for my blood.

You could also use a pure or light olive oil if you preferred a more delicate and subtle olive oil flavor in the final brownie.

Dairy Free Olive Oil Brownie Recipe

Seriously, these brownies have it all: a triple dose of chocolate, a sumptuously fudgy texture, a perfect crackly top crust, a bit of crunch from the nuts and cacao nibs, and a hint of salt that puts them over the top.

I may never make another brownie recipe ever again.

Ok, maybe I will (didn’t mean to scare you), but that’s how good these are.

Olive Oil Brownies with Pistachios, Cocoa Nibs and Sea Salt

Olive Oil & Pistachio Brownies

Yield: 16 servings

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup dark or Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate (70-75%), finely chopped
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs, optional, for topping
  • flake sea salt, for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment paper; lightly butter parchment.
  2. Whisk or sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Combine olive oil and chopped chocolate in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolate is almost melted. Remove from heat and continue to gently stir until smooth; the residual heat from the pan should be enough to melt the last few bits of chocolate.
  4. Whisk in granulated sugar until incorporated; batter will be slightly grainy and paste-like.
  5. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, whisking completely after each one, until batter is smooth and shiny. Whisk in vanilla.
  6. Sprinkle dry ingredients over top of melted chocolate mixture and whisk or stir until just incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips and most of pistachios (reserving a tablespoon or two for topping, if desired). Spread into prepared pan, using an offsest spatula to smooth batter into corners. Sprinkle with reserved pistachios, cocao nibs, and flake sea salt, as desired.
  7. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until top is shiny and crackly and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out mostly clean. Cool on a wire rack for until completely cooled, 1 to 2 hours, before slicing into squares. Brownies will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Did you make this recipe?

Let us know what you think!
Leave a Comment or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #loveandoliveoil.

That's My Jam: Spring edition Now Available!

35 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Goodness, these brownies are unbelievably fudgy! I need to swap the butter with olive oil and make a massive batch of these lovelies ASAP! 

  2. You can never try too many versions of brownies ad this is definitely one that needs to make my bucket list! Yum!

  3. I’m glad you explained what olive oil to use. I have some homemade olive oil which is super strong and my first thought was (before I started reading your post) that would be waaay to intense for a brownie. I like the idea though. 

  4. Can you freeze these brownies?  I would like to freeze half the serving to eat later. 

  5. That is such a clever idea using the olive oil instead of the butter, it must add a wonderful depth of flavour. Do you think I could use 2 flax-seed eggs instead of regular eggs in this recipe? 

    • I’ve honestly never baked with flax-seed eggs so I couldn’t say what the effect would be on the final product. A brownie seems more forgiving than say, a cake or cookie, so it may work. Definitely let me know if you try it!

  6. These look delicious. I love brownies! I know there’s carbs in the sugar, but do you think almond flour would be a good substitution for a (slightly) lower carb brownie?

    • I haven’t tried this recipe with almond flour but I have made all-almond flour brownies before, so it seems like it would work in theory. I can’t say how it’d affect the final texture/flavor but it’s worth a try. Definitely let me know if you do!

  7. Lindsay, so appreciative that you brought this topic! Yeah, amazing things happen: -)

    I love olive oil and for health reasons I’ve been making all my sweet baking recipes with olive oil (instead of using butter). I have never thought of brownies though. but i’m so much inspired by your story and I’m resolved to give it a try next weekend.

    I take the liberty to add another good recipe with olive oil. it’s this recipe from Bon Appetit, it’s my favorite in the past few years:
      
    http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/olive-oil-cake-with-candied-orange

  8. Hi
    I love, love ur blog and follow ur posts on FB too…this also is my first ever post on any food blog ? I love the beautiful food pics n presentation.
    When I tried a brownie recipe that didn’t require much flour, like 3/4th cup or so, it didn’t come out well. Turned out pasty but the precious times I’ve tried out brownie recipes with more flour and they had come out great. I notice yours is even lesser so was just curious to know did I go wrong somewhere and that’s why it didn’t turn out OK? Batter gets very thick and pasty. Could you advise…Thank you.

    • Not sure what you mean by pasty, but most brownie recipes I’ve made have 1/2 cup or less of flour. The batter is thick enough that you need to spread it into the pan. More flour will produce a more cake-like brownie, and if that’s what you like, definitely seek out those recipes. I personally prefer fudgy. :)

  9. Sorry for the few typos above

  10. These look so delicious! I’ve never thought to put pistachios in brownies before. 

    Paige

  11. I’ve never baked brownies with olive oil but now I have to try! I have wanted to start baking with olive oil because of that you described, that nutty ‘secret ingredient’ effect. And with the pistachios, totally perfect!

  12. Mmm these look so good! I’ve made brownies with canola oil before but haven’t tried olive–it sounds wonderful!

  13. I can only imagine how decadent these brownies taste. They look perfect! Love the use of olive oil. How have I not thought of that before?!

  14. omg these look utterly delicious! Definitely wanna try them. X

  15. Does this give me an excuse to an addition 10 brownies in one sitting? Because I’m thinking it does. This pictures are so stunning!! <3 (Also, love the cocao nib addition).

  16. Love these grown up brownies with all the sophisticated flavors!  Brownies can be classy!

  17. Yum! I will have to try these for my dad. He loves pistachio!

  18. These really do sound delicious! I’ll be giving them a go soon. 

  19. Olive oil brownies sound like the BOMB, I need to try those! Love the addition of pistachios + cacao nibs–that makes these healthy, right? :)

  20. I have never tried olive oil in brownies. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever used oil of any kind in brownies beyond the boxed mixes. I must try these is for no other reason than holy pistachios!

  21. Those look like perfection. You know, I have replaced butter with coconut oil before and I LOVE the result, but I have never thought of olive oil! I will definitely be trying this recipe. Thank you!

  22. I also like using a mix and Avocado oil-not as heavy as the olive oil :)
    xo J

  23. BIG HUGE YAY. Love every aspect of these brownies. 

  24. Is it possible to have the measurements in metric (or even pounds&ounces)? For those of us outside the US the cup measurements are always immediately discouraging, especially when you realise that cup capacity in other countries (i.e. Australia) is different…I’m in Europe, by the way. Thanks for the tempting recipe!

  25. Oh wow, the olive oil is great, but I love the addition of pistachios too!! Great recipe!

  26. Made these tonight for an Olympics party and they are definitely keepers- I mean with olive oil, pistachios and dark chocolate, these might as well be on the American Heart Association website right? You’re doing your body a disservice if you don’t make these immediately.

  27. I found these to be delicious, but a bit on the sweet side. Was the cocoa powder intended to be sweetened or unsweetened?
    Thx, J

  28. Mama Mia…Thanks for your recipe..I made moist and absolutely decadent olive oil brownies..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *