Love and Olive Oil
Olive Oil & Pistachio Brownies

Olive Oil & Pistachio Brownies

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.

Fudgy Olive Oil & Pistachio Brownies Recipe

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.

The Best Olive Oil & Pistachio Brownies

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 Recipe

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 & Pistachio Brownies Recipe

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.

Olive Oil & Pistachio Brownies - Before Baking

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.

Dairy-Free Olive Oil & Pistachio Brownies
Olive Oil & Pistachio Brownies

Olive Oil & Pistachio Brownies

This fudgy dairy-free brownie recipe is made with olive oil instead of butter (!!) and studded with chocolate chips, cocao nibs and bright green pistachios and finished with a sprinkle of sea salt.

Did you make this recipe?


  • 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


  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.
All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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  1. this recipe is fantastic! i love how fudgey the resulting product turns out! i didn’t have all the various chocolate products & just used semi-sweet chocolate chips. ive naked it twice! i’m so happy it is dairy free!

  2. Made these today – they look lovely & have a deep, rich flavor. Pairs lovely with Champagne🍾.

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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!

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

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

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

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

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

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

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

  16. 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).

    • Woops! That was “to eat an additional”  and “these” , good lord. Clearly, I got way too excited about these brownies to proofread.

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

  18. 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?!

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

  20. 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!

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


  22. Sorry for the few typos above

  23. 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. :)

  24. 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:

  25. 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!

  26. 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!

    • I tried using flax-seed eggs and it did not turn out well :(( the brownies did not rise and they were reallllly oily

      • Eggs help emulsify the fats and sugars in brownies; you really can’t substitute them in this recipe. If you’re looking for an egg free or vegan brownie I’d suggest seeking out a recipe developed like that originally.

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

  28. 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. 

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

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

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