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Updated: 20 Jun 2022

Best extra virgin olive oil

Discover the best supermarket extra virgin olive oils from our expert taste test
Rebecca Marcus
Pouring olive oil over summer salad

Whether dipping, drizzling or dressing, a good olive oil is an essential store cupboard ingredient for enhancing everyday dishes.

Our expert taste test has uncovered brilliant extra virgin olive oils you can find at the supermarket, including a couple of cheap olive oils that punch above their weight in the taste stakes.

In April 2022, we asked a panel of olive oil experts to blind taste 12 supermarket own label extra virgin olive oils from supermarkets including Aldi, Sainsbury's and Waitrose.

One supermarket olive oil really stood out, with our panel rating it the best of the set by a long way. But we also found some great runners up, including two bargain cheaper options that impressed our experts. 

Whether you're after a strong, punchy olive oil, or something a little more delicate, we've got the perfect pick for you.


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Best extra virgin olive oil

Only logged in Which? members can view our top olive oil picks, full test results and tasting notes below. 

If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the extra virgin olive oil on test. To get instant access, join Which? today.

Aldi Specially Selected Terra Di Bari Castel Del Monte Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Aldi Specially Selected Terra Di Bari Castel Del Monte Extra Virgin Olive Oil

£3.79 for 500ml

Made with olives grown in Puglia in Southern Italy, Aldi's cheap olive oil promises an intense, fruity flavour. Did it impress our expert tasting panel?

Join Which? to unlock our test results and find out where this olive oil ranked overall.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Aldi.

Lidl Deluxe Puglian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Lidl Deluxe Puglian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

£3.79 for 500ml

At less than £4 a bottle, Lidl's offering is one of the cheapest on test. Should this be your top choice if you're after an olive oil that won't break the bank?

Join Which? to unlock our test results and find out where this olive oil ranked overall.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Lidl.

M&S Collection Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

M&S Collection Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

£5.50 for 500ml

M&S' 'early harvest' olive oil uses olives pressed just six to eight hours after harvest to retain their grassy, peppery notes. Does it stand out from the crowd?

Join Which? to unlock our test results and find out where this olive oil ranked overall.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Ocado.

M&S Toscano Extra Virgin Olive Oil

M&S Toscano Extra Virgin Olive Oil

£10.70 for 500ml

M&S describes its Toscano Extra Virgin Olive Oil as full-bodied and well-balanced, but at more than £10 a bottle it doesn't come cheap. Is it worth paying more for?

Join Which? to unlock our test results and find out where this olive oil ranked overall.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Ocado.

Morrisons The Best Single Origin Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Morrisons The Best Single Origin Extra Virgin Olive Oil

£4 for 500ml

Made with 100% Spanish picual olives, this olive oil promises an intensely fruity and herbaceous flavour with a peppery finish. Is it the perfect oil for drizzling over summer salads?

Join Which? to unlock our test results and find out where this olive oil ranked overall.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Morrisons.

Morrisons The Best Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Morrisons The Best Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil 500ml

£4 for 500ml

According to Morrisons, this olive oil has a fully rounded, fruity flavour. Its cheap price is tempting, but how does it taste compared with more expensive oils?

Join Which? to unlock our test results and find out where this olive oil ranked overall.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Morrisons.

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Greek Kalamata Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Greek Kalamata Extra Virgin Olive Oil

£5 for 500ml

The only Greek olive oil we tested, Sainsbury's says it has gentle fruitiness with herby notes. Is it one of our top picks?

Join Which? to unlock our test results and find out where this olive oil ranked overall.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Sainsbury's.

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Toscano Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sainsbury's Toscano Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Taste the Difference

£6.50 for 500ml

Peppery flavours and medium fruity notes characterise this Italian olive oil, according to Sainsbury's. Was it one of our panel's favourites?

Join Which? to unlock our test results and find out where this olive oil ranked overall.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Sainsbury's.

Tesco Finest Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Tesco Finest Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

£6.50 for 500ml

This Italian olive oil is made by a family mill in southern Sicily. How did it fare when we pitted it against other supermarket olive oils?

Join Which? to unlock our test results and find out where this olive oil ranked overall.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Tesco.

Tesco Finest Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Tesco Finest Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil

£6.50 for 500ml

Tesco's Tuscan olive oil promises a medium fruitiness with a peppery finish. Did it win over our judging panel?

Join Which? to unlock our test results and find out where this olive oil ranked overall.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Tesco.

Waitrose No.1 Chianti Classico

£12 for 500ml

Made from olives grown in Italy's Chianti region, this pricey olive oil is one of the most expensive we tested. Should you splash out on a bottle this summer?

Join Which? to unlock our test results and find out where this olive oil ranked overall.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Waitrose.

All prices are correct as of May 2022.

What is extra virgin olive oil?

Olives on olive tree

Both virgin and extra virgin olive oils must be obtained from olives solely by mechanical means, without heat or chemicals, to be labelled as such. This produces a better-quality olive oil but a smaller yield, which makes it more expensive.

The difference between virgin and extra virgin oils comes down to quality. Both types have to pass a sensory and chemical test. Extra virgin olive oil must have an acidity level of no more than 0.8%, while virgin olive oil must have an acidity level of no more than 2%. The lower the acidity, the better the olives have been cared for while on the tree, and during harvesting and processing.

Is extra virgin olive oil good for you?

Pouring olive oil

Olive oil contains polyphenols which are naturally occurring organic compounds that have been linked to a wide variety of health benefits such as improving heart health, reducing inflammation and improving brain function.

Extra virgin olive oil is a form of unrefined oil as it hasn't been treated by heat or chemicals. These retain more of their natural polyphenols compared to refined olive oils that have been extracted using heat. 

Early harvest olive oil, which is made with younger olives, typically contains more polyphenols than oil made with ripe olives. According to our experts, the health benefits are more prevalent in fresher olive oil too, so it's worth checking the best before date when buying.

Extra virgin olive oil jargon decoded

Shopping for olive oil

Olive oil marketing uses all sorts of buzz phrases to make the product sound more special than rivals, but it's worth knowing what's a real selling point and what's standard. Here's what common marketing terms really mean - and if they matter:

  • Cold extracted To be classed as 'extra virgin', an olive oil must be extracted at low temperatures (below 27°C), so terms such as 'cold pressed' or 'cold extracted' are meaningless when comparing between bottles, as this applies to all extra virgin oils. 
  • Solely extracted by mechanical means Again, under EU law, all extra virgin olive oil must have this label, which simply confirms that chemicals are not used in the extraction process. 
  • Filtered vs unfiltered Olive oils are typically filtered to remove residual olive fruit particles. While the cloudy appearance of an unfiltered oil might look more authentic, our experts warned they don’t keep as well and will go off more quickly compared to filtered oils. Plus, they don't necessarily taste any better.
  • Early harvest Olive oils extracted from young, green olives (as opposed to ripe black olives). Typically early harvest olive oils contain more antioxidants.
  • Region Extra virgin olive oils often specify a country or region of origin, but according to our experts, this doesn't affect the flavour profile as much as you might expect - the variety of olive matters more.

How to store extra virgin olive oil properly

Don't let your olive oil hang around for years. Unlike wine, it doesn't get better with age. Our experts shared their top tips on how to keep your olive oil fresher for longer:

  • Store in a cool, dark place Keeping your olive oil in a cupboard away from light, heat and oxygen will help to prolong its life and prevent it going off too quickly
  • Use it as quickly as possible Olive oil does not improve with age. Once the bottle is opened, it's exposed to oxygen which causes the oil to deteriorate. For maximum taste and health benefits, use within a couple of months
  • Pick the right packaging Our experts recommend avoiding plastic bottles which can negatively impact the flavour of the oil. Ideally, opt for a tin or a dark-coloured glass bottle rather than a clear one, to help block out light and prevent the oil deteriorating
  • Don't store it in the fridge You might have heard that keeping your olive oil in the fridge will help it last longer, but our experts don't recommend this. Keeping it in a cool, dark cupboard is the best way to store it.

How we tested extra virgin olive oil

In April 2022, we asked a panel of independent olive oil experts to rate 12 supermarket premium extra virgin olive oils. 

The taste test was blind, so they didn't know which olive oil they were trying, and each expert tried the olive oils in a different order to avoid any bias. After all the samples had been tasted and rated, the panel discussed any discrepancies  in score and agreed which bottles deserved to be Best Buys.

Our expert panel included:

  • Charles Carey – Oil importer for the The Oil Merchant
  • Cristina Stribacu – Founder of Greek olive oil company LIÁ
  • Maria del Mar Fernandez-Garcia – Oil importer for Mardeolivos
  • Marco Peri - Head Chef at Wild Tavern

How to recycle olive oil bottles

recycling box

Glass bottles can usually go in your household recycling bin. If your council doesn’t accept them, you can take them to a local bottle bank.

The recycling process can vary depending on where you live, so make sure to check with your local area if bottles require rinsing first and whether metal screw caps should be replaced or recycled separately.