Hydroxytyrosol (HT) is an amphipathic functional phenol found in the olive tree, both in its leaves and fruits, in free or bound forms, as well as in olive oil and by-products of olive oil manufacture. The European Food Safety Authority recommends regular consumption of HT due to its several beneficial effects on human health, which are closely associated to its antioxidant activity. These reasons make HT an excellent candidate for application as a functional ingredient in the design of novel food products. Patents already exist for methodologies of extraction, purification, and application of HT in supplements and food products. The present review discusses the impact of HT incorporation on food properties and its effects on consumers, based on relevant data related to the use of HT as a functional ingredient, both as a pure compound or in the form of HT-rich extracts, in various food products, namely in edible oils, beverages, bakery products, as well animal-based foods such as meat, fishery and dairy products.