Olive Tapenade: A salty, garlicky, lemony snack, spread or appetizer. This olive tapenade recipe takes ten minutes to whip up and is make ahead easy! This recipe is vegetarian, vegan + gluten free. [ VIDEO in recipe card below ]
Everyone Loves Olive Tapenade!
You know those recipes that you make over and over again and can rely on each and every time? This easy Olive Tapenade Recipe is it! From the pickiest of eaters to the vast array of friends and family with varying diets, just about everyone can agree on this recipe. It uses 10 fresh ingredients and takes only 10 minutes to make.
My taste for briny/salty flavors is no secret. Olives tend to sooth salty cravings but add capers to the mix and and their briny flavor takes this olive tapenade recipe over the top! And did I mention it’s SO easy? Scroll down to see a video on how to make Olive Tapenade!
Stock up on Olives
Olives are a pantry staple in our home. They make a quick snack and add a good bit of briny/salty flavor, especially in Italian recipes and salads like this Italian Pressed Sandwich, Spinach Pecan Brown Rice Salad and Farro Kale and Olive Salad.
I’ve also included olives in this Olive Artichoke Crostini recipe.
How to Make Olive Tapenade
Because we eat vegetarian in our home, I make this olive tapenade recipe without anchovies opting for capers instead. They are a perfect stand in for that briny/salty flavor anchovies are known for. Whip this tapenade recipe up in the food processor as a spread, dip or as a relish. For a chunkier relish only pulse a few times. For a spread, process longer. In summary, here’s how to do it (see recipe card for details):
- First: add olives, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, oregano, parsley, basil, lemon juice, olive oil and black pepper to a food processor.
- Second: pulse until you get your desired consistency.
- Last: share with crackers or a baguette. Garnish with parsley leaves and drizzle with olive oil.
Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up two weeks (!!).
A Few Recipe Notes
- A Versatile Recipe! Olive tapenade is fabulous served simply with crackers, a baguette, pita or veggies such as cucumber, or celery. It can also be used as a spread or relish on sandwiches, or toast. It’s delicious too as bruschetta or crostini or enjoyed with hummus or goat cheese. So many possibilities!
- Relish or Spread? The main difference in consistency between a spread and relish is how long it spends being processed in the food processor. For a relish, pulse only a few times. For a spread, process until almost a paste forms.
- Tapenade makes a perfect picnic companion alone or slathered on this Italian pressed sandwich, with red wine or if you prefer, a martini.
- This olive tapendade tastes best with a mix of olives. I like Kalamata olives, black olives and buttery green olives in this recipe.
More Appetizers and Snacks to Love
- Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
- Habanero Carrot Salsa
- Mushroom Crostini with Goat Cheese
- Chipotle Black Bean Dip
- Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde
- Smoky Roasted Eggplant Hummus
- 2 1/2 C (345g) Mixed Pitted Olives such as Black, Kalamata, Green, drained
- 2 Tbs Capers drained
- 2 Tbs Marinated Sun Dried Tomatoes drained
- 1 Tbs Garlic chopped
- 1 tsp Oregano dried
- 4 Tbs Fresh Parsley Leaves chopped, or 1 Tbs dried
- 1 Tbs Fresh Basil Leaves chopped, or 1 tsp dried
- 1 Tbs Lemon Juice about 1/2 a lemon
- 1/4 C (50g) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- A few grinds of black pepper
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the olives, capers, tomatoes, garlic, oregano, parsley, basil, lemon juice, olive oil, and black pepper.
- For a relish, pulse a few times, then scrape down the bowl. Pulse a few more times, and the relish will be ready.
- For a chunky spread (pictured here), pulse up to 15-17 times, stopping to scrape down the bowl a few times.
- For a spreadable tapenade, process until a paste is formed, stopping to scrape down the bowl a few times.
- Garnish with parsley leaves and olive oil for drizzling. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up two weeks.
- Serve with crackers, a baguette, pita or veggies such as cucumber, or celery, it can also be used as a spread or relish on sandwiches, or toast. It's fabulous too as bruschetta or crostini.
- For a relish, pulse only a few times. For a spread, process until almost a paste forms.
- It pairs well with a good red wine.
- Olive Tapenade makes a perfect picnic companion alone or slathered on this sandwich, with that red wine or if you prefer, a martini.