Briny, salt, and so simple to prepare, our Olive Tapenade makes a great sandwich spread, dip, or a snack when paired with your favorite fresh veggies.
Our olive tapenade recipe is great as a quick snack or appetizer. It only takes minutes to whip up and packs a ton of flavor. Some of our other favorite snacks are roasted garlic hummus, slow cooker spinach artichoke dip, and ham and cream cheese pinwheels.
Olive Tapenade Recipe:
If you've never tried olive tapenade, you must give it a try!
It's briny, salty, and full of fresh flavors! Kalamata olive tapenade works great a spread on sandwiches or as a dip for veggies, pita bread, and chips.
The best part is that this stuff is so easy to make, and you can use your favorite variety of olives.
Making olive spread is as simple as placing the ingredients in a food processor, pressing the pulse button, and done! Grab your favorite dippers, and dig in!
How to Make Tapenade:
Scroll to the recipe card below for full instructions and ingredient amounts!
- Place olives, capers, onions, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor.
- Pulse until well mixed. Scrape down the sides of the food processor as needed.
- Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the food processor while it's running.
- Taste, and season with salt (optional).
- Serve at room temperature with pita chips, fresh vegetables, or baguette slices.
Olive Tapenade Tips and Variations:
- Use your favorite variety of olives. Kalamata olives are great for this recipe, but some other options are Castelvetrano, Niçoise, or Lucques.
- Use the raw garlic sparingly. It's worth noting that some cloves of garlic are stronger than others. If you've already cooked with some garlic from the bulb, you may need to adjust the amount of garlic in the recipe depending on how pungent the individual cloves taste. Otherwise; try roasting the garlic ahead of time to lessen the strong garlic flavor.
- White onion, yellow onion, or sweet onion will work for this recipe, or try adding some shallots instead. If the onions are strong in flavor, they can easily over power the flavor of the tapenade, so use sparingly.
- This recipe needs a touch of acidity to cut through the rich, brininess of the olives. Freshly squeezed lemon juice works great and tastes the best.
- Use a good quality olive oil to emulsify the tapenade. It gives the tapenade an almost creamy, smooth texture.
- Our olive tapenade recipe is made without anchovies, but you could easily add them if you'd like. If you aren't a fan of whole anchovies but still want the flavor, try adding a teaspoon or two of anchovy paste. It's quick, easy and works great in this recipe.
- Throw in some fresh herbs! It doesn't take much, but a tablespoon or two of fresh parsley, thyme, or rosemary tastes great in olive tapenade.
- Make sure the olives have the pits removed to save on time.
Refrigerator: Store olive tapenade in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Freezer: This kalamata tapenade freezes for up to 3 months when stored properly.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 1 ½ cups pitted olives, packed in brine, (Kalamata and Castelvetrano varieties work well.)
- 2 tablespoons capers
- ⅛ cup white onion, rough chopped (or 1 medium shallot)
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- ¼ cup olive oil
- kosher salt, to taste (optional)
- Place the olives, capers, onions, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor.1 ½ cups pitted olives2 tablespoons capers⅛ cup white onion2 garlic cloves1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Pulse until well mixed and a paste forms. With the food processor still running, drizzle in the olive oil. Scrape down the sides as needed; taste, and season with salt (optional).¼ cup olive oilkosher salt
- Serve at room temperature with pita chips, vegetables, or toasted baguette slices.