Olive Tapenade

by Kendall
1.5 cups
7 min

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If you’re a fan of foods that look fancy but are super quick and easy to throw together, this Olive Tapenade is definitely for you! It’s sure to elevate any dish you serve it with and is ready in less than 10 minutes using a food processor.

This tapenade is keto, gluten-free and paleo, and the perfect addition to a charcuterie board for holidays, parties or just to have on hand for adding to pizzas, pastas, sandwiches and entrees! No matter how you serve it, everyone is sure to be impressed!

What is Tapenade?

Tapenade is a Provençal name for a spread or dip made of pureed olives, capers, and olive oil. While thousands of variations and recipes exist, those three ingredients are always the stars of the show. Liberties can be taken with the other ingredients to customize tapenade exactly to your liking.

For this recipe, I chose to add anchovies, garlic, parsley, basil, thyme and oregano to really round out the flavours. But, feel free to omit any of those ingredients if you aren’t a fan.

How to make this black Olive Tapenade recipe

Despite looking pretty fancy, this olive tapenade requires very little effort, making it a great option for an appetizer the next time you entertain. The whole dish comes together in under 10 minutes using a handful of ingredients and spices/herbs.

To make olive tapenade, simply add all the ingredients, except the olive oil, to a food processor and pulse a few times until everything is chopped.

Slowly drizzle the olive oil in to the food processor as you continue to blend. A nice paste will begin to form. I prefer to leave my tapenade slightly chunky, but if you know you like a smoother dip/spread, blend until the desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately in a bowl or transfer to a jar to use later.

That’s it! So simple!

Olive Tapenade Uses

My favourite way to enjoy olive tapenade is atop some crunchy crackers or crispy crostini with a bit of cheese. But, the possibilities for its use are endless. So, in case you still aren’t convinced you need this tapenade in your life, here are some other ideas for enjoying the savoury, versatile dish:

  • Slathered on a sandwich with grilled veggies and cheese
  • Thinly spread over a pizza in place of tomato sauce. Try it on my Best Cauliflower Crust Pizza.
  • Mixed into pasta sauces
  • Dropped atop a salad or mixed into the dressing. Use it in place of the whole olives in my Kale Niçoise Salad.
  • Stirred into hummus for a savoury twist on a classic dip
  • Spread over chicken, fish or lamb before cooking to act as a marinade
Olive Tapenade Without Anchovies

Anchovies give tapenade a nice savoury taste that really rounds out the flavour of the rest of the ingredients. But, if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, or just don’t like anchovies, simply omit them from the recipe.

How Long Does Tapenade Last For?

Another great thing about olive tapenade is just how long it lasts. You can easily prepare this dip/spread days before you intend on serving it and it will still be good to go! Olive tapenade should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container like a mason jar where it will stay fresh for up to two weeks.

Since olive tapenade is best served at room temperature, so remove it from the fridge at least 20 minutes before serving.

Looking for other appetizer ideas or charcuterie board additions? Try my Roasted Beet and Walnut Dip. It’s paleo, vegan, gluten-free and perfect for entertaining!

If you make this Olive Tapenade, please rate it and add your comments below. And be sure to tag @thebespokebites in your photos and videos on Instagram for a chance to be featured!

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Recipe details
  • 1.5  cups
  • Prep time: 2 Minutes Cook time: 5 Minutes Total time: 7 min
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  • 2 cups pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 anchovy fillets, minced 
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Add all the ingredients except the olive oil to a food processor and pulse a few times until everything is chopped.
Slowly add the olive oil to the food processor while blending until a paste forms. Blend until the desired consistency is reached.*
Scoop the tapenade out of the food processor and serve in a bowl with crackers or as part of a larger charcuterie board.
  • *I prefer a slightly chunky tapenade, but feel free to blend until smooth if that’s what you like.
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