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Olive spread served with grilled slices of rustic baguette.

Olive Tapenade

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 3 reviews


Make olive tapenade in just 5 minutes! Serve and enjoy this easy appetizer with crostini, crackers or crudité. Make it the centerpiece of your charcuterie board. Perfect for the holidays and all year round.


Units Scale
  • 1/4 cup loosely-packed fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup loosely-packed fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1 1/2 tablespoons, or more if needed)
  • 2 cups pitted olives, like Kalamata & green olives (or a purple/green mix of Spanish olives)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or more, if desired)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste



RECIPE TIP: To safeguard the texture of the spread, so it doesn’t turn into a mushy purée, after adding the olives to the food processor – pulse. Don’t let the machine continuously run. 

  1. Add the fresh herbs, smashed garlic, capers and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a rough paste forms (about 10 pulses).
  2. Add in the pitted olives and olive oil. Pulse until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. For olive tapenade with a coarse texture, pulse about 10-15 times. Turn off the machine.
  3. Do a taste test. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Stir in more olive oil and/or lemon juice, making adjustments until the flavor is perfect.
  4. Transfer tapenade to a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate (up to 5 days) until needed. Bring to room temperature before serving.


How to make olive tapenade spicy: Add 1 whole Calabrian chili (or 1/2 teaspoon Calabrian chili paste) to the food processor along with the garlic and fresh herbs. Another option: add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the olive dip.

What to serve with this olive spread: Serve with triangles of soft warm pita bread, flatbread crackers, pita chips, bagel chips, crostini, or fresh crisp veggies – like sturdy strips of colored bell peppers (red/green/yellow/orange). 

  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 Minutes
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Food Processor
  • Cuisine: France, Italy, Spain