Minimal effort, high reward
I love having a few "super impressive - but nearly zero effort went into this - dishes" in my back pocket to bring to gatherings. Mostly because I love delicious food, but also because I appreciate having my ego fluffed while doing the bare minimum (the person that replenishes the chip bowl will always be a hero in my eyes). This Olive Tapenade fits the "super impressive, minimal effort" description to a T. It's the kind of dish that you can spend less than 10 minutes on, but will always be met with "oohs" and "ahs" and "oh, you fancy!" comments from anyone who eats it at said gatherings.
This Olive Tapenade combines the briny umami of green and Kalamata olives with a punchy hit of citrus, garlic, and red pepper that seems to go well with just about everything it's paired with.
What to serve this Olive Tapenade with
While I love eating this Olive Tapenade with a simple baguette or flatbread, it's also a fantastic way to amplify and elevate so many other dishes.
I love to use this recipe in my Pasta with Olive Tapenade, a rich and hearty meatless dish that even the most carnivorous eaters will gladly go veg for the evening for. Another favorite way that I love to serve this dish is with thick and tangy labneh cheese and garlic roasted cauliflower (recipe coming soon!). If you find yourself making this Olive Tapenade on repeat and want to stuff it into everything (because it's just that good), I can vouch that it's really lovely packed into sandwiches (muffuletta anyone?), tossed in salads, as a topper for chicken breasts and pork roasts, and unreasonably good on eggs.
What tools do I need to make this recipe?
- A food processor
- A chefs knife (optional for pit safety check)
- Measuring cups and spoons
- A citrus zester/microplane
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A note for special diets
This Olive Tapenade is grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and friendly for Paleo, Low-Fodmap, Whole30, and Keto diets. The net carb count for a generous ¼ cup serving is only 6 grams.
- Prep Time: 8 minutes
- Total Time: 8 minutes
- Yield: 10 servings 1x
- Category: Appetizers & Bites
- Method: No-Cook
- Cuisine: French
- Diet: Gluten Free
This Olive Tapenade is a fancy, yet easy, appetizer that takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. This recipe fits Paleo, Whole30, Low-FODMAP, and Keto diets.
- 223 g (about 1 ½ cup) pimento-stuffed green olives (Manzanilla)
- 138 g (about 1 cup) pitted kalamata olives
- 34 g (2 tbsp) non-pareil capers
- 15g (about ¼ cup) flat-leaf Italian parsley
- zest of 1 large lemon
- 2 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil (may sub 2 tbsp olive oil + 2 minced garlic cloves)
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
- I like to start by doing a quick safety check on the kalamata olives for remaining pits by slicing each one in half before adding to my food processor. Although I purchase olives that have been labeled pre-pitted, I almost always find one olive in the bunch that still has it's pit (no matter what olive bar I buy them from). Though this is an additional step, its totally worth the extra couple minutes because you definitely don't want a pit in your lovely tapenade.
- Add all ingredients to your food processor and pulse on your lowest setting until the mixture is chunky and resembles gravel. My machine has three settings low, high, and manual pulse. I like to use the latter so that I am literally just giving the mixture a series of quick pulses like flicking a light switch off and on until it's reached the desired consistency. If you prefer a smoother, spreadable tapenade you can pulse for longer, but I like mine to be quite gravelly.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.
- Serving Size: ¼ cup
- Calories: 122
- Sodium: 1145 mg
- Fat: 12 g
- Carbohydrates: 6 g
Keywords: Olive Tapenade, kalamata olives, green olives
Anne Lawton says
I have not made tapanade from scratch even though I love it. It looks so easy to make, I pinned so I can make it real soon!
Well this lovely tapenade is amazing on nearly everything --- I'm making it for a fish topping this weekend.
Love olive tapenade but never made it at home. This looks so fresh and more flavorful so I have to try it!
Alisha Rodrigues says
I have a lot of green olives in my kitchen but never thought of making something like this one. To me, olives are always something you can top onto a pizza, burger or sandwich. This one looks so interesting and a must try as my family loves olives
Wowie I can just imagine how flavorful this must be! Would be a stellar app! Thanks so much for sharing :).
This olive tapenade is just the recipe I've been looking for dinner parties. This would be perfect for a pre-dinner appetizer.
Oh. My. Goodness! I can't wait to make this tonight! I love olives and so do all my friends. We are having a game night, so this will be perfect!
Whip & Wander says
I hope you and your friends love this tapenade. What a great addition to game night!
Claire | The Simple, Sweet Life says
This looks so delicious and easy, while also looking totally upscale! I'm doing an Italian potluck with some friends so I'm definitely going to have to add this to the line up for what I'm bringing!
Whip & Wander says
I hope you do. It's the perfect addition for an Italian potluck!
I love tapenade, it's so delicious and it's super easy to make. Next time I'm going to use both green and black olives like you did here. It's so pretty!
I always forget to put the blade in the food processor! Haha I'm happy I'm not alone! Also, love this recipe because it is simple and delicious but has a fancy feel to it. It's the perfect app or starter for a dinner or cocktail party. Definitely using this one!
Jacquelyn Hastert says
I love all things olives! I can't wait to make this I know it will be a hit at our house.
I will admit I am guilty of forgetting the blade too! I'm trying to get better at remembering, though. Your tapenade looks fabulous! I looooove olives, so I'd probably be eating it by the spoonful! So many possibilities for it!
Katherine | Love In My Oven says
I'm picturing myself making this during a summer bbq this year. I adore olive tapenade! Can you believe I had it for the first time at a Safeway? Hah! I didn't know what it was but it was delicious! Yours looks great!
Olives are amazing, aren't they! I completely love this recipe. Tapenade looks colorful and the trick of using both green and black olives is amazing!
I am addicted to tapenade and this looks like a great recipe for it! I love that you use both green & black olives - stealing that trick 😉
I love being met with "oohs" and "ahs" which also means that I will love this recipe - no doubt! 🙂 And the fact that I can make olive tapenade in less than 10 minutes is just what I like to hear!
Yes, yes, yes to all of it!!!! I love a good tapenade, and I have to be honest, I have never had one with parsley in it!!! Sounds so incredibly good, and I love the addition of the capers as well, definitely trying this!
Priya Srinivasan says
Me too in forget the blade club!!! 🙂 This tapenade looks totally delish, love such simple recipes where there is no much preps and your machine does the rest of the job!!! Would love to try someday!
Kylee from Kylee Cooks says
This is the perfect entertaining recipe. Plus, the leftovers can be repurposed (like there'd be any) for a tasty topping on grilled meats! (or pasta, like you said)