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30 min or less, Appetizers, Easy, Gluten Free, Nut free, Snacks, Under 400 calories, Vegan Recipes

Olive Tapenade + 20 ways to use it

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Make this super easy olive tapenade in less than 10 minutes + learn 20 ways to use it. This is a great spread for bread, crackers and so many other dishes! 

3 pieces of French bread with olive tapenade spread on top.

What is Olive Tapenade?

Olive Tapenade originates from France and is a mix of finely ground or blended olives, olive oil, and capers- and sometimes anchovies. It’s also crazy-easy to whip up in less than 10 minutes.

This vegan version (no anchovies!) has a lemony, salty, briny taste that goes perfect with all sorts of different dishes and snack ideas. Check out the top 20 ways to use this tapenade below.

A bird's eye view of olive tapenade in a bowl and on sliced French bread.

20 ways to use this Vegan Olive Tapenade:

  1. Mix the tapenade with hummus and place on pita bread topped with some arugula.
  2. Spread on crackers, pita chips, crackers, or bread.
  3. Stuff portobello mushrooms with the tapenade.
  4. Mix it in with some sauce with pasta, polenta, or gnocchi.
  5. Enjoy with some fresh veggies- carrots, celery, etc.
  6. Mix this in with vegan “tuna” salad sandwiches.
  7. Make a mixed plate of hummus, pita bread, falafel and olive tapenade.
  8. Add it on a pizza in the place of sauce.
  9. Use as a sandwich spread. Add a little non-dairy mayo to make it more creamy.
  10. Mix some in with baked spaghetti squash.
  11. Scoop a little on the top of a Greek salad.
  12. Make a cold pasta salad with veggies and use the tapenade as the dressing with lemon juice.
  13. Make a Mediterranean veggie burger with tapenade, red onion, tomato and parsley.
  14. Spread on a bagel for breakfast.
  15. Add it to your avocado toast.
  16. Add to bread dough and bake for an amazing olive loaf.
  17. Put together some mini-sandwich appetizers, with sandwich bread or wraps, vegan cream cheese or dairy-free mayo, olive tapenade, roasted red peppers and red onion.
  18. Stuff the olive tapenade inside Peppadew peppers, with a little vegan cream cheese.
  19. Add a couple tablespoons to an Egg-less Salad Sandwich in the place of relish.
  20. Create your own vegan version of a caprese salad with roasted red peppers, fresh basil, olive tapenade, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

As you can see, there are SO many ways to use olive tapenade. I love to serve this as a party appetizer (it looks fancy!), or eat on small slices of toasted french bread. So good!

How to make this recipe for Olive Tapenade:

This recipe is really simple to make. Just get out your food processor, and add all of the ingredients (STEP 1). Then blend until mixed together (STEP 2). Put it in a bowl and serve. That’s it!

A blender, showing before and after of making olive tapenade.
1. Add all ingredients to your food processor.
2. Blend until combined.

Tips to make the perfect tapenade:

  • Adding a tiny bit (just 1 teaspoon) of maple syrup balances the sour taste from the olives and lemon juice. If you prefer it more sour, you can leave the maple syrup out. Or add it in later if needed, after taste testing.
  • A food processor is the best way to make this tapenade. I’ve tried a blender and it gets stuck and won’t spin as easily as a food processor. It could be possible, but it’s going to require more effort.
  • Feel free to experiment with different types of olives. If you have a olive bar at your nearby supermarket, you can get creative. Just be sure to pit the olives before adding to the food processor!
A bowl of olives with crusty bread topped with tapenade.

If you try this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag a photo #veggie__chick on Instagram. I just love to see my recipes being made in YOUR kitchen! 

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Olive Tapenade + 20 ways to use it (Vegan, Gluten Free)

A bowl of olive tapenade

Make this super easy olive tapenade in less than 10 minutes + learn 20 ways to use it. This is a great spread for bread, crackers and so many other dishes! 

  • Author: Christin McKamey
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Total Time: 10
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Food Processor
  • Cuisine: French
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 (10-ounce) jar pitted green olives, drained
  • 1 (10-ounce) jar pitted kalamata olives, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (I prefer to use dried,. If using sun-dried tomatoes from can soaked in olive oil, drain oil first and rinse with water)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespooncapers
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup*, optional
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, optional

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor. Process until blended. You might have to stop once and stir with a large spoon and blend again. Serve.
  2. Store in an airtight container. Lasts for 2-3 days in the fridge. Make 2 cups or 8 (1/4 cup servings). 

Notes

  • Zest the lemon before squeezing for juice. I like to use this zester.
  • Adding a tiny bit (just 1 teaspoon or less) of maple syrup balances the sour taste from the olives and lemon juice. If you prefer it more sour, you can leave the maple syrup out. Or add it in later if needed, after taste testing.
  • A food processor is the best way to make this tapenade. I’ve tried a blender and it gets stuck and won’t spin as easily as a food processor. It could be possible, but it’s going to require more effort.
  • Feel free to experiment with different types of olives. If you have a olive bar at your nearby supermarket, you can get creative. Just be sure to pit the olives before adding to the food processor!

20 Ways to Use this Tapenade:

  1. Mix the tapenade with hummus and place on pita bread topped with some arugula.
  2. Spread on crackers, pita chips, crackers, or bread.
  3. Stuff portobello mushrooms with the tapenade.
  4. Mix it in with some sauce with pasta, polenta, or gnocchi.
  5. Enjoy with some fresh veggies- carrots, celery, etc.
  6. Mix this in with vegan “tuna” salad sandwiches.
  7. Make a mixed plate of hummus, pita bread, falafel and olive tapenade.
  8. Add it on a pizza in the place of sauce.
  9. Use as a sandwich spread. Add a little non-dairy mayo to make it more creamy.
  10. Mix some in with baked spaghetti squash.
  11. Scoop a little on the top of a Greek salad.
  12. Make a cold pasta salad with veggies and use the tapenade as the dressing with lemon juice.
  13. Make a Mediterranean veggie burger with tapenade, red onion, tomato and parsley.
  14. Spread on a bagel for breakfast.
  15. Add it to your avocado toast.
  16. Add to bread dough and bake for an amazing olive loaf.
  17. Put together some mini-sandwich appetizers, with sandwich bread or wraps, vegan cream cheese or dairy-free mayo, olive tapenade, roasted red peppers and red onion.
  18. Stuff the olive tapenade inside Peppadew peppers, with a little vegan cream cheese.
  19. Add a couple tablespoons to an Egg-less Salad Sandwich in the place of relish.
  20. Create your own vegan version of a caprese salad with roasted red peppers, fresh basil, olive tapenade, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 185
  • Sugar: 2
  • Sodium: 576.3
  • Fat: 9.5
  • Carbohydrates: 8.2
  • Protein: 1.5

Keywords: olive tapenade, healthy olive tapenade, easy olive tapenade

Update Notes: This post was originally published in January 2016, but was republished with new photos, step by step instructions, tips, and FAQs in September 2019.

Hi, I'm Christin- thanks for stopping by my happy place! Here you will find healthy, original meat-free recipes. No matter where you are in your health journey, I hope I can help and inspire you. Read more...

3 Comments

  • Hi Christin,
    Thank you so much for sharing this helpful article with me. I really appreciate it! I will definitely be trying out the methods they suggest after I make this lovely recipe!

    Reply
  • I can’t wait to try making this recipe. It sounds like Heaven!! I’m wondering though if it can be frozen since I’m the only one in the house who will be eating it. (I’m trying to watch my weight.)
    Thank you, Christin, for always sharing your wonderful recipes with us!! <3

    Reply
    • Thank you Kathy, you are so sweet! In terms of freezing, I’m not really sure, but I did find this article that says it’s possible. I hope this helps. Let me know how it goes!

      Reply

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