Kalamata olive tapenade is an easy recipe to use as a healthy spread on a sandwich or dip for your next party.  It's super quick to make and is low carb and gluten free.  Kalamata olives, fresh herbs, capers, and anchovies are chopped and mixed to make an outstanding dish.  Enjoy the taste of the Mediterranean tapenade and use it to liven up your pasta, bruschetta, and chicken.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
holding a piece of toast spread with olive tapenade
Dips, Sauces, & Custards, Salad

Kalamata Olive Tapenade

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Are you craving a snack and don’t know what to have?  If you’re an olive lover, try this kalamata olive tapenade.  It comes together quickly, is low carb, and is very versatile.

spreading olive tapenade on a piece of toast

What is olive tapenade?

Olive tapenade is dish from the Provençal region of France.  It can be used as a dip or a spread and is most commonly used in appetizers.

What is tapenade made of?

Finely chopped or pureed olives, capers, and olive oil are the basic ingredients, but many chefs also include anchovies, garlic, fresh herbs, and lemon juice.

dipping a piece of toast into olive tapenade

What do you eat tapenade with?

  • Bread: the most common thing to serve with tapenade.  Think bruschetta, pita bread, and crackers.  It also tastes wonderful used as a spread on sandwiches or as a topping on homemade pizza.  You can also add it to your homemade bread dough to make olive bread.
  • Vegetables: carrots sticks and celery can be dipped into tapenade.  Portbella mushrooms can be stuffed with tapenade.
  • Meat: use tapenade to stuff boneless chicken breasts or use it as a spread on grilled fish.
  • Cheese: serve with soft cheeses like goat and cream cheese.

holding a piece of toast spread with olive tapenade

What kind of olives are best for tapenade?

  • Kalamata olives, brined
  • Black olives, brined
  • Green olives, brined

Does olive tapenade need to be refrigerated?

Yes, it does.  Stored in an airtight container, it should be good for a couple of weeks.

How to Make Olive Tapenade

Gather all the ingredients.  Soak the anchovy fillets in milk for 10 minutes, rinse the olives and capers, and zest and juice two lemons.  Rinse and pat dry the fresh basil, parsley, and oregano then peel the shallots and the garlic.  Drain and rinse the anchovies, then pat them dry.

tapenade ingredients in glass bowls

Add all the ingredients (except the lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil) into a food processor or powerful blender.

tapenade ingredients in the food processor

Pulse until well combined.  Scrape the sides down with a flexible spatula.

scraping down the sides of the food processor with a spatula

Add the lemon zest and the freshly squeezed lemon juice.

adding lemon juice to food processor

Pulse a few more times, then add the extra virgin olive oil.  Pulse until it’s the texture you desire.

adding olive oil to food processor

Taste and add pepper.  If you want, you can add a little bit of salt.  Pulse a few more times, then it’s ready to serve.

adding salt and pepper to food processor

Use a spatula to remove the olive tapenade from the food processor and place in a glass measuring cup.  This will allow you to easily see how much you actually have – a little over 2 cups.

glass measuring cup filled with olive tapenade

If you want a quick appetizer, just put some of the olive tapenade in a bowl and spread on toasted French bread.

bowl of olive tapenade with a spoon

Pro Tips for Making Olive Tapenade

  • Don’t own a food processor or high speed blender? Use a knife to mince everything up or use a mortar and pestle.
  • Want to reduce the sodium?  Rinse the olives and capers more than once and omit the salt.
  • Want additional olives?  Use black or green olives that are oil-cured or brined.
  • Want to use up tapenade?  Try it on sandwiches, pasta, grilled fish, portabella mushrooms, and stuffed chicken breasts.
  • Want other add ins? Try marinated artichoke hearts and eggplant.

food processor, glass bowls, measuring cup, and spatulas

Our Go-To Kitchen Tools for Making Olive Tapenade

Looking for more olive recipes?  These ones are sure to be a hit.

spoonful of olive salad for muffaletta tomato olive salad on a white plate dish of Greek salad with olive oil and dried oregano

  • Olive Salad: this colorful salad is a crucial component of an authentic muffaletta sandwich.
  • Tomato Olive Salad: a great make ahead salad that combines juicy grape tomatoes with olives.
  • Traditional Greek Salad: this delicious medley of tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, and olives is refreshing.

The pleasure of a 5-star review of this olive tapenade recipe would be greatly appreciated.

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holding a piece of toast spread with olive tapenade

Kalamata Olive Tapenade


  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1/4 cups 1x

Description

Kalamata olive tapenade is an easy recipe to use as a healthy spread on a sandwich or dip for your next party.  It’s super quick to make and is low carb and gluten free.  Kalamata olives, fresh herbs, capers, and anchovies are chopped and mixed to make an outstanding dish.  Enjoy the taste of the Mediterranean tapenade and use it to liven up your pasta, bruschetta, and chicken.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 cups kalamata olives, pitted (720g)
  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed (30g)
  • 2 ounces anchovies, rinsed (56g)
  • 1/3 cup whole milk (78 ml)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest, from 2 large lemons
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, from 2 large lemons (60 ml)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped (12g)
  • 1/4 cup fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped (8g)
  • 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained (60g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Mediterranean sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 tablespoon fresh oregano (6g)
  • 1/4 cup shallots, finely diced
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (74 ml)

Instructions

  1. Rinse the anchovy fillets.  Pat dry, then soak in milk for 10 minutes to reduce the saltiness.  Drain, rinse and pat dry.  Rinse the capers in a small sieve and let drain.
  2. Add the olives, capers, anchovies, garlic, basil, parsley, oregano, sun dried tomatoes, sea salt, and shallots to a food processor.  Pulse 20 times.
  3. Add the lemon zest and the fresh lemon juice.  Pulse a few times.
  4. Pour in 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Pulse a few times to get the desired texture.  If needed, add an extra tablespoon of olive oil.
  5. Serve with crackers or use in a sandwich.  Refrigerate leftovers for up to 1 week.

Notes

  • The pleasure of a 5-star review for this olive tapenade recipe would be greatly appreciated.
  • Category: Dip
  • Method: Food Processor
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: olive tapenade, dip

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2 thoughts on “Kalamata Olive Tapenade

  1. Olive tapenade is very good. It is salty and deliciously Mediterranean. I love how nice this is as a spread on bread 🍞.

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