Homemade Olive Tapenade

Olive tapenaude

The Spruce

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Yield: 1 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
11 Calories
1g Fat
0g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 11
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 49mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 5mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 1mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Tapenade is a rich olive spread that was popularized in the Mediterranean, and today it's a must-have condiment for many people throughout the world. It's incredibly easy to make at home and requires just a few simple ingredients. You'll also find it to be more economical than what you buy at the store, especially if you love tapenade.

The recipe simply combines Kalamata olives and capers with lemon juice and olive oil. You can also add anchovy paste and black pepper to give it a little extra flavor. 

Tapenade is a requirement for the muffaletta sandwiches that are so famous in New Orleans. It's also become a great overall condiment for a variety of foods and snacks. 


  • 20 Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed, drained, and chopped

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste, optional

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for olive tapenaude
    The Spruce
  2. Combine Kalamata olives, capers, lemon juice, olive oil, anchovy paste, and pepper. Mix well.

    Ingredients combined
    The Spruce
  3. Refrigerate and use within two weeks.

How to Enjoy Your Tapenade

Tapenade is a very versatile condiment. While it is the signature ingredient for muffaletta and a favorite on panini, there are many more ways that to enjoy it.

It's very common for tapenade lovers to use it for bite-sized snacks and appetizers. It's a popular spread for crackers, pita chips, and crispy bread. You can even enjoy it on your avocado toast or a bagel and enjoy a light breakfast or brunch.

Tapenade makes a great dip for vegetables, especially carrots, celery, broccoli, and cucumbers. Many people love the combination of tapenade and hummus as well.

It's very common for people to use tapenade as a condiment in the same way they would relish. Add it to your favorite sandwiches alongside or instead of mayonnaise. It's also a nice alternative or addition to garlic when mixed with mayonnaise in a traditional aioli recipe.

Tapenade can be an interesting addition to your favorite salads as well. You could incorporate it into a vinaigrette or thin it out with olive oil for a salad dressing. Caprese salad is a favorite for tapenade fans. If pasta is on the menu, toss it with light pasta for lunch or use it as the dressing for a pasta salad.

Once you fall in love with the flavor, you'll come up with even more ideas. For example, tapenade is an excellent alternative to marinara and other sauces on veggie pizzas. You might even consider adding a spoonful to your next omelet.