Black Olive Tapenade Recipe

Black olive tapenade is a delicious and versatile spread or dip made with briny olives, fresh herbs, and a touch of acidity. It’s perfect for serving with crackers, bread, or crudités, or you can use it to add flavor to sandwiches or pasta dishes. This recipe is easy to follow and can be customized to your taste preferences.


  • 1 ½ cups pitted black olives (Kalamata or another variety you like)
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Process the olives, capers, and garlic: In a food processor, pulse the pitted olives, capers, and garlic together until they are coarsely chopped. You don’t want a completely smooth puree; the tapenade should have some texture.
  • Add the herbs and lemon juice: Scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl and add the fresh parsley and lemon juice. Pulse a few more times to combine.
  • Incorporate the olive oil: With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the tapenade reaches your desired consistency. You can add more olive oil if you prefer a looser tapenade.
  • Season and adjust: Season the tapenade with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes (if using) to taste. Pulse again to combine the seasonings.
  • Serve and store: Transfer the tapenade to a serving bowl. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and some chopped fresh parsley (optional). Serve at room temperature with crackers, bread, or vegetables. Store leftover tapenade in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


  • For a richer flavor, you can add a teaspoon of anchovy paste or two anchovy fillets, minced, along with the other ingredients.
  • If you don’t have fresh parsley, you can substitute with 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme or oregano.
  • For a smoother tapenade, pulse the ingredients a few more times in the food processor.
  • If the tapenade seems too salty, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to balance the flavor.
  • You can roast the garlic cloves for a sweeter flavor before adding them to the food processor.


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