Home RecipesAppetizers Olive Tapenade Recipe

Olive Tapenade Recipe

by Adrianne

Olive Tapenade recipe to serve and wow your guests! This is an easy homemade olive tapenade using kalamata and black olives. For easy appetizers that deliver flavour, texture and style start right here! 

Olive Tapenade in a silver spoon held above a white bowl

Our Grazing Platter leads the way for easy appetizers followed by our Caprese BitesEasy Crab Cakes, Baked Brie with garlic and our Spinach Cob Loaf. For a similar but vegan option try our Artichoke Olive Tapenade.

Make your own olive tapenade with simple, easy to find ingredients found at your local Woolworths or Coles! 

Recipes like our Coconut Prawns, vegetarian spinach dip and cranberry brie give you a variety of starter ideas! 

Looking for appetizer recipes for entertaining? Click here!  

This olive tapenade is sophisticated and stylish, but ridiculously easy to make. You can literally throw the ingredients together! Serve it with our Easy Crostini for a no fuss recipe idea! 

Easy no cook appetizers can be done in advance so you can party with your guests and not be stuck in the kitchen! 


Appetizer recipes  Popular recipes Quick and Easy recipes

What do you eat Olive Tapenade with?

You can eat olive tapenade with just about anything! Think crackers and bread or pasta and fish recipes. 

My favourite ways to serve it are with:

  • toasted pita chips
  • crackers
  • toast points (shown here)
  • crostini 
  • grilled flatbreads

You can also serve it on a Grazing Platter or with fancy cheeses like goats and ricotta. 

What is tapenade made of?

Tapenade is universally known for being made from a combination of olives, anchovies, lemon juice and olive oil. 

For added flavour and variety we add capers, garlic, a 2nd type of olive and parsley to our recipe. 

The ingredients we need can be seen in the photo below and used as a visual shopping list: 

Ingredients for olive tapenade with text overlay

Tapenade ingredients are:

  • kalamata olives
  • sliced black olives
  • garlic cloves
  • capers
  • anchovies 
  • parsley 
  • lemon juice 
  • olive oil 

Go for pitted kalamata olives and sliced black olives to save on prep time! 

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What does Olive Tapenade taste like?

This tapenade has a salty taste from the combination of the olives, capers and anchovies. 

Adding the garlic cloves, lemon juice and olive oil  is to ensure a robust variety of flavours that work well together! The taste is savoury and stylish. 

Olive tapenade recipe

When you learn to make Olive Tapenade, you will realise you never need to know where to buy it again! 

The recipe can be broken down into 10 easy steps. They are shown in the photos below so you can follow easily.

Olive Tapenade process shots with text overlay

How to make Tapenade (follow these steps!): 

  1. Add kalamata olives, black olives, capers and anchovies to your food processor (shown in photos 1-4)

You will need to peel your garlic and cut the little root part at the base off. This is the most hardest part of the recipe! 

Process for olive tapenade with text overlay

  • Add garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and parsley on top (shown in photos 5-8)

We want our tapenade to have an authentic chunky texture to it. For this reason, we literally pulse the mix until the (majority) of the olives are finely chopped with a smattering of loose chopped and combined ones. 

Olive tapenade in food processor before and after blitzing

Olive Tapenade quick info:

About the recipe:

  • we use kalamata and black olives 
  • purchase pitted olives and sliced olives 
  • drain the capers before adding (we have enough salt and don’t need the brine)
  • bottled lemon juice is fine! 
  • don’t skimp on the garlic – it is GOOD! 

FAQs about Kalamata Olive Tapenade

  1. I don’t check all of the pitted olives, I save time and throw them all in!
  2. Peeling the garlic skin is the hardest part of this recipe
  3. You can prepare this in advance, keep it in the fridge covered 
  4. You can serve this with hot or cold ingredients for example grilled bread or regular crackers 

Your quick questions answered:

  1. This recipe is super FAST
  2. The tapenade is served cold 
  3. Use a knife to cut all the ingredients and a spoon to mix together if you don’t have a food processor
  4. This is a SUPER EASY recipe

Expert tips:

This is what I have learnt:

  • buy pitted olives
  • have another use for the anchovies ie flat pizza as to not waste leftovers in jar
  • be very mindful to only blitz till the olives are just diced (less than 10 secs)
  • hot toast points are just a little bit more fancy than cold ones! 

Appetizer recipes (let’s get the party started!)  

Entertaining for guests can be super fun and enjoyable, especially if you choose easy recipes that you know you can deliver on. 

You might need a few more recipes for further inspiration:

  1. Coconut Prawns (with 2 different dipping sauces)
  2. Grazing Platter (to feed a crowd)
  3. Baked Chicken Meatballs (with homemade satay sauce)
  4. Mini Quiches (12 different ways)
  5. Baked Brie with garlic

Olive tapenade in a white bowl

Toast points can be easily made by removing the 4 crusts from a regular loaf of bread, cutting it diagonally in 1/2  and spraying it with cooking oil before baking for approx 5 mins. They are crunchy and delicious! 

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Olive Tapenade in a white bowl

Olive Tapenade in a white bowl with some spread on toast points to the left

Olive Tapenade Recipe

Olive Tapenade recipe to serve and wow your guests! This is an easy recipe for homemade olive tapenade using kalamata and black olives. For easy appetizers that deliver flavour, texture and style start right here! 
5 from 7 votes
Print Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Australian, International
Keyword: appetizer, olives, tapenade
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 53kcal
Author: Adrianne


  • Food processor


Olive Tapenade Recipe

  • 350 grams kalamata olives (pitted) Note 1
  • 3/4 black olives (slices)
  • 1/4 cup capers drained
  • 4 anchovy fillets drained
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled, end sliced off
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (20ml)
  • 1/4 cup curly leaf parsley


Olive Tapenade Recipe

  • Add kalamata olives, black olives, capers, anchovies, olive oil, lemon juice and parsley to a food processor Note 1, Note 2
  • Pulse for less than 1 minute till the majority of the ingredients are finely diced Note 3
  • Garnish with a little extra diced parsley and serve with toast points.



  • Note 1 For some recipes where I use kalamata olives I notice that there is still a pit in 1 - 2 of the olives, so remove it. For this recipe, it is fast, simple and easy, so I drain the olives and throw them into the food processor as is. I don't go through and check each one 'just in case'. Ain't nobody got time for that! Besides, you will hear a pit banging on the blade a it won't 'blitz' and you can stop and remove it. 
  • Note 2 This is one of the very few recipes that I don't use salt and pepper for. One reason is that you don't need it as you already get the salty taste coming through from the other ingredients and brine-y type flavor (sorry not sure brine-y is a word, but you know what I mean). The 2nd is that I don't want to add those textures to the recipe. With the olive and caper combo along with the liquids we get a semi chunky textured dish which tastes amazing. I don't want to add any ingredient ie salt and pepper which may add grit that doesn't get fully processed. As our method to make this is in tent on a chunky texture we are not processing the ingredients for long enough to ensure that there is no grit hence, leaving salt and pepper out is recommended. 
  • Note 3 The blitz time in the food processor is about 10 seconds, this will ensure our texture stays nice and chunky and not blended to a mushy pulp.


Calories: 53kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 124mg | Potassium: 18mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 132IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe? Share on Instagram!It makes my day when you make my recipes! Tag @sweetcaramelsunday
Please note this is a reader requested recipe. If you have a request, let me know!

Appetizer recipes

This recipe is all the things you want an appetizer to be. Easy, homemade, classic and full of delicious flavours! I know you are going to love it!!

I have you sorted with the flavour, texture and elegance with this one. It looks pretty fancy, but that is just because olives have that unique wow factor about them! 

Be sure to sing out to me if you have questions or aren’t sure about something, you will be olive this recipe!! (Haha get it all-over, sorry couldn’t help myself!!) 

Adrianne xx


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Liz February 17, 2020 - 1:44 pm

5 stars
I used to think I didn’t like olives but the olive tapenade could change my mind! Such a yummy appetizer!

Adrianne February 17, 2020 - 1:46 pm

That is great to hear, thanks Liz!

Carrie Robinson February 17, 2020 - 1:45 pm

5 stars
I LOVE olive tapenade! But I haven’t tried making my own before. Looks like I need to change that asap. 🙂

Adrianne February 20, 2020 - 3:36 am

Yes, you should definitely give it a try Carrie!! Hope you love it. Cheers

Mimi February 17, 2020 - 2:04 pm

I just love tapenade. It’s fun to mix up the olives, but I like how you just used Kalamata and black varieties. They’re so easy to buy, but I prefer to make my own, just like you! Love the other ingredients in yours, especially the parsley!

Adrianne March 2, 2020 - 11:12 am

Thanks Mimi!! Same here re the parsley, it adds that fresh herby taste to it, cheers!

kim February 17, 2020 - 2:24 pm

5 stars
I love this recipe! This was so easy and the flavor was amazing! Will definitely be making again!

Terri February 17, 2020 - 2:33 pm

5 stars
I had forgotten about Olive Tapenade and how much I love it- thanks for sharing!

Demeter February 17, 2020 - 2:44 pm

5 stars

5 stars
I love this but have only bought the premade kind before finding your recipe. This looks like it has so much better flavor!

Matt February 24, 2020 - 7:02 pm

I love eating olive tapenade but never thought to make it myself! You make it look so easy, I’ll have to give it a go!

Adrianne February 24, 2020 - 8:36 pm

Thanks Matt! Yes it is so easy! Hope you give it a go!


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