Skip to content

Delicious Home Made Olive Tapenade

Few recipes capture the essence of the Mediterranean as perfectly as this Olive Tapenade; rich in flavour and combines a symphony of ingredients to create a versatile condiment that enhances any dish it graces.

Homemade Olive Tapenade is more than just a condiment; it’s a culinary gem that effortlessly elevates a wide range of dishes. Its bold and briny flavours, derived from a harmonious blend of black and green olives, sundried tomatoes, capers, garlic, and a touch of citrus, make it a versatile recipe that can be your secret weapon in the kitchen. While fantastic as a spread for a Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwich, it opens the door to culinary creativity. From puff pastry tarts and pasta sauces to grilled meats and Mediterranean-inspired salads, the possibilities are endless.

Beyond the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwich: A World of Possibilities

While Olive Tapenade shines as a delightful spread in the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwich, its versatility is unknown. Embrace its potential in the culinary world as it effortlessly elevates various dishes:

  • Puff Pastry Tarts: Spread Olive Tapenade on puff pastry and top with roasted vegetables and feta cheese for a savoury tart that’s a showstopper at any gathering.
  • Pasta Sauces: Incorporate it into pasta sauces for an instant burst of Mediterranean flair, making your pasta dishes sing with flavour.
  • Grilled Meats: Use it as a marinade or condiment for grilled meats, infusing them with the bold and savoury character of the Mediterranean.
  • Mediterranean-Inspired Salads: Drizzle it over salads for a punchy dressing or mix it into potato or tuna salad for a delightful twist.

With Olive Tapenade in your culinary repertoire, you hold the key to unlocking a world of Mediterranean flavours, and each dish becomes a culinary masterpiece in its own right.

Basic Ingredients for Olive Tapenade


Pitted Black Olives: These olives bring a rich, earthy flavour and a satisfying meaty texture to the tapenade. Their dark colour and robust taste add depth to the mixture.

Pitted Green Olives: Green olives contribute a slightly tangy and briny note, balancing the flavours of the black olives. Together, they create a harmonious blend that characterises Mediterranean cuisine.

Sundried Tomatoes: Sundried tomatoes offer an intense sweetness and concentrated tomato flavour. They infuse the tapenade with a rich, sun-soaked essence that brings depth to the condiment.

Capers: Capers provide a zesty and piquant punch to the tapenade, enhancing its complexity. These small but potent buds add a burst of flavour, making each bite exciting.

Garlic Cloves: Garlic infuses the tapenade with a subtle yet unmistakable hint of heat and depth. Its aromatic presence elevates the overall profile of the condiment.

Fresh Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice contributes a bright and citrusy counterpoint, balancing the richness of the olives and sundried tomatoes. It imparts a refreshing and vibrant quality to the tapenade.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil binds the ingredients together, giving the tapenade a luscious, silky texture. Its delicate fruity notes and richness are quintessential to Mediterranean cuisine.

Black Pepper: Freshly ground black pepper adds a final touch, bringing a harmonious spiciness that ties all the flavours together and adds complexity to the tapenade.

alternative ingredients

Olives: Experiment with different olive varieties, such as Kalamata olives for a more intense briny flavour or Castelvetrano olives for a milder, buttery taste.

Sundried Tomatoes: You can vary the sundried tomatoes by using those packed in oil or rehydrated sundried tomatoes for different textures and flavours.

Capers: Try using pickled caperberries for a unique twist on the classic tapenade.

Garlic: Adjust the amount of garlic to suit your preference, whether you prefer a milder or more robust garlic flavour.

Preparation Tips for Olive Tapenade

  • Ensure the olives are pitted to avoid unwanted surprises while enjoying the tapenade.
  • When blending the ingredients in a food processor, pulse them until finely chopped but not pureed to maintain a desirable chunky texture.
  • When adding lemon juice and olive oil, gradually blend to achieve the desired paste-like consistency.

Serving Tips for Olive Tapenade

  • Serve the olive tapenade as a dip with crusty bread, crackers, or alongside a cheese platter for a Mediterranean-inspired appetiser.
  • Incorporate it into sandwiches, wraps, or paninis for a burst of flavour.
  • Use it as a condiment for grilled meats, seafood, or roasted vegetables to enhance their taste.

storage tips

  • Store the olive tapenade in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  • Ensure the surface of the tapenade is covered with a thin layer of olive oil to help preserve its freshness and prevent oxidation.
  • If you need to freeze it, do so in a sealed container, leaving some space for expansion. Thaw it in the refrigerator before use, and stir well to restore the texture.

Delicious Homemade Olive Tapenade

Servings: 1 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes


  • 1 cup black olives, pitted
  • 1 cup green olives, pitted
  • 4-6 pcs sundried tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • black pepper, to taste


  • In a food processor, combine black olives, green olives, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, and garlic. Pulse until finely chopped but not pureed.
  • Add lemon juice and slowly drizzle in olive oil in the food processor while blending, until you achieve a paste-like consistency.
  • Season with black pepper to taste. Transfer the tapenade to a bowl and set it aside.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @cookingwithzahra on Instagram and hashtag it #cookingwithzahra so we can see all the deliciousness!

Add a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Get new recipes, meal planners, and creative entertaining ideas