Green Olive Tapenade

If you love olives, this green olive tapenade is for you! Originally from France, this is a bright, briny dish that is perfect as an appetizer, hors d’oeuvres or as part of a meal.

Green olive tapenade is a easy appetizer for a group.
Green olive tapenade is an easy appetizer for a group.

This easy green olive tapenade makes entertaining easy, especially when this dish is only a few ingredients. Tapenade is mainly briny olives mixed with olive oil and aromatics.

While this is called a “green olive tapenade” this recipe can be made with any kind of olive. If you enjoy a different kind of olive, by all means, add in a different kind of olive, or replace the green olives altogether with another kind of olive.

Best Olives for Tapenade

The best olives for tapenade are the olives you enjoy eating. Tapenade can be made with Kalamata, green olives, Castelvetrano or Manzilla. The best tapenades are made with a mixture of different olives. My favorite is made with green olives and Kalamatas.

Another great option or buying olives is buying an olive medley, like this one from Amazon.

If you have a favorite olive, such as black olives, go ahead and throw them into the mix. Tapenade can be made with any olive and it’s up to you to decide what kind of olive you’d like to make it with. Just make sure you choose olives that have been cured in brine. You can use one kind of olive or a mixture of different kinds. This recipe calls for green olives and Kalamata olives, but if you’ve ever wanted to go crazy at your local olive bar at the grocery store, now’s your chance!

How to Serve

Now that you have your tapenade made, you can decide how to serve it. It’s most often served with crostini. It can also be served as a garnish in soups such as butternut squash soup.

This dish in completely vegan since it is olive based. You can stick with a vegan theme when serving your freshly-made tapenade and only serve other vegan dishes such as Bruschetta.

Serve tapenade with crostinis.
Serve tapenade with crostinis

Serve your freshly-made tapenade either chilled or room temperate. Serve with small breads, either toasted or in the form of a loaf. Crackers also work well. If you are serving your tapenade to folks that are sticking to a keto diet, serve this dish with slices of bell pepper.

Making Green Olive Tapenade

Olive tapenade is best made with a food processor

Making green olive tapenade is quite easy and simple. The piece of special cooking equipment that you will definitely need is a food processor.

Add your olives, oil capers, and garlic to the food processor and pulse the food processor. Then add the lemon and parsley. to the mix. If it looks a little dry, go ahead and add a little more oil until it is to your liking.

Generally, tapenade is served swimming in oil by the time it makes it out to your table, but you can put as much or as little olive oil in your dish.

I prefer to have less oil in tapenade when I make it for myself and my family, mostly because the oil and fat content in olives is already so high. Adding excess oil to your homemade tapenade can make for a greasy mouth-feel. If you enjoy more olive oil in your tapenade, then by all means, add in more olive oil until you are satisfied.


If you are wondering what to add to your tapenade, that is perfectly normal! While it is perfectly delicious on it’s own with a plain piece of bread, sometimes it needs a bit of something to make it picture perfect.

If you want to add something to give it that umpf you’re looking for, there are a couple of options. The easiest to do is it to take the back of a spoon and make a small area or a “pool” for olive oil. Pour some extra oil on the top of the tapenade for dipping. If you would like to add more garnishes, add in toasted pine nuts or parsley or cilantro leaves for an added pop of something green.

What to Serve with Tapenade

There are many options when it comes to deciding what to serve with your green olive tapenade. Traditionally, tapenade is served onto of toasts or crostini. Looking for other ideas for appetizers? I’ve listed some ideas below for a meal of appetizers.

Green Olive Tapenade

5.0 from 1 vote
Recipe by Sarah
Course: Appetizers, SideCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time







  • Prep. Pit the olives and cut the parsley off the stems. Roughly chop the garlic. Set aside.
  • Add all the olives, garlic, parsley, olive oil and capers to a food processor. Blend until chopped.
  • Add in the lemon juice and pulse until just combined.

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