Olive Tapenade Recipe: A Mediterranean Diet Staple

Olive tapenade recipe - Dr. Axe

Appetizers and starters are often more difficult to plan than main meals. After all, you want the entree to be tasty, but not ruin any appetites; complement, but not take over the flavors of the main and if you’re only serving appetizers, like when you’re having a party, you want the appetizer to be substantive enough and hold its own.

Luckily, one easy recipe covers all those bases: olive tapenade.

What Is a Tapenade?

A tapenade is a spread usually made from crushed olives and capers. While it likely originated in the Mediterranean diet regions, where capers are from, tapenade became popular in France’s Provençal region in the south. There, tapenade is usually served alongside bread or crackers, so you can add as much or as little of the spread atop. It’s also mixed with butter and used to stuff chicken or cook fish with.

Olive tapenade recipe step 1 - Dr. Axe

Though olives and capers are tapenade staples, different regions also add in their own favorite mix-ins to jazz up the original. Sun-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, anchovies and eggplant are all common additions that take a traditional olive tapenade and make it even better.

The heart-healthy, cholesterol-lowering foods like nutrition-rich olive oil, garlic, anchovy, eggplant and the like are what helped make the Mediterranean diet so famous.

Recipe Nutrition Facts

One serving of this olive tapenade recipe contains approximately: (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9)(10)(11)(12)

Olive tapenade recipe ingredients - Dr. Axe

  • 53 calories
  • 4 grams fat
  • 3 grams carbohydrates
  • 431.63 milligrams sodium
  • 41.39 micrograms vitamin K (34.49 percent DV)
  • 245.19 IUs vitamin A (4.9 percent DV)
  • 3.56 milligrams vitamin C (3.96 percent DV)

How to Make Olive Tapenade

Because I am a big fan of sun-dried tomatoes, I’ve added some to my version of olive tapenade. You’ll love the extra zest they add.

Olive tapenade recipe step 2 - Dr. Axe

Since this easy olive tapenade recipe is made from so few ingredients, I urge you to find the best quality olives and capers you can get your hands on. They will make a huge difference!

Olive tapenade recipe step 3 - Dr. Axe

You can use either olive oil or avocado oil (a French favorite) for this recipe; both taste great. We’re loading up on herbs, too, including fresh basil and parsley, for some serious flavor.

Olive tapenade recipe step 4 - Dr. Axe

Finally, though old-school tapenades are made with a mortar and pestle, in this tapenade recipe, I’ll spare your arms — you’ll use a food processor to achieve a nice, smooth spread in just seconds.

Olive tapenade recipe step 5 - Dr. Axe

Add all of the ingredients to the food processor.

Olive tapenade recipe step 6 - Dr. Axe

Then blend on high until all the ingredients are well-combined. It’s OK for the tapenade recipe to be a bit chunky.

Olive tapenade recipe step 7 - Dr. Axe

Serve the olive tapenade with your favorite crackers or gluten-free crostini …

Olive tapenade recipe - Dr. Axe

If you don’t feel like using this easy olive tapenade as a dip with crackers or crostini, you can be innovative and use it as a condiment for your next Mediterranean-inspired sandwich or atop a salad. You can’t go wrong with however you choose to serve this olive tapenade. As the French say, bon appétit!

Total Time

5 minutes




  • 1½–2 cups pitted black and green olives
  • ¼–½ cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • ½ cup capers, drained
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1½ teaspoons oregano
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil


  1. Add everything to a food processor and blend on high until well-combined.
  2. Put on top of gluten-free crackers or toasted bread.

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  1. vex 3 on

    It’s great to be here with everyone, I have a lot of knowledge from what you share, to say thanks, the information and knowledge here helps me a lot.

  2. Jan on

    This is really yum. I just tried this recipe today with some rice crackers and I couldn’t stop eating! Will definitely do this again. But maybe I will try to make the batch of tapenade last longer next time. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Galatee on

    Tapenade is a tasty treat, thanks for the recipe idea. The French traditional recipe that I grew up with has few ingredients and also lots of flavor without the addition of extra salt and tomato: 10 oz. of black and/or green brine-cured olives, 2 garlic cloves, 3 oz. capers , 8 anchovy filets in olive oil, plus ½ c olive oil (can add 1 tsp thyme and pinch of black pepper). I prefer this combination, especially since I have become allergic to tomato. Because the olives, capers, and anchovies are already salty, adding more salt would be too much for me.

  4. Anita R Swillinger on

    I’m a little surprised at how freely you promote honey. I thought it’s “sugar is sugar”. Didn’t one of your recipes call for like a CUP of honey???
    Thanks for what you and Jordan do!

  5. Barry on

    I shall definitely head to the Olive bar to select the most delectable fare found there.

    Step 2 – I may just double the recipe.

    • Katy on

      My guess is yes :) I’ve seen lots of other recipes with varieties of olives. Personally I think kalamata olives would make the tapenade better :)


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