Vegan Olive Tapenade Recipe

Tapenade is a rich olive spread popular in the Mediterranean. It's quite easy to make at home with just a few simple ingredients. Tapenade is a must for New Orleans Muffaletta sandwiches. Condiment Recipes Salad Recipes
Homemade black and green olive tapenade photo by Alexandra Grablewski/Photodisc/Getty Images
  • 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: about 1 cup (serves 16)
Ratings (22)

Vegan olive tapenade is a great spread to serve with crackers for an easy gourmet appetizer or hors d'oeurves for any party where you're expecting vegetarian or vegan guests (or just guests who like good food!). This simple and easy homemade olive tapenade recipe uses two kinds of olives to give a pleasing color combination to the dish.

Olive tapenade can be served in a small dish alongside your favorite crackers, flatbread or toasted slices of baguette, or use it to top off some homemade hummus for a layered dip with a beautiful presentation. It's the perfect starter for a summer lunch or dinner on the patio or poolside. You can also enjoy it with a glass of chilled white wine.

Some more ideas for using up homemade tapenade? Putting olive tapenade on bread adds a lovely zing to vegetarian sandwiches, or you can also toss it with pasta for hot or chilled noodle dishes.

This recipe is both vegetarian and vegan and can be prepared in just a few minutes using a food processor or a knife to finely mince the ingredients.

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup black olives
  • 1/2 cup green olives
  • 1 tbsp. capers (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper, or to taste

How to Make It

  1. If you've got a food processor, you can simply process all the ingredients for a few seconds. Don't process too finely, since tapenade should not be completely smooth, but more of a thick and chunky paste. Of course, you can also just process it to whatever texture you prefer!
  2. If you don't have a food processor, finely mince the olives and garlic, then combine with all the other ingredients, mixing well.

    Serve the tapenade with crackers, flatbread, baguette or slices of a toasted artisan bread. Place it in a small bowl with a butter knife for guests to top the bread or crackers. Also, consider using it to top hummus and add a layer of flavor, or mix it in with hummus for a dip.

    Olive tapenade doesn't have to be refrigerated before serving, but you should refrigerate any leftovers. You can use it for a few days after preparation if you keep it cold. 

    Olive Tapenade Variations

    Try this recipe for olive tapenade with sun-dried tomatoes that includes fresh basil. It can be made with or without Parmesan cheese or vegan Parmesan.

    If you like spicy food, try making one of these simple olive tapenades and adding in a bit of fresh chopped chili peppers and a bit of your favorite hot sauce, or, if you have some fresh herbs on hand, you can always add in some fresh chopped parsley and basil to a homemade tapenade. Other variations? Add some minced pimiento peppers, roasted red pepper, or crushed red pepper flakes. The only crucial ingredients are olives, capers and olive oil - the rest is up to you, so get creative!