Simple, savory, and perfectly salty, good tapenades should be the best thing to spread on a cracker.

tapenade on a slice of baguette on a white plate
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Simple, savory, and perfectly salty, good tapenades should be the best thing to spread on a cracker. Why not learn how to make your own simple yet super delicious tapenade and serve it as an appetizer?

Make sure to pair your tapenade with some homemade bread using this White Bread Recipe! Or learn How to Make Homemade Pita Chips and use your tapenade as a dip!

tapenade on a slice of baguette on a white plate


Tapenade is another one of those eternally fancy-looking spreads that seems like it would take a culinary genius to be able to make.

However, far from being a complex haute cuisine recipe, it is actually nothing more than some blitzed-up olives, anchovies, and oil.

It is not only super easy but way better when you make it at home because you can then adjust everything to your flavor preferences and make it saltier, sweeter, or more acidic, whatever you prefer!                

tapenade ingredients in small clear bowls

What To Do If You Don’t Have A Food Processor?

The easiest way to get everything together for making some tapenade is to simply combine all of the ingredients together and then blitz it all in a food processor.

Not only does using the food processor make it so that you don’t need to dirty other dishes or utensils, but it is also super fast and even with how it cuts everything up, leading to a really uniform, chunky-like tapenade.

However, if you don’t have a food processor, you can easily just cut all the ingredients up by hand instead!

Just finely chop each individual ingredient, one by one, and then place them all together into a bowl.

This will obviously create a more uneven mix of ingredients, leading to a bit of a chunkier texture, so if you want something smooth, try mashing everything together in a mortar instead!

If you find you are struggling to get some of the ingredients smashed, like the olives or the garlic, try adding a sprinkle of your salt. The salt acts as an abrasive and helps everything break down, leading to a much smoother tapenade!

tapenade on a large spoon

What To Use In Place Of Parsley?

Parsley is one of those incredibly useful herbs that seem to crop up again and again in all sorts of recipes.

Not only is it a vibrant green, but it also completes a lot of savory flavors really well and works perfectly to help balance the olives in this tapenade.

However, if you don’t have parsley or just don’t want to have to deal with the little green bits that get stuck in your teeth, you can always replace them with another herb.

Basil would work really well, and it doesn’t get stuck in your teeth so easily! You could also use something like coriander, so long as you keep in mind that it will make the whole thing taste like coriander!

Or, failing any of those other options, you can easily just skip it.

tapenade in a bowl surrounded by slices of toasted baguette

What Kinds Of Olives Are Best To Make Into Tapenade?

Tapenade is, first and foremost, an olive spread, so it stands to reason that this is the kind of dish that you should try and use high-quality olives for.

You can use any type of olive you like, but the use of both green and black olives in this recipe provides a flavor contrast, as well as giving a little bit of extra color variety.

Try to avoid using those dried, preserved olives with really wrinkly skin, though. Though they taste great, they are just far too salty to use to make tapenade – they will make the whole thing taste like salt and nothing else!

tapenade in a bowl with a spoon

How Should You Use Your Tapenade?

Tapenade is an incredibly versatile spread – you can spread it on bread or crackers or even just eat it on its own.

Its easy spreadability makes it perfect for serving as an hors d’oeuvre at the start of a big meal or as part of an appetizer for a party.

It also makes for a great lunch option when served alongside some crusty bread. Just dip your bread in the tapenade, and you’ve got a healthy, salty, and nourishing meal with super little effort!

Looking for more delicious Appetizers and Snacks recipes? Try these out:

Shrimp Surprise Spread – The Best Shrimp Dip Ever!

Dill Dip

French Onion Dip

Happy Cooking




Simple, savory, and usually perfectly salty, good tapenades should be the best thing to spread on a cracker.


Simple, savory, and perfectly salty, good tapenades should be the best thing to spread on a cracker.
5 from 1 votes
tapenade on a slice of baguette on a white plate
Prep Time
10 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


  • ½ cup green olives (pitted)
  • ½ cup black olives (pitted)
  • 2 Tablespoons lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley (with thin stems)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic ( minced or pressed)
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon capers (drained)
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)


  • In the bowl of your food processor, combine all of the ingredients. Pulse briefly about 10 times, then scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Pulse about 5 to 10 more times until well chopped, but not pureed, or until you reach your desired texture.
  • Serve on small slices of toasted baguettes or use your favorite crackers.

Recipe Notes

No food processor? Finely chop the solid ingredients by hand, then stir all of the ingredients together in a bowl.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 476kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 49g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 36g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 2554mg, Potassium: 192mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 1220IU, Vitamin C: 24mg, Calcium: 111mg, Iron: 2mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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