Quick Olive Tapenade Recipe

We’re all short on time and often quality food gets neglected. The thought of something like an olive tapenade seems like a dish you can only find at a fancy restaurant or gourmet grocery store. But with a few easy ingredients you can whip up a healthy tapenade within seconds! You can throw it on a salad, enjoy it on some toast/crackers or eat it with a spoon.

Of course, the best olive tapenade starts with the best olives, but the color doesn’t really matter. I’m using pitted black olives for this recipe, but you can also use green olives if the pits are removed. If you’re feeling bold, you can even try using the green ones with the pimentos inside.

This recipe also calls for capers. These salted flower buds really bring this recipe to life and are a great way to turn things up a notch in your cooking.

The key to making a good olive tapenade is making sure that the ingredients remain chunky, yet spreadable. If you over-process it tends to come out more like a puree than a tapenade.

If you are going to be using a kitchen blender, it helps to have one with variable speeds where you can use the low setting, but it’s not totally necessary. If you only have one speed just use the “pulse” function or turn the machine on and off to move the blades in short little bursts. After a burst, you may have to slightly adjust the ingredients to make sure that the blades catch the un-chopped parts on the next pulse.

As you can see in this picture, I like to do it in one of my Magic Bullet blenders. It took around 3-4 pulses of me turning it on and then readjusting the ingredients to make sure the blades hit everything.

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No blender or food processor? Try using a mortar and pestle! You’ll get a similar result, but it will take a bit longer.

The finished product is already slightly oily looking without even adding any olive oil. This is because the blending process works to release a little bit of the natural oils that the olives already have. But if you want to make this tapenade even more indulgent, you can add 1 tbsp of olive oil. It’s not necessary, but it can give it that extra bump that will make you want to lick the plate!


  • 15 oz can of olives (drained of water)
  • 10-12 capers
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 1 grind of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (optional)


  • Add all the ingredients to a blender or small food processor.
  • Pulse for a second, but don’t keep the blades going. You don’t want to fully liquefy the ingredients. They should remain chunky but spreadable.
  • Adjust and pulse until desired texture is reached.
  • Serve with bread and fresh basil/tomato (optional)

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