How to Make Olive Tapenade

This quick and easy olive tapenade recipe is a favorite in my family. It’s easy, healthy, and fast to make. I pair it with my homemade gluten-free rice crackers (recipe below) for a great snack that everyone can enjoy!

How to make olive tapenade, a basic olive tapenade recipe. healthy snack ideas

If you have never tried your hand at making olive tapenade you MUST. You truly can do it in just a few minutes and few ingredients. Once you learn the basic recipe you can adjust, add, subtract, and tweak until you get the perfect recipe for YOU. And, olive tapenade jarred up in cute jars is a gorgeous, appreciated gift!

Easy olive tapenade recipe ingredients

Olive Tapenade is just the combination of a few ingredients; black olives, green olives, garlic, oil, and an acid (lemon juice, vinegar, etc…). Often you’ll see anchovies, nuts, herbs, and more added in. Try the most basic olive tapenade recipe first and then try some fantastic add-ins! If you prefer black olives to green olives then use more black than green. If you prefer green olives to black, vice versa. Just be sure to get the proper amount of olives in whatever color.

Try our Spinach Pesto for an easy appetizer idea!

I like to use Mezzetta olives because they are 1) great tasting and good quality and 2) they often come stuffed with garlic, cheese, and/or jalapenos which cuts out one of my needed ingredients completely. I often pick up the garlic stuffed olives instead of adding fresh garlic. And Mezzetta makes a cheese stuffed olive that I love using in my basic olive tapenade recipe. Makes it so easy!

How to make easy olive tapenade

For the basic olive tapenade I use a mortar and pestle (fancy little name for a basic little tool) but feel free to pull out your food processor or even have a go with a potato masher. The name of the game is smushing olives and garlic so use whatever tools work for you and that you have on hand!

Start with your garlic and pound that down to a fine mince. If you have a garlic mincer or purchase already minced garlic… smart cookie! Then add in your olives and smoosh those down as well. Add in your oil and acid as needed to help you smoosh the olives down and get the consistency you like. Then, give everything a good stir to mix them all together.

That truly is all there is to it. Olive tapenade will store in the fridge for about a week if kept in a closed container. But it won’t last a week, guaranteed. Your family will gobble that up so fast and ask for more!

What do you have with olive tapenade, you ask?

  • crackers
  • cheese
  • meats
  • crusty breads
How to make olive tapenade, a basic olive tapenade recipe. healthy snack ideas

easy Olive Tapenade Recipe

Prep Time | 5 minutes
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  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup Mezzetta black olives
  • 1/2 cup Mezzetta green olives
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar optional
Check out our Kitchen Reference Guide for help with unfamiliar terms.


  • In food processor or mortar & pestle grind garlic cloves.
  • Add in olives and grind/process until desired consistency.
  • Add olive oil, lemon juice, and vinegar. Stir.
  • Serve immediately or put in fridge for up to 1 week.


Try add-ins:
fresh herbs
Parmesan cheese

Save this recipe to your Pinterest board for later…

Other olive recipes you need to try:

easy 3 ingredient olive dip that is a perfect appetizer for a party!

easy Olive Dip

A twist on the traditional pesto recipe with collard greens and olives!

Green olive and collard green pesto

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