Green Olive Tapenade is one of the simplest appetizers to make when it comes to vegetarian dip recipes. It’s also the perfect condiment to have on hand for olive lovers, as it can be added to, or spread on, many dishes for added flavor.

Olive tapenade on wire rack with baguette crisps.

I first fell in love with olive spreads in Provencial France, which also inspired our black olive tapenade and our mild, buttery artichoke tapenade. Briney spreadables that can be enjoyed as an appetizer or easy lunch option. Winning 5-minute recipes, friends!

Ingredients for Green Olive Tapenade

There are so many, many reasons to love this recipe, and the list of simple ingredients is among them. With most (maybe all?) already in your pantry, you can whip up a batch whenever the craving strikes, or when you need the perfect last-minute appetizer.

Green olive tapenade ingredients for recipe laid out.

Here are the list of ingredients you’ll need to make this briny olive tapenade:

  • Green Olives – you can use your favorite green olives, but I love and recommend using Castelvetrano olives. They’re buttery and a little milder than other green olive varieties, which makes them perfect for the tapenade as they will suit many palates! Castelvetrano olives also give this tapenade its bright green hue; other varieties may have a more muted color.
    • Cerignola olives are another option. Regardless of which olive you choose, remember the salt level will vary so be sure to taste test.
  • Anchovy Paste or Capers – anchovies are a traditional ingredient when it comes to tapenades, they add a rich brininess that is classic, especially in the provincial region of France. Use capers instead for a vegetarian version.
  • Garlic – of course, we have garlic.
  • Lemon Juice – as always, I highly recommend using fresh lemon juice! What a fresh brightness it adds to the tapenade!
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – to smooth out the tapenade. I recommend using high-quality olive oil, one that you enjoy the flavor of, since it will shine through in this no-cook recipe.
Bowl of Castelvetrano olives next to olive oil and baguette crisps.

How to Make Olive Tapenade

It can’t be said enough: you are going to LOVE how easy this 5-minute recipe is. You will need a food processor for this recipe, or a blender, to combine all of the ingredients and create the tapenade texture, which is a spreadable, semi-coarse texture.

Making tapenade is as easy as placing all of the ingredients into the food processor, except for the olive oil. Then, pulse them until coarse crumb forms.

Once the mixture is started, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the olive mix as the food processor is running. This slightly emulsifies and brings the ingredients together into the spreadable tapenade texture.

Once the olive oil has been added to the tapenade, I recommend taste testing it and adjusting the salt and pepper levels to your desired amount. Of course, the olives and anchovies are salty as is, and you may not need to add any salt at all.

Make it Vegetarian or Vegan

To make olive tapenade without anchovies, substitute capers in place of the anchovies. You can also simply omit the anchovies and add additional salt to make up for the saltiness of the anchovies.

Ways to Use Tapenade

There are about a million and one ways to serve Castelvetrano olive tapenade, which is a beautiful, beautiful thing. Again, because it’s ready in 5 minutes flat, it’s 100% my go-to appetizer for when friends drop by or when I need just one more thing to add to my cheeseboard.

Here are my favorite ways to serve this tapenade:

  • On its own with crostini or sliced baguette.
  • On a simple charcuterie board.
  • At dinner with crusty sourdough bread alongside your favorite soup.
  • At a picnic – just store it in a jar and it’s ready!
  • Smeared on sandwiches of roasted veggies or turkey.
  • On flatbreads or socca along with tomato spread (as we did in France – the best!).
  • Tossed with warm pasta with burrata.
  • Spread over rosemary fish for an easy dinner.

No matter how you serve it, I recommend bringing the olive tapenade to room temperature before serving to allow all of the flavor to shine through.

Make Ahead & Storage

While it’s super easy to make this recipe last minute, it’s also just as easy to prepare ahead of time!

Make it, and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. I recommend bringing it to room temperature before serving for the best flavor. You can also freeze in an airtight container, then thaw at room temperature or in the fridge when ready to use.

Green olive tapenade with baguette crisps side view.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!

olive tapenade with baguette crisps
5 (1 rating)

Get the Recipe 5-Minute Green Olive Tapenade (No Anchovies Option)

This homemade Green Olive Tapenade is briny, light, and full of flavor! It combines pitted green olives, fresh garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and anchovy paste (substitute capers for vegan or vegetarian options). In just 5 minutes you’ll be ready to serve the olive spread as part of a cheese board, crudités, or as part of an appetizer spread.



  • In a food processor (I love my mini one for this recipe!) add all the ingredients except the olive oil. Pulse until combined in a coarse crumb, then gently drizzle in olive oil until desired consistency is reached. You can make it as smooth as you'd like, however, it's best if not mushy, so leave a little bit of texture.
  • Taste for salt level, then stir in additional salt and pepper to taste. You likely won't need much salt since the ingredients are pretty briny and salty themselves.
  • Serve with baguette crisps, crackers, or veggies! 


Vegan & Vegetarian Option: you can replace the anchovy paste with 1/4 tsp (~7-8) capers that are rinsed. Otherwise, just omit the anchovies and add a bit of salt, to taste, to make up for the lack of salt that comes from the anchovies.
This recipe makes approximately 1 cup of tapenade.
Serving: 2TBSP, Calories: 55kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 401mg, Potassium: 22mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 101IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 16mg, Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!