Let’s Creep It Real: This Olive Tapenade Is So Wickedly Good You Are Going To Finish It All In One Sitting

October 31, 2019

Let’s Creep It Real: This Olive Tapenade Is So Wickedly Good You Are Going To Finish It All In One Sitting

Happy Halloween! If you're throwing a Halloween party, you have to serve more than candy and alcohol. We made this olive tapenade the other evening and honestly we could NOT stop eating it. Those little crunchy pieces of toasted rice cakes topped with ample quantities of olive goodness were going down like gangbusters. 

It’s just so deliciously salty and olive-y. Yum! If you’re also a big fan of olives then you will find this just as heavenly as we did.

Small issue, you likely won’t be able to stop eating it until it’s finished! So it’s perfect to serve as an appetizer when you have guests. That way you won’t be tempted to just eat the whole lot yourself (though really, that’s totally fine to do too!).


You will love this delicious olive tapenade recipe!

It is:

〰 Salty
〰 Garlicky
〰 Tangy
〰 Packed with flavor
〰 Quick
〰 Simple
〰 Delicious 




  • 2 cups green pitted olives
  • grated zest and juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 TBSPs capers, drained
  • 1 TBSP white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups (about) parsley, divided roughly into two 1-cup portions
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus more to taste



  1. Pulse the olives, zest, juice of half a lemon, pepper flakes, garlic, capers, vinegar, and half of the parsley in the food processor until a coarse paste is formed—be sure to pulse to avoid turning the purée into complete mush. It may take 20 to 30 quick pulses.

  2. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Finely chop the remaining parsley, and stir it in. Stir in the olive oil. Taste; then adjust seasoning as necessary with more lemon, pepper flakes, or olive oil. We almost always end up using the remaining half lemon, and we always stir in more olive oil by the tablespoon until the mixture both looks and tastes right.


DO AHEAD: Tapenade can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill; bring to room temperature before serving.

GOT LEFTOVERS? Keep them stored in a sealed container in the fridge and it will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks. It would be a miracle if you managed to keep it that long though! It’s way too delicious. 


PRO TIP 1: Even if your olives are bought already pitted, just check them first as sometimes a pit might have snuck in and that can cause havoc on your food processor blades, not to mention messing with the texture of your tapenade. 

PRO TIP 2: Adding a tiny bit (just 1 teaspoon) of maple syrup balances the sour taste from the olives and lemon juice. If you prefer it sourer, you can leave the maple syrup out. Or add it in later if needed, after taste testing.

PRO TIP 3: A food processor is the best way to make this tapenade. We’ve tried a blender and it gets stuck and won’t spin as easily as a food processor. It could be possible, but it’s going to require more effort.

PRO TIP 4: Feel free to experiment with different types of olives. If you have an olive bar at your nearby supermarket, you can get creative. Just be sure to pit the olives before adding to the food processor.

PRO TIP 5: The key to making a really good tapenade lies in the care you take while completing the last 5% of the job: chopping a heap of parsley by hand. If you rely on the food processor to chop all of the parsley, your finished tapenade will still taste delicious, but it will lack variety in color, and we find those pops of green punctuating the dark purée to be so visually appealing and, in turn, appetizing. Stirring in the olive oil by hand, too, as opposed to while the food processor blade is whirring, also prevents the texture from turning to mush.



Tapenade is a very versatile condiment. Here are 13 creative ways you can use it:

  1. Mix the tapenade with hummus and place on pita bread topped with some arugula.

  2. Spread on crackers, pita chips, rice/corn cakes, or crispbreads.

  3. Stuff portobello mushrooms with the tapenade.

  4. Mix it in with some sauce with pasta, polenta, or gnocchi.

  5. Enjoy with some fresh veggies - carrots, celery, etc.

  6. Make a mixed plate of hummus, pita bread, falafel and olive tapenade.

  7. Add it on a pizza in the place of sauce.

  8. Use as a sandwich spread. Add a little non-dairy mayo to make it creamier.

  9. Make a cold pasta salad with veggies and use the tapenade as the dressing with lemon juice.

  10. Add it to your avocado toast.

  11. Add to bread dough and bake for an amazing olive loaf.

  12. Put together some mini-sandwich appetizers, with sandwich bread or wraps, vegan cream cheese or dairy-free mayo, olive tapenade, roasted red peppers and red onion.

  13. Create your own vegan version of a caprese salad with roasted red peppers, fresh basil, olive tapenade, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.


Did you make this recipe? We get crazy excited when you make our recipes and we always love to see how they turn out. 😍😍😍
Tag @smartbitesnacks on Instagram and hashtag it #SmartbiteSnacks

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