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Easy Vegan Olive Tapenade

Olive tapenade makes snack-time and happy hour easier and healthier. Learning how to make this classic Mediterranean Dip is a cinch!

Salty, earthy and rich olives, the sweet, chewy sun-dried tomatoes, pungent fresh garlic, and a bright note of lemon throughout. It’s a divine amalgamation of all beautiful things under the Tuscan sun.

This Olive Tapenade is vegan, grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free condiment. It qualifies to be Paleo, Whole30, and Keto friendly. The net carb count for each serving is only 3 grams.

Traditional classic olive tapenade includes anchovies and capers. In this vegan version, I am omitting both. Instead, we are adding sun dried tomatoes and garlic. Feel free to make necessary changes as you like. 

A glass jar and glass bottle filled with Olive Tapennade. Mixed olives and some bread toasts are in the background.

On our recent trip to Italy, I must have had this wonderful dip 3 times a day , everyday. I simply love – loved it 🙂

Rolling greens of Tuscan countryside are filled with bright breezy sun soaked days. There is farm fresh produce,  abundant red wine and happiness abound.

When I make this dip at home, it instantly transports me back to the memories of wonderful Italian Holidays. So needless to say, I am a huge fan of this recipe.

a wooden spoon drizzing olive oil over olive tapenade topped toasts.

It’s one of my go to Mediterranean item to serve when I am hosting a party. This make ahead, 5 minute, no-cook dip tastes amazing and feels fancy. It is a surefire crowd pleaser.

Whether it’s my book club meet, wine testing or usual BBQ and potlucks, I always keep a selection of dips. I love to create beautiful appetizer platters that are so popular among our guests.

Check out these amazing easy to prep ideas for your happy hour munchines. They taste WAY BETTER THAN the store brought things.

a rustic platter with several bread toasts topped with Vegan Olive Tapenade.



a hand holding a toast topped with olive tapenade.


This dip is a mix of olives, olive oil, fresh garlic, lemon juice, sun dried tomatoes, Italian seasoning and fresh ground black pepper. All of the ingredients get blended together in food processor.

Mediterranean influence of this dip comes from staple ingredients like olives, sun-dried tomatoes and Italian herbs. Each one of them is armed with their own element of bright, briny flavor and sweetness.

I prefer a mix of black and green olives. Manzanilla olives add touch of pimento to the dip. Kalamata olives are simply best if you have them easily available. Also buy pitted olives for ease of blending.

I highly recommend you taste the olives before using. Saltiness differs in large proportions in different brands. If you find olives to be too salty, then rinse them. You can also soak them in water for up to an hour, to pull the salt out into the water.

I am using dry packed sun dried tomatoes instead of oil packed ones. That way, I get to add best testing olive oil in the recipe. Put dry sun dried tomatoes in warm water for 20 minutes so they liven it back up. If you use oil packed sun dried tomatoes, you don’t need extra olive oil.

I love budget friendly gourmet food. You can buy reasonably priced quality ingredients and make a big batch at home . That is so much cheaper than buying a ready made item at a store. 

Process shot collage of olive tapenade ingredients and blending process.


This is a classic recipe with explosive flavors,  but you can add other ingredients into the mix to customize the flavors.

Artichokes: Add 1/2 cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts.

Fresh herbs : Add roughly chopped 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves for burst of fresh colors and freshness.

Red Pepper Flakes: If you want to add a subtle spice kick to the dip, add 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.


My favorite is to spread it on toasted baguette

As a spread on sandwiches or paninis

Serve as an appetizer on a cheese board

Serve with garlic naan, pita triangles or crackers.

Add it to pasta salads as extra layer of flavors perfect for Italian Summer Pasta or Greek Fresh Pasta Salad

For wine and cheese parties, use it on Charcuterie board.

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A glass jar and glass bottle filled with Olive Tapennade. Mixed olives and some bread toasts are in the background.

Easy Vegan Olive Tapenade

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Easy Vegan olive tapenade makes snack-time and happy hour easier and healthier. Learning how to make this classic Mediterranean Dip is a cinch!


In a food Processor, pulse all ingredients until coarsely chopped.  Transfer to serving bowl. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired and serve.


I like my olive tapenade to be grainy coarse. I needed to pulse about 8-10 times to get the perfect texture. You should scrape the food processor bowl so the ingredients stuck on the side get pulsed.

If you prefer fine paste, add little water and grind it to fine paste. If you prefer more coarse texture, roughly chop all the ingredients and mix them by hand instead of using the food processor.

I do not add extra salt in the recipe since olives and sun dried tomatoes are naturally salty. Choose according to your taste preference.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 64Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 87mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

Nutritional values are provided as a courtesy and the values are approximate. The values will change depending on the exact ingredients, measurements and brands used. As always, for specific health issues and dietary requirements please consult medical professional.

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Scarlet | Family Focus Blog

Friday 6th of March 2020

I love to try new vegan recipes. This olive tapenade looks delish!

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