Are you a fan of black olive tapenade? Often found on charcuterie boards next to the cheese and crackers, it’s one of those salty condiments people either love or hate. Obviously, I’m firmly on team love. In fact, I love it so much that I regularly combine homemade tapenade with spaghetti to make this easy black olive tapenade pasta recipe.

To make my Italian olive tapenade recipe, you simply need to blend the ingredients together in a blender. Those ingredients include garlic, black olives, fresh parsley, capers, anchovy fillets, salt, ground black pepper, and olive oil. Now, you can simply stop there and enjoy your tapenade with some crackers.

Black Olive Tapenade With Pasta Article

Alternatively, take one extra step and make olive tapenade pasta. Simply boil spaghetti or your favorite pasta until al dente and then combine the black olive paste with the pasta until coated. Add some parmesan cheese on top (of course) and some extra black olives as a garnish and you have a quick and easy main dish.

So whether you just use this as a black olive tapenade recipe for your next gathering or make olive tapenade pasta, I’m sure you’ll love it and will be coming back for seconds.


  • Other great toppings for this olive pasta include half a cup of toasted bread crumbs for dairy-free diners, crumbled feta cheese, and/or a garnish of chopped fresh parsley. 
  • If you can’t resist a little spice, top your pasta with a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
  • If you want to enjoy the olive tapenade pasta with meat, serve it with a side of grilled chicken, cooked shrimp, or roasted salmon.
  • For a basil black olive tapenade, swap the fresh parsley for packed fresh basil leaves. 
  • Yes, you can swap the black olives for green olives to make a green olive tapenade. Green olives work really well with fresh basil too. Another option is to use a combination of black olives and Kalamata olives.
  • If you are anti-anchovies, you can use anchovy paste instead or omit it altogether. But I do recommend giving it a go!
  • If you don’t have a blender, a food processor also works.
  • For an acidic undertone, add a tablespoon of lemon juice.


What is a black olive tapenade made of?

Black olive tapenade is a spread made from black olives, capers, anchovy fillets, fresh herbs, and garlic.

Is black olive tapenade healthy?

Black olive tapenade is a relatively healthy spread that does have its health benefits. It’s a good source of fiber, iron, antioxidants, and magnesium.

What does tapenade taste like?

Tapenade is a very salty and savory condiment, thanks to the combination of black olives, capers, and anchovies.

What do you eat olive tapenade with?

Here are just some tapenade serving suggestions:

  • Use it as a black olive spread on a sandwich or crusty bread.
  • Enjoy it as a black olive dip with crackers, pita chips, olive bread, or vegetable sticks like carrots and celery.
  • Mix it with polenta, gnocchi, or pasta as we’ve done here. I think the tapenade coats spaghetti or linguine well, but another good pasta option would be fusilli.
  • Enjoy it with white bean salad.
  • Try this recipe: roasted red pepper olive tapenade and mozzarella cheese on toast.

How long does olive tapenade last in the fridge?

When stored in an airtight container in the fridge, the tapenade lasts for up to two weeks. As for the black olive tapenade spaghetti, I’d only store that in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.

Can I freeze the black olive tapenade?

Yes, you can freeze homemade olive tapenade for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.


Black Olive Tapenade With Pasta

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 537 kcal


  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 2 cups (roughly 12 ounces) pitted black olives, drained
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste (you might not need much, as olives, capers, and anchovies have salt).
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup pitted black olives


  • Put the garlic, olives, parsley, capers, anchovies, pepper, and salt in a blender. Cover the blender, and blend to mix the ingredients well. Uncover the blender and, with it running on the slowest speed, slowly add the olive oil until it’s incorporated. Use a spatula to scrape the sides, if needed.
  • Boil a large pot of water with a dash of salt. Cook the spaghetti as the package directs.
  • Drain the pasta, then stir the olive paste into it until the spaghetti is coated with the paste. Serve the pasta dish with parmesan cheese, garnished with the remaining olives.


Calories: 537kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 13gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 876mgPotassium: 227mgFiber: 4gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 445IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 103mgIron: 2mg
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About the Author: Koula Barydakis
Koula Barydakis was born into a long tradition of eating and living Mediterranean on the Greek island of Crete. She is a chef who has worked in many of the top restaurants in Crete and in Greek Town in Toronto, Canada. Koula is the co-author of “Foods of Crete, Traditional Recipes of the Healthiest People in the World” and is currently completing her second cookbook. Koula teaches cooking classes to tourists in Crete and has been hired to teach classes in other countries as well.
Mediterranean Living

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