Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Olive Tapenade (5 Minutes!)

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Wood cutting board filled with rice crackers, hummus, and homemade Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Olive Tapenade

Olives — you either love them or you hate them. And this recipe is definitely for the olive lovers in the house!

If you’re looking for a way to get more olives in your life – or just a delicious new dip or spread – this tapenade is the perfect solution.

With just 6 ingredients and 5 minutes required, it’s about as easy a recipe as they come. Let’s do this!

Tray of ingredients for making our Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Olive Tapenade recipe

Origin of Tapenade

Before we get started, let’s pay our dues to the creators of tapenade: Italy! That’s right, although it’s more commonly thought of as French dish, tapenade has its roots in Italy where first written record of tapenade was by Italians in the first century AD. (source)

The word tapenade comes from the Provençal word for capers tapenos. Tapenade is primarily made with olives but also typically features capers. Learn more about the history of tapenade here! And try this more authentic preparation of French tapenade.

What is a Tapenade?

A tapenade is a thick, olive-based sauce spread (similar to pesto in texture), typically enjoyed as an appetizer over bread or pizza. Yum.

Food processor with ingredients for making our simple Olive Tapenade recipe

It all starts with delicious, rich olives. We prefer green or Kalamata olives from the olive bar at the grocery store, but any brined olives should work!

To give this tapenade a fresh, tangy flavor, we used garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and lemon. The tomatoes provide richness, the garlic adds a bit of zing, and the lemon brightens the dip with all the acidity.

Bonus? It all comes together in a food processor! Simply pulse until a chunky texture is achieved. Olive oil will help thin out the dip, if desired.

Spoon in a jar of homemade Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Olive Tapenade
Cutting board of crackers topped with hummus and homemade Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Olive Tapenade

We hope you LOVE this recipe as much as we do! It’s:

& Delicious!

This dip makes the perfect appetizer! Our favorite way to enjoy it is atop hummus and crackers. It also goes great with freshly sliced vegetables such as cucumber and carrots. It’s especially delicious as a sandwich spread with the Trashy Vegan Sandwich from our Everyday Cooking Cookbook, or our Chickpea Sunflower Sandwich.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Picking up a cracker topped with Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Tapenade for a delicious vegan appetizer

Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Olive Tapenade (5 Minutes!)

Simple, fresh, and flavorful olive tapenade made with just 6 ingredients. Perfect as a tangy dip, savory pairing for hummus, or sandwich spread!
Author Minimalist Baker
Jar of Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Olive Tapenade for spreading on crackers or vegetables
4.85 from 13 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 8 (3-Tbsp servings)
Course Dip
Cuisine French-Inspired, Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 7-10 Days


  • 2 cups pitted, drained olives (we love Kalamata and green olives)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)*
  • 1/3 cup tightly packed fresh basil
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice (1 lemon yields ~3 Tbsp or 45 ml)

FOR SERVING optional

  • Hummus
  • Pita chips / crackers (ensure gluten-free for GF eaters)


  • Add olives, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, olive oil (starting with lesser amount), and lemon juice to a food processor and mix/pulse to achieve a dip with some texture. Scrape down sides as needed.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more sun-dried tomatoes for tomato flavor, basil for fresh herb flavor, lemon juice for acidity, olive oil to thin, or garlic for bite. Optional: Add a pinch of salt and pepper, though we didn’t find it needed it.
  • Serve immediately. This makes a great dip on its own or for pairing/layering with hummus. We also love it as a sandwich spread on a veggie sandwich like the Trashy Vegan Sandwich from our Everyday Cooking Cookbook, or our Chickpea Sunflower Sandwich.
  • Store in the refrigerator up to 7-10 days. Freeze for long-term storage, though best when fresh.



*If using sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, start with a smaller amount and omit olive oil from recipe.
*Recipe as originally written makes ~1 ½ cups.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amount of olive oil.

Nutrition (1 of 8 servings)

Serving: 1 three-Tbsp servings Calories: 99 Carbohydrates: 4.8 g Protein: 1 g Fat: 9.2 g Saturated Fat: 4.2 g Sodium: 559 mg Potassium: 22 mg Fiber: 1.9 g Sugar: 1.5 g

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My Rating:

  1. Karen says

    OMG, so yummy. No salt/pepper needed. I only used 1 TBSP of olive oil and used extra garlic and basil. Sun dried tomatoes and my own grown and cured olives.

  2. Lee Kaplan says

    I have another use for tapenade: put your fave spaghetti sauce on cooked pasta. Add a Tbs or two of tapenade. Instant pasta puttanesca!

  3. Amy says

    I made this as a spread for veggie focaccia sandwiches and it was fantastic. So fast and easy!

    I used just about 1/4 cup of chopped olives and the tomato flavor just popped. I cut lemon juice to 2 T to account for fewer olives. I can’t wait to use the leftovers!

  4. B says

    The recipe is delicious, suggestion good and I much appreciate the very good policy of inserting the option ” jump to recipe” . Thanks #minimalistbaker, I’ll be back again.

  5. Vicky says

    I made this as an appetizer for some friends that came over for dinner tonight. I served it with whole wheat crackers. And I also made your hummus and both go great together. It was delicious! Thank you!

    Suggestion: I would love for the Minimalist Baker to have an app. I’m on your site almost every day and was just thinking it would be so practical if there was an app to get the ingredients and info quicker and easier. ( Like the tasty app for example)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing! I’d say scale back slightly on lemon as it can highlight the saltiness sometimes. Use a little water or oil instead. You can also rinse your olives before adding for less saltiness.

  6. Tony Mulvahil says

    Made this. Loved this. Why didn’t I start making this 20 years ago? I used one jar of green olives and one jar if black olives along with smoked garlic. Delicious.

  7. Kendall Stark says

    Hey, Dana! Just made this for lunch to have atop your chickpea sunflower sandwich. Both are to die for! So flavorful. I did, however, forget the garlic in the tapenade and used pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower because that’s what I had. Will certainly make this again!

  8. Melany Mack says

    We made this and served it to company last night. It was incredibly tasty, and our guests loved it. (They took home the recipe!) This was a very easy to make recipe. The delicious-ness was far greater than the effort expended in making it. We highly recommend this recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh yay! Thanks for sharing! Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. xo!

  9. Samantha says

    Just made this, so delish, so easy, and I had everything at home already. The perfect compliment to my vegan cheese board and roasted veg sandwiches. Thank you again!!

  10. Ania says

    Oh my world. This was divine! I had a bag of sun-dried tomatoes and wasn’t sure what to do with it. This is definitely my kind of flavor. I then toasted a piece of sourdough bread, put a thick layer of Miyoko’s butter, and layered it with this tapenade. Yyyuuuuuuummmmmmm. Thanks, Dana!!

  11. DIane Lassen says

    Glad to see a recipe for dried tomatoes without oil! I sun-dry my own every summer when I get a lot of fresh tomatoes: they dry easily in the oven or in the dehydrator and keep forever! Will try this today. WOUld be nice on polenta I think.

  12. Pat Desnoyers says

    I made this tonight for a family gathering tomorrow. One taste of it and I know it’s going to be a hit! Fresh, lively, and very tasty. I followed your recommendation to not add oil as I had oil based sun dried tomatoes. I would definitely make this again and I look forward to my family’s reaction tomorrow. Thank you for a wonderful recipe! No adjustments needed!

  13. Lynda says

    I am so excited about the recipes I receive from you that I told a customer about your awesome recipes and I told her you were from Kansas, because she was too.
    I need to make this newest recipe from you when I am able to get some of the ingredients.

    Thanks again Dana,


  14. Cheryl says

    I love the little glass containers you use. As a single person the smaller sizes are perfect!! Where did you get them? If you don’t mind sharing… This Olive Tapenade with sun-dried tomato and basil looks delicious. Good to know Trader Joe’s has sun-dried that aren’t packed in so much oil. My plan is to use the English cucumbers, slice, top with hummus and this Tapenade. Thank you!!

  15. Berneda Rivard says

    I probably should ask you this here, but I love your recipes so far and was wondering if you do sample meal planning? I was hoping to see a link on your website but I don’t. I just need help with my daily eating menus for breakfast/lunch/dinner. Thank you.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Berneda, that’s a great question and we’re working on a guide / resource for that soon!

  16. Nathalie Smekens says

    This looks delicious!
    You use pitted olives, do you blend the pits in the tapenade? Seemed a bit weird to me. :-)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      No, you remove the pits before blending, OR buy already pitted olives. Never blend olive pits as it will ruin your blade.

  17. jody says

    are the sun-dried tomatoes just the completely dried ones? You mentioned not using the oil-packed tomatoes. The ones in the recipe look “wet” or more like they were from an oil soaking. This looks really delicious and I just want to make sure. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      We use dry ones from Trader Joe’s that are not in oil, but still have a little moisture to them!

  18. Baiba says

    Hi Dana,
    Such a coincidence! I was just thinking about your sun dried tomato pesto as I was looking for a picnic option. And here is something even better – because olives I love, yum. Going with the olive theory, my husband dislikes olives, until recently he tried really good ones. So this will work so well!
    Btw, the best of luck on your health journey. I am still a vegan, but support you 100% – health and family come first! ;)