Delicious Greek Olive Dip and Spread | Taste Greece

Have you ever wondered how a simple mix of olives, capers, and spices can transform into one of the most cherished dishes in Greek cuisine? This Mediterranean appetizer, known as olive tapenade, is a staple of Greek mezze that brings the rich, savory taste of the Mediterranean straight to your table.

Delicious Greek Olive Dip and Spread Taste Greece 1
Delicious Greek Olive Dip and Spread Taste Greece 

When I first learned to prepare this homemade olive spread, I quickly discovered the importance of using high-quality pitted Kalamata olives to avoid unexpected mishaps. Sharing this dish with friends and family, paired with warm, crisp bread, has become a delightful tradition that evokes the authentic flavors of Greek culinary heritage.

Key Takeaways

  • Olive tapenade is a classic part of the Mediterranean appetizer collection known as Greek mezze.
  • High-quality Kalamata olives are essential for an authentic and rich flavor.
  • This homemade olive spread can be prepared quickly with a short list of pantry ingredients.
  • Perfect for pairing with fresh or toasted bread, tapenade also complements various dishes.
  • Leftover olive tapenade can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days, making it a versatile and convenient option.

Introduction to Greek Olive Dip and Spread

The Greek Olive Dip and Spread, often referred to as a tapenade, is a beloved appetizer that stands out for its simplicity and depth of flavor. Known in Greek as “πάστα ελιάς” (pasta elias), it is traditionally made with Kalamata olives, celebrated for their meaty texture and tangy taste.

This delectable dish emphasizes the use of high-quality ingredients, showcasing the olives’ natural flavor, enhanced by garlic, olive oil, and various herbs. For the best taste, I recommend pitting the olives oneself to retain their full, rich taste. This Greek olive condiment transcends beyond just an appetizer; it can amplify meals, elevate sandwiches, and add a unique touch to pasta dishes.

Moreover, the versatility and quick preparation time make the Greek olive condiment a perfect choice for both casual snacks and formal gatherings. With a prep time of just 10 minutes, this recipe yields about 1.5 cups of delicious tapenade. The Greek olive dip can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, offering convenience and extended enjoyment.

For those conscious about dietary preferences, it’s worth noting that this tapenade falls under the category of vegan appetizers, reflecting its French origins. The recipe requires simple ingredients like 1 cup of Castelvetrano olives, 1/2 cup of Niçoise or Kalamata olives, 1/4 cup of fresh flat-leaf parsley, 1 tablespoon of drained capers, 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 2 medium cloves of garlic, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

With 163 comments praising its flavors and an impressive rating breakdown, including 68 five-star reviews, this Greek olive dip has become a favorite for many. The nutritional value per serving of this kalamata olive dip is also noteworthy, providing 62 kcal, 2g of carbohydrates, 2g of protein, and 5g of fat among other valuable contents, making it both delicious and health-conscious.


How to Make Homemade Greek Olive Dip and Spread

Creating a delicious homemade olive spread is simpler than you might think. This Greek olive condiment combines the robust flavors of Kalamata and green olives, tangy sundried tomatoes, and aromatic herbs for an irresistible Mediterranean appetizer. Let’s dive into the ingredients and step-by-step instructions for this delectable olive tapenade recipe.


To prepare this Greek mezze, you will need the following fresh and flavorful ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of pitted Kalamata and green olives
  • 4 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of capers
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup of fresh basil or parsley

With these ingredients in hand, you’re ready to make a homemade olive spread that’s bursting with the essence of Greek cuisine.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Start by preparing your olives. Make sure they are pitted and ready for use.
  2. In a food processor, combine the olives, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, and garlic clove.
  3. Add the extra-virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice to the mixture.
  4. Include the fresh basil or parsley for an aromatic touch.
  5. Pulse the mixture until you reach your desired consistency. You can make it as smooth or as coarse as you like.
  6. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning as needed with a bit of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

This olive dip recipe is not only quick and easy—the prep time is just 5 minutes, and the total cook time is also 5 minutes—but it’s also versatile. The finished tapenade yields about 3 cups, enough for 6 servings of 1/2 cup each.

Servings Calories per Serving (1/2 cup) Prep Time Total Cook Time Storage
6 68 5 minutes 5 minutes Up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge

Enjoy this Greek olive condiment on pita chips, crostini, or as a topping on goat cheese. Perfect for any occasion, this Mediterranean appetizer is sure to impress!

Serving Suggestions and Additional Uses

Greek Olive dip and spread isn’t just a simple Mediterranean appetizer; it’s a versatile addition to many dishes. With robust flavors from ingredients like mixed pitted olives, capers, and marinated sun-dried tomatoes, this olive tapenade can elevate sandwiches, provide a zesty kick to hummus, or serve as a flawless base for bruschetta topped with fresh tomatoes and capers. It even stands as a superb complement to grilled meats like chicken or fish, roasted vegetables, or as a flavorful mix-in for pasta dishes.

When it comes to serving, the dip’s potential is extensive. Pairing it with crackers, baguette, pita, or fresh vegetables like cucumber and celery offers endless snack possibilities. A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of herbs can turn a simple dish into a mesmerizing Greek mezze component. For an engaging communal dining experience, try adding it to appetizer boards alongside traditional Greek dips like tzatziki, taramosalata, and tyrokafteri. The convenience of preparing this tapenade in just 10 minutes makes it an effortless yet impressive addition to any meal.

Store the Greek Olive dip and spread in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, ensuring you have this Mediterranean delight on hand whenever culinary inspiration strikes. Whether you’re incorporating it into savory breakfasts, salads, cheese plates, or simply enjoying it with crusty bread, its adaptability will make it a staple in your culinary repertoire. With its enduring popularity since first published in 2015 and recent updates in December 2021, this recipe continues to win hearts with its reliable, delightful flavors.


What is Greek Olive Dip and Spread?

Greek Olive Dip and Spread, also known as olive tapenade or “πάστα ελιάς” (pasta elias), is a savory Mediterranean appetizer made primarily from Kalamata olives, olive oil, garlic, and herbs. It’s traditionally served as part of a Greek mezze.

What ingredients do I need to make Greek Olive Dip and Spread?

To make Greek Olive Dip and Spread at home, you’ll need pitted Kalamata olives, garlic, capers, quality olive oil, fresh lemon juice and zest, dried herbs (such as oregano, rosemary, or thyme), and freshly ground black pepper. Optional ingredients like sundried tomatoes can be added for extra flavor.

How do I pit Kalamata olives for the dip?

To pit Kalamata olives, gently squeeze each olive with your fingers or use a meat mallet to crack them open and remove the seed. This method helps retain the olives’ full, rich flavor.

What is the best way to serve Greek Olive Dip and Spread?

Greek Olive Dip and Spread pairs wonderfully with fresh or toasted bread. It can also enhance sandwiches, serve as a base for bruschetta, or complement grilled meats, roasted vegetables, and pasta dishes.

Can I customize the recipe for my own taste?

Absolutely! You can adjust the seasonings to your preference, adding more lemon for tang, extra herbs for depth, or including ingredients like sundried tomatoes for a sweet-tart flavor. Feel free to experiment to create a version that suits your taste.

How long does homemade Greek Olive Dip and Spread last?

When stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, homemade Greek Olive Dip and Spread can last for up to one week. Always give it a quick stir before serving to ensure consistent flavor and texture.

Is Greek Olive Dip and Spread suitable for vegan and gluten-free diets?

Yes, Greek Olive Dip and Spread is naturally vegan and gluten-free, making it a versatile and inclusive option for various dietary requirements.

What are some unique ways to use Greek Olive Dip and Spread?

Beyond serving it as a dip, you can use Greek Olive Dip and Spread as a sandwich spread, mix it into hummus, top it on pizza, or incorporate it into pasta dishes for a unique Mediterranean twist. It’s a versatile condiment that can elevate a variety of meals.
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Author: Bob

With over 20 years in Bioinformatics and AI in Molecular Diagnostics, Bob Stavrou advises BiCos, focusing on authenticating OLIVE OIL DNA. He's also a passionate contributor to YouTube Cooking with Greek People and appeared on Greek TV show Savvatokiriako Me Ton Manesi, bridging science and culinary arts. Watch it on Alpha TV.

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